Hi Camera Lovers 👋 If you buy a camera through our referral links, you support our site at no cost to you 😉 Full info here.

Sony Alpha 850 Specs and Scores

Storage & Battery
Sony Alpha 850
Alpha 850
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
August 27, 2009
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Sony Alpha 850 receives a score of 55/100 for its general specifications. Announced on August 27, 2009, this DSLR camera was released at a launch price of $2000. Measuring 156 x 117 x 82mm and weighing 895g (1.97lbs), it’s a modestly sized and weighted camera for its time. However, in today’s market, these specifications may not be as competitive, considering advancements in technology and design. The Sony Alpha 850 still has its merits, but newer models have surpassed its capabilities.

Sony Alpha 850 Overview and Optics

The optics of the Sony Alpha 850 receive a score of 65/100. With 24.6 megapixels, a shooting speed of 3 frames per second, and a CMOS sensor, the camera delivers decent performance. The Bionz processor and a DXOMARK sensor score of 79 contribute to the overall quality. The full-frame sensor size, Sony Alpha lens mount, image stabilization, and 3:2 aspect ratio are additional factors to consider.

Comparing the Sony Alpha 850 to today’s market, the camera shows its age, especially in terms of shooting speed and sensor performance. Modern cameras tend to have higher megapixels, faster shooting speeds, and improved processors. However, the full-frame sensor and image stabilization features of the Alpha 850 remain relevant and desirable.

The Sony Alpha 850 offers satisfactory optics for casual photographers, but those seeking top-of-the-line performance might find it lacking compared to newer models.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24.6 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
6048 x 4032 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
24 x 35.9 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
3 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Sony Alpha
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentaprism)

Sony Alpha 850 Video Performance

The Sony Alpha 850 lacks video capabilities. This camera focuses on photography only.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.

Sony Alpha 850 Features and Benefits

The Sony Alpha 850 feature score stands at 28/100, which might seem low, but let’s examine the specifications to understand how it competes in today’s market. The camera has a 3-inch screen, with a resolution of 921,600 dots, providing clear and crisp image previews. However, the Alpha 850 lacks a touchscreen, which is a common feature in modern cameras.

The camera does have a flip screen, offering flexibility in shooting angles. Despite this, the Alpha 850 misses essential connectivity features such as GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth, which are now standard in most cameras. These missing features limit the camera’s compatibility with other devices and hinder the user’s ability to share and transfer files seamlessly.

Considering the specifications, the Sony Alpha 850 has some useful features, but it falls short in terms of connectivity and user convenience. While it may appeal to those seeking a simple camera with a flip screen, the absence of modern features makes it less competitive in today’s market.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
921,600 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Sony Alpha 850 Storage and Battery

The Sony Alpha 850’s storage and battery receive a score of 71/100. This camera has two memory card slots, accepting Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA, Memory Stick Duo, and Pro Duo cards. While offering multiple card options, it does not support the newer and faster SDXC cards, which could limit storage capacity and transfer speeds.

The Alpha 850 uses an NP-FM500H battery, providing 880 shots per charge. This battery life is adequate for most photography sessions, but falls short compared to the latest cameras with longer battery life. Additionally, the camera lacks USB charging, making it less convenient for on-the-go charging.

Considering these factors, the Sony Alpha 850’s storage and battery capabilities are satisfactory but not exceptional in today’s market.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA, Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
880 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
23.8 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
12.2 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'
User Scores
B&H photo video
Spotted a mistake with these camera specs? Please let us know so we can update it!