Sony A850

Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 front
  • 25MP - Full frame Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 200 - 3200 (Increase to 6400)
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1/8000s Max Shutter
  • No Video
  • Sony/Minolta Alpha Mount
  • 895g - 156 x 117 x 82mm
  • Launched April 2010
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Sony A850 overview

Sony A850 is Sony's Advanced DSLR digital camera initially revealed on April of 2010. The camera includes a 25MP, CMOS Full frame size sensor with a maximum resolution of 6048 x 4032.

The A850 is scored #43 out of 92 in Advanced DSLR cameras and all round #255 out of 1465 for cameras in our database. Remember to use our Advanced camera search to see camera ratings based on your custom factors.

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The following is a chart of various criteria used in the scoring system.

Sony A850 history

The Sony A850 comes with a history of related cameras. Listed below, you can look at all older and the latest models along with important features.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Sony-Alpha-A99-II front thumbnailSony A99 II
A850 vs A99 II
42MPFull frame12.0 fps2016
Sony-SLT-A99 front thumbnailSony A99
A850 vs A99
24MPFull frame10.0 fps2012
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Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A850 front thumbnailSony A85025MPFull frame3.0 fps2010
Sony-Alpha-DSLR-A900 front thumbnailSony A900
A850 vs A900
25MPFull frame5.0 fps2008

Sony A850 Pros and Cons

Here is a selection of advantages and drawbacks of the Sony A850 based on features that are often viewed as crucial in a digital camera.

amazing megapixels (25MP)
comes with HDMI port
comes with Top screen
environment sealing
great sensor size (Full frame)
has double storage slots
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
manual focus
max shutter speed is good (1/8,000 seconds)
saves RAW formats
screen has good resolution (922 thousand dot)
screen size is decent (3 inches)
supports phase detect auto focus
swap lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
does not have external mic port
does not have headphone port
does not have Time Lapse function
no articulating screen
no liveview feature
no video
painfully slow continuous shooting (3.0 frames/s)
screen is not selfie friendly
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Sony A850 Sensor information

The Sony A850 is powered by the Bionz processor. The size of the sensor in the Sony A850 is 35.9mm x 24mm (Full frame). The 862 mm² sensor has the capability to resolve 6048 x 4032 pixels using aspect ratios of 3:2 and 16:9. The camera has got Image Stabilization (Sensor based). Optical stabilization is superior than digital stabilization as the latter can easily lead to cropping.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 25MP and features a standard ISO range of 200 - 3200. The ISO can also be increased digitally to a maximum of 6400. RAW files are supported therefore the user has more room to maneuver in post.

The picture below illustrates the A850's sensor size when compared to other popular sizes. The A850 sensor comes with a crop factor of 1 and is highlighted in green.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 sensor size Photography Glossary

To get an understanding of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony A850 dimensions

Sony A850 has a weight of 1.97 pounds (895 gr / 31.57 ounces) and features outer dimensions of 156mm x 117mm x 82mm (6.1" x 4.6" x 3.2"). The weight of normal Advanced DSLR camera is 776 gr so the Sony A850 is weightier as compared with other competitors.

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The following is a visual of the Sony A850 next to a soda so you're able to have a sense of its size.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 dimensions scale

The top view below will show the button design on the A850.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 topview buttons dials

Sony A850 Lens information

The A850 fits the Sony/Minolta Alpha mount and has 145 lenses available in the market. Here is some of the lenses we have in our collection that will work with the A850.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Sony-35mm-F1.4-G lensSony 35mm F1.4 G35mmf/1.4 510g
Samyang-T-S-24mm-f3.5-ED-AS-UMC-Sony-Alpha lensSamyang T-S 24mm f3.5 ED AS UMC24mmf/3.5 680g
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Sigma-70-300mm-F4-5.6-APO-DG-Macro-Sony-Alpha lensSigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro70-300mmf/4.0-5.6 550g
Sigma-APO-Macro-180mm-F2.8-EX-DG-OS-HSM-Sony-Alpha lensSigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM180mmf/2.8 1640g
Sigma-50mm-F2.8-EX-DG-Macro-Sony-Alpha lensSigma 50mm F2.8 EX DG Macro50mmf/2.8 320g
Tamron-SP-AF-60mm-F2-Di-II-LD-IF-Macro-Sony-Alpha lensTamron SP AF 60mm F2 Di II LD IF Macro60mmf/2.0 400g
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Lensbaby-Sol-45-DSLR-Sony-Alpha lensLensbaby Sol 45 DSLR45mmf/3.5144g
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Sony A850 Connectivity

The A850 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that include NFC or Bluetooth compatibility can be controlled wirelessly through smartphones. You are able to transfer files and at times adjust settings without connecting physically with the camera.

Certain apps also allow a Liveview and click the shutter whenever you aren't near the camera. If the camera has a HDMI out, it can be connected to an external screen. Many cameras will allow you to recharge the battery using the USB port.

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Sony A850 Video information

Sony A850 does not capture video. In case you are searching for a digital camera to shoot just images, it might not be a concern.

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Sony A850 Weather Sealing

Sony A850 has got environment sealing which makes it a fantastic option to use in challenging places. This is especially beneficial whenever you are unsure about the conditions you may encounter in outdoor photography.

Sony A850 Screen and Viewfinder

The Sony A850 includes a 3 inch fixed display having a resolution of 922 thousand dots.

