Sony Alpha 450 at a glance:
- Enthusiast level DSLR
- 14.2-million-pixel CMOS sensor
- SteadyShot Inside image stabilisation
- 7fps speed priority mode
- In-camera HDR images
After almost four years in the DSLR camera market, Sony is no longer the new kid on the block. In fact, during this time the company has released 13 DSLR models, a quantity matched only by Canon and Nikon. However, when Sony brought Konica Minolta’s DSLR division in 2006, it inherited just two KM cameras: the Dynax 5D and 7D.
It then took a while for Sony to get up and running. Its first camera, the Alpha 100, inherited much of its technology from the Dynax 5D, and it wasn’t until more than a year later that the company announced its second DSLR, the impressive Alpha 700.
As the Sony Alpha lens mount is identical to that of Konica Minolta (the latter was, in fact, known as the Alpha mount in the Far East), existing Konica Minolta users were extremely happy to learn that there would be new cameras to which they could upgrade and still use their existing lenses.
Sony, however, had set its sights a lot higher. With its huge global brand name and a strong background in compact and video cameras, the company has since tried to establish itself as a viable alternative to Canon and Nikon, particularly at the entry-level and enthusiast end of the market.
Realising that it could use its strong branding and existing consumer loyalty to entice first-time DSLR users to the Alpha system, Sony now has no fewer than eight DSLR models listed on its website, with all but two aimed at entry or enthusiast-level photographers. Of this range, the Alpha 450 is the newest, announced at the beginning of January.
With so many of the Alpha cameras sharing the same features, it can be confusing when trying to decide which model to buy. The Alpha 450 is aimed squarely at the enthusiast photographer on a budget, and it is probably best to think of it as a slimmed-down version of the existing Alpha 550. Both cameras share the same
14.2-million-pixel, APS-C-sized sensor and a speed priority mode thatoffers a shooting rate of 7fps. However, the Alpha 450 lacks the Quick AF Live View mode of its stablemate, as well as its accompanying tilting screen.
With the Alpha 450 priced at around £100 less than the Alpha 550, it is currently the most affordable of Sony’s three 14-million-pixel DSLRs.
With in-camera HDR and dynamic-range optimisation features included, the Alpha 450 looks as though it could be a great choice for the developing enthusiast photographer on a budget.