We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Cameras Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 12Mp SLR camera

From £1,124 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Sony

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

The Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 digital SLR is a complex, well-made camera with tons of controls. The A700 takes exceptionally sharp, well-exposed shots.

The Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 digital SLR is a complex, well-made camera with tons of controls. The A700 takes exceptionally sharp, well-exposed shots.

First impressions of the Alpha DSLR-A700, Sony's £1,124 inc VAT, 12Mp digital single-lens reflex camera, brings to mind terms like "massive," "brick-like," and "complex". With its deep righthand grip and 1.25Kg weight (which includes the zoom lens in the kit we tested), it feels big and heavy.

That impression is, however, a bit deceiving. The Sony Alpha DSLR-A700's body is comparable in size to the Canon EOS 30D, and most of the Sony's weight is in the lens - the body, without a battery, is 0.68g, less than the 30D or the Samsung Digimax GX-10 we reviewed at the same time as the Sony. Some of that savings in weight comes from the Sony's magnesium body, which should also add to its overall durability.

Unlike some other digital SLR brands, Sony did not go cheap on the kit lens bundled with its camera: The £1,124 inc VAT price includes a zoom lens with an appealing 24mm to 158mm (35mm equivalent) focal length.

Purchasing the body alone reduces the price again. Apart from this lens, however, the number of other lenses and accessories available for this model is limited.

Complex the Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 certainly is - it probably has more exposure controls than any other DSLR we've seen to date. That said, the camera's ease of use is still exceptionally good. Like most current DSLRs, it has fore and aft selector dials for quickly changing shutter speeds, aperture values, and exposure compensation.

But it also has a healthy number of nicely placed, well-labeled, dedicated buttons for key controls such as white balance, drive mode, ISO setting, and metering modes.

Our favourite feature, however, is the Function button on the back of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A700. In shooting mode, the Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 displays a comprehensive summary of your exposure settings on its 3in LCD.

By pressing the Function button, then working the mini-joystick and the selector dials, you can directly select and change any of the displayed settings right on the screen. It's extremely quick and intuitive.

Other high points for the Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 include slots for both Memory Stick Pro Duo and Compact Flash media; built-in optical image stabilisation that works with all of Sony's Alpha lenses; 5-frames-per-second (fps) burst shooting; three memory registers for custom user settings; plus a wireless remote and an HDMI port for viewing your images on a high-definition display.

Image bracketing options in the Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 are extensive. In addition to the usual automatic exposure bracketing, it has white balance, flash bracketing with one shot, and two levels of dynamic-range bracketing. This latter feature is useful in scenes with extremely high contrast.

In a test shot that included the interior of a room and a window with a bright outdoor scene, turning up the dynamic range greatly improved shadow detail, although with a slight overexposure of the highlights.

NEXT PAGE: testing the Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 and our expert verdict > >

Visit Digital Photography Advisor for the latest camera reviews, plus digital photography tips and tricks

Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Expert Verdict »

Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 (Body Only) reviews verified by Reevoo

Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 (Body Only)Scores 9.0 out of 10 based on 36 reviews
12.24 effective megapixel CMOS sensor with on-chip A/D conversion and dual noise reduction
BIONZ image processing engine
3in LCD screen
optical image stabilisation
magnesium body with aluminium alloy chassis and controls
5-frames-per-second (fps) burst shooting
three memory registers for custom user settings
wireless remote
HDMI port
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 6 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

With its sharp, 12Mp imaging and with more exposure controls than most photographers - amateur or professional - will likely use, the beefy and finely designed Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 rises to nearly pro-level photography, making it well worth its £1,124 price tag. It is limited mostly by its relatively narrow range of available lenses and accessories.

  • Sony Alpha DSLR-A300 review

    Sony Alpha DSLR-A300

    The Sony Alpha DSLR-A300's smooth Live View handling makes this model worth consideration for anyone graduating from a point-and-shoot camera.

  • Sony DSLR-A390 review

    Sony DSLR-A390

    The Sony DSLR-A390 is an entry-level digital SLR camera that can take great pictures, but it's not high on usability.

  • Sony Alpha a330 review

    Sony Alpha a330

    With a petite size and a relatively low price, the 10Mp Sony Alpha a330 builds on the strong foundation laid by its predecessor, the a300.

  • Sony Alpha 100 digital SLR camera

    Sony Alpha 100 digital SLR camera

    Introduced with much fanfare last summer as Sony's first foray into the sub-professional DSLR market, how will the 10Mp Sony Alpha 100 fare in comparison with the newer models?

  • Sony Alpha A380 digital SLR camera review

    Sony Alpha A380 digital SLR camera

    Neither bottom-of-the-range DSLR nor semi-professional tool, the Sony Alpha A380 is aimed squarely at family users and enthusiastic amateurs.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model