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Photo samples: Sony Alpha DSLR-A350
CNET Reviews staff
The A350's noise profile is good, but not great, for its class. Photos look very nice up to and including ISO 800, with a minimal increase in softness. However, at ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 color noise kicks in and smeariness from the noise suppression algorithms degrades detail. Note that these test shots were taken with the 18-70mm kit lens, which isn't terribly sharp to start.
The A350 maintains a reasonable dynamic range (your browser may display this image a bit darker than it is), with plenty of shadow detail and solid highlights. This photo was shot with the 11-18mm f4.5-5.6 lens.
As happens too frequently, I forgot to turn on the flash before shooting this (bottom inset). However, I was able to bring up the exposure with Sony's serviceable Image Data Converter SR RAW-processing software (at review time, Adobe Camera RAW did not yet support this model). As you can see, the photos retain excellent color saturation. There was some shadow clipping in the black part of Thai-Dye's nose, but the resulting noise (inset) wasn't too bad. This was shot with the 24-70mm f2.8 Zeiss lens.
Sony's SteadyShot sensor-shift stabilization buys you about four stops. This was shot at the far end of the 70-200mm f2.8 lens (effective focal length 300mm) at f5.0 and 1/10 sec. It's a bit soft, but that's because it was shot at ISO 800.
Generally, Sony's 18-70mm kit lens doesn't produce very sharp images (we didn't get a 55-200mm lens, available as part of the dual-lens kit). This is an example of the very best you could probably do, shot with Sony's expensive 85mm f1.4 Zeiss T* lens.