Sony Introduces New Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras

Posted by at 5:37 am on May 11, 2010

Sony is moving strong in mirrorless Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens cameras by launching the Alpha NEX-3 and NEX-5.

Both have a 3-inch, 921,000-pixel preview LCD that can provide both full manual control as well as a simple UI that puts settings like aperture in layman’s terms. The panel articulates vertically for off-angle shooting and is designed for higher contrast and better visibility outdoors.

HD Movie and Panorama Modes

On the video front, NEX-3 captures up to 720p in MPEG-4, while the NEX-5 can record in H.264 up to 1080i. Either camera can also take advantage of high-speed shooting: they can shoot at up to 7 frames per second at full resolution and, with a July firmware update, will get the same sweep panorama mode that many newer Cyber-shot compacts have.

E-Mount Lenses

Three new E-mount lenses are being introduced, including a 16mm F2.8 wide angle prime lens (model number SEL16F28), an 18mm-55mm F3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens (model number SEL1855) and an 18mm-200mm F3.5-6.3 (model number SEL18200) high magnification zoom lens.

The E-mount lenses provide the cameras with extreme compactness as well as the performance required for quiet continuous auto focus and auto exposure during HD video capture. These all new lenses are of premium construction, with brushed aluminum barrels and steel mounts. An optional LA-EA1 Mount Adaptor extends compatibility to the alpha family of 30 lenses, plus a huge range of other legacy A-mount lenses (Manual Focus only).

Ideal for everyday shooting, the low-profile E 16mm F2.8 lens minimizes bulk, allowing the camera to easily be carried in a coat, pants pocket, or purse. This lens’ creative possibilities can be expanded even further by the VCL-ECU1 Ultra Wide Converter which provides a 12mm view, and VCL-ECF1 Fisheye Converter that delivers impressive curvi-linear distortion.

Featuring in-lens Optical SteadyShot image stabilization for clearer handheld images, the E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS zoom is a perfect travel partner. The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are available in kit form with either the 16mm prime or the 18mm-55mm lens. The E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS zoom lens offers a powerful 11x magnification range plus Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active mode that is used in the most advanced Handycam camcorder

Pricing and Availability

The NEX-5A and NEX-3A cameras, which are supplied with SEL16F28 lens, will cost about  $650 and  $550 respectively. NEX-5K and NEX-3K cameras, supplied with SEL1855 lens will cost about  $700 and  $600 respectively. The NEX-3 will be available in silver, black and red, and the NEX-5 in silver and black.

The SEL16F28 and SEL1855 lenses will be available for about  $250 and  $300. The SEL18200 zoom lens will be available this fall for about  $800.

The cameras, lenses and a range of accessories will be available in July at Sony Style stores and at authorized dealers nationwide.

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