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Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Kit

14.2-megapixel digital SLR camera with 18-55mm lens

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  • Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Kit

    Front

  • Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Kit

    Back

  • Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Kit

    Back (menu diplayed vertically)

  • Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Kit

    Back (menu display)

  • Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Kit

    Front (angled view)

  • Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Kit

    LCD (angled up)

  • Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Kit

    LCD (extended down)

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  • Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Kit

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  • Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Kit

    With flash extended

Item #: 158A380L
 

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Our take on the Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 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 easy-to-use Alpha DSLR-A380 gives you blazing-fast SLR shooting and razor-sharp 14.2-megapixel images. That kind of resolution lets you make big, detailed prints — even when you crop out and enlarge key sections of your pictures. The supplied 18-55mm Sony zoom lens gives you crisp pics and versatile, all around performance for everyday use. And you can add optional wide-angle, closeup, or long-range telephoto lenses to optimize the 'A380 for different shooting situations.

Tilt-screen LCD for easier shooting
Unlike some digital SLRs, the 'A380 camera gives you two ways to compose and shoot your pictures. You can frame your photos with the camera's traditional optical viewfinder. A handy autofocus feature begins focusing your picture as soon as you bring your eye to the viewfinder — no need to press down the shutter-release button halfway. Or, spot your subjects and frame your shots using the responsive Live Preview LCD, just like you would with a point-and-shoot camera. The LCD's tilt-screen design lets you adjust it up or down for super-convenient shooting from tricky high or low angles. It even adjusts brightness levels automatically for better visibility in changing lighting conditions.

Built-in image stabilization for blur-free pictures
The 'A380's built-in image stabilization technology minimizes blurry pictures caused by accidental camera movement. This system physically shifts the position of the image sensor to compensate for camera shake, maintaining optimum picture sharpness. Because the system is built into the camera instead of the lens, you can take advantage of its benefits with any lens you use. And your images will look spotless thanks to anti-dust technology that uses ultrasonic vibration to shake dust off the sensor.

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Highlights:

  • 14.2-megapixel effective recording
  • APS-C-size CCD image sensor (23.6 x 15.8 mm)
  • DT 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Sony zoom lens (35mm equivalent focal length: 27-82.5mm)
    • 3X optical zoom (approximate)
  • built-in sensor-shift SteadyShot INSIDE™ image stabilization (provides image stabilization with all attached lenses)
  • 2-11/16" tilt-screen LCD with live view mode for composing shots on-screen in real-time
  • optical SLR viewfinder (with diopter adjustment)
  • Eye-Start® Autofocus System begins focusing your picture as soon as you bring your eye to the viewfinder
  • built-in anti-dust technology to keep image sensor clean for spotless photos
  • 9-point autofocus with center cross-type sensor for accurate, high-speed focusing
  • Dynamic Range Optimizer for better shadow and highlight detail in high-contrast shooting conditions
  • built-in auto pop-up flash with flash compensation
  • user-friendly on-screen menus with built-in help guide
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Compatible Lenses:
  • compatible with Sony Alpha, Minolta, and Konica/Minolta A-type bayonet mount autofocus lenses
Exposure Modes and Controls:
  • continuous shooting mode: 2.5 frames per second (using viewfinder), 2 frames per second (using LCD in live view mode)
  • shutter speed range: 30-1/4,000 seconds
  • sensitivity or ISO (film speed equivalent) range: 100-3200
  • program auto, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, manual, flash off auto, and fully automatic exposure modes
  • preset scene modes for accurately exposed images in various shooting environments
File Formats and Storage:
  • image storage modes: JPEG, RAW, and RAW+JPEG (Fine or Standard)
  • 3:2 JPEG options (pixels): 4,592 x 3,056; 3,408 x 2,272; 2,288 x 1,520
  • 16:9 JPEG options (pixels): 4,592 x 2,576; 3,408 x 1,920; 2,288 x 1,280
  • accepts optional Memory Stick® PRO Duo™, SD™ and high capacity SDHC™ memory cards
Connections and Dimensions:
  • high-speed USB interface
  • mini HDMI output for sharing images on a compatible HDTV (cable not included)
  • 5-1/16"W x 3-7/8"H x 2-13/16"D (without lens)
  • weight (body only): 17.3 oz.
  • supplied lens weight: 7.4 oz. (18-55mm)
Supplied Accessories:
  • 18-55mm Sony lens
  • rechargeable NP-FH50 lithium ion battery
  • battery charger
  • adjustable neck strap
  • USB and video cable
  • software CD-ROM

