As the lightest-ever Sony digital SLR camera at 450g, the A230 is also a little light on features at first glance.

As the lightest-ever Sony digital SLR camera at 450g, the A230 is also a little light on features at first glance.

Aimed squarely at beginners, the 10.2Mp Sony A230 digital SLR camera offers an onscreen help guide through its 2.7in LCD, illustrating the effects, for example, of adjusting shutter speed and aperture. The camera automatically focuses when it detects an eye coming level with its viewfinder. The price is yet more good news - it's recommended as £460, including an adequate 18-55mm zoom.

The quick and efficient Sony A230 digital SLR camera allows novice users to point and shoot to begin with, before progressing to its quartet of creative modes and six scene options. As a further aid, turn the camera on its side to shoot and its LCD display will likewise flip through 90 degrees. It saves images either to SD/SDHC cards or Memory Stick, with you simply flicking a switch to choose between them.

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The Sony A230 digital SLR camera's small handgrip is annoying, especially given the big buttons and chunky controls. It's usable but uncomfortable compared to the full-size versions found on rival models. Also, there's no Live View option, which is a shame, as this would have made the camera more user-friendly still. Unexpected, but welcome, are sensor-shifting SteadyShot Inside image stabilisation and an HDMI-out port for hooking up to an HD TV. However, there's no video and the HDMI lead costs extra.

Sony does, however, feature its D-Range (Dynamic Range) Optimiser technology - found on cameras higher up the range - for otherwise tricky exposures, such as shooting against a bright light that would usually render foregrounds dark and devoid of detail. The Sony A230 digital SLR camera's kit lens is also impressively sharp given ideal shooting conditions, displaying minimal barrel distortion and corner softening at maximum wide angle.

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Sony A230: Specs

  • 10.2Mp digital SLR camera
  • 2.7in LCD screen (230k)
  • max resolution: 3872x2592
  • ISO 100 to 3,200
  • 9-point AF
  • supports Jpeg/RAW
  • PictBridge
  • miniHDMI
  • USB 2.0
  • rechargeable battery (up to 510 shots)
  • SD/SDHC/MS
  • 128x97x68mm
  • 450g
  • 10.2Mp digital SLR camera
  • 2.7in LCD screen (230k)
  • max resolution: 3872x2592
  • ISO 100 to 3,200
  • 9-point AF
  • supports Jpeg/RAW
  • PictBridge
  • miniHDMI
  • USB 2.0
  • rechargeable battery (up to 510 shots)
  • SD/SDHC/MS
  • 128x97x68mm
  • 450g

OUR VERDICT

The Sony A230 digital SLR camera may be a fairly unsophisticated model, but that’s not a bad thing given its target market. It’s a good starter option for those on a budget who aren’t already wedded to Canon or Nikon’s lens systems – neither of which have in-body antishake, which is a distinct advantage of the Sony system.

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