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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 9:40 pm 
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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.

    Image

    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.

    Image

    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.

    Image

    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.

    Image

    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.

    Image

    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.

    Image

    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.

    Image

    Lastly, the DT 30mm f/2.8 SAM, a cropped-frame macro lens will allow low-cost macro photography on non-full-frame bodies.

    Image

    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 -

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Last edited by Bjorn van Sinttruije on Tue May 19, 2009 9:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 10:22 pm 
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Thanks to the leaks there isn't anything surprising in the bodies. Essentially updates/refresh/shrink to the previous low end trio. Nothing of significant interest there.

Lenses, time to learn a new TLA: SAM - Smooth Autofocus Motor. So rumours have been confirmed and all these new lenses will have the motor. Although not present yet, it does open the future path for a more usable movie mode and removal of the body motor.

Prices below from the press release. Availability July.

US$200 - SAL-1855 - DT 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 - no surprises there. Should hopefully address the often reported quality issue of the previous kit lens, at the cost of a reduced zoom range.

US$230 - SAL-55200/2 - DT 55-200mm F/4-5.6 - refresh of the old one now with a motor?

US$150 - SAL-50F18 - DT 50mm F/1.8 portrait lens - this should address the "cheap 50mm" gap and take the pressure off the Minolta f/1.7 lenses on the used market. Particularly as Sony themselves call this a portrait lens, I wonder if they have paid particular attention to giving it a round aperture wide open?

SAL-30M28 - DT 30mm F/2.8 macro - this might be interesting to me as a close up lens without going full macro, although I would prefer bigger aperture.

$130 - HVL-F20AM - new compact flash, guide number 20.

No price was given for the 30mm macro. The hope will be the Sony "typical" prices are inflated with actual street prices being lower and more competitive against the competition because "as is" the cheap 50 isn't cheap enough.

Depending on how "compact" the compact flash is, that is very interesting to me where the existing '42 is a bit big to throw in the bag "just in case". The macro is somewhat interesting too, although it'll be better if it was a bigger aperture.

Overall, Sony has kinda surprised me. It isn't a shock mainly as it had been leaked, but I was hoping they were not fully accurate and there would be a bit more. The low end direction seems to be making it easier to draw in those moving up from point and shoots, but there doesn't seem to be enough there to go against the 500D or D5000.

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 Post subject: Sony DSLR suicide...
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 11:11 pm 
having read the specs and looked at the price of the new entry level cameras i am convinced Sony is having a nervous breakdown. Any loyalty and lead they had established has been thrown in the trash. Canon and Nikon execs must be laughing into their Saki at the almost comical combination of stripped out features and higher prices. If this is the way the Alpha system is going I am out.


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 11:44 pm 
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I don't know how those prices will translate into street prices, but certainly the positioning is not following the big two. These "new" cameras appear to be targeting p&s upgraders, trying to keep the DSLR advantages with a simpler interface. Their feature set is getting a bit old though, so I think they'll be forced into occupying the low-mid entry level range.

As it is, I think the gap between these and any A700 replacement is now too big. They've got a gap now for a high end entry level, which would be the high feature model.

I have to wonder where the A700 replacement is. Maybe one for later this year? They better give it more of an update than they did this time around.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 3:28 am 
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Nothing there for me.
Looks like their “marketing department” decided that there was/is a very profitable transitional gap missing and they are going full bore in filling it. Look for very youthful celebrity types doing A380Y commercials soon.

Personally I want bigger and heavier not lighter and smaller, all of a sudden my A200 is looking even better than before.
Back to “hurry up and wait” I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Sony DSLR suicide...
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 4:16 am 
dougas wrote:
having read the specs and looked at the price of the new entry level cameras i am convinced Sony is having a nervous breakdown. Any loyalty and lead they had established has been thrown in the trash. Canon and Nikon execs must be laughing into their Saki at the almost comical combination of stripped out features and higher prices. If this is the way the Alpha system is going I am out.

You sure are a loud cynic for someone with 2 posts here. I don't see exactly what the problem is here, its the low end consumer products that expand the market, first and foremost. How many Canon users started with a rebel? I do wish they had a better price on their 50mm f/1.8, but - meh... Will be interested to see how it performs. Perhaps it will be worth it, can't go wrong with a second nifty fifty.

