Monday, March 31, 2008
D-SLRS: Pro Vs. Enthusiast
We compare each brand’s entry-level models with its pro offerings to see what we’re getting dollar for dollar
Sony Alpha A700 Vs. The Alpha A200
Sony has announced a new full-frame flagship model, but, for now, the new Alpha A700 is Sony's closest to a pro-level D-SLR, which has a lot in common with the Alpha A200. Both have Super Steady Shot image stabilization and a Bionz Image Processor that enhances images and speeds up capture with two-channel data transfer from the CCD to processor. Each has a 40-segment metering system for determining exposure settings. The innovative Eye-Start Auto Focus engages the AF when you put your eye to the viewfinder. Automatic sensor cleaning is standard fare, along with a Dynamic Range Optimizer that helps you recover details in shadows and get more balanced exposures when shooting backlit subjects.
As to where they differ, the A700 has a CMOS sensor that allows you to shoot up to 5 fps. It has on-chip noise reduction before and after A/D conversion. It also uses less power than a CCD, so everything else being equal, your batteries should last a bit longer. The A700 has an 11-point AF system and a 3-inch LCD with almost one million pixels. On the back of the camera, there's a rear control dial behind the shutter release, in addition to the one on the front. There's also a joystick controller and a C button for quick call-up of Creative Style Settings, exposure compensation and other functions.
The A200 has a CCD sensor and can catch 3 fps. The AF system is a 9-point compared to the A700's 11, and the LCD is smaller at 2.7 inches. The A200 also omits the A700's rear control dial and C button.
|Max. Shooting Rate||5 fps||3 fps|
|Dimensions||5.58x4.17x3.14 inches||5.25x3.7x2.88 inches|
|Weight||24.3 ounces||20.8 ounces|
|Estimated Street Price||$1,400||$700|
Pentax K20D VS. K200D
Much like the Olympus E-3 and the EVOLT E-410, the top-of-the-line Pentax K20D and the entry-level K200D share much of the same advanced technology, including weather- and dust-resistant bodies, SR sensor-shift shake reduction, a sensor-dust remover, a new 2.7-inch LCD monitor, Custom Image functions and an Expanded Dynamic Range function. Both cameras share the same 11-point AF system, 16-zone metering system and the same 12-bit A/D converter.
However, the K20D has a newly developed 14.6-megapixel CMOS sensor, while the K200D has a 10.2-megapixel CCD sensor. The K20D also has Live View capability on the LCD and a new PC socket for studio flash, along with unique exposure modes like Sensitivity Priority AE (which automatically selects the optimum combination of shutter speed and aperture for the ISO you select) and Hyper Manual (which instantly sets proper exposure via program AE at the touch of a button).
The K200D doesn't have Live View capability and was really designed for the newcomer to D-SLRs, with a much more compact body, and an easy-to-use Scene, Picture and Auto Picture modes. It operates on four AA lithium batteries rather than a proprietary rechargeable lithium-ion unit.
|Metering System||16-zone, CW, spot||16-zone, CW, spot|
|Max. Shooting Rate||3 fps||2.8 fps|
|Dimensions||5.6x4.0x2.8 inches||5.2x3.7x2.9 inches|
|Weight||25.2 ounces||22.2 ounces|
|Estimated Street Price||$1,299||$799|
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