Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 Review

Overall 44
Imaging 19
Features 38
Size 71
Price 100

Main Features

  • 12.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200 - 12800
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Tilting Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 137 x 104 x 84 mm
  • Weight: 630 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced by Sony A560.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 Summary

This review is devoted to Alpha DSLR-A500 that Sony has first introduced to the public in Aug 27, 2009. This model is a Entry-Level DSLR camera with a resolution of 12.0 MP and a APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

Sony has replaced this product with their most recent model A560.

In Entry-Level DSLR cameras (Top 10 DSLR Cameras) this model has taken rank #79 out of 200. Its Overall Score has reached 44/100 and it takes a rank of #460 out of 1174 in all Cameras.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 Compared to other DSLR Cameras

Now let's delve into more details of our Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 review by assessing its features and specs, as well as checking what pros and cons it has compared to other average products in this category.

PROs

  • Screen Type: Tilting
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Built-In Flash: Yes

CONs

  • Dxo Low Light Iso: 772
  • Number Of Focus Points: 9
  • Af Tracking: No

Complete Comparison of Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 With Other Cameras in Entry-Level DSLR Category

In this part of our review, we are going to take a closer look at the technical specs and features presented in Sony Alpha DSLR-A500. In addition, we are going to define the main pros and cons of this model and, based on this info, compare it to other average Entry-Level DSLR cameras.

Physical Characteristics Of Sony Alpha DSLR-A500

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 has the following external dimensions 137 x 137 x 84 mm (53.94 x 40.94 x 33.07″) with the weight of 630 g.

The typical weight for average Entry-Level DSLR type cameras is 539g. If we compare the average indicator to the weight of Sony Alpha DSLR-A500, we can conclude that this model is heavier than many other similar products.

Talking about the camera’s thickness, it is worth saying that Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 is wider than other average cameras from this class. Its thickness is 84mm.

Look at the pictures below to see the front and top view of Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 with the indication of this model’s dimensions:

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If you want to have a better idea of how big the Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 is, look at the pictures below to see how big it is compared to a credit card and a AA type battery.

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Finally, let's check how different are the weight and thickness of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 compared to other models from this class of cameras presented by the brand’s competitors:

Battery

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 — 520 shots
Min: 230 shots
Average: 588 shots
Max: 1900 shots

Thickness

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 — 84 mm
Min: 53 mm
Average: 73 mm
Max: 86 mm

Weight

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 — 630 g
Min: 365 g
Average: 539 g
Max: 690 g

Unfortunately, Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 comes without a waterproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and avoid water.

Unfortunately, Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 comes without a dustproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and protect your camera from external threats such as dust.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 Photo and Sensor Features

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 comes with Bionz processor. This model also boasts of a resolution of 12.0 MP and is equipped with a APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

The base of Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 has the following ISO range 200 - 12800 .

Also, this model comes with the support of the RAW file. This gives you more opportunities in terms of further processing of your files as you can pick to save them in a RAW format.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 features a 12.0 MP APS-C sensor, which is not a good pick for high-quality and detailed pictures. However, we have an alternative option for you if you were looking for higher resolution.

DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark gives us a possibility to make a clear and scientific assessment of the quality of camera sensors’ image. Sony Alpha DSLR-A500, in its turn, features a sensor that was already studied and assessed by DxO Mark. After a complete evaluation, this type of sensor has received a score of 64 for the image quality. If you are looking to see how DxO Mark has tested and evaluated the Sony Alpha DSLR-A500’s sensor.

Anti-Aliasing Filter

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 is known for the lack of anti-alias (Low-pass) filter. It is one of its essential features of the sensor built in this model. The absence of this filter contributes to a higher level of details and sharpness in the pictures you take. Yet, the lack of an anti-alias filter also enhances the possibility of more occurring in certain conditions.

Now let’s check how we can compare the size of APS-C sensor featured in Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 with other standard sensor sizes.

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Other Characteristics And Features of Sony Alpha DSLR-A500

LCD and ViewFinder

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 is equipped with a Tilting 3" LCD screen. The resolution of this model’s screen reaches 230k dots.

In addition, this model comes with a built-in Optical (pentamirror) ViewFinder.

The ViewFinder in Alpha DSLR-A500 has quite nice characteristic. Its magnification ratio is 0.53x and it also provides a coverage of 95%.

