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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:12 pm 
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Hi folks,

In this press release Sony announce the α550.
Here's the UK model feature list:
  • 14.2 effective megapixel Exmor™ CMOS sensor with BIONZ processor for superb high-resolution images with reduced noise and enhanced shooting speed
  • Advanced Quick AF Live View with phase-detection AF for responsive freestyle shooting and fast, accurate autofocus, even with moving subjects
  • Face Detection enhances Quick AF Live View performance, tracking up to 8 faces in scene and optimizing exposure, WB, flash and other settings for beautifully natural skin tones
  • Smile Shutter automatically fires shutter when subject smiles: with adjustable smile threshold and on-screen smile level display
  • High speed continous shooting 5fps (viewfinder) / 4fps (Live View): plus up to 7fps in Speed Priority mode to capture fast-moving action
  • 90º tilt-angle 3.0-inch Xtra Fine 921k dot resolution LCD screen with new graphic display and Auto Brightness Adjustment for easy, intuitive Live View shooting in any position
  • Manual Focus Check (in Live View mode) for precise, convenient adjustment of focus and composition
  • Bright optical viewfinder with 95% coverage for clear, comfortable framing
  • SteadyShot INSIDE optical image stabilization offers 2.5-4.0 steps anti-shake performance with α-mount lenses or Konica Minolta a-mount lenses
  • New HDR Auto mode creates images with extremely high dynamic range by automatically merging two exposures to capture highlight and shadow detail
  • Very high sensitivity up to ISO 12800, with dual noise reduction for natural-looking images with excellent resolution and superb colours, even in low light conditions
  • D-Range Optimizer analyses image in real time, adjusting brightness and contrast for beautifully-exposed backlit scenes: with selectable Auto or user-adjustable modes
  • 6 selectable Creative Styles for versatile image finishing options in any shooting situation - can be customized for even greater creative control
  • Smart Teleconverter button gives additional 'one touch' instant magnification of 1.4x or 2x to pull distant subjects closer
  • Powerful, high-capacity battery pack allows up to 950 shots between charges when using optical viewfinder (CIPA measurement)
  • Dual anti-dust system reduces build-up of dust on sensor during lens exchange
  • HDMI™ output for display on HD TV (requires optional cable). PhotoTV HD enhances still image viewing on compatible BRAVIA TV
  • BRAVIA Sync for control of camera playback functions via BRAVIA TV’s remote
  • Supplied with Image Data Converter SR and Image Data Lightbox SR PC software: also includes Picture Motion Browser software for fun, easy image library management and sharing online
Bob.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:32 pm 
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Wow?

14mp CMOS at 7(!) FPS? Sony came out with their guns blazing, literally.
Hopefully this new(is this new?) CMOS sensor will fix the high ISO noise "issue".
The screen is awesome too.


Bob, do you know whether this have mirror-lock up feature?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:36 pm 
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Looks like very nice peace of hardwear from Sony.

And I suppose this one could get good reviews all over (or am I just too hopefull)

By looking these guite impressive specs just made me wondering what kind of upgrades A7X0 will have? Are they going to develop yet again new CMOS sensor? Or is it going to be same sensor as A550(hope not, small FF would be great)?

This model just be my next dslr body....

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:45 pm 
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-The first LCD SVGA (921K) tilting...
-Two LV mode
-New sensor, Bionz and NR software (Alphamountworld)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:09 pm 
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Having digested it a bit more, I like the A550 more and more. To me the key weaknesses of the A350 include lack of precision live view, low res screen and low fps rate. All those are addressed in the A550, and as far as I can tell I wont lose anything from the A350. The bigger viewfinder is a minor plus. I'd prefer if they stuck with CF but going SD isn't going to kill me. Oh, the switch to Exmor sensor should hopefully mean an A700-like level of high ISO noise performance.

Personally don't care about face detection, but the built in HDR mode sounds interesting. Given how typical PP HDR works, I wonder what the output will look like. Particularly how good is it at alignment?

Discussion elsewhere claims the processing engine is a new one, so that might mean in camera jpeg quality particularly at high ISO will finally catch up with those of other brands. Also there is apparently no mirror lockup option nor DoF preview.

Somehow I don't think my A350 will trade in for much... might as well find out what the shutter limit of it is :D

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:16 pm 
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Yeah, finally someone is adressing HDR in camera!
Hope they get it right. That might trigger the competition to go after this super-interesting feature.
Hope Sony does spare the time between both exposures with mirror lock-up which in effect would also reduce the amount of image shift netween the two frames (greatly supported by the in-camera stabilization).

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:52 pm 
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I'm not too hopeful that the alpha 5 series is a a700 level camera. For one, the exclusion of MLU is disappointing as well as the modest OVF size. The styling of the camera seems cheap and looks far from the likes of the a700.

I await the ISO results.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:42 pm 
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Wow! That is awesome!!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:50 pm 
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Those Alphas are not serie 300 or serie 700 substitute, this is a new serie...

I would wait the a700 substitute to for next year...

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:01 am 
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Thomas wrote:
Yeah, finally someone is adressing HDR in camera!


*Facepalm*


...it would be sad to see all the overprocessed HDR on flickr be uploaded by Alpha users.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:28 am 
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What's one of the big criticisms of digital photography? Dynamic range. HDR is a solution to that, but let's wait and see what options they provide on how the output works.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:19 am 
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Dang this looks very tempting, especially if it delivers in the high ISO range (which if they think it can get to 12800 then it might actually) then it'd be a go for me.
Also I'm surprised they went with a two memory stick system of SD and memory stick pro and left out CF. Oh well
http://presscentre.sony.eu/imagelibrary ... lsID=32325

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:19 am 
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Sublimity wrote:
*Facepalm*


...it would be sad to see all the overprocessed HDR on flickr be uploaded by Alpha users.


This is probably true... but it seems like that is what it takes to get attention on flickr sometimes (see my photostream for examples of poorly processed HDRs...).

Anyway, with the exception of any nasty surprises, looks like sony might be shaking things up quite a bit with these features. Including the HDR-made-easy feature that will appeal to a good chunk of beginners with some photo experience.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:23 am 
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great camera to challenge the domination of Nikon D90 and Canon 40D

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:48 am 
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Clay, your HDRs are subtle which is good.

Hopelessly Devastated Results, also known as HDR, are becoming the new cliches in photography as overzealous photoshoppers apply it to everything they see regardless if it works or not. It's a bit sad to see something once a unparalleled effect used redundantly and nonchalantly...

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