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Sony Alpha a100
Sony Alpha a100

Hey! You should know that Sony has released a newer version of this product: the Sony Alpha A290.

Sony Alpha a100

We've given the a100 a grade of B-.

Editor's Review

We can't believe anybody still sells this old camera. You might have to shake the dust off it. We recommend a newer Alpha model like the 850. Here's what we had to say about the Alpha 100 when it was released in June 2006:

The Sony Alpha a100 is the brand's first true SLR, and fair warning to other camera manufacturers that the industry giant is hot on their tails. The Alpha a100 is the culmination of Sony's recent acquisition/merger with Konica Minolta's SLR division. It's not completely wrong to say that the a100 is the spiritual successor of K-M's Maxxum line, and the camera can accept all the same lenses that Minoltas could.


  • 10 megapixels
  • Sony Alpha/Minolta A-Type lens mount
  • image stabilization (CCD shift/SteadyShot)
  • auto and manual focus
  • auto and manual exposure
  • ISO 80-1600
  • JPEG and RAW file formats
  • Compact Flash/MemoryStick (via CF adapter) storage
  • lithium-ion battery
  • Part Number: DSLRA100K
  • UPC: 27242694156
  • Release Date: Jun 05, 2006

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Sony Alpha a100 Reviews

Sony Alpha a100 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 4.0 out of 5
sony a100 (JP — 07/21/2009)

my girlfriend and I use this camera, we're both into photography. it has excellent colors, great focus on daytime, battery life is great. the weight is ok. the best feature is the compatibility with zeiss lenses. a little bit on a downside on focusing during night or low light. overall its a great camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Outstanding quality! (Diana — 01/13/2009)

I've had this camera for two years and it takes breath taking photos

  • 5.0 out of 5
The Sony. is a Minolta with a little Nikon wonder. (Humberto Freire — 01/02/2008)

Technicaly PURRRRRR! Fect.
So you want a Digital camera that takes ,well lets say is reminiscently close to the "Professional" shot! if you believe that.
I think I've said enough don't you?

  • 3.0 out of 5
Not very impressed (Andr�� Loots — 12/16/2007)

I got this camera because I own Minolta equipment and was under the impression that all Minolta parts were compatible. This is not true - the MAXXUM 2800AF and 4000AF flash units do not syncronize at all with the camera, and I therefore have to purchase a Sony flash unit. If I had know this, I might have bought a Nikon or Canon.
Everyone raves about the camera, but it sounds clunky when taking photos. I still prefer film photography - it seems to give me more control...

  • 5.0 out of 5
Impressive camera (Emanuel Hodut — 11/03/2007)

I bought it from a megastore in Ostreich, and for that money, about 850 euro, with the 18-70 and 75-300 lenses, is the best money for value /performance you can get in this segment (professional "wanabies":), i shoted about 1500 pictures so far, only 8 of them in program mode....the rest were manual only...this mode is the best, easy to handle, easy to tweak...i can't stop talking GOOD JOB SONY!!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Fantabulous (Andre Kruger — 08/25/2007)

Have had this camera for +-8 months. Have been taking photos for the last 50 years and can only say that I am very satisfied with this camera ahving taken over 9,000 photos with it, including wild life, birds and insects.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Camera (Tracy Dew — 05/26/2007)

I have had this camera for about 6 months. I purchased it because I had a Minolta which I loved. This camera takes great pictures. The only thing I do not like is the lack of lenses for reasonable prices. But I know they will catch up. I have taken many pictures and the quality is excellent. Controls are very easy to master. I bought it for taking fast action dance. I am only disappointed that I need a faster lens to get quality I want but I don't have the money to purchase the lens. I sometimes get a little intimidated when up against a Nikon or Cannon put I know it is the picture taker not just the camera that takes great photos.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony Alpha and lenses (outstanding !!!!) (Nicj — 05/12/2007)

The Sony Alpha is definitely an outstanding camera for the new DSLR users.

There is no doubt that more professional grade machines will come out (see PMA reviews). This machine is not a weathersealed powerhorse and so it makes sense for it not to have a powergrip (especially since you can shoot 700+ pics on one charge).

People also forget that Nikon etc uses Sony CCDs, so to say that the Sony machine is not outstanding or somehow made by a novice in the market is a mistake (DSLR bodies are more CCD than anything else).