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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No
Lens 35mm Equivalent
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27mm-82.5mm
Optical Zoom
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3x
Digital Zoom
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2x
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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Mini
Memory
Internal Memory
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None
Memory Media
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SD/SDHC
Image
Effective Megapixel Count
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1.42e+007
Total Megapixels
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1.49e+007
Image Stabilization
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Sensor Shift
Highest Resolution
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4592 x 3056
HD Video Recording
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No
Dimensions
Width (inches)
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5-1/8
Height (inches)
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3-7/8
Depth (inches)
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4-1/2
Weight With Battery (ounces)
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29.85
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-A380 Digital camera body with installed body cap
  • DT18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM Zoom lens with installed end cap
  • 55mm Lens cap (installed)
  • Eyepiece cover
  • BC-VH1 Battery charger (8.4V/0.28A)
  • NP-FH50 rechargeable InfoLithium battery (6.8V/6.1Wh)
  • 56" USB cable (has a USB type A connector on one end and a mini USB connector on the other end)
  • Adjustable camera strap
  • Application software CD-ROM
  • Instruction Manual
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Sheet
  • Lens brochure
  • On-line registration sheet
  • Accessories brochure
  • Lens Operating Instructions
  • "Lens Precautions Before Using" booklet

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.

Overview: The Sony DSLR-A380L package contains the A380 camera body and the DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM lens. The A380 features an intuitive button layout allows for easy single-handed operation.

Recording Features
Included Lens
Play and Print Functions
Battery Information
Computer Requirements

Recording Features

Adjustable Angle LCD Monitor: The camera uses a 2.7" Clear Photo LCD Plus screen with 5-step adjustable brightness. This design makes it easy to read the camera's setup menus even in bright sunlight. To assist you in focusing and framing shots from difficult angles, the monitor can be tilted downward to a 45° angle, and can be tilted upward to a 90° angle.

Live View: The A380 allows you to select between Live View (using the 2.7" LCD screen) and the Optical Viewfinder (OVF) to frame your shots. A two-way switch on the top of the camera is used for selecting the desired mode. When using Live View, the recorded image will likely be different from the image shown in the LCD monitor, especially in low-light situations, or when the flash is used. The battery capacity using Live View is approximately half of the capacity when in the Viewfinder mode.

Optical Viewfinder: The DSLR-A380 uses a fixed eye-level, penta-Dach mirror viewfinder with a 95% field of view. The built-in diopter-adjustment dial, located just to the right of the viewfinder, allows you to focus the viewfinder to your eyesight.

Eye-Start Autofocus System: The Eye-Start Autofocus System allows the DSLR-A380L camera to begin its precision autofocus adjustment the moment you raise the camera to your eye. This cuts down focusing time so your camera is ready to capture the shot.

14.9 MP APS-C Imager: The large 23.5 x 15.7mm 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's imager features 14,900,000 gross pixels and 14,200,000 effective pixels.

Anti-Dust Technology: To keep the CCD imager clean for better pictures, the DSLR-A380 camera utilizes a static-free anti-dust coating on the CCD filter. In addition, an anti-dust vibration automatically shakes the CCD to dislodge dust each time the camera is shut off.

