Sony 14.2 Megapixels Alpha DSLR-A380 Review by dpreview With Rating 7.5/102009-08-25 01:01
"Unlike two of its arguably most direct competitors, the Canon EOS 500D and the Nikon D5000, the Sony A380 does not offer video capture nor does it come with an on-screen 'Quick control' type user interface, something that has pretty much become a standard on all recently introduced SLRs. The rest of the feature set and specification is, next to the competition, not particularly impressive either. While the 14.2 megapixel resolution is still more than competitive and the output at base ISO is generally good, the frame rate in continuous shooting is pretty slow, the high ISO performance isn't quite on the same level as the rivals and the battery capacity is poor. Where the camera shines though is in live view operation where, due to the dedicated live view sensor, it delivers significantly faster live view AF speeds than the competition which allows you to use the camera in a 'compact camera' style and benefit from DSLR AF speeds at the same time.
At base ISO the A380 performs very well and delivers good detail and natural if slightly vivid colors. Default output is a little soft. Shooting in RAW can definitely gain you some extra detail, especially in low contrast areas of the frame where some careful sharpening in RAW conversion will get you a good amount of additional detail. Where the camera starts to struggle is at higher sensitivities. It's not horrible in low light but it's not on the same level as its current direct competitors. That's not really a surprise as the A380's sensor and imaging pipeline are virtually identical with the A350's which was launched in January 2008 - an eternity in digital imaging terms. The sensor is noisier than the competition to start with and this is exacerbated by the A380's heavy-handed approach to noise reduction which blurs a lot of detail but also results in unsightly chroma noise blobs.
If you shoot mainly at base ISO, in live view and Auto mode the Sony DSLR-A380 is worth a closer look. For everyone else the camera can only become a consideration if its price drops significantly. At the Sony's price point there are currently several better alternatives available."... [Source]
Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Sample Photos on Flickr
Sony Alpha DSLR-A380 Camera Reviews Roundup
|MacWorld: "The A380 will automatically determine focus when it detects that the photographer's eye is level with the viewfinder, so the shutter release is ready to be fired immediately. And, with a single press of the AF button on the A380, the camera will continue to automatically determine focus for the user if required. Pictures from the A380 set at its automatic settings were evenly exposed, with natural colors. There are..." - Sep 18 2009 More »|
|Camera Labs: "A380 is certainly not an upgrade for owners of the previous Alpha generation. Anyone with an A200, A300 or A350 looking for an upgrade would be better-served looking at the higher-end A700 or waiting for Sony's much-rumoured 'A5xx' or 'A8xx' ranges. Enthusiasts who value the latest specifications and gadgets will also do better looking elsewhere...On the upside though, the Live View system, which uniquely employs a..." - Aug 16 2009 More »|
|PhotographyBLOG: "OK, so while a resolution of 14.2 million effective pixels for a consumer level DSLR aiming for a mass-market family audience looks a bit like overkill, that level of spec in part justifies the Sony A380's price tag. And set against the asking prices for the Canon EOS 500D and Nikon D5000 mentioned at the outset it compares pretty favourably. Where Sony's argument falls down perhaps is that it doesn't offer..." - Jul 29 2009 More »|
|Pocket-lint: "Image wise, Sony's A380 delivers evenly exposed pictures with naturalistic colours when left on its default settings. There are further pre-optimised Creative Style settings accessible for those who prefer the more vivid look. We weren't convinced however that the supplied standard zoom made the best of the sensor's high pixel count, since overall detail was softer than we expected. However, lightweight enou..." - Jul 28 2009 More »|