An affordable, easy-to-use DSLR camera with some useful functions to ensure high quality pictures.Sony’s new DSLR-A200 model replaces the A100 and is targeted at entry-level buyers, for whom it provides all the functions a keen photographer requires. Most of the features that were introduced with the A100 model are provided, including the 10.2-megapixel sensor. However, many have been upgraded or enhanced to make the new model a more Sony-like product. Live view shooting is not supported. . .
Sony’s new DSLR-A200 model replaces the A100 and is targeted at entry-level buyers, for whom it provides all the functions a keen photographer requires. Most of the features that were introduced with the A100 model are provided, including the 10.2-megapixel sensor. However, many have been upgraded or enhanced to make the new model a more Sony-like product. Live view shooting is not supported.Marginally smaller and lighter than the A100, it truongsuphamtphcm.edu.vnes to the market as a twin lens kit at a significantly lower price than the earlier model fetched when it was launched. The polycarbonate body looks and feels a little plasticky but is nonetheless solidly constructed and the battery, card and port covers on the test camera fitted securely.
Front view of the A200 body.
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For truongsuphamtphcm.edu.vnparison, the front view of the A100 model.
Some significant changes have been made to body design and control layout to make the new model easier for novices to operate. The mode dial on the top panel has been shifted to the left side of the penta-mirror housing, where it replaces the A100’s function dial. A Function button on the rear panel now provides quick access to flash, metering and focus modes, AF area selections, white balance and Dynamic Range Optimiser (DRO) settings.
A200 top view.
For truongsuphamtphcm.edu.vnparison, the top view of the A100.
The drive button on the A200 now sits where the A100’s mode dial used to be, with a new ISO button to its right. The grip on the A200 is also slightly larger and the shutter button and control dial stand less proud from the top panel. We found the grip to be marginally less truongsuphamtphcm.edu.vnfortable but the shutter button is better positioned than on the A100. No cover appears to be provided for the hot shoe.
The rear view of the A200, showing the changes made to the menu display and controls.
For truongsuphamtphcm.edu.vnparison, the rear view of the A100.
The rear panel has also been redesigned to provide space for the slightly larger LCD screen and make some controls more usable. The power off/on switch is in the same place but it’s smaller and less likely to be nudged accidentally. The exposure truongsuphamtphcm.edu.vnpensation and AE lock buttons are also smaller and higher on the rear panel. The same line of buttons ranges down the left side of the LCD but, again, they’re slightly smaller and more elegantly designed.The arrow pad, in contrast, is a little larger, while the Super Steady Shot slider has been rotated and now moves horizontally instead of vertically. The remote terminal has been moved to a truongsuphamtphcm.edu.vnpartment on the side panel, which it shares with the DC-in port. A hard plastic cover with a secure-feeling hinge protects both sockets.Menu design has also been fine-tuned and the selected shutter speed and aperture are now displayed on the LCD beside the shooting mode. The flash setting is also shown and the image size and quality settings are shifted to the bottom of the screen. Minor rearrangements have been made to other icons. The Super SteadyShot image processor has been improved to provide approximately half a stop more latitude than the A100. Autofocus processing is faster and AF tracking is claimed to be better than the A100. But the nine-point AF sensor remains unchanged. Exposure metering, flash, viewfinder data display and image adjustments are all carried over from the A100 without major changes. Creative Style options – which were introduced with the A700 – include the Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Night View, Sunset, Black and White and Adobe RGB settings.The design of the pop-up flash has also been changed and, although it integrates a little more elegantly with the camera body, the flash doesn’t rise quite as high above the lens axis, leaving potential for red eyes in flash shots. The A200’s flash settings include the standard auto, off, fill-in, slow synch and rear synch settings. Wireless triggering is also supported with truongsuphamtphcm.edu.vnpatible flash units.When the camera is set to Auto or one of the scene modes is selected, the flash will pop up automatically when the camera detects low light levels or strong backlighting. Flash output is adjustable through +/- 2EV in 1/3 EV steps. Flash metering options include TTL pre-flash and Advanced Distance Integration (ADI), which uses distance information to control flash output.The battery indicator now displays the percentage of charge remaining as well as an icon graphic. The new camera can also accept a vertical grip (VG-B30AM), which holds one or two rechargeable batteries.
Sensor and Image ProcessingThe A200’s sensor is essentially the same as its predecessor’s but it benefits from new firmware and a boost in top sensitivity from ISO 1600 to ISO 3200. Measuring 23.6 x 15.8mm, it produces high-resolution images with 3872 x 2592 pixels, giving each photosite a surface area of 6.09 microns, which is the same as its predecessor – and also Nikon’s D40X, D80 and D200 models.As in the A100, image files can be recorded in JPEG or ARW.RAW format. Three image sizes and two Quality (truongsuphamtphcm.edu.vnpression) levels are available for JPEG files. Simultaneous RAW+JPEG capture is offered but the image size is fixed at Large and the quality is set to Fine. Two aspect ratios are supported: 3:2 and 16:9, the latter being designed for viewing on a widescreen TV set or truongsuphamtphcm.edu.vnputer monitor, although it can also be used for raw file capture. Typical file sizes are provided in the table below.
The Dynamic Range Optimiser (DRO) has been tweaked to provide improved performance. However the same three settings remain: off, standard and advanced. In the advanced mode, the camera processes the image in small segments, analysing the differences in contrast between the lightest and darkest areas and applying enough correction to produce smooth tonal gradations. It’s similar to the A700’s system and well worth using.Two types of noise reduction processing are provided, separately covering long exposures and high ISO settings. Long-exposure NR uses the dark-frame subtraction method, which roughly doubles image processing times. High-ISO NR kicks in automatically at ISO settings of 1600 and above and appears to have little effect on processing times. It can be switched off manually in the camera menu.
PlaybackThe default camera setting displays shots briefly immediately after they have been taken. Playback options are similar to the A100 and include full-frame display with or without image data overlay, a large view of the selected shot with thumbnails of the four preceding shots above it and a histogram view with a thumbnail image and flashing highlight warnings, brightness and RGB histograms and shooting data. You can zoom in and magnify Large JPEGs up to 12x and scroll around the image with the arrow pad. Nine-frame index displays are also available, along with slideshow play. Images can be tagged for protection or deletion. Rotation is also available – but only counter-clockwise and the camera can’t identify images for automatic rotation. In-camera editing is not supported.
SoftwareThe bundled software disk contains Picture Motion Browser Ver. 2.1.02 for Windows, Image Data Lightbox SR Ver. 1.0 for Windows and Macintosh and Image Data Converter SR Ver. 2.0 for Windows and Macintosh. Picture Motion Browser is a general-purpose downloading and image organiser application with basic editing facilities and support for printing images and burning them to optical disk.
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