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Out of the 3 Sony DSLR cameras I have used regularly, this is by far the worst! Lost the shutter release port but had no features to redeem itself for that. As far as I could tell the metering in the a290 was no different to that in the a200, there was no change in image quality or resolution and it was just generally worse than it's predecessor! The hand grip is terrible! There is no recess for your middle finger to land in so the camera is prone to moving and sliding in your hand. The control dial is INCREDIBLY clunky, the button layout was far from perfect but moving to SD was a step in the right direction for a consumer camera. I have used my 32gb class 10 SDHC card in it without a single issue! The biggest advantage of this camera is the fact it weighs pretty much nothing but it really isn't that sturdy and was a step down in build quality by Sony!
After studying photography at college using "real" slr cameras I had always been reluctant to go digital (apart from a snappy camera). That was until someone in a well known high street camera store laughed when I said I needed a flash that very morning for my old-ish, traditional slr.
My wonderful partner bought the a230 for a christmas & birthday present for me and I haven't looked back. Should have gone digital years ago.
This camera gives the great quality you'd expect from Sony and is also quite easy to use. I dived straight in to taking pictures on auto for all of 5 minutes before switching to manual focus and fiddling with the F number settings to create more interesting shots. I am yet to work through the handbook to see what else it can do, but I'm having so much fun with it so far it wont be long before I do.
The lens, built in flash and long lasting battery are big plus points as is the screen for viewing your pictures so you can delete any useless ones as you go. You can also expand the memory with SD cards.
I find copying my pictures from the camera to a computer easy enough as you can drag and drop in windows from folder to folder.
Buy this camera whether you're studying photography or need a camera for projects. Good all rounder.
This was and is my first DSLR camera.
I've always wanted an SLR camera, and yet I had no courage and have been shy (and of course, no money) to purchase one, as most of them used to (and most still do) cost a home. So, my unfortunate (?) death of my SONY L1 Cybershot camera, I have decided to do some research.
I don't quite understand how this happened, and as of June 2010, I've become a proud owner of Sony alpha230 - and only because by some misfortune (of Argos's part), I was able to get this for £260 - £100 off from the catalogue price. I was happy enough, and it was by far the cheapest SLR in the catalogue.
In the beginning, I did not too much about the SLR world, and hence did not know the fame of Canon & Nikon - though I at times, regret I had not paid a little bit more for a Canon or a Nikon. But, that as may be, I shall continue with this lovely little gem.
Alpha230 - produces maximum of 10.2 mega-pixel images, and 8 mega-pixels if you change the setting to widescreen. Some may be skeptical about 10.2MP - is this high enough for a good print? I mean, a good LARGE print? From experience of printing normal/large/extra-large prints (though not poster size yet), they are good enough. Though I do have a slight fear that it may not be for poster-sizes. We shall have to see.
The package included the usual goods - charger battery manual etc, and the essential 18-55mm lens, which is great for ordinary, normal use, for out and about.
The camera has the 2.7inch screen which is used primarily to show the settings of the current modes: IMPORTANT to note that this camera does not have the LIVE VIEW function which is a fancy way of describing - what you want to take, what you'll see on the screen, which is not a luxury anymore for any standard digital camera. That doesn't matter too much, looking into the viewfinder make you appear more professional and it's not at all inconvenient.
You can set the modes depending on where you are; Macro mode for close objects, Portraits, Landscapes, and there are 4 manual modes where you can change the settings of one or the another, for example, changing the shutter speed but not aperture, or vice versa. There are also functions for more vivid colours function, night-time, and black & white - black & white pictures can be beautiful at right scenes.
Night mode can be also very useful in low-light conditions, adjusts aperture, shutter speed and ISO accordingly, because the problem you will face with other scene modes in low light is that, the shutter speed will increase to let more light into the lens, and hence slight twitch/movement made by your body/hands or the objects will result in blur - which can be fixed by the night-mode, the built-in flash, or a tripod.
The lens and the body also allows manual & auto focus, which is great as sometimes little/tiny objects in the foreground can be very hard to be focused amongst the noisy background - where manual mode focus will come in and you can manually focus the small object in front and blur out the background.
I have also purchased a 70-300mm lens recently, and it is great for distant landscapes and macro shots. Any lens with 55mm diameter will fit this camera, and there are other companies such as Tamron & Sigma which make compatible SONY lens (with slightly cheaper prices).
I have rambled on quite a bit here, and in terms of the camera, it is a very reliable, efficient and affordable DSLR camera, which produces remarkable, attractive results. However, this being said, unless you can find a real bargain with these entry-cameras, do think about saving and spending a little bit more money for a better camera - like the EOS60D, or Nikon D90.
I am really frustrated with Sony and my Alpha 100 DSLR, a product with inferior build quality and a customer service that lays the blame on me instead of acknowledging quality problems. I have bought it sometime in 2007 and only had problems with it. After some weeks it just wouldn't turn on anymore and it took Sony several weeks to get it repaired and back to me. Now when I take pictures the resulting file shows a different field of vision than what the viewfinder showed me. Even worse, there is a black right upper corner in every one of my picture. After several tries to get to the right person to help me, Sony told me that any repair would cost a fixed amount of £114.56. Without even knowing what is wrong with my camera. Asking if this functional failure is normal for a Sony product after three years, I was told that this is normal "wear and tear". For me a camera that is expected by the producer not to last longer than the guarantee period of one year, is not worth paying for. My next camera, or any electronics product for that matter, will for sure not be a Sony product. I recommend for everyone planning to buy one of their products to think hard about how long he/she plans to use it for.
I have owned the Sony Alpha A230 now for 2 weeks & so far I Love it! I studied photography many years ago at college back in the days when we used film but since switching to digital I have only used a point & shoot camera. I decided to treat myself to a DSLR as I plan to g back to college & study soon. The A230 is an entry level camera but a very good one. The pictures I have taken so far have been very sharp & crisp. The lenses for them are a little hard to come buy but I have managed to pick up a couple second hand. However, the 18-55mm kit lens that comes with it is a very good starter lens.
The controls are easy to use although others says they are placed awkwardly, I have no experience of other DSLR cameras so I really have nothing to compare it to.
I will come back when I've had more practise & update.