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Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Kit

10.2-megapixel digital SLR camera with 18-70mm zoom lens

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Item #: 158A200K
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Kit

by Dave Bar
Sony

Develop your photography hobby

You don't have to be an expert photographer to use an SLR — they all offer easy automatic shooting. Because of their build quality and the physics of good glass and large sensors, even their built-in automatic settings will get you better pictures than most point-and-shoots or mobile devices. But experienced photographers and budding hobbyists can get more creative by manually adjusting settings like aperture and shutter speed. SLRs let you expand your shooting options with additional lenses and flashes to suit just about any situation. If you'd like to record the occasional video, look for a model with high-def movie mode.

Sony's nimble Alpha DSLR-A200 combines professional SLR picture-taking with point-and-shoot simplicity. This highly capable cam gives you lots of convenient settings and adjustments, ranging from fully automatic to fully manual. Its lightning-fast autofocus system begins zeroing in on your subjects as soon as you bring your eye to the viewfinder — no need to press down the shutter-release button halfway. And a big, bright 2-11/16" LCD screen makes reviewing your images and reading camera menus a breeze.

In-camera image stabilization for sharp photos
The 'A200 features built-in image stabilization technology to minimize unwanted blur caused by an unsteady hand. This advanced Sony system physically shifts the position of the image sensor to compensate for camera shake, maintaining optimum picture sharpness. And because the system is built into the camera instead of the lens, you can take advantage of its benefits with any lens you use. The same technology that keeps your images blur-free also helps to keep them spotless. Every time you power off the camera, the sensor-shifting system vibrates to dislodge any dust particles that might have accumulated. Very cool.

High-resolution 10.2-megapixel image sensor
The 'A200 has what it takes to deliver beautiful, accurate photographs. Sony's impressive 10.2-megapixel image sensor offers a top resolution that's more than sufficient for cropping out portions of a shot, blowing them up, and printing them at large sizes. The sensor also handles an extended range of ISO (film speed equivalent) sensitivity — ideal for accurate shooting in tricky conditions, especially indoor and low-light environments. Finally, the sensor's wide dynamic range, combined with the speed of Sony's proprietary image processor, permits faithful rendering of complex subjects, like sunny highlights on a subject with plenty of shadow.

Versatile SLR design
The 'A200's comfortable rubberized hand grip and well-balanced body make it easy to hold. The supplied 18-70mm Sony zoom lens provides crisp pics and versatile shooting — you can capture everything from big group shots at short range to close-ups of your subjects at a distance. Save your images to optional CompactFlash® memory cards (no memory included).

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • 10.2-megapixel effective recording
  • APS-C-size CCD image sensor (23.6 x 15.8 mm)
  • 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (35mm equivalent focal length: 27-105mm)
  • 3.9X optical zoom (approximate)
  • compatible with Sony Alpha and Minolta A-type bayonet mount autofocus lenses
  • Super SteadyShot® image stabilization
  • anti-dust technology to keep image sensor clean
  • 2-11/16" high-resolution LCD screen (230K pixels)
  • eye-level SLR viewfinder with dioptric adjustment
  • 9-point autofocus with center cross-type sensor for accurate, high-speed focusing
  • Eye-Start® Autofocus System
  • JPEG image size options: 3872 x 2592; 2896 x 1936; 1920 x 1280
  • JPEG, RAW, and RAW+JPEG shooting modes
  • sensitivity or ISO (film speed equivalent) range: 100-3200
  • shutter speed range: 1/4000 to 30 seconds, Bulb, flash sync at 1/160 second (1/125 second with Super SteadyShot on)
  • drive mode: 3 frames per second (up to 6 frames in RAW mode, unlimited frames in JPEG mode)
  • custom white balance settings
  • spot metering mode
  • built-in auto pop-up flash
  • accessory shoe
  • memory card slot accepts CompactFlash® (Type I and II), Microdrive™ and Memory Stick® PRO Duo™/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo (via an optional CF card adapter) — no memory card included; must be purchased separately
  • PictBridge capability
  • high-speed USB interface
  • NTSC/PAL video output
  • 5-3/16"W x 3-7/8"H x 2-13/16"D (without lens)
  • weight (body only): 18.8 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • Sony Alpha 18-70mm lens
  • AC battery charger
  • lithium ion rechargeable battery (NP-FM500H)
  • video cable
  • USB cable
  • neck strap
  • front and rear lens caps
  • lens hood
  • body cap
  • software CD-ROMs (PC & Mac)

