Learn more Download now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle New Album - Morrissey Learn more Shop Women's Shop Men's

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

on 7 June 2009
DSLRs cost a lot of money. This was the first thought that crossed my mind when I decided to exchange my hard-earned cash for a 'proper' camera. I could have been forgiven for choosing Nikon or Canon without giving further consideration. However the D40 seemed too basic and the D90 well out of my price range, so the D60 seemed like the appropriate choice. However, praise had been given to Sony's new range of alpha cameras, stating that they had the lead in the entry-level market.

Which one then? The A200, A300 or A350? Their prices range from £270 to £400 so which one deserved my purchase? I took the plunge and went for the higher-end A350. In terms of functionality, the A350 is essentially the same as the A300, only with 14.2 mega pixels as opposed to the A300's 10.2 mega pixels. A major selling point of the alpha series is that their Super Steady Shot system is built in to the body, meaning you get SSS on whichever lens you are using. This is great, although having just the one lens didn't make a huge difference for me.

Out of the box, the A350 felt justifiably heavy; the build quality is very good indeed. Other than sliding on the lens, I was able to literally turn the camera on, point it and shoot. It was really that simple. The display is clear with no distracting graphics you get with the D40, just plain and simple information laid out as if it were on a piece of paper. Taking pictures with this camera was what I imagined it would feel like to drive a Rolls Royce: Simply superb. With the camera in auto, it was instantly able to optimise the aperture and shutter values to create the ideal shot, however turning the dial to manual opened up the opportunity to customise the shot to my exact specifications. The auto focus has an impressive 9 areas and Sony brought down the high-torque focus motor from the A700 making it 1.7x faster than the A200. The Eye Start system is quite brilliant; as soon as you bring the camera up to your eye the image is put in sharp focus. The only draw back with this feature is that when resting against your body it thinks it's up against your eye, and the front of the lens jitters back and forth accordingly.

Uploading is very straight forward and the supplied image data converter allows for a selection of tweaks to be applied before saving the final version (this is only possible if the images are taken in raw mode). The battery is stunning and just keeps on going, almost defeating the object of carrying a spare.

The only problems I had with the camera were mainly physical: The flash is so flimsy it could have come from a camera £300 cheaper. Only the slightest accidental force applied will pull it from its housing. The eye start feature can be slightly irritating but is easily turned off. The live view feature on this camera is great since the AF system retains the same speed, however as a result its burst fire speed is brought down from 3 frames per second to a less favorable 2.5 FPS. Despite praise for its good performance in low lighting I still find that images are too noisy at settings ISO400 or above. Other than these relatively minor issues I really can't fault this camera at all, it's simply excellent. Since the sensor on both the A300 and the A350 are the same dimensions, you won't really see much of an improvement in image quality on the A350 unless you purchase a better lens, otherwise I'd stick to getting the A300.

Overall The A350 ticks all my boxes. For the first time I feel that my money has been well spent. I give it 5 stars and ask that you give the A300/350 serious consideration if you are looking for the best entry level DSLR, for which they are both mighty fine contenders!
review imagereview image
0Comment| 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 December 2008
I bought this camera about a month ago and have used it regularly since, I found it easy to use right out of the box and being a novice, I find that a real plus. The quality of the photos is quite superb, and being a 14.2 mp camera, it allows you to create some great prints given a good photo printer. My previous camera was also a Sony, but this beats it hands down. Once you have read the instruction book, you will find the camera has more than enough settings etc for even an experienced photographer but is also easy for the novice who wants to start by just using the automatic setting. I have now started to be more adventurous and have experimented with some of the more advanced features of the camera, but to do this you will need to read the manual.Overall a good buy and a good price on Amazon.
0Comment| 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 November 2009
Since the take over of Minolta/Konica, Sony have picked up the baton and at last, started to push the boundaries with this camera. A DSLR type of camera can be a very daunting proposition. Thankfully the A350 is a very easy camera to use. The tiltable back screen is very clear, although in bright sunlight, it still can be difficult to see. A wide range of selections, as you would expect, giving the all the different artistic options. It incorporates the Steadycam system, but unlike others, it is mounted on the camera body, rather than the lens.It is a very useful tool, especially in low light, non flash situations. A wide range of lenses can be used, including Minolta mounts of the past.

The sensor is 14 Meg, but bear in mind that it is an APC type, rather than a CMOS. So the results will be a little less detailed than the latter. The Kit lens provided is OK to get your feet in, but I would advise, upgrading it, when you get more familiar with the camera. The output can be JPG, TIFF or RAW format. RAW format is where you get the full 14 Meg resolution, also gives a lot more control over the image, when processing.

