Summary Sony DSLR-A850

Prices Price
Body only
Score Snapsort rank
Among similar cameras
#n/a of 6
Specifications Key specs
Sensor size
Help Full frame 35.9x24mm
Screen resolution
Help 921k dots
Help 24.4 MP
Movie format
Help None
Screen size
Help 3"
Light sensitivity
Help 3,200 ISO
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Lenses Lenses
Browse Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 lenses at LensHero
Sony Alpha DSLR-A850Sony Alpha DSLR-A850


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Sony Alpha DSLR A850 Full Frame Digital SLR Camera
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Sony A850 Unboxing
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The Sony DSLR-A850 vs other recent DSLRs

Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
Viewfinder Doesn't use battery, see more detail Help
Fastest shutter speed Fast shutter speed Help
1/8000 of a second
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather
Storage slots More storage slots Help
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The Sony DSLR-A850 vs other recent pro DSLRs

Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
  1. Sensor shift
Shutter lag Incredible shutter lag Help
184 ms shutter lag


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The Sony DSLR-A850 vs other recent DSLRs

Movie format No movies Help
Live view No live view Help
Preview with viewfinder
Autofocus Manual focus only Help
Announced Old Help
August 2009
Built-in focus motor No focus motor Help
Won't autofocus with all lenses
Weight Heavy Help
895 g
Popularity Not so popular Help
Among snapsort users
Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
3,200 ISO
Screen flips out Fixed screen Help
Less flexible
Lens availability Very few lenses available Help
82 lenses
Size Slightly large Help
Large (156×117×82 mm)
Thickness Thick Help
Built-in flash No built-in flash Help
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The Sony DSLR-A850 vs other recent pro DSLRs

Low light performance Noisy at high ISO Help
1,415 ISO
Color depth Less color depth Help
23.8 bits
Screen resolution Low resolution screen Help
921k dots
Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
3 fps
Battery life Shorter battery life Help
880 shots
Focus points Fewer focus points Help
Light sensitivity (boost) Low boost light sensitivity Help
6,400 ISO
Overall image quality Low overall image quality Help
Dynamic range Narrower dynamic range Help
12.2 EV
Screen size Small screen Help
True resolution Lower true resolution Help
24.4 MP
Cross type focus points Fewer cross-type focus points Help
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR Help
You could do HDR manually
Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help




front photo of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850back photo of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850angle photo of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850


Sony Alpha DSLR-A850
Alpha DSLR-A850

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Showing 2 comments

Johnmcmillin (4:32 AM, April 27, 2011)
P.S. I just saw the rankings and this camera came out very well indeed, No. 2 among recent SLRs. I wonder if it would have done even better if "continuous shooting performance" had not been a critieria. Really, now, how many frames per second do we require for real estate? Frames per minute would get the job done for me...
Johnmcmillin (4:28 AM, April 27, 2011)
This was my dream camera for two years. Now I own it and use it for my RE stills. Like my a700 before it, it's a pleasure to use, especially in full manual: I put aperture on the front dial, shutter on the rear, and shortcuts to DRO on the Custom button and flash exp. comp. on the Function button. Every necessary adjustment is one easy control action away. But adjustments aren't as often required as with the smaller format. The a850 brings a big increase in dynamic range that helps fit highlights and shadows into the same exposure. That's a benefit even at 6 MP, where I usually shoot.

If you're thinking of going to full frame to get your wide-angles back, though, you might think again. It was easier to find a suitable ultrawide for the crop format. My old Tamron 10-24 did a great job, with easily correctable barrel distortion. Its older FF counterpart, the Tamron 17-35, becomes effectively an 18+mm lens due to clipped corners, and produces uneven distortion across the frame that's difficult to correct. And it's not wide enough. I'm about to get a Sigma 12-24 to test as a replacement.

Excepting that lens issue, the move up to the a850 was all positive. My old Maxxum lenses offer exceptional value, and (excepting the Tammy) they perform even better on full frame. This a pure camera, with no frills; built to a high standard, comfortably fitted to hand and smaller than some of the "pro-level" cropped-format cameras from the Big Two. There's not a Nikon or a Canon I'd trade it for.