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
LCD Screen Size
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2.7"
Adjustable-angle LCD
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Wi-Fi
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GPS-enabled
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Lens 35mm Equivalent
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27-105mm
Optical Zoom
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3.9x
Digital Zoom
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N/A
Filter Diameter
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55
Manual Focusing
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Yes
Manual Exposure
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Yes
Built-in Flash
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Yes
HDMI Output
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No
Memory
Internal Memory
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Memory Media
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CompactFlash
Image
Effective Megapixel Count
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1.02e+007
Total Megapixels
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1.08e+007
Image Stabilization
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Digital
Highest Resolution
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3872 x 2592
HD Video Recording
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Dimensions
Width (inches)
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5-3/16
Height (inches)
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3-7/8
Depth (inches)
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2-13/16
Weight With Battery (ounces)
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29.9125
Warranty
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • DSLR-A200 Sony camera with attached body cap
  • DT18-70mm f3.5-5.6 Sony zoom lens with front and rear lens cap and lens hood
  • NP-FM500H rechargeable InfoLithium battery (7.2V/11.8Wh)
  • BC-VM10 Battery charger
  • 62" AC cord
  • 56" USB cable (has a USB type A connector on one end and a mini USB connector on the other end)
  • 60" Video cable with an RCA composite video connector on one end and a Sony proprietary plug on the other
  • Adjustable camera strap
  • Viewfinder cover
  • CD-ROM Application Software
  • a200 Instruction Manual
  • Lens Operating Instructions
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Limited Warranty
  • On-Line Registration
  • Shutterfly offer
  • Sony Accessories brochure
  • Sony Lens brochure

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Lens
Media Type And Image Sizes
Computer Requirements

Features

LCD Monitor: The DSLR-A200K uses a 2.7" Clear Photo LCD Plus screen with adjustable brightness. This design makes it easy to read the camera's setup menus even in bright sunlight and gives you better visibility when you use the screen to view your recorded images. The LCD monitor cannot be used as a viewfinder to shoot.

Optical Viewfinder: The DSLR-A200K uses a fixed eye-level system with pentamirror which allows for a 95% field of view. The LCD monitor turns off when looking into the viewfinder.

Eye-Start Autofocus System: This system allows the DSLR-A200K camera to begin its precision autofocus adjustment the moment you bring your eye to the viewfinder which allows you capture fast-action subjects.

10.2 MP Super HAD CCD: A large 23.6 x15.8mm APS-C size imager with Sony's advanced design allows more light to pass to each pixel, increasing the sensitivity and reducing noise. This technology provides greater detail when you make big prints or crop in close on your subject. The camera' Super HAD CCD features 10,800,000 gross pixels and 10,200,000 effective pixels.

Anti-Dust Technology: To keep the CCD imager clean for better pictures, the DSLR-A200K camera utilizes both static-free anti-dust coating on the CCD filter and ant-dust vibration that automatically shakes the CCD to dislodge dust each time the camera is shut off.

Super Steadyshot In-Camera Image Stabilization: When you shoot in low light, the shutter remains open longer; so to compensate for shaky hands or fast-moving subjects allowing the Super Steadyshot system to automatically reduce image blur. Because the feature is built into the camera and not the lens you will get the benefit of Super SteadyShot stabilization with every compatible lens you use.

Bionz Image Processor: By using hardware-based LSI (Large Scale Integrated) circuitry that responds ten times faster than software image processors the camera's response time is faster, the Dynamic Range Optimization processing is improved and battery life is extended.

Dynamic Range Optimizer: To recover details in dark or bright areas of the picture, the DSLR-200K camera provides two levels of Dynamic Range Optimization:

  • Normal Pro: This setting improves shadow detail using standard gamma curves for fast shot-to-shot response time.
  • Advanced Pro: This setting adjusts the dynamic range area-by-area for the greatest precision.

