PopPhoto.com put the Sony Alpha 350 through its paces and noted its performance and appealing features in this review by Michael McNamara. In a nutshell, hereâ€™s what Mike found:
â€¢ 14.2MP and Excellent image quality at an affordable price.
â€¢ Tilting 2.7-inch LCD with live view and quick live AF.
â€¢ Super SteadyShot IS for 2.5-3 stops’ advantage.
â€¢ Fast, sensitive AF system.
â€¢ Tunnel-vision viewfinder with small data display.
â€¢ LCD doesn’t swivel against body for protection.
â€¢ Relatively slow 2.5 fps burst.
â€¢ Noisy shadows at ISOs above 1600.
The review notes, â€œThe Sony’s real AF advantage becomes obvious in live view. In addition to the imaging sensor, a second, lower-resolution sensor sends a live signal to the LCD. While this two-chip system is similar in concept to that of the groundbreaking Olympus Evolt E-300, the Sony has a unique two-mirror design that lets light hit both the imaging sensor for live view and the AF array simultaneously. That means AF occurs at nearly the same speed when you use live view as when you use the optical viewfinder — there’s no delay while the mirror swings up and down as with the live-view AF systems on competing DSLRs.â€
Michael notes that the $800 Sony Alpha 350 may appeal to first-time DSLR buyers who will use the live-view monitor more than the optical viewfinder.