Sony DSLR-A200 Exposure
Sony A200 Exposure
The Sony A200 offers very good exposure control, with fairly fine-grained adjustment of image attributes like sharpness, contrast, and color saturation, as well as extensive White Balance offerings. The Exposure Mode dial on the top panel selects the main shooting mode, offering Manual, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Program AE (Program Shift), Full Auto, Flash Off, and six Scene settings.
Sony A200 Exposure Modes
The Flash Off mode operates just like Auto, but disables the flash regardless of the lighting conditions.
Program AE mode keeps the camera in charge of the exposure, while you have control over all other exposure options. While in Program AE mode, you can rotate the control dial with or without holding the Exposure Compensation button to scroll through a range of equivalent exposure settings. Thus, you can bias your exposure toward a faster shutter speed or greater depth of field as circumstances dictate.
Aperture Priority mode lets you select the lens aperture setting, while the camera selects the most appropriate corresponding shutter speed.
In Shutter Priority mode, the user selects the shutter speed, from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds, while the camera chooses the best corresponding aperture setting.
Switching to Manual mode gives you control over both shutter speed and aperture, with a Bulb setting available for longer exposures. Exposure time in Bulb mode is determined by how long you hold down the Shutter button. There doesn't appear to be any limit to the duration of Bulb exposures, but it appears that the dark-frame subtraction will only compensate for exposures up to 30 seconds long. (I strongly recommend use of the optional wired remote in Bulb mode, as the pressure of your finger on the Shutter button is bound to jiggle the camera somewhat, blurring the image.)
Sony A200 Scene Modes
The six Scene modes include Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, and Night Portrait/Night View. Each optimizes the camera's exposure, white balance, and image processing systems for the particular program. Portrait biases toward wider apertures to defocus the background while capturing warm, soft skin tones. Sports Action maximizes shutter speeds with Continuous Autofocus and Continuous Advance Drive modes. Landscape produces sharp, colorful shots of outdoor scenery. Sunset handles the rich warm palettes of sunsets. The Macro setting boosts color in smaller subjects, and Night Portrait balances ambient light with the flash; turning off the flash enters Night View mode, which maintains a dark background when presented with night scenery.
Sony A200 Metering Modes
Sony A200 ISO Range, Noise Reduction, and Exposure Compensation
A Noise Reduction option is available both for longer exposures and higher ISO settings, and greatly reduces the amount of image noise that would otherwise result.
Exposure compensation is adjustable from -2 to +2 exposure equivalents (EV) in one-third-step increments by turning the Control dial while pressing the Exposure Compensation button, which displays the scale and setting on the LCD monitor. Two Auto Exposure Bracketing options are available. Bracket: Continuous snaps three shots in rapid succession if you hold down the shutter, varying the exposure between each in steps of 0.3 or 0.7 EV units. If you only shoot one shot in this mode, it keeps shooting just the unmodified shot, which is great when you only want to bracket occasionally. Bracket: Single takes one shot per shutter squeeze at each setting, separated by either 0.3 or 0.7 EV.
Sony A200 White Balance Options
Sony A200 Creative Style Menu
Sony A200 Drive Modes
The shorter, two-second self-timer mode delay is very handy when you need to prop the camera on something to take a photo in dim lighting, and don't want the pressure of your finger on the shutter button to jiggle the camera. The 10-second delay is long enough that you can run around to get into the photo yourself. An LED lamp on the front of the A200 blinks and the camera beeps as the 10-second Self-Timer is counting down, the blink and beeps becoming faster in the last few seconds.
The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Photo Gallery .
Not sure which camera to buy? Let your eyes be the ultimate judge! Visit our Comparometer(tm) to compare images from the Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 with those from other cameras you may be considering. The proof is in the pictures, so let your own eyes decide which you like best!