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The A200's photos start out a bit soft--at least with the 18-70mm kit lens--but don't lose much detail to noise suppression even as high as ISO 3200. Edges start to lose cohesion between ISO 800 and ISO 1600. (ISO 400 and ISO 800 photos were indistinguishable in this context.)

Updated:Caption:Photo:CNET Labs

Color noise becomes visible far sooner than detail loss in the A200's photos--at about ISO 800.

Updated:Caption:Photo:CNET Labs

If you're willing to shoot raw and do your own post-processing, you can get far better noise results at ISO 3200 than the built-in settings. I found Sony's Image Data Converter raw-processing software too unwieldy for the work; it's too slow to provide the feedback necessary to juggle the different parameters.

Updated:Caption:Photo:CNET Labs

I managed to get a relatively sharp handheld capture at 1/10 second. The 18-70mm kit lens produces slightly soft images to start with--this photo is generally representative of the A200's overall sharpness.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin

The A200 renders a reasonably wide dynamic range in the midtones, though it tends to clip highlights and shadows a bit more than I'd like. Sony's Dynamic Range Optimization opens the midtones even further.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin

Overall, the A200's photos were relatively soft (with the 18-70mm kit lens), and didn't get much sharper with tweaked settings. And despite reasonable speed results in our lab tests, I found the camera too slow for shooting active subjects, like kids and animals. Between the extra-loud shutter and limited raw continuous shooting, the fact that I actually got this shot is a complete accident.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin
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