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:



Although it is backed up by centreweighted and spot metering modes (covering around 1.5% of the scene), I used the Alpha 850’s 40-segment evaluative metering almost exclusively throughout this test because it proved to be very reliable.

As you would expect, there are a few situations that can fool the camera into under or overexposing, but for the most part it puts in a good performance. When shooting towards a bright, misty sky, I was impressed to find that the foreground was not as underexposed as I expected.

Furthermore, using the Dynamic Range Optimizer enabled more of the foreground detail to be brought out than I could actually see at the time.

In tricky lighting conditions, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the histogram view as the Alpha 850’s LCD screen tends to make dark subjects look brighter than they are. If the image alone is used to gauge exposure, there is a danger that the exposure compensation facility may be used to reduce the exposure 
when it is not actually necessary.

  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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