Digital Cameras 2013

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Sony Alpha A300
Sony Alpha A300

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Consumer dSLR category.

Sony Alpha A300

Editor's Review

The Alpha A300 represents Sony's next step forward into the consumer digital SLR market, and it marches right alongside its brother Alpha A350. The A300's 10.2-megapixel sensor pales sligtly in comparison to the A350's 14.2 (though both use the same size chip), but otherwise the cameras are nearly identical. The big news here is the implementation of a Quick AF Live View system, which allows users to frame shots using the tilting 2.7-inch LCD screen. Otherwise the camera is pretty much par for the course when it comes to consumer dSLRs, offering now-standard features like a dust-shake system and in-body image stabilization. The body accepts all Sony and Minolta A-type bayonet mount lenses, and so is a great first dSLR for someone who has access to an older Minolta film camera.

Specifications

  • 10.2 Megapixels
  • Sony/Minolta bayonet lens mount
  • 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 lens included with kit
  • Quick AF Live View system
  • JPEG, RAW file formats
  • In-body Image Stabilization
  • Auto and manual focus
  • Auto and manual exposure
  • ISO 100-3200
  • 2.7-inch tilting LCD display
  • CompactFlash memory storage
  • Proprietary Lithium-ion battery
  • Part Number: DSLRA300K
  • UPC: 4905524458794
  • Release Date: Apr 27, 2008

Shop for A300 Accessories

Sony Alpha A300 Reviews

Sony Alpha A300 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good Value but not equal to Nikon (Jim Valentino — 10/19/2009)

I usually use my Nikon for my wedding and portrait photography. I bought the A300 with the 18-200 Sony lens and battery grip to use on vacations and to carry around in the Jeep. It was 1/2 the cost of my Nikon and for 90% of the photos, you could not tell the difference. It falls short in dim light. There is much more noise at ISO 800 and above than Nikon and Nikon will autofocus in much dimmer light. But for 1/2 the price of the Nikon, it has taken some remarkable photos and is well worth the money. The flash system is the best as it is the easiest and quickest to attach an external flash and the contacts always seem to align properly.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony A-300 W/ 2 lens kit (J. See — 12/10/2008)

I own a Nikon D-70, Canon XS-1000D, Olympus E-420 and now the Sony A-300. I am a camera junkie and a serious photographer. I used to own an aerial photography business and was always convinced that Nikon was the camera of choice. Now that I own the A-300, I am convinced it is the best value going for a beginners or intermediate photographer. I have the two kit lens w/ this camera and they are way above average for the typical kit lens with most cameras. My only regret with this camera, is that I didnt own it when it first came on the market. I occasionaly use the automatic setting and it almost always captures the shot as well as when use my own settings except in very low light.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony DSLR A-300, with 2 lenses package (Tim Kenneth Fung — 12/01/2008)

Sir,

This is the one I love shooting pictures as she has the built-in
stablizer and also the best price charged from Best Buy, Richmod store. I paid $569.99 with 2 lenses included. To avoid movement while pictures taken, I don't have to worry
any more. Also pictures come out very sharp. On the whole
she is worth for the monies I spent.

Tim, Richmond British Columbia, Canada.

  • 5.0 out of 5
about my 10 th camera (Nina — 10/09/2008)

Been buying every canon and sony they make. Hesitated to buy SLR because of size but I can deal with that because believe me your subjects come alive. Wish they will come out with a smaller and lighter one.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Sony A300 v Canon 450D (Rosemary Jones — 09/26/2008)

I spent a long time deciding which of these two cameras to buy...both have really good points, and in my view if you could merge the two together you would get an outstanding camera.

What swayed me to the Sony A300 was
1. Cost...nearly £100 cheaper...major consideration
2. Inbuilt stabilisation, meant I could look for alternative lenses, including old minolta
3. More accurate live view, good for macro shots
4. Battery life...Using the view finder the battery is excellent, I'm not sure how many pictures in honesty I get from one charge but it certainly last a few days of good shooting, took 500 pictures one weekend and still had 20% battery left.
Also like the fact that it tells you battery life in a more accurate % status.
5. Picture quality is superb in well lit conditions.
6. Fast and responsive
7. Longer focal length kit lens

OK so what don't I like..........plastic body....not sure how long will last which is a shame, plastic lens hood cracked on first day. I think the canon body will outlast the sony. Also the canon is alot quiter in its operation, important if you are doing wildlife. Also would like to be able to set my settings and have them saved when the camera next switched on. Canon does, Sony doesn't

All in all I think the Sony is great value for the money especially as you consider just a few years ago my fuji s602 cost me over £500 !
After weeks of deciding I went for the Sony, I have had it now for just over a month and am delighted with most shoots...until Sony, Canon, Nikon all become one there will be pluses and minuses with all cameras. Make sure you try before you buy and then simply be happy with your decision!

  • 3.0 out of 5
Dark Exposures / Poor Interaction with External Flash (Jeff Morgan — 09/10/2008)

The Alpha A300 is a reasonably good camera with some really nice features (e.g. tilt view screen, live view, built-in stabilization) and competitive price.

However, I've been quite disappointed with the default exposure controls. You have to reset your primary focal / exposure point(s) each time you turn on the camera unless you use Sony's default setting (which is erratic at best). If you want the camera to remember your preferred settings, you must use the program function. (Why did they bother with a "Reset to Defaults" function if you can't change the settings in the first place?)

An additional problem involves the camera / external flash interface. I purchased the HVL-F42AM flash unit recommended by Sony (bringing the price of the camera to $1000). The flash works fine as long as there isn't a moderate to bright secondary light source. The A300 senses this light source, ignores your focal / exposure set point, and fails to adjust for the correct flash exposure (resulting in an under-exposed image).

So far, I've been able to correct most flaws in Photoshop but ... I shouldn't have to!!!

Final point - Sony's online technical support is TERRIBLE!!! I haven't time to waste on the phone with tech support. I submitted a few basic questions (such as, How do I get the A300 to accept my focal / exposure point selection as the default?) only to be shuffled between departments and then ignored!

I would have returned the camera if I hadn't discovered (on my own) how to compensate for the camera's poor automatic exposure controls by establishing a custom program mode.

I'm not a PRO! I simply want a quality camera with a degree of flexibility that will reliably take good photos under a variety of conditions. I expect a $1000 camera / flash unit to take quality interior and exterior photos without extreme user involvement. I expect "Auto" and "Automatic" to mean "the camera will adjust to the situation on it's own!" Obviously, Sony disagrees and I understand Canon and Nikon do as well!!!

Purchase this camera only if you like to make custom settings ... it's not an automatic "point 'n shoot" camera!!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
New to DSLR (Matt — 09/04/2008)

I am a very armature photographer and bought the Sony DSLR A300 on a whim. I am continually impressed with the quality of the camera, the clear crisp and bright pictures it takes and constantly discovering new features on the camera. I’m impressed enough that I’m toying with the idea of taking a course to improve my (limited) skills and get to know how to really use this impressive camera. I would highly recommend the Sony DSLR A300 to anyone.

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