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Sony Alpha A200 Indoor Crops

10 Megapixels10 MegapixelsSingle Lens ReflexSingle Lens ReflexStabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Stabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Continuous DriveContinuous DriveManual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Spot MeteringSpot MeteringAccepts Compact Flash memory.Accepts Compact Flash memory.Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed reviewDiscontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.Discontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.

Indoor Crops

Just below, the Sony Alpha A200 is compared to the Pentax K10D and the Pentax K20D. Images below are all 100% scale crops taken from full-resolution images at each ISO setting from their respective camera. All three cameras were set to produce their highest quality JPEG images. Exposures were taken using the default metering system in aperture-priority mode, automatic white-balance and set ISO sensitivity.

Our new CFLCompact Fluorescent Lighting: Basically neon lights in a shape similar to traditional bulbs. Often with a coating added to make their color warmer than ordinary neons. Said to save energy and be more durable than incandescent bulbs. lighting posed quite a challenge to these cameras. Being neither incandescent nor fluorescent, in terms of color temperature, automatic white-balance from all three DSLRs produced different results. The most correct one is actually the Sony Alpha A200, while the least correct one is the Pentax K10D. Although the K20D falls somewhere in between, it still left a relatively strong cast under CFL lighting. It is probably time for manufacturers to add a CFL preset white-balance.

The Sony Alpha A200 manages to keep noise relatively low up to ISO 1600. On the A200, ISO 100 shows the most details and is noise-free. Interestingly, the best crop below comes from the 14.6 megapixels K20D at ISO 200 but the Alpha A200's ISO 100 comes in second. As ISO increases on the A200, noise-reduction slowly increases to reduce the appearance of image noise. It works very well and - for once - has a small gradual effect on image details. At ISO 800 we can see that the fabric pattern is nearly gone but the print is still clear and detailed. At ISO 1600, noise dominates the noise-reduction but the image is still highly recognizable. At ISO 3200, the A200 shows moderate image noise and loss of details. Overall, the A200 shows excellent control over image noise.

As far as the comparison goes, we can see that Pentax, with the K10D and K20D, likes to keep more image details and applies less noise-reduction. The result is that the Sony A200 produces images that appear cleaner at all ISO settings but at the expense of some details. All images are equally usable for prints up to ISO 1600. At ISO 3200, the Sony would the nicest small print.

Another difference between these cameras is the exposure. It appears that the Sony A200 is more sensitive to light. Looking at the exposure values, the Sony Alpha consistently produced a brighter image while near always choosing a shorter exposure time. Given that ISO and aperture were fixed, the only variable left is the contrast curve which probably contributes to some of the difference in brightness.

Sony Alpha A200 Pentax K10D Pentax K20D

ISO 100 3.2s F5.6

ISO 100 6s F5.6

ISO 100 4s F5.6

ISO 200 1.6s F5.6

ISO 200 3s F5.6

ISO 200 2s F5.6

ISO 400 0.8s F5.6

ISO 400 1.5s F5.6

ISO 400 1s F5.6

ISO 800 1/2s F5.6

ISO 800 0.7s F5.6

ISO 800 1/2s F5.6

ISO 1600 1/5s F5.6

ISO 1600 1/3s F5.6

ISO 1600 1/4s F5.6

ISO 3200 1/10s F5.6

ISO 3200 is not supported by the Pentax K10D

The Sony Alpha A200 and Pentax K20D produce results which could be usable for small prints at ISO 3200. The difference comes down to details versus noise but the A200 does produce a more usable image.


ISO 3200 1/8s F5.6

ISO 6400 is not supported by the Pentax K10D and Sony Alpha A200

There is an image behind the noisy crop on the right but we are not sure why Pentax bothered to support this high ISO setting.


ISO 6400 1/15s F5.6
Sony Alpha A200
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By on 2008/04/04
3

Sony A200 Facts

SLR digital camera
10 Megapixels DSLRISO 100-3200
Sony A Mount
1.5X FLM

Sensor-Size: 24 x 16mm

APS-C Sensor

Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI

Shutter 1/4000-30s
2-Axis Built-in StabilizationFull manual controls, including Manual Focus
95% Coverage
Medium Viewfinder
Custom white-balance with 1 axis fine-tuning
Automatic Eye-Start sensorSpot-Metering
Built-in Dust ReductionHot-Shoe
2.8 FPS Drive, Unlimited ImagesLithium-Ion Battery
2.7" LCD 230K PixelsCompact Flash
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