Name of product:Sony Alpha 100 DSLR
Approximate date of purchase:November 2000
I have used cameras for over 10 years, both personally and professionally, to cover special events and various service agency program activities. I previously owned a Minolta Maxxum 9000, and I now use Maxxum 35-70 and 70-210 lenses, plus 1.4 extender, as well as flashes -- now a Sigma EF 530 Super, but also Maxxum 4000 and Maxxum 2000. I do use the original Minolta lens in lieu of the Sony lens, due to macro capability. Variance in image size is minimal and easily managed. Always use a lens hood for proper light control. Also use a cable release for tripod work
The only service problem with the Sony Alpha 100 camera was the view screen failed after a drop not long after purchase, but it was covered by warranty without difficulty or delay. Excellent service by the camera since then, with at least thousands of pictures. Only limitation is under extremely low light conditions, when infrared focus has difficulty in achieving focus/image. I have noticed most recently that the camera sometimes fails to focus properly under autofocus -- I simply change to manual and then back to autofocus to correct the problem, but the difficulty suggests a camera service (after 10-plus years!) may soon be in order, or a replacement. I'm thinking hard about the Sony Alpha 850 or 900.
While Sony accessories (flash, batteries, cable release, lenses, etc.) tend to be somewhat pricey, they are no more so than their competition, namely Nikon and Canon.
Fits my hands comfortably and precisely, nice 35mm-type features and controls, more versatile than my Minolta 9000 -- plus no film! More reasonably priced than Canon and Nikon competitors, and at least as good quality, if not better, especially in the specification department.
Only the extremely low light focus problem I noted elsewhere, but that has since been engineered out of newer models -- or so I've read. Depending on the size of one's hands, the larger and clunkier Canon and Nikon models might be a better fit for some.