What is more, the idea that there is more noise in the pics at iso800 and iso1600 is a falacy. It is true when you shoot JPGS, but not when you shoot raw, since you do the postprocessing yourself. If you want to shoot in low light you should use RAW and if not you should use a flash to use normal ISO values (any "pro" would accept this).

The ease of use is outstanding, you don't need to read the manual, because all ISO, flash settings, DR/DR+, white balance etc are accessible from one rotating bezel (this is how it should be for a consumer DSLR, the pro versions are yet to come, "with more buttons").

To say that there are not enough lenses for the Sony Alpha is also ridiculous. There are many many lenses on the market made by Minolta (bought by Sony), so there is a lot of very good and cheap glass for this machine. Who would say that the 80-200 APO HS and 70-200 APO SSM lenses are somehow inferior to the Canon and Nikon versions? Same with the 300 F2.8 SSM. There are also many many lenses by Sigma, Tamron and Carl Zeiss lenses.

This machine is also perfect for the DLSR newbie, because of the Anti-Shake (AS) system. This is wonderful at reducing the price of lenses for the normal user and at being able to use lower F-stops in low light.

This machine is very complete, it does not suffer from missing options that a new DSLR user would need. If you are a pro then wait a little bit. You cannot expect Sony to launch everything at once. New pro glass is on the way and it is reasonable not to release this glass for a DSLR aimed at the amateur.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Very nice camera (William Beatty — 04/23/2007)

I have taken well over 2,000 pics with this camera, it really works for you. Some of the complaints i've seen in reviews like the eye start autofocus (turn it off) and short battery life.. Save your money the battery lasts a long time, buy a 4gig CF card instead. Fells good in your had and haven't really ran into problems. Takes excellent pics.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Product (Lawrence Celani — 04/16/2007)

I bought the Sony A100 for a number of reasons. First was the price and 2nd was the fact that as a Minolta user, I could use all my accessorues. I spent the past few weekends getting as much time in with this camera, and the pictures aore phenominal. The auto foucus is perfect and since I suffered eye damage due to diabetes, I am having to depend more on that feature,
Like the Minolta cameras where this evolved, it has a well balanced feel, and is worth the investment/

  • 5.0 out of 5
great camera (MT — 04/12/2007)

I love it. Great fast shots.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent Swtich from Film (Ronnie — 03/20/2007)

I bought a Sony a100 during my recent return to the US. I have been living in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan where the only film available is extremely old 200 speed film and film developing there has something left to be desired. As my film cameras were a Minolta Maxxum 7000 and an old Pentx K1000, I already had lenses for both the Sony and the Pentax digital K-series. After reading reviews and researching both cameras, I decided on the Sony. The Sony is much lighter than the Pentax and is much less expensive. In addition to this, I already had several AF lenses from Minolta, while my Pentax lenses are completely manual.
I have also been teaching several of my English students in Nakh-town how to take photos with it. While most of my students still need to learn how to frame their shots better and other aspects of photography, the photos taken with the a100 come out well.
The anti-shake feature of this camera is another plus. I recently took a bus from Igdir, Turkey to Kars. Along the way was a huge mountain, capped in snow, surrounded by clouds as the sun was setting — a beautiful shot. While this bus rumbled down a bumpy road, I was taking shots out the window. Out of the 20 that I took, only 2 were blurry. The other 18 came out very well and a few were great.
In closing the a100 is great for both the beginning and more experienced SLR user.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Once a Minolta always a Minolta (Scott — 03/17/2007)

I have owned many Minolta SLR from the SRT101 on up. They were all heavy an clunky, but I like the feel of them, and they take great pictures.

I have also owned several Sony Digitals and they are the best. The Zeiss lenses the feature are the best in the world. Looking forward to a Zeiss lens for the Alpha!!

Great interface, but it should allow a point and shoot mode using the digital screen.

Kudos to Sony!

  • 5.0 out of 5
smooth fits my hand like glove (Robert D — 02/21/2007)

I've taken over a thousan pics so far and it is
smooth. . . threw legacy Maxxum AF lenses at it with no problem. . . added screw on fisheyes and teleconverters . . . still focused great! Used in the cold no problem below 32 deg . . .

