- Sony DSLR Advantages
- Sony DSLR Cameras - Good
- Sony DSLR Cameras - Better
- Sony DSLR Cameras - Best
- Sony DSLR Cameras - Continuing the Minolta Legacy
photo by oatawa via iStock
Mirrorless cameras are a huge market segment for photography companies like Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm, Canon, and others. Sony is certainly one of the leaders in this segment of the market.
With so much attention being given to their mirrorless cameras, we can sometimes forget that Sony DSLR cameras are also a big deal in serious photography. You can find a Sony DSLR at all levels, from entry-level to intermediate to full-fledged professional cameras.
So, what Sony DSLR cameras are available?
There are several to consider, and you can find them at my favorite online platform, MPB. Since there are a limited number of current production Sony DSLRs, finding one as a used camera becomes a top choice.
Buying pre-owned photography gear such as a Sony Alpha DSLR is a smart move for several reasons, one of which is saving money. Additionally, you want stuff you know works perfectly from a seller you can trust, which is my number one reason for using MPB as much as I do.
Get to know MPB with this video from their YouTube channel:
MPB also has a 6-month warranty and a 7-day return window on most items they sell. Their accurate condition rating descriptions also provide an easy buying experience. Besides having a huge stock of gear for you to shop, MPB lets you trade up and trade in your old gear for newer, better, or more needed cameras and lenses. You can also sell outright to MPB.
At MPB, finding out which of the Sony DSLR cameras they made recently will be the right one for you will be a simple job. Let’s have a look at a few options to consider!
Table of Contents:
Sony DSLR Advantages
Sony has been a major player in photography digital imaging since the early 2000s but has been involved in home video since 1965 and first started in magnetic still imaging in 1981 with the Sony Mavica. In 2006, Sony introduced their first DSLR, which used Minolta A-mount interchangeable lenses.
Between 1981 and 2006, Sony made several point-and-shoot digital cameras with various levels of resolution and sophistication. In the meantime, Minolta reorganized their camera business several times until they turned over all consumer still photography interests to Sony.
This put Sony in a great position to leverage all that expertise into making fantastic and high-quality still photography camera systems by introducing their Sony DSLR cameras for beginners, intermediate users, and professionals.
I’ll go a little deeper into this legacy after discussing a short list of three Sony DSLR cameras I found at MPB, listed as Good, Better, and Best.
Sony DSLR Cameras - Good
The earliest of the Sony DSLR cameras on my list is the Sony Alpha 550 or a550. This Sony Alpha DSLR was originally introduced in 2009 and has an APS-C format 14.2MP sensor with an ISO range of 100 to 12,800.
A huge advantage this camera gives users is the Steady Shot Inside in-camera image stabilization. This image stabilization works with any lens mounted to the camera, even a third-party A-mount lens designed for 1980s vintage Maxxum cameras.
It is very comfortable to hold with its large handgrip, and the focus noise is very low. The interesting thing about this Sony DSLR is that it has no video recording mode, an oddity in this era of digital cameras. On the plus side, the price point of this camera is remarkably low, making it a great beginner option for Sony DSLR cameras.
Sony DSLR Cameras - Better
Next up in the Better slot is the 2015 release date Sony Alpha a77ii camera. It has a 24.3MP APS-C format sensor with an ISO range of 100 to 51,200. Nicely proportioned, the environmentally sealed body has a nice feel and is made from durable and lightweight magnesium alloy.
The improved Steady Shot Inside image stabilization is built into the camera and is not reliant on any lens electronics. The autofocus is very good, with multiple modes and 79 AF points. It also has an advanced face detection AF system for improved speed and accuracy in photos of people.
This camera records high-quality video in Full HD and has a stereo mic for audio. The video is very smooth and can use image stabilization while recording, though it crops the field a bit to do so.
Sony DSLR Cameras - Best
The Sony Alpha SLT a99 with a 24.3MP Full Frame format sensor is a standout model of the available Sony DSLR cameras. The a99 is labeled as SLT for single lens translucent mirror. The mirror is fixed and transmits most of the light through to the sensor, allowing for high-speed cycling, and only costs about 2/3rds of a stop in light transmission from the lens.
It can record still images in 14-bit RAW for increased quality and has an ISO range of 100 to 25,600. A rapid and very accurate 102-point AF with a huge array of lenses makes this camera a great choice for all types of serious photography.
This Full Frame camera is beginner friendly, professionally capable, and built with pro-level ruggedness and user-friendly features and controls. You find this camera in Excellent condition at MPB for under $900, making this camera a steal as one of the best Sony DSLR cameras.
Sony DSLR Cameras - Continuing the Minolta Legacy
Photo by LesPalenik via iStock
Every now and then, I like to wax nostalgic about cameras and brands I grew up with. Minolta was always one of my favorite brands to read about and use. “Only from the mind of Minolta” was their tagline for a while, and Minolta had quite a mind.
Beginning in 1928, Minolta made high-quality and innovative film cameras and, in the 1970s, partnered with E. Leitz on projects that resulted in precision photographic tools like the Minotla XD-11 and Leica R-3. A Minolta patent introduced OTF (off-the-film plane) metering.
Leitz and Minolta also collaborated in the 1970s and beyond on the groundbreaking Correfot autofocus system, which ended up in Minolta introducing the first commercially successful AF 35mm SLR system, the Minolta Maxxum. Interestingly, the lens mount they introduced for that camera line is the A-mount, the same mouth used by Sony DSLR cameras.
Sony had a cooperative relationship with another premier lens company, Zeiss. Minolta has made award-winning lenses under their Rokkor brand for years, even mining and making the raw glass material for the lens elements. Leica chose Minolta to create a new line of professional cameras. And then, most recently, Sony took over cameras from Minolta.
This history is important to me (and to you) because it shows how much expertise for imaging, lens making, and camera design is behind Sony DSLR cameras. Any Sony DSLR choice you make will be a good one!