Sony Alpha 100 digital reflex camera
No one will be surprised that Sony's first digital SLR camera bears a strong resemblance to one of Konica Minolta's models. Sony took over the camera division of the illustrious brand and the two companies had been working together even before the takeover. However, Sony has done more than just put a simple clone on the market: certain things have been added and changed. Generally, they have been to the benefit of the camera.
Sony A100 SLR - Super Steady Shot & Dust reduction system
Sony has cleverly adapted several things from Konica Minolta and improved them where necessary. Take the Super Steady Shot. Maybe it isn't perfectly attuned to every focal point, but when all is accounted for, it is an excellent tool for repairing the most common fault: movement blur. The algorithm has also been improved and you can now take photos without the need for a tripod for much longer than with cameras without such as system. It is also considerably cheaper than buying a lens with an IS (Image Stabilizer). That Sony also uses the moving sensor to reduce dust on the sensor at the same time is very clever indeed as dust is maybe one of the biggest sources of irritation.
Sony A100 DSLR camera vs Konica Minolta Dynax 5D
It was also a clever move to use lots of buttons instead of forcing users to continually refer to the menu. The Sony Alpha 100 is easy to operate, partly because the buttons are more conveniently arranged than usual. That the switch button is placed inconveniently for those of us who use our left eye when taking a photograph is a minor detail. It is however, more inconvenient that Konica Minolta's eye sensor and flash shoe have been incorporated in the Sony Alpha 100. The former in particular is more of an irritation than a help. By using the Dynax flash shoe, the Sony DSLR A-100 immediately has a good range of flashes.
Sony A-100 digital SLR camera - 10 Megapixels
With 10 Megapixels, the Sony Alpha is at the top of its range. Although, fortunately, more attention is being paid to quality rather than pixels, high numbers always sell well. Luckily, Sony knows how to get a great result from the pixels. The focus, colour reproduction and detailing are good. I have to say that I was not impressed by the noise at ISO 800 and 1600, although I suppose it is acceptable. One unique feature is the possibility to optimise the dynamic range. This is a sensible function if you want to take photos in contrast rich situations, like high summer or with a low winter sun. The Sony Alpha 100 offers a lot of options, but a lot can be done automatically, and this makes the DSLR a suitable camera for entry-level users or upgraders. It is a pity that the number of options for photographing in JPEG is limited. On the other hand, taking photos in JPEG is extremely quick and you don't actually need the buffer.
Sony Alpha A-100 D-SLR - Absolutely recommended
All in all, Sony has come up with a decent camera in the Alpha 100. A good beginning is half the battle. Consider the price/quality ration in the current market and you will see that the well known DSLR manufacturers have suddenly been confronted with a competitor to be afraid of! Not only is the Sony Alpha 100 a pleasure to work with, it also gives great results. People who now work with a Konica Minolta can go on to Sony without a hitch. This is immediately a strong point for Sony. As well as launching a camera, it has come up with an enormous range of accessories and lenses. The Sony Alpha 100 is only the beginning of Sony's rise in the world of reflex cameras. To the competitors, one can only say - watch the Sony Alpha 100 - this camera is ready to conquer market share!
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"Since Sony and Konica Minolta announced that Konica Minolta consigned their camera service operations for Konica Minolta, Konica Minolta brand cameras and related equipment to Sony, the news of a Sony digital SLR camera is a hot topic among digital SLR camera enthusiasts. Some weeks ago we unveiled the name and the design of the new Sony digital SLR to you; today we bring you the (unofficial) specifications of the Sony Alpha 100 digital SLR camera. "
Continue to read our Sony Alpha 100 article.
SanDisk Extreme III series memory card
It is logical that Sony has equipped the Alpha 100 with a slot for CompactFlash memory. CompactFlash has been a standard feature in digital reflex cameras for years and users of Konica Minolta can now switch over to Sony with ease. CompactFlash memory cards are available in high capacities and speeds for a relatively low price. The SanDisk Extreme III series in particular performs very well in a camera like the Sony Alpha 100. The Memory Stick Duo is also available in high speeds and its capacity currently extends up to 4GB. The disadvantage of the Memory Stick Duo is that it is not so easily available and a bit more expensive than the CompactFlash cards. On the other hand, it has a compact format, just a little larger than the Secure Digital memory card. For the test, Sony provided a 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo High Speed. In practise, the card with adapter was just as good as a SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash card.
Sony A-100 SLR - 1GB memory card
Sony's CCD image sensor gives 10 million pixels and this quickly leads to large files, especially if you are taking photographs in RAW, which I would advise you to do as much as possible. A 1GB memory card is not an unnecessary luxury but I would recommend a 2GB card. In the following table you can see approximately how many pictures fit on a 1GB card. The numbers should be doubled, of course, for a 2GB memory card.
Considering a storage capacity of 1GB:
RAW - 3872 x 2592 pixels - 62 pictures
RAW + JPEG - 3872 x 2592 pixels - 48 pictures
JPEG - large - fine - 3872 x 2592 pixels - 229 pictures
JPEG - large - standard - 3872 x 2592 pixels - 358 pictures
JPEG - medium - fine - 2896 x 1936 pixels - 397 pictures
JPEG - medium - standard - 2896 x 1936 pixels - 606 pictures
JPEG - small - fine - 1920 x 1280 pixels - 822 pictures
JPEG - small - standard - 1920 x 1280 pixels - 1196 pictures