July 20, 2022


Sony and Minolta SLR Weblog

Sony Alpha A200 dSLR: a Photographic Autopsy

Graphic photos of a wrecked and dismantled Sony Alpha dSLR provide insights into what's inside our digital cameras.
The English Russia website digs deep into the innards of a crushed Sony Alpha dSLR
The English Russia website digs deep into the
innards of a crushed Sony Alpha dSLR

March 17, 2010 If you’ve got a strong stomach, you might want to take a look at the A200 photo essay on the English Russia website.

The photos examine a very mangled Sony Alpha A200 dSLR. I don’t know what happened to this camera, but it’s demise was very violent. It wasn’t just dropped or knocked off an end table.

Since the site doesn’t explain how the camera got in this state, I let my imagination fill in the blanks. It might have been tossed off the observation deck of a very tall building, or someone may have left it on the roof of their car and it flew off at 70mph. It might have been run over by a truck. My favorite theory is that a paparazzi tired to surprise Chuck Norris and Norris deftly dismantled his camera with his feet.

Whatever happened to the poor A200, its days as a fine photographic instrument are over. The only thing this wreck of a camera could capture is dust.

But that isn’t to say the dSLR is completely useless. It will never record an image to a memory card again, but it can serve as a learning tool. The people at the English Russia site grabbed a screwdriver and a working camera and proceeded with a thorough autopsy of the dead dSLR.

If you love fine cameras, the photos are disturbing, but fascinating. These photos may be a little too graphic for A200 owners. Consider this a warning. If you have nightmares after visiting the site, don’t blame me.

Not a dSLR repair manual

This is not a disassembly manual. These photos won’t teach you how to repair your Sony Alpha A200.

Instead, these images are reminiscent of a high-school biology class, where the students dissect a frog to see what is inside. The students don’t intend to put the frog back together afterward, so they simply cut away muscle and sinew to get to the more interesting bits underneath.

That’s exactly what happened with the A200. They dismembered the camera to see what was inside, knowing they couldn’t hurt anything. The camera was dead, repairing it wasn’t an option. So they delved deep into the innards and recorded what they found.

I’ve seen pristine cut-away cameras from Sony and other manufacturers. Those photos don’t have the impact the photos (apparently taken by Jollypix.com) have. Looking at the guts of the camera, you gain a deeper appreciation of the complexity inside an ordinary dSLR. Don’t forget that the A200 has fewer features than Sony’s high-end dSLRs. What would the innards of an Alpha A900 or A850 look like?

My original Minolta SRT was a fully mechanical camera. The only electronic hardware was in the meter. Each subsequent SLR I bought added additional circuitry, becoming more and more electronic inside.

Examining these amazing photos shows just how far cameras have advanced from the old mechanical cameras of the past. It also makes me wonder how the inside of my dSLR can be so packed with circuits and ribbon cable, yet be so reliable. It seems like there are all manner of things that could go wrong. Yet my cameras continue to function well and record outstanding images under very demanding conditions.

These images should make all of us appreciate our cameras and how special they are. They are also a reminder to the paparazzi in us all to keep our dSLRs away from Chuck Norris!

See the Sony dSLR dissection at the English Russia website.

Additional photo at Jollypix.com