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A new SLR from Sony, and the Times likes it… mostly

After a one-week vacation, David Pogue is back in the Times' Thursday business section to [mostly] rave about Sony's new Alpha A300. The big news here is that the camera has a dual-sensor Live View feature, which basically means that what you see on the LCD screen is the exact same as what you see through the viewfinder, without the irritating delays that are present in single-sensor Live View models.
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Written by Josh Taylor, Senior Journalist on
Sony Alpha A300
After a one-week vacation, David Pogue is back in the Times' Thursday business section to [mostly] rave about Sony's new Alpha A300. The big news here is that the camera has a dual-sensor Live View feature, which basically means that what you see on the LCD screen is the exact same as what you see through the viewfinder, without the irritating delays that are present in single-sensor Live View models. [Note: Janice Chen points out in our digital cameras blog, that in fact Olympus had this functionality two years ago, so Sony didn't exactly break any new ground here.]

The 10-megapixel camera also bundles in some either nice (albeit not world-changing) features, including an anti-dust vibration mechanism, and a battery gauge that shows percentage of power remaining, as opposed to the typical bar chart-style display.

Unfortunately, it's not until you get to the end of the review that you find about a few minor flaws, like, say, photo quality.

While in "good light, [pictures] look sensational," Pogue warns that the A300's performance in low-light situations is less than stellar, and that "capturing subjects in motion indoors is just about hopeless without the flash, even at this camera's maximum (and grainy) 3200 ISO setting. Blur is a huge problem in those situations."

And of course, it wouldn't be a Pogue digital camera column without some mention of his favorite topic - megapixels. He not shockingly recommends against stepping up to the 14-megapixel A350.

The Pogue verdict: "The A300 is a home run for its intended audience: first-time S.L.R. owners."

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