Some of the main reasons why the OVF presented in this model is a handy tool are that it allows you to see a scene without any time lag or resolution limits. Besides, it also ensures the highest level of clarity that can be elaborated by the lens and the human eye. Who can benefit from this feature? The OVF is especially handy when shooting sports events. This smart system will allow photographers to see action instantly and figure out what is the right timing for capturing a specific moment.

Max Shutter speed

Some of the other highlights of Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 are its 5.0 fps max speed and 1/4000 sec max shutter speed, which allow you to shoot continuously.

Flash

Alpha DSLR-A500 features both an embedded flash and a flash shoe, which means that you can use both built-in and external flashes depending on your needs.

Focusing

In addition, Alpha DSLR-A500 has a Face detection AF feature that quickly finds the faces that appear within the frame range and locks the focus on them automatically.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 is not equipped with any ports that would allow you to connect external headphones and microphones to it.

Connectivity and Storage

You can connect Alpha DSLR-A500 to compatible devices via its USB 2.0 or HDMI ports.

Battery Life

In concordance with generally accepted CIPA standards, the battery featured in Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 provides a shooting life of 520, while the average battery life of cameras in this class is 588 shots.

With the commonly accepted standards in mind, we can conclude that Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 is above the average indicator of battery life. However, we believe it is still a great idea to grab a few extra batteries if you are planning long photo trips.

How Good is Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 for Different Types of Photography?

In this part of our review, we are going to focus on Sony Alpha DSLR-A500’s performance in various fields of photography. Each sub-section stands for a specific photography area. In every part, we will review Sony Alpha DSLR-A500’s name performance and give it an overall score. This first spider web graph indicates how we can compare the Alpha DSLR-A500 to the average DSLR camera.

Hover your mouse over the points to see the score details for each photography type.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 for Portrait Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 performs Portrait Photography, we gave it a score of 87. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Portrait Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Portrait Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages


Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 for Street Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 performs Street Photography, we gave it a score of 77. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large APS-C(23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (137 x 104 x 84 mm)
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (9)

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 for Sports Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 performs Sports Photography, we gave it a score of 71. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 can be called a 71 model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Big size (137 x 104 x 84 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (9)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (772)
  • Small battery life (520 shots)

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 for Daily Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 performs Daily Photography, we gave it a score of 79. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (630 g)
  • Big size (137 x 104 x 84 mm)
  • Video is not available

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 for Landscape Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 performs Landscape Photography, we gave it a score of 79. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 can be called a 79 model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Landscape Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Landscape Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (11.6)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (772)

Sony Alpha DSLR-A500 Detailed Specs

General
Brand Sony
Model Alpha DSLR-A500
Announced Aug 27, 2009
Body Type Compact SLR
Lens
Manual Focus Yes
Lens Mount Sony/Minolta Alpha
Number of Lenses 141
Focal Length Multiplier 1.5x
Macro Focus Range
Screen
Screen Type Tilting
Screen Size 3″
Screen Resolution 230k dots
Live View Yes
Touch Screen No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentamirror)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 95%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.53
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s
Continuous Shooting 5.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes
Custom White Balance Yes
Image Stabilization Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
Flash Range 12
Flash Modes Auto, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless
External Flash Yes
AE Bracketing Yes
WB Bracketing Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes
Average No
Spot Yes
Partial No
AF-Area No
Center Weighted Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Scores 64
DxO Color Depth 21.8
DxO Dynamic Range 11.6
DxO Low Light ISO 772
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 23.5 x 15.6 mm
Sensor Area 366.60 mm2
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4272 x 2848
Max Native ISO 12,800
Max Boosted ISO n/a
Min Native ISO 200
RAW Support Yes
AutoFocus
AF Touch No
AF Continuous Yes
AF Single Yes
AF Tracking No
AF Selective Yes
AF Center No
AF Multi Area Yes
AF Live View Yes
AF Face Detection Yes
AF Contrast Detection No
AF Phase Detection Yes
Number of Focus Points 9
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a
Video Features
Video Resolutions n/a
Max Video Resolution
Video Formats n/a
Microphone Port No
Headphone Port No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No
Water Proof No
Dust Proof No
Shock Proof No
Crush Proof No
Freeze Proof No
Weight 630 g
Physical Dimensions 137 x 104 x 84 mm
Battery Life 520 shots
Battery Type 520 shots
Battery Model NP-FM500H
Other Features
Self Timer Yes
Timelapse Recording No
GPS
Storage Type SD/ SDHC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
Storage Slots 1

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