The F20AM may be an interesting one, depending on wether or not it incorporates wireless capability. Might be worth it to pick up a couple as backdrop lights. Sure is a bargain, don't need the power of the F58 for a back light.

I am also glad to see they finally are replacing the kit lens, that 18-70 is just awful, the extra range is certainly not worth it.

Looks like this press release is here to appease the very low end consumer, I think its a smart business choice of theirs, don't know where you pulled all that hate speech from...

*edit: oh wait, I get it, youre a troll...


Last edited by Jamanamana on Sun May 17, 2009 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 4:17 am 
WestCoast wrote:
Nothing there for me.
Looks like their “marketing department” decided that there was/is a very profitable transitional gap missing and they are going full bore in filling it. Look for very youthful celebrity types doing A380Y commercials soon.

Personally I want bigger and heavier not lighter and smaller, all of a sudden my A200 is looking even better than before.
Back to “hurry up and wait” I guess.

You know, the A700 and A900 are both terrific upgrades from the A200, in every respect...

I've also been thinking a bit about it guys, maybe some of you wanted to see more megapixels in the bodies? I certainly don't, the 10-14mp range has tapped out the pixel density max of APS bodies. The only way I'd be happy to see an 18 megapixel Sony body is if it was an APS-H crop.


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 7:20 am 
nice to know that they are targeting those users who are trying to shift from p&s to entry level dslr's, i wish this should have been brought out at an earlier time, but im completely happy with my a350, with the pricing that they have for the 380, i guess its just the same camera, refreshed in a bit. so its a bit tricky choosing in between the two if compared side by side on price alone, feature set? that remains to be seen, the current alphas have easy to use menu's already, for a noob like me, i think it is much better if they have not changed much on that. so progression to higher models wont be that hard.

anyways, great news, ive been eyeing that 50mm, and with the price, i think its a great buy, we just have to wait for some in depth review, also with the new flash, if it has wireless capability, and compatibility with the current ones, then ill give it a try. all the more great news for sony users, i just wished they'd updated the higher ends too. like my 350, i am praying to the sony gods, that they at least they do something on the higher ISO results for it, be it via firmware update, whatever.....

embrace change, its all good, and for the better.


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:15 am 
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Hi folks,

The link to the press release is currently down so, for those of you wondering what this thread is about, Sony have announced the 10.2 megapixel α230, the 10.2 megapixel α330 and the 14.2 megapixel α380. They've also announced the DT 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens (model SAL-1855), the DT 55-200mm F/4-5.6 telephoto zoom lens (model SAL-55200/2) the DT 50mm F/1.8 portrait lens (model SAL-50F18) and the DT 30mm F/2.8 (model SAL-30M28) macro lens. And, finally, there's the new compact external flash unit (model HVL-F20AM).

Bob.

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 12:43 pm 
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The link is working again!

I do agree that by lowering the step from P&S to these DSLR cameras, Sony has raised the step from low-end to what is currently their higher-end range. The gap between this new line-up and the A700 (or it's replacement actually) and A900 might be too big for some users, making them turn to other brands instead. Now I realise Sony has done good so far, introducing a good line-up of cameras from the moment they entered in the DSLR market. Still, with upgrading possibilities being limited and expensive, they might push potential customers away from their own products.

Then again, by the time buyers of these new cameras wish to upgrade, there's probably new cameras to choose from. However, there is no information about those yet, which discourages people from investing in the Sony system.

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 1:03 pm 
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Check out some pictures of the new HVL-F20AM flashgun:

http://news.sel.sony.com/assets/Alpha_2 ... ories.html

EDIT: images aren't clickable yet.

- Bjorn -

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Last edited by Bjorn van Sinttruije on Sun May 17, 2009 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 1:07 pm 
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And the new lenses:

http://news.sel.sony.com/assets/Alpha_2 ... enses.html

EDIT: images aren't clickable yet.

- Bjorn -

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 4:13 pm 
They haven't listed the changes they've made to the camera bodies. Having said that, I'm glad they've decided to stick with sensible mega pixel counts!