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony Alpha 100 (Robert Richhart — 01/23/2007)

Greats digital SLR. Have long been a Minolta SLR owner (Since the XG-1) The Alpha 100 works great with all of my Maxxum 7 lenses and flash. Great pictures, excellent metering and exposure controls. Quick and simple in Program mode, all the creative controls you could ask for in manual...Highly recommend!

  • 4.0 out of 5
Excellent Introductory to DSLR Cameras (Kelli — 01/17/2007)

The great things about this camera are the built in Image Stabilizer (generally, only included in high priced lens), a quick start up, low shutter lag, it's light weight and the dust repulsion.

It has the same features you'd expect in any other DSLR; PASM modes, shutter priority, auto depth of field, ect.

The only complaints I have are the camera is a bit noisy and the aperture controls are in a weird place.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony alpha 100K (Ken — 01/11/2007)

I've taken thousands of pics with this camera,...
Love it's ease of use, picture Quality,
Some functions take educating yourself with the owners manual,which you prabaly would have to do with any camera,....
Once you've learned how to use it ,... you'll love the range of features and the professional quality pictures.
I'd recommend this excellent camera to anyone interested in making the step up to dslr photography!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Grip (Dennis Gamble — 01/09/2007)

I have had older Sony cameras and this one is most like the old 35mms I have enjoyed. Didnt want to switch but Sony makes it easy to go from 35mm to digital

  • 5.0 out of 5
sony A100 (Elise — 01/06/2007)

Excellent camera easy to use and the best in my opinion.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Lemon in the bunch (Zane — 01/05/2007)

Well I must say loved the camera until we went on vacation to Disneyland. My wife and I took our 4 years old to happiest place on earth. Well on day three we met up with my folks who are snowbirds in San Diego Sea World. After showing my mom the pictures that we had taken already on the camera I set it back in the bag. About 5 minutes later I took the camera out, and not one function worked. We though maybe battery. Grabbed the camcorder and then I remembered this battery will not work. Same voltage but wrong Amp hour rating. Very stupid to not to make it inter changable. Thought maybe the lens was bad. Tried my zoom lens, no difference, bought a disposable. Drove back to Disney and charged the battery for the next morning. No difference, phoned sony USA for help, the guy was terrible. I tried more things than he suggested, in the end he said to send it in. When we arrived home I went to my local store and exchanged it for a new one but kept the old battery for spare. It did not work with the new camera, even though it was the right one. Turns out it was a problem with the camera and the battery. Nice of Visions to give me a over the counter exchange. Sony should have let other batteries with same style voltage but different Amp hour rating work just in case of being in a pinch.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Best Digital SLR Available in this price range (Gwen H — 12/20/2006)

We did a lot of research and reviewing before we made our final purchase and I have to say, I think we made the best possible choice for the amount of money spent. For a beginner photographer, this camera is easy to start using immediately and gives you enough options to slowly learn them one by one, experimenting and learning, but still getting professional results! I was glad we bought the DVD tutorial made for this camera also. The only problem we are having is with finding the right lenses to learn with. We bought the A100 body only originally because we believed our Minolta Maxxum lenses would work with it; however, beware! One of the lenses (Quantaray 80-200) works great, but my "walk-around" lens, (the Quantaray 28-90) does not work with it in the Autofocus mode, only manually... So now we have to start from scratch finding a new walk-around lens. Other than that, we are completely satisfied with this camera for the price. I would highly recommend it for anyone, but especially a beginning SLR photographer.

  • 2.0 out of 5
I wish my A100 were as good as yours (John Bowling — 12/06/2006)

I haven't used an SLR for thirty years and this camera is a big disappointment. With the 18-200 lens it is absolutely huge. It's very heavy and unbalanced towards the front, the shutter sounds like a '72 Pinto hitting a pothole and the images are soft, soft, soft. Nothing like the detail in a 35 mm slide from my old Canon EF with prime 50mm or 28mm. I read reviews noting the high ISO noise, but figured an amateur like me would never notice it. Purple spots in a TV surround that's actually gray? I noticed. For $1,000 and loss of portability, I sure didn't get the improvement I wanted.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Liked it enough to purchase older 35 mm Maxxum 5 for my daughter... (Emil Wisekal — 12/05/2006)

... which is the A100's film-version precursor. The AF lenses are interchangeable between them. I like the A100's menu navigation - it is easy to understand. Even more, I like the multi-functtion buttons and knobs, which make setting up for special (manual) shots very fast. And then the camera remembers the last manual settings you used so you're ready to shoot in 1 or 2 seconds.