Shooting Mode: You can set the shutter button to shoot in six methods using the camera's Drive button.

  • Single Frame Advance: Default setting for standard picture taking. Shoots single picture with each press of Drive button.
  • Shooting Continuously: When you press and hold the shutter button, the camera records the images continuously at three images per second.
  • Self-Timer: You can set the camera to two different self-timers.
    • 10 Second: After you press the shutter button, the shutter will be released about 10 seconds later.  This is convenient when the photographer wants to appear in a photo.
    • 2 Second: After you press the shutter button, the shutter will be released about 2 seconds later. This is convenient to reduce camera-shake.
  • Continuous Exposure Bracket: The camera can shoot three continuous images with the exposures shifted automatically. It uses 2 settings.
    • Bracket 0.3Ev continuous: This setting shoots images continuously with exposure value shifted by plus or minus 0.3 step.
    • Bracket 0.7Ev continuous: This setting shoots images continuously with the exposure value shifted by plus or minus 0.7 step.
  • Single Exposure Bracket: The camera can shoot frame by frame with exposure value shifted automatically. It uses 2 settings.
    • Bracket 0.3Ev single: This setting shoots images frame by frame with the exposure value shifted by plus or minus 0.3 step.
    • Bracket 0.7Ev single: This setting shoots images frame by frame with the exposure value shifted by plus or minus 0.7 step.
  • White Balance Bracket Shooting: Based on the selected white balance, and color temperature, three pictures are taken while automatically shifting the color temperature. One shot records three frames of an image in following order - image with "normal white balance", image with "paler colors", and image with "reddish colors". The camera uses two setting for this feature.
    • Bracket WB (L): This setting shifts the white balance by 10 mired (a unit to indicate the color conversion quality in color temperature filters) when taking a picture.
    • Bracket WB (H): Shifts the white balance by 20 mired when taking a picture.

Focus Modes: The Sony DSLR-A200K features Auto Focus and Manual Focus. The camcorder's 9-Point Center Cross AF Sensor features a fast focus motor and improved focus control which help bring images into sharp definition more quickly, with predictive focus control that automatically calculates the position of a fast-moving subject. You can change the auto focus mode and the auto focus area to suit your shooting application.

  • Manual Focus: When it is difficult to get the proper focus in auto focus mode, you can adjust the focus manually.
  • AF (Auto focus) Mode: You can select between 4 modes.
    • Single-Shot AF: This mode is used when shooting a motionless subject
    • Continuous AF: This mode is used when the subject is in motion.
    • Automatic AF: This mode automatically switches between single-shot AF and continuous AF depending on the subject's motion.
  • AF (Auto focus) Area: You can select between 3 settings.
    • Wide AF Area: The camera determines which of the nine local focus frames is used in focusing with the wide focus frame.
    • Spot AF Area: The camera uses the spot focus frame exclusively.
    • Local AF Area: You can choose a local focus frame from the nine frames.

Focus Lock: Focus Lock can be used to change the composition after focusing, making it possible to focus on a subject that will not be in a focus area in the final composition.

Exposure Modes: The Sony DSLR-A200K features the following exposure modes.

