Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
99% of all amateur photographers will be delighted with this!
on 17 March 2007
INITIAL REACTION: Have just started using the a100 and, after researching for a couple of months, it certainly lives up to its promise. Being a former Minolta film SLR owner, the Sony seemed to be the obvious choice with the alpha mount meaning that most Minolta lenses are compatible. However, since I only own the one Minolta lens, that wasn't really an issue. A MUCH bigger issue is the built-in image stabilization on the a100. It works amazingly well and combined with the feeling of holding a solid piece of kit in your hands, gives you great confidence. Comparing lens prices with Canon EOS400 and Nikon D40 models, it's clear that the Sony SuperSteady Shot is a long-term money saver.
Anyone reading these reviews will also undoubtedly be checking out other sources such as the excellent dpreview and yes, there will be those who have specific requirements - such as high ISO shooting - who may be better served by the Canon or Nikon. Personally, by checking out the models in-store, I found holding the Canon to be a little too cramped and a little on the light side - more in-line with my old Minolta - and I wanted something comfortable and substantial in my hand. The Nikon, on the other hand, just didn't justify me investing so much initially and over the long haul. With some Carl Zeiss lenses on the horizon, I'm fairly confident the a100 can compete in most situations. To sum up:
Pros: Great value (inbuilt image stabilization); Eye-start focus is great under the right conditions (and can be deactivated); Fantastic images (which can be sharpened if you find the default settings too soft) - at least up to ISO400; Confidence-building look and feel - makes you FEEL like a photographer!; Easy to use menu system (a little drab, but a first-class LCD with innovative features) and the same ease of use overall as previous Minolta SLRs.
Cons: Bundled lenses could be better - they do the job but the look and feel of them lets you know there is more potential lurking in the body; Outperformed by Canon and Nikon at very high ISO settings; Don't like the Compact Flash slot very much - on an otherwise great body, it's a little flimsy;