Shopping Guide for Entry Level Sony Alpha DSLR Cameras

Are you thinking you want to buy a Sony DSLR camera online? It's confusing when you look at the dizzying array of current models and features; so where do you start? Here you will find a simplified overview of the current entry-level Sony Alpha DSLR cameras now available.

When Sony produced their first DSLR camera in 2006, their intention was to deliver a new camera that was comparable to the current offerings from Canon and Nikon. They quickly succeeded. These DSLR cameras from Sony offer unique features that match, or even surpass, entry level Nikon cameras, or those at a similar price point from Canon.

Sony A100: This was the camera that launched the Sony DSLR series. Introduced in 07/2006 the DSLR-A100 is a 10.2 MP camera with built in image stabilization so that will work with any lens you choose. Like all the models that succeeded it, the Sony Alpha 100 used the Minolta A-type bayonet mount that was gleaned from the merging of Sony with Konica Minolta. It had an anti-dust system, a 2.5 inch LCD, and could shoot at 3 frames per second. It was a very well equipped DSLR for its time, and was widely held in high regard. Status: Discontinued model.

Sony A200: The Alpha A200 was a moderate update of the popular Alpha A100. It also became Sony’s cheapest digital SLR when it was introduced in January 2008 alongside the Sony A300 and A350. Changes to the A200 included the ability to shoot pictures in a 16:9 widescreen format, increased ISO sensitivity to 3200, noise reduction software, and a larger 2.7” LCD screen. Other refinements included an updated Super SteadyShot and a useful shadow/highlight warning system. Status: Replaced by DSLR-A230.

Sony A300 and A350: These two cameras were introduced at the same time due to their similarities. First released in Jan. '08, the DSLR-A350 is a more expensive A300 mostly due to it's 14.2 MP image size. (The A300 has the same 10.2 megapixel sensor used in the Alpha 200). This added another $100 to the price of the Alpha 350, and reduced its shooting speed due to the bigger file sizes, but gave you the ability to print large high resolution prints, but rarely do consumers actually do so.

One of the best features of these cameras are their Live View and adjustable 2.7” LCD screen. Two sensors were included in the Sony Alpha 300 and Alpha 350 to help ensure that you could take pictures as quickly and easily with live view as you could with the optical viewfinder. It made the conventional 'mirror flip' live view systems from Nikon and Canon look slow and cumbersome, and meant that photographers moving up from point and shoot cameras had a much easier transition to the world of digital SLR cameras. Status: Replaced by the DSLR-A330 and DSLR-A380.

Sony A230: Sony’s A230 was the 2009 update of the Alpha 200, and the foundations for a 3 model lineup that included the Alpha 330 and 380. The DSLR-A230 weighs less and is smaller than the DSLR-A200 which it replaces, and it was redesigned so that it's simpler for novice users to master. A new on-screen help mode was included, along with quick access to six automatic scene modes. Sony also included a dynamic range optimizer to ensure your photos have the best balance of highlight and shadow detail. A multiple-shot self-timer, a newly added graphical menu for changing aperture size and shutter speed and a 9 point AF system rounds out the list of features of this excellent budget Sony DSLR camera. In fact the one thing not available on this camera is Live View which was saved for the DSLR-A330. Status: New model.

Sony A330 and A380: Announced in May 2009, (at the same time as the A230), the Sony A330 and Sony A380 became direct replacements for the A300 and A350. These have several features in common with the entry level DSLR-A230 and are the newest releases from Sony in the budget DSLR market. Both the Sony A330 and the A380 include the unique Sony live view, and a tilting 2.7 inch viewscreen to it's excellent features. The DSLR-A380 takes it even further with a professional level resolution with a 14.2 megapixel sensor. Status: Both are new models.

Our recomendation is to buy the Sony Alpha DSLR-A330. Overall it's a great camera with every feature you need as well as many you will never use. The DSLR-A330 is very affordable and will fulfill all your photographic needs for quite some time.

If you need to find a good spot for digital camera repair Los Angeles CA you will be able to find repair shops to compare quotes with just a quick Google search or two. If you call Sony first to get a baseline price, then you may find that your Sony digital camera repair will cost less by not going through the manufacturer directly. One of the most common repairs is the Sony DSLR-A350 LCD screen repair which you should be able to locate from an online digital camera repair shop for much less than Sony directly.