  • Auto Adjustment: This mode allows easy shooting with settings adjusted automatically depending entirely on the camera
  • Scene Selection: This mode allows you to shot with preset settings according to the scene.
    • Portrait: This setting shoots with the backgrounds blurred out and the subject is sharpened.
    • Landscape: This setting shoots scenery with vivid and sharp colors.
    • Macro: This setting shoots close subjects such as flowers or insects. You can achieve clear and sharp focus.
    • Sports Actions: This setting shoots moving subjects outdoors or in bright places.
    • Sunset: This setting shoots the red of the sunset beautifully.
    • Night View/Portrait: This shutter speed is slower so using a tripod is recommended.
      • Night Portrait: This setting shoots portraits in dark places. Pull up flash to use it.
      • Night View: This setting shoot night scenes at a distance without losing the dark atmosphere of the surroundings. Do not use the flash on this setting.
  • Program Auto: This mode allows you to shoot with the exposure adjusted automatically (both the shutter speed and the aperture value). You can temporarily change the aperture value and shutter speed combination that was adjusted by the camera using two methods.
    • P/s shift: You can choose the desired shutter speed and the aperture value is adjusted automatically.
    • P/a shift: You can choose the desired aperture value and the shutter speed is adjusted automatically.
  • Aperture Priority: This mode allow you to shoot after adjusting the aperture value manually. You can adjust the amount of light that passes through the lens.
  • Shutter Speed Priority: This mode allows you to shoot after adjusting the shutter speed manually.
    • High Shutter Speed: The moving subject appears as if frozen on the image.
    • Slow Shutter Speed: The moving subject appears as if it were flowing.
  • Manual Exposure: This mode allows you to shoot after adjusting the exposure manually (Both the shutter speed and the aperture value).
    • Manual Shift: You can change the shutter speed and aperture value combination without changing the exposure in manual mode.
    • Bulb (Long Exposure) Shooting: In this setting as long as the shutter button is pressed, the shutter remains open. You can shoot trails of light, such as fireworks.

Exposure Compensation: You can alter the exposure from the value suggested by the camera, making pictures brighter or darker. You can adjust the exposure from -2.0 to +2.0 EV in 1/3 EV steps.

AE Lock: You can fix the exposure before deciding on the composition when taking a picture.  This is effective when the metering object and focusing object are different or when you want to shoot continuously while keep the same exposure value.

Expanded ISO Sensitivity: Broad sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200 enables the DSLR-A200K to capture beautiful color images even in very dim light with High ISO Noise Reduction technology that reduces picture noise artifacts at high-sensitivity ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 settings by eliminating noise from RAW data after analog-to-digital conversion.

Metering Mode: This Metering mode allows the camera to measure the brightness of a subject from the following three methods:

  • MultiSegment: This method divides the whole screen into 40 segments to measure light.
  • Center Weighted: While emphasizing the central area of the screen, this method measure the average brightness of the entire screen.
  • Spot: This method measure light only in the spot metering circle in the center of the frame.

White Balance (WB): You can adjust the color tones according to the lighting conditions. There are six preset modes:

  • Daylight: This mode adjusts for outdoors and sunlit subjects.
  • Shade: This mode adjust for shady conditions on a clear day.
  • Cloudy: This mode adjust for a cloudy sky.
  • Tungsten: This mode adjusts for place where lighting conditions change quickly.
  • Fluorescent: This mode adjusts for florescent lighting.
  • Flash: This mode adjusts for flash conditions.
  • Custom: In a scene where the ambient light consists of multiple types of light source, use of the custom white balance feature is recommended in order to accurately produce the whiteness.

Flash Mode: The Sony DSLR-A200K features a built-in flash. In a dark location, using the flash allows you to shoot the subject brightly and it also helps to prevent camera shake. When shooting into the sun, you can use the flash to shoot a bright image of the backlit subject. The camera offers the following Flash modes.

  • Autoflash: In auto mode the flash automatically fires if it is dark or against light.
  • Fill-Flash: In this mode the flash fires whenever the built-in flash is pulled up.
  • Rear Sync: In rear sync mode the objects illuminated by other light sources are captured first, then the flash is fired.
  • Slow Sync: Slow sync shooting allows you to shoot a clear image of both the subject and the background by slowing the shutter speed. In this mode the flash fires whenever the built-in flash pops up.
  • Wireless: The camera can use the flash light to transmit signal to an external off-camera flash to produce a more three-dimensional image. (Requires optional HVL-56AM or HVL-F36AM)
  • Flash Off: The flash will not fire even if the built-in flash pops up.

Flash Compensation: When shooting with the flash, you can adjust the amount of flash light alone, without changing the exposure compensation. You can only change exposure of a main subject which is within the flash range.

AF Assist Illuminator: The built-in AF assist illuminator enables the camera to focus even when the subject is poorly lit. The AF assist illuminator will operate within a 1.8125" range.

