Sony Debuts New DSLR Cameras

Posted by at 10:06 pm on August 24, 2010

Sony has introduced two new alpha cameras (models SLT-A55V and SLT-A33) that adopt Sony’s newly-developed Translucent Mirror Technology.

Translucent Mirror Technology was developed to provide performance previously unattainable with traditional DSLR technology. Using the new technology, the a55 and a33 models can continuously and quickly focus (with TTL phase-detection) while shooting stills and recording video-”even in full HD.   They can shoot continuously at up to 10 frames per second on the a55 (and up to seven on the a33.

Translucent Mirror Technology

Both cameras are equipped with a translucent mirror, which enables light passing through the lens to be simultaneously received by the image sensor and the auto focus sensor, allowing continuous shooting and continuous focusing at speeds never before possible. The a55 offers the world’s fastest 10 fps high-speed burst shooting with continuous AF (TTL phase-detection) in an interchangeable lens digital camera with APS-C sensor.

Because of its structure, the Translucent Mirror Technology does away with the motion of raising and lowering the mirror. The absence of the moving mirror mechanism contributes to making the whole body size significantly compact compared to traditional DSLR cameras.

By eliminating the need to raise and lower the mirror between shots, the technology makes it possible to achieve focusing while images are captured. Existing systems can only focus in the interval between image capture, limiting the ability to track fast moving subjects. The cameras also have continuous Advance Priority AE Mode and will automatically adjust for the best exposure to help you get the most professional looking results.

High-Speed Capture with Auto Focus

Additionally, a newly developed 15-point AF system assures ultra-fast, high precision focusing. The high-speed shooting with continuous Phase Detect AF tracks rapidly moving subjects accurately.

Creative Video Capture

The continuous phase detect AF also works in movie shooting for the first time in the world. The Translucent Mirror Technology also allows the a55 and a33 to be the first cameras to ever maintain continuous phase detection AF while recording Full HD AVCHD video. With fast, precise phase detection AF continually tracking subject movement, even fast action and subjects that move quickly towards or away from the camera are easy to keep in focus.

With a 16.2 megapixel (for the a55) and 14.2 megapixel (for the a33) Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, background defocusing effects can be easily captured. The APS-C sensor size is nearly 20 times larger than a traditional compact camcorders’ 1/2.88 type image sensor, providing more creative control.

Compatible with all A-mount lenses, video and photography enthusiasts alike can choose from macro to telephoto lenses to achieve their desired artistic effect.

Full-time Live View

Full-time Live View offers freestyle shooting versatility with fast, precise AF using either the viewfinder or LCD monitor. The a55 and a33 have a fully articulated 3-inch 921,600 Xtra Fine LCD with TruBlack technology with 100 percent coverage.

The Tru-Finder eye-level viewfinder provides a  combination of 100 percent coverage and 1.1x magnification for easy and natural framing. By combining Translucent Mirror and Tru-Finder technologies, a33 and a55 are the first interchangeable lens digital cameras to offer movie recording with the familiar eye-level shooting style -“ a significant advantage in fast moving and extreme lighting conditions (bright sunlight and low-light situations).

The variable angle tilt LCD is adjustable to accommodate shooting from low or high angles. The electronic view finder has a high-resolution effective 1.15 million dots conversion Xtra Fine LCD display, is bright and easy to see even in low light, has a selectable shooting parameter display and shows the effects of exposure and white balance adjustments.

Advanced Shooting Features

With an Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, BIONZ high-speed image processing engine and ultra-high ISO sensitivity (ISO 100-12,800), the a55 and a33 cameras offer advanced shooting features.

Auto HDR shoots and combines three frames into a single high dynamic range (HDR) photo with rich shadow and highlight detail. Multi frame NR shoots and combines six frames into a single photo, enabling smooth low-light imaging at half the noise level. Hand-held Twilight shoots and combines six frames into a single photo, suppressing blur to enable clear night-scene imaging without a tripod or flash.

3D Sweep Panorama technology creates two images from a single frame, enabling panoramic photos to be viewed in 3D on compatible 3D systems and other devices that support 3D technology. Using the a55 model, built-in GPS capability enables global positioning coordinates to be recorded along with the date and time. HDMI connectivity enables PhotoTV HD display of images on compatible Sony BRAVIA TVs.

AUTO+ (Advanced Auto) mode offers the same benefits as Auto mode and more, resulting in cleaner, more dynamic pictures and fewer missed shots. The camera automatically recognizes the correct scene mode, then quickly shoots and combines up to six shots to produce images with greater clarity, optimum dynamic range using Auto HDR technology and lower image noise using 6 shots layering technology.

Pricing and Availability

The a55 and a33 cameras will cost about $750 and $650 (respectively) for the body only and about $850 and $750 (respectively) for the body and 18-55mm zoom lens. The a33 camera will be available in September and the a55 model will be available in October at Sony Style retail stores and at authorized dealers nationwide.

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