I purchased a high-end Tamron 28-300mm for the A100 a few weeks ago and find it has crisper imaging than the kit 18-70mm lens. The Tamron was 4x more expensive than the SAL but worth it.

I still recommend this camera even though my first A100 was replaced by Sony because it stopped auto-focusing after one month. The new camera is flawless and was replaced quickly.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony keeps the faith (Dave Kibble — 12/01/2006)

Having been a Minolta SLR user for about 20 years I was horrified to see the sale of the DSLR line to Sony. Fearing a cheap, nasty and badly designed successor to the previous Minolta DSLRs of which I own two, I was amazed at the a100. It has the same 'feel' as the previous Minoltas and the lenses work just fine. The 10Mp CCD is good and the RAW data processing is v-fast. Shutter release is crisp with no delay and the best part is the excellent LCD. Unlike Cannon and some others, all the info you need is on one LCD, bright and easy to see. The camera is light and handles well even for people with smaller hands. I'm glad to see that even if the brand has gone, the spirit of Minolta lives on in the a100.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony A100 (zoomdaddy — 11/07/2006)

Just got this camera so far it has been great.. Love the idea of my lens choice and the on camera IS..I do a lot of nature and outdoors shooting and from what I have seen thus far it is a winner..


  • 3.0 out of 5
SONY customer service (Dahlia — 10/31/2006)

I have a SONY DSC-N1, a piece of amazing camera I have. Absolutely great. I'm thinking about getting my first SLR, but every time I check the review about the SONY customer service, never been a good one. Unresponsive and keep claiming that we dropped the camera and all that. I'm having a second thought now, as I get used to a brilliant Mac customer service.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great replacement for 35mm (Henk DeGraaf — 10/17/2006)

I have a Minolta Maxxam 35mm SLR and have a really nice pocket digital. I wanted a digital SLR but also wanted to be able to share the great lenses I already have. This camera TOTALLY ROCKS! I have been spending more time showing it off and recommending it than shooting pictures! It has excellent presets and excellent ability to be customize the image.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Memory card (Molly Drew — 09/19/2006)

Have now had 2 Alpha a100 and both have not been unable to load and format the memory card. I even bought a new CF card thinking it was defective. Now have spent $60 plus returning cameras. Sony service has been nonresponsive to the problem and unable to talk to anyone who has a clue. Waiting to get my second camera back and see it it works. Alot of $$$ for nothing!!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony Alpha 1000 (simon kwan — 09/18/2006)

I am a first time DSLR user,so far I just loved it,it takes great pictures.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony A-100 Digital SLR (Donald Jackson — 08/29/2006)


  • 5.0 out of 5
Fast, Accurate, and Zeiss lenses coming (Phil George — 08/14/2006)

Fast access to everyday controls. Very Fast write speed for Raw files. Fast autofocus. Kit lenses are particularly good. Loved the image quality of zeiss lenses with the Sony R1 but the autofocus was unreliable and the EVF drove me nuts. This is the answer for me, when the 16-80mm (24-120mm) zeiss lens is finally here.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony & Konica Minolta Master Piece (Ron — 08/14/2006)

Love the price and the 10mp gives me more than what I'm looking for, and I'm a first time SLR buyer..Sony u guys are 4 sure to grab a big piece of the slr market with the Alpha 100..Great & Easy to use, plus the buttons are all there for easy accessability..This camera is MUST BUY and have no complaints...Sony you guys have out done yourselves..I'm very pleased with the Alpha 100 and in the future when I choose to repurchase a SLR I will be comming back !!! Cannon and Nikon, keep your game up Sony is in Town.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Who wouldn't want one!? (Josh Lebons — 08/08/2006)

By far the best camera out there for the price. It over takes canon's 30D that cost several hundreds more and it will have some carl Ziss lenses with it! This is no mere toy, but a quality camera easily used for intermideate work as a photographer. Don't over look this one, you would be kicking yourself later