Sony A350 DLSR Camera Review – Why A DLSR Camera?

by Mike Holman

Sony-DLSR-Camera-A350

As I discussed previously on a post about our Canon 200sx camera, our only camera up until about a year ago was an aging Canon PowerShot – a great camera in the day but now it was very slow and took very average shots unless the lighting was really good.  Three years ago, our first child was born which meant a huge increase in camera use.  At first the camera worked fine for us because he wasn’t mobile, but as my son started to crawl, walk and eventually run – the camera became somewhat useless because my son would not stay in one place for the several required seconds for indoor shots.  Outdoors (no flash) the camera performed better but it was still too slow.

Our solution was to buy a Sony A350 dlsr camera.  One of the big benefits of a dlsr camera over the regular point and shoot is the speed.  The dlsr is much, much faster.  If you aren’t using a flash then the difference isn’t huge since the point and shoot will probably operate with a reasonable speed but the dlsr is still noticeably faster.  Indoor shots however is a different story – our old camera would take forever and a day to take the shot whereas the dlsr still works at lightning speed.
As we found out after buying a new point and shoot – a good portion of the speed difference was because of the age of the old camera rather than the fact that it wasn’t dlsr.  However the dlsr is still significantly faster than our point and shoot (Canon 200sx).

While speed may have been our main motivator – another great feature of the dlsr is the ability to interchange lenses.  My wife has a pretty good Minolta lense from an old film camera that works great on our new DLSR.

Photography as a hobby

The dlsr we bought can be set to “automatic” which is how I like it.  It can also be set manually – my wife is a bit of a shutterbug and would like to learn more about photography so having a more advanced camera is a good tool for that.  This camera has room for expansion since you can buy different lenses and flashes for different purposes.

Picture quality

When comparing shots from our Canon and the Sony – for a lot of situations, the DLSR is definitely superior.  Inside shots in particular are almost always better with the DLSR.  The point and shoot gives a good challenge with outside shots with good lighting but the Soney (dlsr) still wins out.  The image stabilization feature is quite excellent.

Which DLSR camera to choose?

Since I’m not a camera expert, I can’t really comment on this other than to say that I really like our Sony A350.  It’s easy to use and takes great pictures.  For some better discussion on the differences between various DLSR cameras you should check out Consumer Reports.

Summary

We’re quite happy with our Sony A350 dlsr camera.  I will say however that for most situations we tend to use our smaller Canon 200sx.  We would like to use it more but with two young kids it’s hard to justify another piece of luggage when we go out somewhere.
If you have an older point and shoot and you want to upgrade but keep the same portability, I would strongly suggest just buying a new point and shoot rather than going to the DLSR since the DLSR is much bigger and a lot more expensive.  You will probably be very happy with the newer point and shoot.
If you want to really upgrade and take the best photos you can and are willing to cart around a much larger camera then the DLSR is a good choice.
If speed is a consideration then although the newer point and shoots are fast – the DLSR will be significantly faster.

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