Thanks to the arrival of the Sony Alpha 850, the aspiring full-frame digital photographer now has another reasonably priced DSLR to consider, and only a few features separate it from the Alpha 900

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Sony Alpha 850

AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:


Sony Alpha 850 review


Price as reviewed:


The competition

Image: Nikon D3X

Apart from the Sony Alpha 850 and 900, the only other digital 
SLR that offers 24 million pixels is the Nikon D3X, which is almost 
three times the price of the new Alpha camera.

Among other things, the additional cost buys Nikon’s superb 51-point AF system, Live View capability (with autofocus) and a maximum continuous shooting rate of 5fps. 
It’s a great camera, but the cost puts it well beyond the reach of most 
enthusiast photographers.


The most likely non-Sony competition for the Alpha 850 is the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Image: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

This camera has more extensive weather sealing and customisation options, as well as Live View, HD video recording technology and a marginally faster continuous shooting rate of 
3.9fps. Low-light shooters will also appreciate the Canon camera’s sensitivity extension settings, which give a maximum ISO equivalent of 25,600.

However, it doesn’t offer in-camera image stabilisation or wireless flash control.

  1. 1. Sony Alpha 850 at a glance:
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and handling
  4. 4. White balance and colour
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Resolution, noise and sensitivity
  8. 8. Dynamic range
  9. 9. LCD and viewfinder
  10. 10. The competition
  11. 11. Our verdict
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