Sony Alpha A850 Brief Review

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REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 24.6 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Dual BIONZ processors
  • 3 fps continuous shooting
  • 9-point auto-focus with 10-point assist
  • JPEG and RAW formats
  • Magnesium-alloy shell
  • Captures to CompactFlash and Memory Stick Duo media
  • Release Date: 2009-09-01
  • Final Grade: 86 4.3 Star Rating: Recommended

4.3 Star Rating: Recommended

Sony Alpha A850
24.6 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor; Sensor-shift image stabilization; Dual BIONZ processors; 3 fps continuous shooting; 9-point auto-focus with 10-point assist; JPEG and RAW formats; Magnesium-alloy shell; Captures to CompactFlash and Memory Stick Duo media
By , Last updated on: 9/29/2014

The Sony Alpha A850 boasts some impressive technical specs at a relatively affordable price, though it's still clearly intended for professionals and super-serious amateurs. This is Sony's second full-frame DSLR, featuring a 24.6 megapixel CMOS sensor, in-camera image stabilization, continuous shooting at up to 3 frames per second, and a 3.0-inch LCD all in a magnesium-alloy shell (no movie mode, however). It doesn't have the 100% viewfinder, sealed body, or faster burst mode of the A900 but these are relatively small sacrifices. The camera is showing its age now in 2012 (when compared to the 5D Mark II) and we expect a full-frame SLT model is right around the corner.

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Sony Reviews

Sony has been at the forefront of the market for consumer electronics for the past 30 years by offering innovative imaging products in response to changes in the market. Sony has made cameras that are ideal for casual users, hobbyists, and professional photographers through their dedication to implementing the most current technology with a sleek and minimal style, resulting in an end result of the highest quality.

Sony was the first to put a full-frame sensor inside of a mirrorless camera, the A7 and A7R, and a little later, the A7S. While the first-of-its-kind cameras aren't without flaws, Sony executed their ideas fairly well and made some pretty solid cameras to start the new line.

Speaking of first-of-its kind, Sony also designed a “camera-without-a-camera,” the QX10 and QX100. These cameras have a sensor and lens, but no operating system—instead, consumers use their smartphone via wi-fi or NFC to operate the camera. While the cameras certainly have flaws (mainly in the slow response due to operating through wi-fi), we still have to applaud Sony for the way they've responded to the rise in smartphone photography (plus the cameras have actually sold remarkably well).

Sony has also been highly successful with the RX compact camera line that began with the RX100, a compact camera with a 1” sensor, excellent image quality and full manual modes. The camera has since seen some solid updates, and remains a good option. Sony also added the RX10, a camera with a 1” sensor but instead of focusing on compact size, adds a much bigger zoom.

While their focus is on more advanced models, it’s usually a pretty safe bet to pick up a Sony compact, even a budget priced one, and still get a lot of bang for your buck. We're also big fans of Sony's designs, making their cameras easy to use and adjust, like the HX400 that has an automatic sensor on the electronic viewfinder as well as a control ring around the lens.

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