Pros Great features, great price (below given listings by $70.00 at local store), easy to use and easy to download photos directly from camera
Cons Lens are a little light and weak feeling, no lens cap holder (minor).
Summary I compared the Nikon d80, Canon xti, and Olympus 510. Features all about the same give a little here and there. For the money you could not beat this camera. I would have loved to the the D80 but at about $300. more could not justify for my use. I'm an amature getting back into SLR after 10 years of point and shoot.
I liked that the basis is set on Minolta, what I use to shoot (xg9).
Over all quite pleased, maybe more camera then I needed to shoot grand Children but I want to have fun doing it!!
"Great Camera"on by bayguy13
Pros Great camera. Fantastic for Minolta Maxxum users. Small learning curve if you've owned a Maxxum.
Cons The kit lense can't match the quality of the Minolta lenses.
Summary As a long time Minolta Maxxum owner, I was excited to find that all my Minolta lenses and virtually all the Maxxum accessories that I owned would work with the Sony Alpha series. I got the A300 and was very surprised to find that even some of the more esoteric Maxxum accessories actually worked with it. I still have the Maxxum 8000i body and I'm getting the same quality pictures with the A300.
Pros Excellent Photos, Live-view, Good Price, Good Grip, Controls
Cons Loud Shutter, Kit lense is cheap and mediocre
Summary Spectacular camera for a great price. That pretty much sums it up. It's highly functional with controls for everything that are well organized on the surface of the camera. The photos are spectacular and can be blown-up to a fairly large size. The shadow of the kit lense shows up in pictures with the flash (sometimes) but other than that and the fact the shutter is loud (a characteristic not uncommon in the world of dslrs), this is a great camera that I would recommend to anyone willing to pay the price. One great feature is live-view, an option that allows you to use the led screen to capture photos, allowing you to pull your eye away from the viewfinder. However, don't buy this camera just for that. If you really want to use the screen to capture photos, then I would suggest a good point-and-shoot. If you are tired of the limits of a point-and-shoot but dont want to pay the price for a huge, bulky, annoying DSLR, the Sony alpha-a300k is the best choice for you- Hands down.
Pros Live View Focus, CF not a sony memory card, great day time shots, in body stabilizer meaning cheap lenses YAY!!
Cons High noise at 800, 1600 forget about 3200. Must use flash to focus in low light :(
Summary Well your not limited to the Sony brand memory stick pro duo Thats a relief as it generally cost twice the price of an SD card. Instead with the sony SLR line you use a compact flash, which i find to be much more durable.
That said the ability to use Minolta lenses makes this camera slightly worth it, well assuming you have more then one lens. If not trash it and take a look at the Nikon D60 which has the same crop factor. This said the low light shooting on the Sony is ghastly and I found shooting at 800 or 1600 the pictures were pretty bad. You should also forget about shooting at 3200, I sometimes wonder why it even has that ability. Finally Also while shooting low light you will need to pop the last to autofocus as there is no dedicated light beam to help you out, (There is on the D60 though)!
During the day during far better lighting the sony does seem to preform quite well I was pleased with the colours and the shots I was able to take.
Since the stabilizer is done in the body this not only means your old minolta lenses are not stabilizer :O it also means that your lenses are much cheaper, for an example of this, compare the nikon 18-200 VR, the Canon 18-200 IS and the Sony 18-250. You will find you save a couple hundred.
This said overall if you don't need to shoot at night and your not looking for the fastest camera, then the sony may be the what your looking for, however for the price point I would advise you to look into the Nikon d 60 or for an in body stabilizer and cheaper lenses, the Olympus 520 may meet your needs, the crop factor of 2 means the 18-180 lens is that of a 36-360 lens on a 35mm. I also find that the noise is lower and although you do need to pop your flash in low light with the olympus, at least you can make sure it doesn't go off during your picture.
Pros Great Camera for beginners and it appears that growth will be viable although other manufacturers have a larger following.
Cons If you want to follow the crowd get a Nikon or Canon. (They get more respect.)
Summary Get it if you do not mind translating tips and pointers to the Sony from Canon and Nikon users. I love my camera and I hope that Sony will become a bigger player in the Prosumer/Pro market