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Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Digital SLRs
Product DescriptionPacked with innovative features to get the best shot, the rugged Sony a850 DSLR camera features a 35mm full frame 24.6 megapixel Exmor CMOS image sensor that provides a larger capture area, improved wide angle performance, and tighter depth of field control. The A850 also incorporates SteadyShot INSIDE in-camera image stabilizer which actually shifts the image sensor to compensate for camera shake without sacrificing image quality. Additional features include Dual BIONZ imaging processors for continuous shooting at up to 3 fps, an ultra-bright glass pentaprism viewfinder, 3.0" Xtra Fine LCD display and HDMI output.
Submitted by Greg McCary a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: February 16, 2012
Strengths: Stunning IQ, very low noise up to 3200iso, rugged build quality, Easy to use. Huge viewfinder.
Weaknesses: No pop up flash
I have only had the a850 for a few days but still feel I can give it a fair review. You won't read many bad reviews on the a850 and I see why. It is simple easy to navagate and easy to get use to. After slowly moving up in cameras and getting use to live view, level guages and lots of bells and whistles it is a little strange going back to a camera with few thrills and frills. But a850 is a photographers camera.
So if you are into bell and whistles this camera may not be for you. You have to know what you are doing to get results. But the image quality is as stunning as you read about in all those other reviews you have probably read.
Don't think you are going to sneak up on anyone and take their picture without them knowing. This camera isn't known for being quiet. There is quite the mirror slap with this one. 3fps actaully sounds slower with the loud clunking of the mirror. Also 3fps may is pretty slow by todays standards. Also there is no pop up flash so if you are going to shoot a flash off camera you will need a wireless trigger or a flash trigger for the hot shoe.
The camera is big but really not much bigger than the E5. The buttons are layed out nice and are in nice locations. The menu navagates very easily as well.
The image quaility is stunning. Compared to my a77 and NEX 7 the colors are deeper and richer. The a77 and NEX 7 hangs in there with noise levels but the a850s images are just nicer looking. The a850 falls off sharply at 6200iso, usable for snap shots maybe. But it is awesome at 3200iso and lower. I am very pleased with this camera. Coming from years of shooting film I can use this camera and glance at the histogram from time to time but have quit chimping.
Duration Product Used: 0-1 years
Purchased At: trading
Similar Products Used: Sony a77
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by zoomdaddy a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: October 27, 2009
Image quality nothing touches it
Weaknesses: It does not make my coffee...
It would be nice if it would write raw files to one card and jpg to the other
I have had this camera for about 1 month, I shoot with the Sony A700 as well. I had wanted to move up to FF and was at one point thinking of Nikon. I am glad I decided to stay with Sony, not only due to the investment in glass but I really like my A700.
Handling is very similar to the A700 with the exception of the to lCD.
I have had to get use to the FF experience such as DOF and no cropping.
The view finder on this camera is very nice (big and bright).
The overall use of the camera is very easy and has added a new excitement to my photography.
File size is a huge difference 24 meg. per file but 24 MP is worth it.
I have found that this camera produce a D-range that I have not seen on any camera. One thing this camera will do is show any weakness in poor glass. I have a Tamron 24-135 sp (FF) lens that performs very good on my A700 and looks poor on my A850. So you do want to pair it with good glass.
I have read that it has poor high ISO performance I would classify that as above 3200 it does not perform as well (but not horrible)
As far as on camera flash most higher end cameras don't have it.
FPS @ 3 I find that not a problem as well if you time your shots this camera will perform just fine even for sports. I have shot MotoX with a very slow Sony R1 with good results.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Purchased At: Sony Style
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by DonSchap a Expert
Date Reviewed: October 13, 2009
Strengths: Allows lenses to return to normal stated focal lengths (35mm-film/Full Frame)
Lower initial cost of going to full frame
Good alternative if your subjects are none move types
Weaknesses: Slower fps (3ps) than a900 (5fps) or a700 (5fps)
No built-in flash
I purchased the a850 to "extend" the width of my wide lenses, from their "limited" application on the APS-C a700 camera.
Functionally, the only differences I can find between the a900 Full Frame and the a850 Full Frame is the a850 has a slower burst rate (3fps) and no pre-focus with the eye -sensor. SONY states that it has a 98% viewfinder, rather than the a900's 100% viewfinder, but I really cannot see that as a problem. It uses all the a900 accessories w/o any modification and is identical to the a900 in appearance, other than the label.
Compared to the a700, the a850 does not have a built-in flash, so it will require a HVL-F20AM Compact Flash or something larger to provide it.
The camera is slightly heavier than the a700 ... and can use the a700's "Remote Commander" for optical wireless (line of sight) shutter triggering and playback control. The a850 does not include the remote as a cost cutting factor and it can be purchased separately, if you do not have one.
Also, APS-C lenses can be used on the a850, by putting the a850 into APS-C compatibility mode, which allows a full 11MP image on the LCD after the image is taken. The subject through the optical viewfinder will look a bit different, though.
There is no video or live view on this camera, but for most still camera purists, these are novelty add-ons and often more trouble than they are worth.
This camera represents one of the lowest cost entries into the Full Frame market. You will be hard pressed to find something else.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $1999.00
Purchased At: SONY Style
Similar Products Used: a900
Type of photography: Other
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