SteadyShot INSIDE: The camera is equipped with SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization, which compensates for shaky hands, to enable you to take crisp, sharp pictures at shutter speeds 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 steps slower than would otherwise be possible without a flash or using a tripod. SteadyShot INSIDE works with every lens, including Sony zoom, advanced Sony G-Series, pro-quality Carl Zeiss lens designs, and Minolta ±-mount lenses.

BIONZ Image Processor: The advanced BIONZ image processor uses hardware-based Large Scale Integrated (LSI) circuitry that responds 10 times faster than software image processors. This reduces noise, improves white balance and exposure control to give you clear, sharp pictures even at high sensitivity settings.

Dual Slot Memory Card Compatibility: The DSLR-A380 has dual slots for inserting two types of memory cards. The camera is compatible with high-capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo and Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, as well as SD and SDHC Memory cards. You can easily select which memory card you want to use by sliding the memory card switch to the desired position. Memory Stick PRO Duo media with a capacity of up to 16 GB and SD memory cards with a capacity of up to 32 GB have been confirmed to operate properly in this camera.

Image Formats: The Sony DSLR-A380L can shoot still images in the JPEG and RAW (uncompressed) formats. You can also select RAW + JPEG to create two image files: a JPEG image for viewing and a RAW image for editing. When shooting in JPEG, you can select an appropriate image compression rate, Fine or Standard, depending upon the image quality you desire.

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

Aspect Ratio 3:2
L:14M 4592 x 3056 pixels
M:7.7M 3408 x 2272 pixels
S:3.5M 2288 x 1520 pixels
Aspect Ratio 16:9
L:12M 4592 x 2576 pixels
M:6.5M 3408 x 1920 pixels
S:2.9M 2288 x 1280 pixels

Image Capacity: The number of recordable images when the camcorder is set to Image Size L14M and an aspect ratio of 3:2. The capacity of Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD Memory Cards differ slightly:

  • Memory Stick PRO Duo:
Size / Capacity 1GB 2GB 4GB 8GB 16GB
Standard 271 548 1085 2180 4421
Fine 194 393 779 1566 3176
Raw & JPEG 35 72 144 291 592
RAW 43 89 178 358 728
  • SD Memory Card:

Size / Capacity 1GB 2GB 4GB 8GB 16GB
Standard 270 537 1081 2177 4421
Fine 193 385 776 1564 3176
Raw & JPEG 35 71 144 291 592
RAW 43 87 177 358 728

Smart Teleconverter: The A380 allows you to quickly zoom in to a subject using the Smart Teleconverter feature. When shooting in the Live View, one press of the Smart Teleconverter button (located on the top of the camera) zooms in approximately 1.4x. A second press of the button zooms in to approximately 2x. The image size is automatically changed to "M" for 1.4x (with a resolution of 3264 x 2176) and "S" for 2.0x with a resolution of 2416 x 1600.

Help Guide: An on-screen Help Guide and Graphic Display help take the complexity out of DSLR photography. The Help Guide offers clear, concise explanations of various modes and settings. The Graphic Display helps you understand the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, as well as the effect each has on photographic results. For more advanced photographers, the Help Guide and Graphic Display can be turned off, allowing you to perform the next operation more quickly.

Exposure Modes: The Auto mode allows you to easily shoot any subject under any conditions, because the camera automatically chooses the settings depending upon the subject and lighting situation. By turning the Mode Dial on the top of the camera, you can select from the following Exposure Modes:

