This review comes courtesy of an exceptionally cool dad, Nate, my own sigOth, which I insisted on since he won’t let me near the camera. Grrr. -Liz

I can say without exaggeration that our apartment has been overrun by the most obnoxiously adorable everything in the world for Liz to consider for review. She recently caught my attention, however, with an e-mail from Sony about a new camera. I like cameras. I like new things. I can only imagine I’d like a new camera. Figuring it’d be the latest in the point-and-shoot category I feigned a vague interest in it.

Then I saw the magic letters on the box when it arrived: DSLR. This was no “parent at the park” camera one could easily throw into a purse or pocket, this was a real deal super-camera, the new Sony Alpha A 300K.

Liz never even had a chance to look at it. As soon as she walked out the door I had it out of the box and assembled in about 30 seconds. I charged the impressive battery (700-something pictures per charge) and put in the Compact Flash card with ease, ready to be transformed into a professional photographer.

Just putting it on auto and letting her rip yielded fantastic photos. But once you’ve read the manual and learned all the features you’ll realize this 10.2 megapixel camera is an ideal transition from the world of point-and-shoot. Everything is intuitive and very user-friendly, which I have come to expect from Sony. The image stabilization is great for photographing kids, and the tilting LCD screen should become a standard on all cameras for parents as it allows you to bring the camera down to child level with out having to lay on the ground to see; or you can hold it overhead to get that shot of your kid kicking the game-winning goal. (Or sitting on the bench, as the case may be.)

After two straight days of googling user reviews, it seems the consensus is the Sony Alpha takes photos on par with the Canons and Nikons in its class, but with a great “bang for your buck” price. About $600 now, although expect to shell out a bundle on lenses and accessories. (Which I’d also be happy to review, Sony. Just saying.)

As a parent I don’t need an upcoming African Safari as an excuse own a great camera.  I just need as many perfect pictures of my kids as possible. –Nate


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