Please be aware that the display screen offers no touch support. The A850 also includes a Top screen so its possible to quickly look at the camera's settings.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 screen and viewfinder Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing

The ViewFinder details regarding Sony A850 are the following:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • Coverage 98%
  • Magnification 0.74x

Viewfinders can be quite helpful in bright outdoor conditions which will make the camera screen washed out and hard to view.

Sony A850 Shutter information

Sony A850 has the capability to shoot continuously at 3.0 frames/s. The highest shutter speed is 1/8000 sec.

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Sony A850 Flash and Hot shoe information

Sony A850 has got external flash ability but is lacking integrated flash. The max flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

Sony A850 Autofocusing information

Sony A850 has got both Phase Detect Autofocus along with Contrast Based Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot faster & accurate as compared with Contrast Based focusing.

The AF system includes 9 focus points to choose from. Sony A850 supports manual focusing when needed in low light scenarios or you need more precise focusing control.

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Sony A850 Battery life

The battery (NP-FM500H) on the Sony A850 is built to last for 880 photos according to the CIPA benchmarks making it about the same as its competitors. The general Advanced DSLR camera battery life is 909. Nikon D780 features the highest possible (2260) battery life in this range of cameras.

Listed below is a list of Advanced DSLR cameras that come with the strongest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Nikon-D850 front thumbnailNikon D850
A850 vs D850
1840 yesyesyes
Photography Glossary
Nikon-Df front thumbnailNikon Df
A850 vs Df
1400 yesnono
Canon-EOS-90D front thumbnailCanon 90D
A850 vs 90D
1300 yesnoyes
Nikon-D500 front thumbnailNikon D500
A850 vs D500
1240 yesyesyes

Sony A850 for various kinds of photography

The following chart indicates a summation of the Sony A850 for various kinds of photography. To view more, visit the specific paragraph below.

Sony A850 Portrait photography advice

The Sony A850 has a points tally of 72 which is above average, meaning that it is a respectable choice for portrait images. Photographing portraits favors heavily to sensor dimension, support for RAW files along with the flexibility to use external flash.

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manual focus
sensor resolution is fantastic (25MP)
sensor size is great (Full frame)
exports RAW formats
doesn't have liveview

Sony A850 Street photography factors

Having a above average points tally of 66, the Sony A850 is a very decent pick for street photography. A decent street photography camera comes with a perfect balance of picture quality and portability.

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built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is great (Full frame)
exports RAW formats
weather proof
fixed screen

Sony A850 Sports photography highlights

A nice sports photography score of 71 indicates the Sony A850 is a good option for taking pictures of sports. A camera needs to have fantastic tracking plus fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

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maximum shutter speed is high (1/8,000s)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
megapixel count excellent (25 megapixels)
big sensor size (Full frame)
weather sealing
comes with phase detect auto focus
no liveview
slow continuous shooting (3.0 frames per second)

Sony A850 Travel photography advice

Size is super critical in picking a travel camera. Overall, the Sony A850 gets a decent 55 for a travel camera which makes it reasonably suited to purchase for your vacations.

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environment sealing
excellent megapixels (25MP)
does not have Time Lapse mode
screen is not selfie friendly

Sony A850 Landscape photography advice

If you're planning to choose a camera for landscape photographs, the most important aspect will be image quality. The Sony A850 at it's very good rating of 73 as a landscape camera is a very decent fit in the current market.

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has manual focus
switch lenses (Sony/Minolta Alpha mount)
screen size is good (3 inches)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
MP count amazing (25 megapixels)
great sensor size (Full frame)
saves RAW formats
weather proof
2 card slots
does not have liveview
does not have Timelapse recording

Vlogging with Sony A850

A camera for vlogging ought to come with a moving display, mic port and preferably IBIS. Taking all things into account, the Sony A850 is not really good as a vlog camera as it comes to a horrible rating of 9.

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lack of video recording

Sony A850 Alternatives

If you are interested in replacements to the A850, here is a number of the top placed cameras that fall under the family of Advanced DSLR.

The graph down below shows you a bird's eye view of the A850 vs it's highest rated rivals mentioned previously.

Here are a handful of other cameras you may see as alternate options. To check out a detailed comparison, visit the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Sony Alpha DSLR-A850
Advanced DSLR
Body design
Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Full frame
Sensor dimensions
35.9 x 24mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
25 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution
6048 x 4032
RAW data
Highest native ISO
Highest boosted ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
Autofocus touch
Autofocus continuous
Autofocus single
Autofocus tracking
Autofocus selectice
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Live view autofocus
Face detection focus
Contract detection focus
Phase detection focus
Total focus points
Lens support
Sony/Minolta Alpha
Amount of lenses
Focal length multiplier
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
3 inches
Screen resolution
922 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch functionality
Screen technology
TFT Xtra Fine color LCD
Viewfinder Information
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Slowest shutter speed
Maximum shutter speed
Continuous shooting speed
3.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance
no built-in flash
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless
External flash
White balance bracketing
Maximum flash sync
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Highest video resolution
Mic jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
895 grams (1.97 lbs)
Physical dimensions
156 x 117 x 82mm (6.1" x 4.6" x 3.2")
Battery life
880 shots
Type of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA, Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo
Storage slots
Launch pricing