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 Post subject: Re: Sony DSLR suicide...
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 6:25 pm 
Anbesol wrote:
dougas wrote:
having read the specs and looked at the price of the new entry level cameras i am convinced Sony is having a nervous breakdown. Any loyalty and lead they had established has been thrown in the trash. Canon and Nikon execs must be laughing into their Saki at the almost comical combination of stripped out features and higher prices. If this is the way the Alpha system is going I am out.

You sure are a loud cynic for someone with 2 posts here. I don't see exactly what the problem is here, its the low end consumer products that expand the market, first and foremost. How many Canon users started with a rebel? I do wish they had a better price on their 50mm f/1.8, but - meh... Will be interested to see how it performs. Perhaps it will be worth it, can't go wrong with a second nifty fifty.

The F20AM may be an interesting one, depending on wether or not it incorporates wireless capability. Might be worth it to pick up a couple as backdrop lights. Sure is a bargain, don't need the power of the F58 for a back light.

I am also glad to see they finally are replacing the kit lens, that 18-70 is just awful, the extra range is certainly not worth it.

Looks like this press release is here to appease the very low end consumer, I think its a smart business choice of theirs, don't know where you pulled all that hate speech from...

*edit: oh wait, I get it, youre a troll...


I don't think post amount is relevant, especially when accusing someone of being a troll.

Continuing,

Many of the Sony users are people who are experienced from the Minolta age or have invested in the system through a a200,300,350. Imagine what a disappointment it is when Sony keeps dumping low end bodies at us when we have opted from going Canon or Nikon to use the Sony system. The Sony tactic isn't keeping their customers as much as they are brining in new ones, these new bodies and just undermining their user base. We are all waiting for the miracles Sony will innovate the current DSLR market, but not this low end consumer stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Sony DSLR suicide...
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:27 pm 
Sublimity wrote:
Anbesol wrote:
dougas wrote:
having read the specs and looked at the price of the new entry level cameras i am convinced Sony is having a nervous breakdown. Any loyalty and lead they had established has been thrown in the trash. Canon and Nikon execs must be laughing into their Saki at the almost comical combination of stripped out features and higher prices. If this is the way the Alpha system is going I am out.

You sure are a loud cynic for someone with 2 posts here. I don't see exactly what the problem is here, its the low end consumer products that expand the market, first and foremost. How many Canon users started with a rebel? I do wish they had a better price on their 50mm f/1.8, but - meh... Will be interested to see how it performs. Perhaps it will be worth it, can't go wrong with a second nifty fifty.

The F20AM may be an interesting one, depending on wether or not it incorporates wireless capability. Might be worth it to pick up a couple as backdrop lights. Sure is a bargain, don't need the power of the F58 for a back light.

I am also glad to see they finally are replacing the kit lens, that 18-70 is just awful, the extra range is certainly not worth it.

Looks like this press release is here to appease the very low end consumer, I think its a smart business choice of theirs, don't know where you pulled all that hate speech from...

*edit: oh wait, I get it, youre a troll...


I don't think post amount is relevant, especially when accusing someone of being a troll.

Continuing,

Many of the Sony users are people who are experienced from the Minolta age or have invested in the system through a a200,300,350. Imagine what a disappointment it is when Sony keeps dumping low end bodies at us when we have opted from going Canon or Nikon to use the Sony system. The Sony tactic isn't keeping their customers as much as they are brining in new ones, these new bodies and just undermining their user base. We are all waiting for the miracles Sony will innovate the current DSLR market, but not this low end consumer stuff.

I disagree, its entirely relevant. And the point remains, the guys just here to troll.

Now answer me this, whats the problem with upgrading to the A700 or A900? You talk as if they only have low end bodies, but the A700 and A900 are still great options worth upgrading to. Both are significant upgrades, and neither require any body update presently, in fact. Was the A900 announcement not enough? 24 Megapixel full frame for $3 grand? Is that not good enough for you? Were you hoping to upgrade to another one of their consumer level bodies, after one generation difference? Or tell me, do you think that every DSLR body is due one upgrade per year? Why do you think that flooding the market with barely different models is a good idea? Just because Canikon do it?


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