Price When Reviewed: 510
Pros: Built-in camera-shake system makes every lens behave as if image-stabilized, and the Minolta A-mount provides access to a large legacy of Minolta lenses.
Cons: Not the all-new camera we were hoping for, the Alpha inherits some of the less ambitious specs of the earlier Konica Minolta 5D, such as the closely grouped 9-point AF system, sluggish operation, and only average low-light performance.
The Alpha 100 is Sony’s first digital SLR. It’s the first effort from the company since it acquired assets and facilities from Konica Minolta’s photographic business, and the 10.2mp camera reflects the collaboration between the two companies.
Although Sony has dropped the Dynax and Maxxum branding in Europe and the US, the Alpha moniker is not
new – it was originally Minolta’s brand name for its film and digital SLRs in the Japanese market.
The collaboration has given Sony a credible lens system to work with – the new Alpha 100 retains the Minolta A-type bayonet mount, and compatibility with the vast majority of Minolta and Konica Minolta’s Dynax and Maxxum branded AF lenses. New lenses are promised too, including some obscure designs – thanks to Sony’s relationship with Carl Zeiss.