Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:30 pm
Location: The Netherlands, Ridderkerk
Today Sony announced three new Alpha DSLRs to replace its entry-level models.
Here's the link to the official press release:
http://news.sel.sony.com/en/press_room/ ... 40522.html
- Bjorn -
EDIT - Thanks Bjorn! Gordon
EDIT2 - Here's a little text I wrote yesterday:
18th May 2009: New Alpha cameras. What's new?
Today, Sony announced a new set of three DSLR cameras to be added to their current Alpha line-up. The new models replace the earlier series of the A200, A300 and A350. What are the differences between the previous models and the new A230, A330 and A380? And what else did Sony announce today?
The new Alpha DSLR bodies are, as Sony says in their pressrelease, which you'll find here (http://presscentre.sony.eu/Content/Deta ... wsAreaID=2) targeted at current point-and-shoot- or hybrid-users. While offering a complete set of DSLR features, Sony have included a few extra touches that will make upgrading to a DSLR system from for example a point-and-shoot camera a lot easier. The main advancement of the new Alpha models over the previous ones is the build-in Help Guide and Graphic Display, that, according to Sony, significantly simplify operation. With these new assistance features, Sony intends to make full-featured shooting fun for all, including those who have little or no knowledge about the workings of a DSLR.
Another evident change Sony's made over the previous models is the design characteristics. Traditional DSLR design may not appeal to all potential users, and because Sony is looking to expand their market share by attracting more first time DSLR buyers, the design of the new cameras is totally different than what we are used to. The new Alpha bodies have a more modern, stylish design that will likely appeal to a wider audience than the classical DSLR-look. The good thing is you will still find most of the buttons and switches that make shooting with a DSLR camera as comfortable as it has been with the previous models. However, some reports already say the newly designed grip is not as comfortable as we are normally used to.
However, apart from the Help Guide, Graphic Display and looks of the camera, not much seems to have changed. The resolution has stayed the same, 10.2 megapixels for both the A230 and A330, and 14.2 megapixels for the A380, and Sony sticks to a CCD-chip for their consumer-end models. All cameras are equiped with the same size screen, 2.7 inch, with unaltered resolution, of which both the A330's and A380's can tilt. All camera's still have Super Steady Shot, which occording to the press release hasn't been improved to deliver more stops of compensation. Also, Sony has employed the same Quick AF live view system used in the earlier A300 and A350 models, and some might be disappointed to learn these new bodies still lack a video mode.
There have been a few changes in the drive modes of the cameras. However, these changes are not what one would expect. While the earlier A200 and A300 shot at 3 frames a second, the A350 being slightly slower at 2.5fps, all camera now only manage 2.5 shots in one second (2fps in Live view mode), meaning half a shot less. This may not be an issue for the target group of these new models, the first-time DSLR users, but for those upgrading from a previous Sony or Minolta DSLR, this might be a disappointment. A new feature concerning the drive mode is a 3 or 5 frames burst in self-timer mode to decrease the chances of getting a photo in which you, or a friend in case you are taking a groupshot, have closed eyes. However, because Sony has chosen to remove the CF-card slot from these new cameras, and switched to Memory Sticks and SD-cards instead, you will have to rely on faster models to write those files to your memory card before filling up the buffer of your camera. Another downgrade is the power of the pop-up flash, which has gone from a guidenumber of 12 to 10 on all three models.
Sony has improved upon their D-Range Optimiser, which now delivers an even greater enhancement of dynamic range in situations with both bright highlights and deep contrasting shadows. Also, all cameras now feature an HDMI-output which allow them to be connecting to a high definition television for higher viewing pleasure. A handy feature for Sony BRAVIA television owners is that the cameras playback features are now controlable with your televisions remote, so you don't have to fiddle around with the camera while playing back images on your TV.
Apart from some minor changes, some for the better, some for the worse, Sony has pretty much reannounced the earlier A200, A300 and A350. With the new design and easier operation, these cameras are meant to appeal to a wider audience, mainly current point-and-shoot users who, until now, would have found the step up to a DSLR too big.
For those of you who are disappointed by the news from Sony so far, there might still be something interesting after all. Not only did Sony announce a threesome of new cameras, they also produced a new external flash and a couple of DT (APS-C compatible) lenses. The new HVL-F20AM is a compact flashgun, with tilt-features, with a guide number of 20, which can also be used as a commander flash for the Alpha 900, which doesn't have a pop-up flash onboard.
Two new kitlenses, the DT 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM and DT 55-200mm f/4-5.6 SAM now have build-in focus motors (Smooth Autofocus Motor) for quicker and quieter focussing.
A new DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM will be the ideal low-light lens for APS-C shooters with no such budget to buy the more expensive 50mm f/1.4.
Lastly, the DT 30mm f/2.8 SAM, a cropped-frame macro lens will allow low-cost macro photography on non-full-frame bodies.
All those lenses will be available from the moment the cameras hit the shelves, apart from the 30mm f/2.8 macro, which we will see in the Autumn of this year.
For more information, read the two press releases here:
- cameras: http://presscentre.sony.eu/Content/Deta ... wsAreaID=2
- lenses: http://presscentre.sony.eu/Content/Deta ... wsAreaID=2
Or read the PDF-files (with camera specs as well):
- cameras: http://presscentre.sony.eu/imagelibrary ... lsID=31880
- lenses: http://presscentre.sony.eu/imagelibrary ... lsID=31881
- Bjorn -
_________________Street and documentary photographer | Google+ | Twitter | Tumblr
Leica M9-P (my article on Camera Labs) | Leica D-Lux 5 | 50mm Summilux
Last edited by Bjorn van Sinttruije on Tue May 19, 2009 9:15 am, edited 2 times in total.