Sony DSLR-A200 Review

 
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Sony A200 Viewfinder

The Sony A200 features a digital SLR design, so the optical viewfinder offers a true, through-the-lens (TTL) display. A dioptric adjustment dial accommodates eyeglass wearers, letting them adjust the viewfinder optics between -2.5 to +1 diopters. The viewfinder eyepiece has a fairly low eyepoint (specified at 17.6mm from the eyepiece, 13.5mm from the eyepiece frame with the dioptric adjustment set to -1 diopter), which isn't quite as good as the A100's 20mm/16mm eyepoint. Magnification is the same, at 0.83x for a 50mm lens and -1 diopter of dioptric correction.

Like the Sony A100, the A200's viewfinder uses a pentamirror design. The advantage of a pentamirror is it's lighter and less expensive; however an all-glass pentaprism design delivers more light to the viewfinder eyepiece, thanks to its more efficient internal reflection. As a result, the Sony A200's viewfinder image is not as bright as the A700's, which uses a true pentaprism.

The Sony A200's extensive information display features a series of focus and exposure target marks in the center of the view that highlight briefly when the AF system is activated. Camera information appears beneath the image area in a small strip, and reports all of the major camera settings, such as shutter speed, aperture, flash mode, EV compensation, etc. To the far right side of the strip is the Super SteadyShot (anti-shake) scale, indicating the degree of stabilization whenever anti-shake mode is activated. The information readout in the viewfinder activates whenever you half-press the Shutter button, and remains active for a few seconds afterward.

A pair of horizontal infrared sensors just below the viewfinder, which we've highlighted with a green rectangle, detect your eye as it approaches the viewfinder, and deactivates the LCD information display if you have the auto-display option enabled. Through the Custom menu, you can also set these sensors to enable the autofocus whenever your eye is in range of the eyepiece, which makes the A200's autofocus seem even more responsive.

 

Viewfinder Test Results

Coverage
Good accuracy from the optical viewfinder.

70mm, Optical

The Sony Alpha 200's optical viewfinder showed about 95 percent coverage accuracy with our Sigma 70mm f/2.8 prime lens. This is quite good for an entry-level digital SLR, matching Sony's specification. It does however appear to be slightly tilted relative to the imaging sensor.

 

Sony DSLR-A200

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