Creative Style: The Creative Style function has combination of color tone, white balance, contrast, saturation and sharpness presets that are best for various shooting conditions and purposes:

  • Standard: This setting reproduces various scenes with rich gradation and beautiful color.
  • Vivid: This setting reproduces memorable scenery such as blue sky, sunsets, spring greenery, and autumn leaves with deep and vivid colors.
  • Portrait: This setting accentuates the subject and softly reproduces skin tones.
  • Landscape: This setting reproduces the scenery with vivid and sharp colors.
  • Sunset: This setting beautifully reproduces the red of the sunset.
  • Night View: This setting reproduces the light area vividly and the dark area crisply.
  • B & W: This setting is for monochrome images.
  • Adobe RGB: This setting uses the Adobe RGB color space.

Note: Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness can be adjusted manually for each Creative Style mode

Noise Reduction: This feature is used to reduce the grainy noise typical in a long exposure.

Histogram Display: A histogram is the luminance distribution that shows how many pixels of a particular brightness exists in a picture. The histogram display of this camera shows the brightness on the horizontal axis (left side is black, right side is white) and the number of pixels on the vertical axis.

Lithium Ion Battery with Stamina Power: The supplied NP-FM500H Lithium Ion rechargeable battery lets you take up to 750 shots on a full charge based on CIPA standard. It recharges quickly with supplied the battery charger.

Protect: You can protect images against accidental erasure.

Auto Review: This feature allows you to check a recorded image on the LCD monitor right after the shooting.

Playback Screen: There are 3 display settings to view you pictures back.

  • Single Image Screen: This setting allows you to view one picture at a time.
  • Folder Screen: This setting allows you to display your images by folders. Each folder contains nine images that will display on the screen.
  • Index Screen: This setting allows you to view your pictures four, nine, or twenty-five images at a time.
  • Slide Show: Plays back all recorded image in order in a Slide Show fashion. The slide show automatically stops after all the images have been played back.

Rotating an Image: You can rotate a playback image upside down or horizontally. You can copy rotated images to a computer depending on your computer's software.

Enlarge Images: This camera allows you to enlarge an image for closer examination up to 12x.

Viewing Images on a TV Screen: The camera comes with a 60" video composite cable to hook up to your TV so you can view your still images back on your television.

Printing Options: There are fours ways you can print your pictures from your camera.

  • Printing directly using a PictBridge compliant printer.
  • Printing directly using a Memory Stick Duo, CF Card or Microdrive compliant printer:
  • Printing using a computer with the supplied software and requirements.
  • Printing from a picture station at a retail shop.

Lens

Optics: The camera kit features a Sony DT 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 Lens

  • DT Lens Design: This is a more compact, lightweight lens designed specifically for the APS-size CCD imager used in the Sony DSLR-A200K
  • Aspherical Lens Elements: This allows the lens to correct visual abnormalities at wide-angle setting, enabling the lightweight lens to capture more visually accurate wide--angle shots.
  • ED (Extra-low Dispersion) Glass: This technology reduces color abnormalities at telephoto extension, correcting certain wavelengths of light for sharp, clear images with well defined colors.
  • Circular Aperture: The aperture blades form a near circle at the wide openings used for low-light shots which allows spot-light sources to have a pleasing circular defocused effect

Zooming: The lens allows you to rotate the zooming ring to set the desired focal length. The lens features a 3.9x optical zoom.

Focusing: The lens can be used in the auto-focus or manual focus mode.

  • Auto-Focus: when using the auto-focus, the camera focuses the lens automatically. Do not touch the focus ring when the camera is set to auto-focus
  • Manual Focus: when using the manual focus rotate the focusing ring while looking through the viewfinder

Lens Hood: It is recommended that you use the supplied lens hood to reduce fare and ensure maximum image quality.

Media Type And Image Sizes

Multi Media Options: The DSLR-a200K camera accepts both CompactFlash Type I/II media (Optional), Microdrive, and Memory Stick Duo media (requires an optional Memory Stick Duo to Compact Flash adapter, sold separately).

