Blog Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Review: A Capable Full-Frame Camera for Photographers

In this post, we'll be reviewing the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850, a full-frame camera that promises to deliver excellent image quality and advanced features. We'll go through its key specs and features, discuss its pros and cons, and help you decide if it's the right camera for you.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 article cover photo

Key Features

Apr 15 2010


25 megapixels


Sensor TypeFull frame

Other similar cameras

Overview of the Alpha DSLR-A850

If you're a professional or an enthusiast photographer, you know that having a full-frame camera can make a world of difference in terms of image quality and overall performance. The Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 is one such camera that promises to deliver top-notch image quality and features to match. In this review, we'll dive into its key specs such as its 24.6-megapixel resolution, full-frame CMOS sensor, and advanced autofocus system. We'll also discuss its pros and cons, including its build quality, battery life, and ease of use. Finally, we'll give our verdict on whether it's a camera worth investing in. So, without further ado, let's get started!

Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High image quality and resolution
Full-frame sensor
Wide dynamic range
Fast autofocus
Durable build quality
Wide lens compatibility
Good low-light performance
Large viewfinder
Easy to operate


No live view
Heavy and bulky
Limited video recording capabilities
Slow burst rate
No built-in flash
Expensive compared to entry-level cameras
Might require additional investment in lenses
Slow start-up time
No built-in image stabilization

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Sony Alpha DSLR-A850

Weather sealed
Dimensions156 x 117 x 82mm

Weather Sealing

The Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 camera is equipped with environmental seals that make it resistant to weather, preventing water and dust from entering the camera. If you enjoy outdoor photography and need a camera that can handle extreme conditions, the Alpha DSLR-A850 is an excellent choice.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderOptical (pentaprism)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution922k dots
Body typeMid-size SLR

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 922k dots. This makes the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


Alpha DSLR-A850 includes a optical (pentaprism) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of 98% and a magnification of 0.74x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 has a 25MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 25 pixels. Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 has a native ISO range of 200 - 3200 which can be boosted to null - 6400. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Apr 15 2010


200 - 3200

ISO Range

SensorFull frame
Extended ISOnull - 6400
Max resolution6048 x 4032 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


79 / 102

Color Depth

23.8 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

12.2 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

1415 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 camera has above average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also above average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the Alpha DSLR-A850 is average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: Full frame



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageCompact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA, Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo
Battery Life880 shots
Battery ModelNP-FM500H
Wireless Connectivity


The Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 supports Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA, Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo with 2 slots for storage. Having dual SD card slots on the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 is highly advantageous as it mitigates the risk of losing footage due to memory card malfunctions. This feature is particularly beneficial for wedding photography and other professional settings.


The Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 uses the NP-FM500H model of battery pack. This is rated for 880 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 does not have a built-in flash, but it does offer a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/8000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 includes phase detection autofocus (AF), with 9 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850?

The Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 features a CMOS sensor

Is the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 weather sealed?

Yes the Alpha DSLR-A850 does have weather sealing.

When was the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 announced?

The Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 was announced on Apr 15 2010

Does the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the Alpha DSLR-A850 does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A850?

The Alpha DSLR-A850 has a native ISO range of 200-3200, which can be expanded to ISO null-6400 for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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