  • Program Auto: This mode allows you to shoot with the exposure adjusted automatically (both the shutter speed and the aperture value).
  • Aperture Priority: This mode allows you to shoot after adjusting the aperture value manually (the shutter speed is set by the camera). You can adjust the depth of field by opening the aperture (shallow) or closing the aperture (deep).
  • Shutter Speed Priority: This mode allows you to shoot after adjusting the shutter speed manually (the aperture is set by the camera). You can freeze your subject with a high shutter speed or trace the movement and flow of your subject with a slower shutter speed.
  • Manual Exposure: This mode allows you to shoot after manually setting both the aperture and shutter speed to get the desired exposure. The Manual "Bulb" setting allows you to shoot long exposures to capture trails of light (fireworks, stars). In the Bulb mode, the shutter stays open as long as the shutter button is pressed.
  • Scene Selection: For specific settings, you can select one of the following Scene Selections:
    • 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 lets you shoot subjects such as flowers or insects close up while achieving clear and sharp focus. With the included 18-55mm lens, the minimum focus distance is 9.84".
    • Sports Action: This setting lets you shoot moving subjects outdoors or in bright places.
    • Sunset: This setting accentuates the red of a sunset or a sunrise more than other modes.
    • Night View/Portrait: This mode lets you shoot night scenes at a distance without losing the dark atmosphere of the surroundings. Use of the flash is recommended only when shooting at night with a person in the foreground. Since the shutter speed is slower in this mode, use of a tripod is recommended.

Shooting Modes: When shooting in the Program (P), Aperture-Priority (A), Shutter-Priority (S), or Manual (M) modes, you can set the camera as follows:

  • Autofocus Mode: You can choose how the camera focuses on the subject: Single-shot, Automatic AF, or Continuous AF.
  • Metering Mode: You can select how the camera measures the brightness of the subject: Multi segment, Center weighted, or Spot.
  • White Balance: You can adjust the white balance to suit a specific light source: Auto WB, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, and Flash.
  • AF Area: You can select the Autofocus area to suit the shooting conditions or your preference: Wide, Spot, or Local
  • D-Range Optimizer: You can correct the brightness of the image when there is a sharp contrast of light and shadow between the subject and the background: Standard, Advanced, or Off.
  • Creative Style: For those times when you wish to be more creative with your photos, you can select from the following settings: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Nightview, Sunset, and B&W. In addition, you can individually adjust the contrast, saturation, and sharpness.

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.

High Sensitivity: Broad sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200 enables the DSLR-A380 to capture beautiful color images even in very dim light. High ISO Noise Reduction technology reduces picture noise artifacts at high-sensitivity ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 settings by eliminating noise from RAW data after analog-to-digital conversion.

Flash Mode: The Sony DSLR-A380 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 shutter is triggered.
  • 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 you trigger the shutter.
  • Rear Sync: In rear sync mode the flash fires right before the exposure is completed.
  • Wireless: The camera fires an external flash (sold separately) that is off the camera and away from it. This gives the image a 3-dimensional feel. This requires a flash capable of Wireless Ratio Control, such as the HVL-F58AM (158HVLF58A) or HVL-F42AM (158HVLF42A).
  • Flash Off: The flash will not fire even in dark situations.

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 Illuminator: The built-in AF illuminator function may fire the flash to enables the camera to focus when the subject is poorly lit. The AF illuminator works in a range between 1 and 5 meters (3.3' to 16.4').

Noise Reduction: This feature is used to reduce the grainy noise typical in long exposures or high ISO settings. When you set the shutter speed to a second or longer, Long Exposure Noise Reduction is turned on for the same duration that the shutter is open. When shooting with the ISO set at 1600 or above, the camera reduces the noise that becomes more noticeable when the camera sensitivity is high (High ISO NR). Both NR settings can be turned on or off independently.

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.

Included Lens

Optics: The DSLR-A380L camera kit features the Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM lens. The DT lens is a more compact, lightweight lens, designed specifically for the APS-size CCD imager used in the Sony DSLR-A380. The lens employs a Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) to deliver smooth and silent autofocus operation, and offers a flexible focal range that allows you to capture everything from wide angle to midrange telephoto shots with ease.

Zooming: The lens allows you to rotate the zooming ring to set the desired focal length. The 18-55mm lens features a 3.0x optical zoom.

Focusing: The lens can be used in the auto-focus or manual focus mode. You can switch between focusing modes using the 2-way switch on the lens barrel.

