Sony Alpha 850 at a glance:

  • 24.6 million effective pixels
  • Full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Approx 98% viewfinder
  • 3in, 921,600-dot LCD screen
  • SteadyShot Inside
  • Dynamic range optimisation with bracketing
  • Street price approximately £1,650

Sony isn’t in the habit of dabbling in markets, so when it decided to start manufacturing DSLRs it gave itself a head start by acquiring Konica Minolta’s photographic business. Since then it has had an aggressive pricing policy, which has helped it achieve the number three position in the DSLR sales league table.

It is an especially popular brand with young photographers who respect the Sony name having spent their adolescence using PlayStations, listening to Walkmans and watching Sony televisions.

However, as well as feeding the expectations of Sony devotees, the company wants to please the Minolta followers who have continued with the Minolta A mount (now rebranded as the Sony Alpha mount), while at the same time enticing experienced photographers away from its competitors.

Sony hopes that the new full-frame Alpha 850 will be a significant step towards winning a larger slice of the DSLR market.

This camera is remarkably similar to the company’s top-of-the-range model, the Alpha 900, but the price is significantly lower.

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