I have had a chance to wring out the Sony A380 DSLR the past week. I have read a number of reviews which claim the image quality leaves something to be desired. I have also had opportunity to take sufficient photos with the Canon Xsi, T1i and Nikon D5000 to say the Sony A380 image quality is the equal or better than the other cameras. I have also had the chance to try the older Sony A350 and can say the image quality of the A380 has improved. The Sony RAW conversion software has changed so the A380 RAW files will not open with the older software but Sony gives you a disc where as Nikon wants $179 for their software plus the price of the camera. I used the kit lens which comes with the Sony A380 and did not feel upgrading to an expensive Zeiss lens was required for the photos I take. The articulated screen is stiff but probably will loosen up with some use. The live view on the Nikon D5000 is a joke and only suitable for taking pictures of buildings and table top photography. The live view function on the Canon is not articulated and only slightly better whereas the Sony will take live view shots of moving objects and is handy for a waist level finder. The reason the image quality was rated only 4.5 is because that is all you are going to get out of a half frame sensor no matter what brand of camera.
Now you have a choice of memory cards and can use SD cards or Pro-Duo. Also like the feel of the memory acess door as it it not flabby rubber.
My only reservation with the Sony A380 is the price which I believe should be lower when compared to the feature sets on the competition and that is why I lowered the value for the money to a 4.0.
This is not intended as a pro camera to take punishment with a metal body and a shutter rated at half a million photos and I thought the construction is equal to the Canon Xsi, T1i and Nikon D5000
2010-04-16 - 08:31:10
I am a photographer-wannabe graphic and web designer.
I have taken this product to photoquests where I've subjected it to different types of landscapes, light and climate situations -- even some soft rain.
So far it has behaved beautifully with good battery life, fast enough recording speeds and good image quality even on its lowest settings.
The lens work good, but have had trouble trying to get long distance pictures (not enough optical zoom) but it was to be expected, and can easily be fixed by attaching adequate lenses for said purpose.
Only issue may be with the LCD screen, as it tends to get scratches on its surface ratter easily, so I'd suggest you get some sort of cover for it (I haven't been able to find it where I live - Colombia, Southamerica).