Sony DSLR-A100 Viewfinder
Sony A100 Viewfinder
The Sony A100 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. The viewfinder eyepiece has a reasonably high eyepoint (specified at 20mm, 16mm with the dioptric adjustment set to -1 diopter), but eyeglass wearers are still likely to need to press their lenses against the rubber bezel to be able to see the entire frame. Like those of many sub-frame DSLRs, the viewfinder image of the A100 is on the small side, with a magnification factor of only 0.83x for a 50mm lens and -1 diopter of dioptric correction.
While the Sony A100's viewfinder uses a pentamirror design, the viewfinder image is noticeably brighter than those of many competing DSLR models.
The Sony A100'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. At the far right side of the strip is the 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.
Sony A100 Viewfinder Accuracy
Good accuracy from the optical viewfinder.
|18mm, optical viewfinder||70mm, optical viewfinder|
The Alpha A100's optical viewfinder showed about 97% frame accuracy at wide angle, and about 95% at telephoto (the difference most likely due to where we decided to set the edges of the frame, given the barrel distortion at wide angle. Good results, equal to or slightly better than most consumer DSLRs on the market. (Although we'd personally like to see true 100% viewfinders on all SLRs, not just high-end Pro models.)
Sony A100 Record Mode Displays
The Sony A100's rear-panel, 2.5-inch, TFT color LCD monitor is for image review, status display, and menu display. As is the case with the majority of DSLRs, the LCD cannot be used as a live viewfinder. The large color LCD is put to good use to display various camera settings. We do have somewhat mixed feelings about using the rear panel LCD for setting readouts. While it provides a much larger area than the more typical small black/white data readouts, it necessarily also consumes more power. While the Sony A100's battery life is quite good, it'd arguably be even better if it didn't require the main LCD screen to be lit so much of the time. That said though, we do really like the wealth of camera information that the A100 makes available on its rear screen.
Sony A100 LCD Display Screens
1 - Exposure Mode
9 - Battery Condition
In any capture mode, pressing the Display button on the rear panel reports camera settings in the LCD display. As shown above, you can choose between full or basic display modes, which essentially control how detailed the camera information is, and how large the text and icons are. A third press of the Display button disables the information readout entirely. By default the LCD reports the full status information screen whenever the camera is powered on or a control is activated. As mentioned above, the Auto Display option of the Custom menu disables the LCD display whenever your eye is detected by the sensors beneath the optical viewfinder. If this function is set to Manual, you must press the Display button to disable the display.