As a pared-down version of the Alpha 550, is Sony’s latest DSLR, the Alpha 450, the right choice for enthusiast photographers on a budget? Find out in our Sony Alpha 450 review
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to measure the dynamic range results for the Sony Alpha 450 at the time of going to press. Having studied the images I have taken using the camera, though, I would suggest that it has a dynamic range of around 11EV.
The Sony Alpha 380 uses the same 14.2-million-pixel sensor and measured 10.5EV in our dynamic range test, so it would be logical to conclude that the Alpha 450 is going to be about the same, if not better. We will, of course, print the results as soon as we have them.
There are a whole host of dynamic range (D-Range in Sony speak) options available on the Alpha 450. These can be accessed directly by pressing the D-Range button on the top of the camera.The D-Range Optimizer (DRO) has featured, in one form or another, in every Sony DSLR since the Alpha 700 of 2007. The version featured in the Alpha 450 has both DRO auto and manual modes. The latter lets you choose the strength of the dynamic range optimisation, ranging from one to five.
Each level adjusts the highlights and shadows in an image to give the effect that the dynamic range has actually been increased. At the minimum setting the effect is quite subtle, but by level five shadows are lifted and highlights are reduced – so much so, in fact, that images take on an HDR-like effect.
The downside is that the level of noise in the shadow areas is also increased. I found that the best results came from setting the DRO at around level two or three, to help lighten the shadows just a little without making the effect too extreme.
Another option in the Alpha 450’s D-Range settings allows the in-camera creation of an HDR image.