A few things to remember though when purchasing this model. Good though it is, the reliability of Sony DSLR's, can be a little suspect. Make sure you register the product with Sony. If a problem occurs, it will be sorted much quicker than going back through your seller. I have had mine for little over a year now, and it has had to be sent back 3 times, all for manufacturer problems. DSLR is comparatively speaking, a developing industry, which means, your camera will quickly go out of date, within a year of purchasing mine, 4 newer models have been launched. The trick here is not to worry too much, unless you really are a technophobe.

All in all a good solid camera with great features, but reliability is a little annoying... Hope this helps..
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 February 2009
Very good camera,and excellent value. Some nice features..espcially the 'live' view LCD,and the way when switched to 'normal' slr optical viewfinder, the LCD with good information on it,blanks out (saving battery usage)when the eye is at the viewfinder. Controls are all well placed on the camera,and when familiarised with them are good and simple to use.
Like a lot of SLR's with this sized sensor..there is visible 'noise' at higher iso's. So,some other camaras would be more suitable if a lot of low light, non flash, non tripod pictures are to be taken.
Also the camera does not have a very fast 'burst rate',and certainly if shooting in raw..it seems rather slow in writing images to the memory card . Also the reviewing procedure is not ideal..being rather slow and arkward in gaining access to information like 'clipping' of highlights and shadows. The information is all available ..just could be seen quicker and more easily.
The camera is medium size and weight compared to other mid- priced 'enthousiast' SLR's ...and feels quite good to handle....but perhaps not as 'solidly' built as some other cameras .
Especially recommend this camera if a good 'live LCD' SLR camera is wanted at a reasonble price.
11 Comment| 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 January 2009
Having spent weeks reading reviews in every photography magazine I could put my hands on, I finally took the plunge and bought this kit with a couple of extra lenses and external flash. The tilting liveview LCD is the best on the market and an absolute boon for my requirements. In auto mode the results are stunning enough and then you have so many professional options available to get even better.

The menu system is really excellent and very logical. Most things are where you'd expect to find them. My only real hesitation before buying a Sony Alpha was the limited selection of lenses but not only are there enough Sony and Minolta lenses to choose from, their quality is superb. The G-series and the Carl Zeiss units are as good as anything on the market. A great bonus of the A350 is that the anti-shake system is in the camera so it doesn't need special lenses to deal with it like some other makes do. All-in-all this camera is fabulous value for money and such a joy to use. For me it was worth the agonising process of evaluating all of the compettion to arrive at this winner.

Oh yes, nearly forgot - for Prime customers not paying delivery charges, Amazon's price is as good as it gets.
0Comment| 63 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 July 2009
I have had this camera for a couple of months now and love it. Prior to purchasing the Sony A350 I had a Canon Ixus, but wanted to move to an SLR principally to get better photos of the children. The LiveView originally swung it for me as it felt more familiar than using the viewfinder having been used to a compact camera. However, since using it I have been very comfortable with the viewfinder, especially outside when liveview isn't really viewable. The biggest plus for me is the speed of autofocus, far quicker than the Canon equivalent SLR, and the speed to start up and take photos is great. It is very very easy to use. In fact I haven't had the manual out! - although I mean to in the future, to get even more out of the camera. The additional zoom range with the standard lens is a real bonus, and at the moment I don't feel the need to add any more lenses. Thoroughly recommended to anyone looking for an easy to use SLR which takes great pictures.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 November 2015
Had this for some years now still use it
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 August 2008
More pixels than you can shake a stick at, read the manual to find all sorts of tricks (although tinkering brings a lot to hand anyway). More intuitive than it first appears - menus are inevitable. Standard lens OK for general shots, but the 75-300mm zoom gives a lot more range particularly for outdoor shots. Spare battery and a few CF cards not a bad idea if you are going snap-happy, but will get hundreds on most cards. Viewing and deleting is very quick, no massive start-up time. Does need technical savvy as do most SLRs, otherwise use a regular camera. Flash card adapter for PC access would be a good accessory, as would simple bag - none supplied for a high end item like this.
0Comment| 79 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 May 2009
Absolutely thrilled to bits with this camera. I'm guessing enough for the semi-professional, certainly enough for an amateur to get their teeth into and develop as a photogarpher. Great thing about digital is if it's a rubbish shot just learn from it and delete it. The manual whilst it's ok to start with I suggest you get one of the more advanced books available. I've purchased Sony A300/A350: Focal Digital Camera guides: by Shawn Barnett. I'm guessing others are just as good!
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 February 2009
This is the first DSLR camera that I've bought and it is an amazing camera. The lens that came with it, the 18-70mm lens, has an excellent zoom and even once the photo has been taken you can then get even closer still and maintain the image quality. I haven't tried printing from it yet, next shopping trip is the printer! The battery has an astounding life before needing to be re-charged.
Overall a brilliant buy!
11 Comment| 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)