The baby of the bunch is the &alpha 280 which comes with a 10.2-megapixel CCD sensor, 2.7-inch fixed LCD and weighs 450g. The &alpha 330 is a touch heftier at 490g, it has the same sensor but the bonus here is that you get a tilt LCD. Last up is the &alpha 380 which is identical to the &alpha 330 except it’s got 14.2 megapixels of resolution power and it’s possibly not worth spending the extra on.
Those specs aside, you’re essentially looking at the same beast whichever you splash out on. They all use the BIONZ processor for all the CPU power, they each offer ISOs up to 3200 and they’ll let you fire off at 2.5fps.
The Minolta and Konica Minolta lens compatibility ensures you’re getting some quality at the business end of the camera but I feel a little cheated they haven’t stepped up to the plate with CMOS sensors. Feels like they’ve kept the best bit from consumers despite the step up you may have made.
There’s some decent tech in the shape of the in-body image stabilisation and the improved quick AF in live view mode, and there’s probably just the right amount of options to play with in terms of white balance, exposure and light metering.
Prices and dates when we get them but rest assured that Sony isn’t going to freeze you out with their weirdo proprietary memory sticks. You can use them if you want but all three cameras come with SD/SDHC compatibility too. And, once you’ve had it with the kit lens and you want a little more for your burgeoning shutter addiction, Sony is also releasing a bunch of lenses.
The DT-50 (F1.8) is a fixed 50mm piece of glass for portraits; if you want to get nice and wide there’s the DT18-55mm (F3.5-5.6); you can go long with the DT 55-200mm (F4-5.6) and there’s also a 1:1 macro lens, the DT 30mm F2.8, for extreme close-up photography. Enjoy yourself.