Sony Alpha A700 SLR camera
Sony makes a real statement to the competitor with the Sony Alpha 700 digital SLR camera. Time to do some serious business! Firstly the housing is perfectly finished and the camera has an ideal hand-fit. The somewhat heavier weight is obvious and adds to the stability whilst leaving a solid impression. Looking from an ergonomic point of view, Sony did very well. Here and there I find that some buttons could have been placed a millimeter to the right or left, but that is just my personal opinion. Sony definitely show with this housing what they are capable of and it is promising for Sony's next step; the step towards professional photography. Sony covered the most interesting part of the market with the Alpha 100 and the latest addition the Sony A700; the amateur segment and the enhanced or semipro photographer segment.
Sony A700 - Great 3" LCD monitor
Communication between the A700 camera and the photographer is utterly satisfying. The Sony A700 does not let the photographer down but offers him access to important information in different ways and on many areas in order to capture a perfect picture. The beautiful LCD monitor with its nice high resolution and thus its perfect rendering supports the information wave. It is a joy to work with such a monitor and although Sony are not the only ones to offer this kind of monitor, it is a luxury to be able to work with it on the Sony Alpha 700.
Sony A700 DSLR - Possible improvements
Sometimes odd things happen. A few months ago Live View was not an issue at all, but lately I have come to value this function highly. Well, at least as a nice aid that can play a big role in DSLR photography. You have to have worked with it to appreciate it and I admit; there are differences between one Live View and another, but once used to it, it can be a valuable function. Personally I find it a pity that the Sony DSLR-A700 is not offering Live View. Mind you, this is my personal opinion I am giving here, but perhaps others share my opinion.
Sony Alpha 700 kit - Wide angle lens
The Sony A700 is available in different versions; separate bodies as well as various kit versions. One of the standard Sony A700 kit cameras is the combination of the body with the Sony SAL-16105 DT 16-105mm lens. This lens offers an interesting wide angle and can be used for all-round photography. The quality of this kit lens is fine; just keep in mind that there is some distortion but not more than average for a focal range like this. If you want to make optimum use of the quality you will have to look for other lenses that Sony offer in their assortment.
Sony DSLR-A700 - RAW & JPEG pictures
The image quality delivered by the Sony A700 is excellent and will please the passionate photographer. Remarkable is the difference between RAW and JPEG pictures. For those who will use the Sony A700 purely simple, and leave RAW format for what it is, will not get to see the optimum possible quality of the camera. I think I made my point: shoot in RAW, go to the trouble of sharpening the pictures and converting them to JPEG and you will see the difference. There will always be differences between JPEG and RAW but on the Sony A700 they are too significant to not mention them. Personally I would only use RAW format with the Sony A700.
Sony A700 - Photography on a high quality level
My conclusion after extensively using the Sony DSLR-A700 in practice and testing it thoroughly can be short. Sony's Alpha 700 is a beautiful DSLR and offers the demanding photographer as well as the amateur a perfect tool to practice photography on a high level. The camera is not perfect but if you put some effort in getting to know the camera and making it part of your digital work environment, you will soon find that you have a refined DSLR camera in your hands. If you are looking for a new DSLR or ready to get acquainted with an advanced camera system you definitely ought to put the Sony Alpha 700 on your wish list.
Help us to offer our readers a second opinion: write down your experiences and rate this digital camera. No need to register first, just simply fill in the form and we will add your personal opinion and camera rating in our user review section.
"The test photos shot with the Sony Alpha A700 are made in Lago Maggiore in Italy after the press conference of Sony. After attending an interesting workshop I was able to shoot some samples with the new Sony Alpha A700 camera. "
Continue to view our Sony Alpha A700 sample images and take a look at our Sony A700 hands-on.
Sony A700 - MS PRO-HG card & CompactFlash card with UDMA
If you want to use the speed of data transfer on the Sony DSLR-A700 to the fullest, you will have to purchase a fast memory card. The camera supports the MS PRO-HG high speed cards and the fast CompactFlash cards with UDMA (Ultra Direct Memory Access support. SanDisk is a good example of a manufacturer of such memory cards that not only offer speed but also stability. This is quite an important fact to be aware of in this world where digital storage is becoming more and more common. In addition to using the Extreme III CF card during testing I used the latest SanDisk Extreme IV Ducati CompactFlash in combination with the Sony Alpha 700. And this makes the fastest combination you can get with the new Alpha 700 D-SLR.
Sony DSLR-A700 - Storage capacity of 4GB advised
Using the high resolution of 12 Megapixels and file formats in RAW, eventually mixed with JPEG, deliver a rather large file format. Photographing in RAW will deliver files of around 18MB, cRAW (Sony's latest RAW format) still delivers more than 12MB but a RAW+JPEG setting gives you a file of more than 22MB. The need of investing in a large capacity memory card may be clear! Considering some hundred pictures in the highest quality needs more than 2GB storage capacity. Therefore I would advise a storage capacity of 4GB.
Considering 4GB storage capacity:
12 Megapixels - 3:2 - RAW - 203 pictures
12 Megapixels - 3:2 - cRAW - 299 pictures
12 Megapixels - 3:2 - RAW+JPEG - 156 pictures
12 Megapixels - 3:2 - cRAW+JPEG - 208 pictures
12 Megapixels - 3:2 - JPEG Extra Fine - 365 pictures
12 Megapixels - 3:2 - JPEG Fine - 682 pictures
12 Megapixels - 3:2 - Standard - 1001 pictures
10 Megapixels - 16:9 - RAW - 203 pictures
10 Megapixels - 16:9 - cRAW - 299 pictures
10 Megapixels - 16:9 - RAW+JPEG - 161 pictures
10 Megapixels - 16:9 - cRAW+JPEG - 217 pictures
10 Megapixels - 16:9 - JPEG Extra Fine - 428 pictures
10 Megapixels - 16:9 - JPEG Fine - 788 pictures
10 Megapixels - 16:9 - JPEG Standard - 1142 pictures
6.4 Megapixels - 3:2 - RAW+JPEG - 172 pictures
6.4 Megapixels - 3:2 - cRAW+JPEG - 236 pictures
6.4 Megapixels - 3:2 - JPEG Extra Fine - 629 pictures
6.4 Megapixels - 3:2 - JPEG Fine - 1121 pictures
6.4 Megapixels - 3:2 - Standard - 1567 pictures
5.4 Megapixels - 16:9 - RAW+JPEG - 175 pictures
5.4 Megapixels - 16:9 - cRAW+JPEG - 242 pictures
5.4 Megapixels - 16:9 - JPEG Extra Fine - 727 pictures
5.4 Megapixels - 16:9 - JPEG Fine - 1273 pictures
5.4 Megapixels - 16:9 - Standard - 1746 pictures
3 Megapixels - 3:2 - RAW+JPEG - 182 pictures
3 Megapixels - 3:2 - cRAW+JPEG - 256 pictures
3 Megapixels - 3:2 - JPEG Extra Fine - 1044 pictures
3 Megapixels - 3:2 - JPEG Fine - 1772 pictures
3 Megapixels - 3:2 - Standard - 2307 pictures
2.6 Megapixels - 16:9 - RAW+JPEG - 184 pictures
2.6 Megapixels - 16:9 - cRAW+JPEG - 260 pictures
2.6 Megapixels - 16:9 - JPEG Extra Fine - 1198 pictures
2.6 Megapixels - 16:9 - JPEG Fine - 1972 pictures
2.6 Megapixels - 16:9 - Standard - 2547 pictures