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9th September 2007
Sony Alpha A700 DSLR hands on impressions and sample downloads
by Ian Burley
4281: Sony Alpha A700 DSLR hands on impressions and sample downloads

Introduction

DPNow reports from the European launch of Sony's latest Alpha A700 DSLR including hands-on impressions and sample images to download

Magnum Photos' Richard Kalvar endorsed the new Sony Alpha A700 at its European launch in Italy.

Magnum Photos' Richard Kalvar (above) endorsed the new Sony Alpha A700 during the launch day proceedings, though hinted that he was looking forward to a full frame camera from Sony in the near future.

A basic question to ask one's self after having used a camera for the first time is: 'would I be happy to own this camera?' and, in the limited time we had to use a pre production sample, the answer is a qualified yes.

It's clear that a lot of thought has been put into the ergonomics of the A700 and it has been engineered beautifully. It's a big step up from the A100, ostensibly a facelift of the Konica Minolta Dynax (Maxxum) 5D from the year before. Sony is clearly gunning for mid-range DSLR market share, especially those thinking of buying Canon's new EOS-40D and Nikon's forthcoming D300.


Ian Burley introduces the A700 (Video clip thanks to Matjaz Intihar, e-photographia.com)

It was a surprise that Live View is not featured. Sony said that it felt this feature was a low priority among its intended customers and that its fixed high resolution three inch screen wasn't ideally suited to the demands of live view. Cost was also stated as a reason for holding back. It was disappointing that the metallic edge to the sound of the shutter/mirror action, which has characterised all the Sony and Konica Minolta DSLRs to date, remains, if in marginally muted form with the A700. With a maximum shooting contyinuous rate of 5 frames per second, the A700 feels much more responsive than the older A100, but key rivals can offer even faster speeds.

On the positive side, Sony's very confident claims about noise performance, despite the increase in resolution to 12.24 megapixels, was largely confirmed by our simple tests, with only ISO 3200 showing clear signs of excessive noise effects.

Below is a gallery of pictures taken at the launch day to demonstrate certain points, including crops from camera images taken through the ISO range. Just click on the thumbnail to view the larger picture and caption text. On page 2 of this article you can download a selection of original A700 camera JPEG image files. We'd also like to hear what you think of the A700 on the DPNow discussion forum.

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Sony launches second generation Alpha A700 DSLR

DPNow Sony launches second generation Alpha A700 DSLR
We're in northern Italy today to witness the official unveiling of the new 12 megapixel Sony Alpha A... (more)

Ian Re: Sony launches second generation Alpha A700 DSLR
Interesting that Live View is not featured. The unofficial word is that the price will be just under... (more)

Ian Re: Sony launches second generation Alpha A700 DSLR
We've had the presentation and I have updated the story. Let us know what you think! Is this a Canon... (more)

Ian Re: Sony launches second generation Alpha A700 DSLR
I've spent the afternoon up a mountain (!) using the new A700. First impressions are quite good. The... (more)

Bob Ross Re: Sony launches second generation Alpha A700 DSLR
Hi Ian, You answered the one question that I had.....about the shutter/mirror noise. It is probably... (more)

kombizz Re: Sony launches second generation Alpha A700 DSLR
I would wait little bit longer in order to touch the camera, then I would write my opinion.... (more)

 
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