updated 04:55 pm EST, Mon January 7, 2008
Sony Alpha A200 DSLR
Sony has at last exposed the successor to its Alpha A100 DSLR, the A200. The new camera is also rated at 10.2 megapixels, and is in many respects functionally identical to the A100: the two feature automatic shadow/highlight compensation, as well as built-in image stabilization, which allows shooting at shutter speeds 2.5 to 3.5 stops slower than would normally be required. Memory continues to be supplied by Type I/II CompactFlash cards.
The main changes are in the shape and control of the camera. The body is lighter and more compact than the A100, with interface improvements such as a more convenient mode dial, a new function menu, a battery life indicator, and a wider, 2.7-inch LCD. Sony has however tweaked the camera's performance to produce less image noise, pop up the flash automatically, and quiet down the shutter mechanism.
An A200 with the kit 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 lens costs $700. Those wanting telephoto range can pay $900 for the A200W bundle, which adds a 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. Sony has lastly announced the VG-830AM, a new battery grip which holds two lithium batteries and provides duplicate controls for shooting in portrait orientation. Its price has not be mentioned, but pre-orders for the A200 begin today.