Photos: Hands-on with the Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 and A700

Sony has provided Alpha dSLR kit to climber Mike Robertson as he scaled British landmarks. The Alpha A350, packing 14 megapixels, image stabilisation and live view, must have a head for heights

Sony has been getting extreme, with the Alpha range kitting out climber Mike Robertson for a camera adventure. This barmy wall-crawler has been scaling buildings across Britain, including the Blackpool Tower, Newport Transporter Bridge and the rotating Glasgow Tower. At an exhibition to show some of Robertson's dizzying pictures, we felt it wise to keep our feet on the ground and checked out some of the new arrivals to the Alpha range: the Alpha DSLR-A700 and Alpha DSLR-A350.

The A350 is a 14.2-megapixel SLR. Even in our brief time with the model, we were impressed with the speed and accuracy of the autofocus. Even with live view enabled, there wasn't much delay in snapping, thanks to Sony's method of keeping the mirror up while composing using a secondary mirror. Sony claims 2 frames per second with live view running, which sounds about right from the shooting we did.

The A350 is lightweight and sturdy, with image stabilisation and an anti-dust filter, all of which are presumably useful while hanging on to the wrong side of a window 30 stories up in a Birmingham winter. Speaking as someone that comes over all giddy reaching for the liquor shelf, this Craver is happy to leave that sort thing to the professionals.

This side-on view shows the unique fold-out screen. Unlike other cameras with movable screens that adopt the twisty-flexy camcorder form factor, such as the Olympus E-3 or Panasonic DMC-L10, Sony has gone for this concertina-style display. Click through for more on this innovative live view system, and some other Alpha males with a penchant for dangling off buildings. -Rich Trenholm

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