Image Formats: The Sony DSLR-A200K will shoot both RAW and JPEG formats. Selecting the appropriate image compression rate determines the image quality of your pictures. You can choose from the following Quality Modes.

  • RAW: A RAW file is the raw material to be processed on the computer for professional purposes.
  • RAW & JPEG (RAW+J): A RAW image and a JPEG image are created at the same time. This is suitable when you need two image files (a JPEG for viewing and a RAW for editing).
  • Fine: JPEG format for capturing still images in high quality.
  • Standard (STD): This JPEG format will allow more images to be recorded but the image quality will be lower.

Image Size: You can set the image size you want to record to one of the following based on the aspect ratio you set.

  • 3:2 Aspect Ratio: L:10M (3872 x 2592 pixels), M:5.6M (2896 x 1936 pixels), or S:2.5M (1920 x 1280 pixels)
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio: L:8.4M (3872 x 2176 pixels), M4.7M (2896 x 1632 pixels), or S2.1M (1920 x 1088 pixels)

Image Capacity: The number of recordable images when the camcorder is set to Image Size L10M and an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Size / Capacity 1GB 2GB 4GB 8GB
Standard 325 653 1307 2606
Fine 241 484 969 1933
Raw & JPEG 48 98 198 397
RAW 61 124 250 500

Computer Requirements

Copying Images To A Computer: Using the camera's USB port and supplied USB cable you can copy images from an inserted memory card within the camera to your computer. The following environment is recommended for a computer connected to the camera to import images.

  • Windows Compatible: Operating System of Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP4, Windows, XP SP2 or Windows Vista (does not support 64-0bit and Starter editions). Computer must have a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port.

  • Macintosh Compatible: Operating System of Mac OS X (v10.1.3 or later). Computer must have a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port.

Application Software CD-ROM: The Sony DSLR-A200K comes supplied with an Application Software CD-ROM which contains the following software programs.

  • Picture Motion Browser Ver. 2.1.02 (Windows only):
    • Import images shot with the camera and display them on the camera.
    • Organize images on the computer on a calendar by shooting date to view them.
    • Retouch, print, and send images as e-mail attachments and change the shooting date.
    • Create a data disc using a CD burner drive or DVD burner drive.
  • Image Data Converter SR Ver. 2.0 (Windows/Macintosh):
    • You can edit images recorded in RAW mode with various corrections, such as tone curve, and sharpness.
    • Adjust images with the white balance, exposure, and creative style.
    • You can save the images as RAW date or in a general-purpose file format.
  • Image Data Lightbox SR Ver. 1.0 (for Windows/Macintosh):
    • Display and compare RAW/JPEG images recorded with this camera.
    • Rate the images on a scale of five.
    • Display an image in "Image Data Converter SR" and make adjustments to it.

Windows Requirements:

  • OS Pre-Installed: Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP4, Windows XP SP2, and Windows Vista (64-bit and Started editions not supported)
  • CPU/Memory: Sony recommends Pentium III 500 MHz or faster, 256MB of RAM or more (Pentium III 800 MHz or faster and 512 MB of Ram or more recommended)
  • Hard Disk Space: 200 MB or more.
  • Display: 1024 x 768 dots or more; high color (16-bit color) or more.

Macintosh Requirements:

  • OS Pre-Installed: Mac OS X (v10.4)
  • CPU: Power Mac G4/G5 series (1.0 GHz or faster is recommended)/ Intel Core Solo/Core duo/Core 2 Duo or faster
  • Memory: 512 MB or more (1 GB or more is recommended)
  • Display: 1024 x768 dots or more; 32,000 colors or more.
 
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Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Kit Reviews

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5 out of 5

Great Camera

Written By Mark, Santa Barbara, CA on Thursday, April 17, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought this camera mostly to take pictures of my family. We have a 3 Y.O. son who refused to stay still long enough to snap the picture. The Alpha200 camera is super fast (faster then my son) and the pictures are wonderfull - especially blown up as wallpaper on my computer screen.
80 out of 95 people found this helpful
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3 Year Protection Plan
3 Year Protection Plan with Drops & Spills coverage
Your Price: $104.99
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