Oct 7, 2009 at 8:26 AM
Sony's approach to the DSLR market has been an interesting one to watch - the first generation of the A2XX/3XX family was a three-camera assault on a market that most manufacturers had tried to address with a single model. Sony instead created three cameras that placed greater emphasis on attracting new users across from compact cameras (whether that be through price or what was, at the time, the most seamless, compact-like live view system on the market), rather than simply stripping down their higher-end models. With the recent refresh of that range, its cameras have moved even further towards a compact-user friendly interpretation of what an entry-level offering should look like - with the predictable result that the A230, A330 and A380 have prompted disappointment and even derision from the company's DSLR fanbase.However, the launch of the A500 and A550 make it clear not only that Sony wasn't aiming for existing DSLR users with its 2XX / 3XX series but also that it intends to break the entry level market down into more segments than any other manufacturer has before tried. So now, in the sub $900 market, Sony offers five DSLRs - the price conscious A230, the simplified A330 and A380 live view cameras and the A500 /A550 for the more experienced DSLR user.