The Alpha 850, which uses the same 24.6MP Exmor CMOS sensor as the one in the Alpha 900, provided some surprises in our lab test results, notably in noise suppression.
From ISO 100 through 400, it showed about a 1-stop improvement-that is, the A850's noise level at ISO 400 (Very Low) was about the same as the A900's noise level at ISO 200.
The A850 also bested the older camera's color accuracy, with an average Delta E of 7.7 (Excellent) versus 9.0 (Extremely High).
Conversely, we got slightly lower resolution out of this new camera-although, with a difference of about 100 lines per picture height in a resolution of more than 3,000 lines, it's not enough to make us complain.
Overall, it's unlikely that an average viewer would see much of a difference, if any, between equivalent images served up by these two cameras.