Dimensions: The lens has the following dimensions: Diameter=2.727", Length=3.027" to 3.441" (without lens caps).

Specifications:

Lens DT18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM
35mm Equivalent 27-82.5mm
Angle of View 76° to 29°
Minimum Focus 0.82' (9.84")
Filter Diameter 55mm
f-stop f/3.5-5.6 maximum
f/22-36 minimum
Weight 7.5 ounces

Optional Lenses: In addition to the supplied lens, the DSLR-A380 can use any of the Sony α (alpha) lenses, most Minolta and Konica Minolta AF lenses, and third party lenses with the Sony/Minolta bayonet-type mount.

Play and Print Functions

Auto Review: This feature allows you to check a recorded image on the LCD monitor right after the shooting. The length of the display time can be adjusted.

Image Playback: When you press the playback button, the last recorded image is displayed on the LCD monitor. You can view the image with or without the recording data showing, and with a histogram display.

Image Index: This feature allows you to view your pictures 4, 9, or 25 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, or you can set the slide show to repeat. You can also adjust the interval between images (default is 3 seconds).

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. The scaling range depends upon the image size: Large image (1.1x to 14x), Medium image (1.1x to 11x), Small image (1.1x to 7.2x).

PhotoTV HD Compatibility: The DSLR-A380 is compatible with the "PhotoTV HD" standard. With an optional HDMI cable (mini-HDMI to HDMI) you can share your photos in high definition. If you connect the camera to a compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTV, the TV automatically switches to Photo mode and begins playback of the images. If the TV supports BRAVIA Sync, you can operate the camera with the TV's remote control.

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

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

Battery Information

Lithium Ion Battery: The supplied NP-FH50 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery lets you take up to 500 shots with the viewfinder or 230 shots in Live View on a full charge based on CIPA standard. With a fully depleted battery, a normal charge takes approximately 205 minutes, while a full charge requires approximately 265 minutes.

Computer Requirements

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

  • Windows:
    • Operating System (pre-installed):
      • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP4
      • Windows XP SP3 (64-bit and Starter editions not supported)
      • Windows Vista SP1 (Starter edition not supported)
    • USB: USB port provided as standard (USB 2.0 Hi-Speed recommended)

  • Macintosh:
    • Operating System (pre-installed): Mac OS X v10.1.3 - v10.5
    • USB: USB port provided as standard (USB 2.0 Hi-Speed recommended)

Application Software CD-ROM: The Sony DSLR-A380 comes supplied with an Application Software CD-ROM which contains the following software programs.

  • Picture Motion Browser (PMB) Ver.4.2.1 (Windows XP/SP3 and Vista/SP1 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.3.1 (Windows XP/SP3 and Vista/SP1, 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

Recommended Computer Environments:

  Windows Macintosh
Compatible Software Image Data Converter SR
Image Data Lightbox SR
Picture Motion Browser Image Data Converter SR
Image Data Lightbox SR
OS Windows XP SP3
Windows Vista SP1
Mac OS X v.10.4/v10.5
CPU/Memory Pentium 4 or faster
1 GB RAM or more
Pentium III 500 MHz or faster (800 MHz or faster recommended)
256MB RAM or more (512MB RAM or more recommended)
Power PC G4/G5
1.0 GHz or faster
Intel Core Solo/Core Duo/Core 2 Duo
Hard Disk --- 500 MB or more for installation 1 GB or more
Display 1024 x 768 dots or more 1024 x 768 dots or more
 
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Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Kit Reviews

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5 out of 5

High Quality with ease of use

Written By Sean, St Thomas, Virgin Islands on Friday, March 12, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The Basic point and shoot feture of the full auto mode can be used by any novice. An experience or semi-skilled photographer can have many memorable pictures weather as a hobbyist or for hire. The range of modes and shooting techniques that are available for use with the Sony A380 are numerous. Fun and excitment awaits the owner of this camera.

5 out of 8 people found this helpful
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