Sony Alpha a330 digital SLR camera
The Sony Alpha a330 is a small and lightweight D-SLR
- Extremely fast autofocus, hot shoe, dynamic range optimiser works well
- Not worth the upgrade for existing owners
Seeing as the Sony Alpha a330 contains a nearly identical feature set and the same imaging chip as its predecessor, this camera is not worth an upgrade, nor is it hearty enough to take on the latest models from Nikon and Canon. But for consumers new to DSLRs and looking for a camera with advanced features that's easy to tote around, the inexpensive Sony a330 meets its mark. It's very simple to handle - and it offers the added benefit of Live View.
Price$ 1,149.00 (AUD)
With a petite size and a relatively low price, the 10-megapixel Sony Alpha a330 builds on the strong foundation laid by its predecessor, the a300. Although this camera is clearly intended for the same new-to-digital-SLR crowd that the a300 targeted, this model is not enough of an upgrade to entice existing owners.
The Sony Alpha a330 is small and lightweight. The a330 is not an upgrade for owners of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A300. This camera is aimed squarely at the smaller-is-better crowd. Its light weight is quite convenient, but its grip is consequently smaller and may feel less comfortable and secure in larger (or even average-size) hands. With no LCD on top, the a330 instead has incorporated more functions into its buttons and control dial.
The Sony Alpha a330 still has a hot shoe for an external flash, in-camera image stabilisation, and a lovely tiltable live view screen. Fortunately, Sony's adjustments to shrink the a300 have not dented the ease of use we enjoyed on that model. We seldom had to consult the manual to find an option, and the mode dial has incorporated clean, readable scene options (such as landscape, portrait, and sports) for when you're shooting fast and loose.
In our hands-on evaluations, the Sony Alpha a330 was almost unbelievably fast to autofocus, with varying but generally correct results. The camera includes several multiweighted focus modes in addition to manual focus, and also offers multiple metering modes.
However, high-quality JPEGs from our tests often looked a little soft, likely due to the Sony Alpha a330's built-in noise reduction algorithm. While sharpening in Photoshop improved edges somewhat, shooting RAW and working on pictures on the PC achieved better results. Unfortunately, this approach is counterintuitive in a camera aimed at amateur DSLR users who may not want to spend time in an image-editing app perfecting every little detail.
The Sony Alpha a330 produced excellent, detailed macro shots using its 18-55mm kit lens. Colour was also accurate to the naked eye - vibrant but not unnatural, even with vivid reds and violets, which are often hard to render correctly. If you're looking to dial things up or down, the Sony Alpha a330 has several filters, including landscape, natural, and vivid, as well as a sunset mode. In addition, the dynamic range optimiser works well; in our tests, the feature helped render more shadow detail and also helped a little with highlight clipping (although you can't expect miracles from a high-contrast scene). In terms of digital noise, the a330 performed admirably, holding down the ugly chromatic noise until ISO 400, and much of the time, even ISO 800. (The camera offers an ISO range from 100 to 3200.)
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Moto G5 smartphone: full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTLevel 2 Desktop Support - Microsoft Office 365 experienceNSW
- FTSystems EngineerNSW
- FTInfrastructure EngineerACT
- TPBusiness Analyst / Test CoordinatorQLD
- FTDeployment Analyst / Customer Service - Minchinbury NSWNSW
- CCSenior Digital BANSW
- FTProject Control Analyst - PMONSW
- CCScrum MasterNSW
- FTSales Lead / Sales Executive - Enterprise IT Healthcare Perm - North RydeNSW
- FTCustomer Service OperatorVIC
- TPEOI - Developers and Tester (APS)ACT
- CCJava / J2EE DeveloperVIC
- FTWintel Engineer - Website hostingNSW
- CCOrganisational Change ManagerNSW
- FTOperations Manager - NV1 Cleared - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- TPTechnical AnalystVIC
- TPMS Access/SQL DBAQLD
- FTBI Developers - 4 positionsQLD
- CCSenior Data AnalystVIC
- CCConsultant - Hogan Health CheckQLD
- FTRecord Management Support OfficerACT
- FTSalesforce Marketing ConsultantNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - SalesforceVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW