Sep 09

Sony Alpha range extended

Sony have extended the product lineup of their dSLRs.

Previously, it was

A100 - Discontinued a couple of years ago, very basic dSLR, based on the Konica 5D/7D
A200 - Entrylevel dSLR
A300 - Mid level camera
A350 - Slightly higher resolution and a few more bells and whistles. Owned by intelligent and attractive people normally.
A700 - 'Prosumer'
A900 - Full Frame professional camera

They have decommisioned the A200, A300, A350 and brought in the

A230 - Entry Level
A330 - mid/low level amateur
A380 - mid/low level amateur with extra functionality to the A330.

The response has been lukewarm at best from what I've been reading. It seems to these new cameras due to them being 'dumbed down' for a lower end of the market. Many of the fine grain controls have been taken out and the user interface is less sophisticated. Having looked at the option to pick up a A380 to replace my current A350, it would actually be a downgrade. Sony have also abandoned the CF card for these cameras and employed a smaller battery. Making them neither fully backwards or forwards compatible for the Sony range, which is a peculiar choice considering the way the various models now appear to form stepping stones up the hobby.

However, they has just announed three further cameras aimed at Prosumers and professionals with many more functions which were removed from the lower end range, showing they are not abandoning the high end market, but rather segmenting it extensively.

A500 - Mid range, similar in target audience to the A350, but with more functionality and pixels.
A550 - Enhanced version of the A500
A850 - Full Frame, entry level professional camera.

These cameras are clearly aimed at the more serious photographers (the £1,200 A850 is a tempting toy!) using both CF and the older, better battery and so are more completely backwards compatible

As such, Sony's camera range is now an 8 camera selection, focused more on the low end of the dSLR comsumer market, encouraging people to enter the hobby, but giving a comprehensive coverage at a range of pricepoints.

Bold moves.

About the Author:
A passionate photographer who is unable to settle on a particular type of photography. Primarily shoots with a Canon 5D MKIII, a 1D MKIII and occasionally with a GoPro Hero4 Black.


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