Sony DSLR-A850 Review

Review posted 04/15/2010

Quick Take
Superb Pro Level Build Quality with Weather Sealing; Very Comfortable size and weight for a body of this caliber; Lower Price point than competing full frame models; Unsurpassed resolution in a dSLR, regardless of price; Superb High Resolution LCD; Very Bright Viewfinder; All Lenses enjoy Body based stabilization; Support for the latest UDMA capable CompactFlash Cards
Slight higher noise than competing models shooting JPEG; Slower (3fps) frame rate compared to higher priced dSLR models; Not as many AF points as some Pro Grade cameras

Bottom Line
Sony has created a professional grade dSLR model that challenges the competition with it's $1999.95 price point for a full frame dSLR, with image quality and resolution rivalling far more expensive camera models. If you want the highest resolution possible for larger prints, combined with best possible image quality without mortgaging your home, you'll want to consider the Sony A850. Read more in our Full Conclusion.

Sony's newest full frame Alpha model, the DSLR-A850 (aka the A850 or Alpha 850) is a powerful dSLR that boasts features that industry professionals demand. These include a high-resolution 24-megapixel CMOS image sensor, fast Dual BIONZ image processor setup, in-body Super SteadyShot image stabilization, weather and dust resistance, dual card slots for CF and MS Duo type media, 9-point AF system, and a broad sensitivity range to name a few.

This is one of the most affordable full frame models on the market (as of 4/2010) with a body only price of about $1999US. Be sure to check out our review as we take a closer look at this high-end unit.

DSLR-A850 Main Features :

  • 24.6-megapixel 35mm Full-frame Exmor CMOS image sensor
  • Dual BIONZ image processors
  • Anti-dust system automatically shakes dust off the imager
  • Sony Alpha/Minolta-A bayonet lens mount
  • Recording choice of JPEG, RAW, cRAW or RAW/cRAW+JPEG
  • Shoot at 3:2 or 16:9 (HDTV) aspect ratios
  • Super SteadyShot anti-shake system with viewfinder indicator
  • D-Range Optimizer for greater highlight and shadow detail
  • Large 3.0-inch TFT color Clear Photo LCD Plus screen with 922,000 dots
  • Pentaprism viewfinder with 98% coverage and Eye Start AF
  • 9-point AF with Wide, Spot and Local Area Selection
  • Eye-start Auto Focus, starts the focus process when you put your eye up to the viewfinder
  • Shooting modes: Full-Auto, Programmed AE with program shift, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, and Manual
  • TTL metering: 40-segment honeycomb-pattern SPC sensor with multi segment Center-weighted or Spot options
  • Unlimited Continuous 3fps shooting Large/Fine JPEG images with fast UDMA CF cards
  • Shutter speeds: 30 to 1/8,000 seconds, 1/250 sec. flash sync (1/200 with SSS on)
  • ISO Range: 100 to 6400
  • Hot shoe for Sony/Minolta Program Flash units
  • Dual card slot for MSDuo/MSDuo Pro and CF memory cards
  • Video Out with selectable NTSC or PAL timing
  • HDMI output via type C minijack
  • Proprietary (1650 mAh) lithium-ion battery pack and charger included
  • Exif Print, PRINT Image Matching III, PictBridge compatible
  • BRAVIA Sync technology, sync the camera with a BRAVIA HDTV

The DSLR-A550 is available as a body only kit with a MSRP$1999.99US.

The DSLR-850 Kit includes:

  • DSLR-A850 camera
  • M-series Lithium-Ion Battery (NP-FM500H)
  • USB Cable
  • Accessory shoe cap
  • Battery Charger w/cord (BC-VM10)
  • Shoulder strap with eyepiece cap and Remote Commander clip
  • Software/USB Driver CD-ROM
  • Video Cable
  • Body cap
  • No Memory media is included

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.