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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:47 am 
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NEW: Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 High ISO Noise results! Also includes Multi Frame NR comparison and sample HD videos! Full test report coming soon...


SHOOTING FOR THE STARS: SONY BREAKS NEW GROUND AGAIN IN DSLR SPACE WITH NEW CAMERA, LENSES

Latest α (alpha) Offers Full HD Movie Capture, 3D Sweep Panorama and More


SAN DIEGO, Aug. 23, 2010 – Sony today introduced an α (alpha) DSLR camera (model SLR-a560) that leverages Sony’s Exmor ™ APS HD CMOS sensor to make it easier for active shooters to get the best shot without missing a moment. Along with the a33 and a55 cameras (also announced today), the α560 model is one of the only DSLR cameras with Multi-frame Noise Reduction, Sweep Panorama™ mode, 3D Sweep Panorama and Full HD 1920x1080 60i video capture.

This 14.2 megapixel α560 camera offers the same features of its predecessor, the innovative α550, which introduced Quick AF Live View, 7fps continuous shooting and Auto HDR to the step-up DSLR class.

Additionally, Sony is adding to its already strong line-up of more than 30 A-mount lenses with new models made for seasoned photographers and those new to the DSLR space. Today, Sony expands its A-Mount lens line-up for α DSLR cameras with three new lenses—a Carl Zeiss® Distagon T* 24mm F2 ZA SSM (model SAL24F20Z), a DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (model SAL35F18) and an 85mm F2.8 SAM (model SAL85F28).

“These new lenses and camera show our commitment to the DSLR market and that we will never stop innovating.” said Kristen Elder, director of the Digital Imaging business at Sony Electronics. “These products complement our overall Sony® Alpha™ lineup, which we are significantly expanding today. The camera offers a choice to those consumers who want to gain the benefits of professional level shooting speed as well as be able to capture video with in a traditional style DSLR.”

The α560 camera provides excellent picture quality, particularly in low-light scenarios. A new generation of Sony Exmor ™APS HD CMOS sensor employs low-noise processing for high-quality pictures. The BIONZ ® image processor has color-noise reduction that helps achieve low noise up to ISO 12800, without sacrificing fine detail. Multi-frame Noise Reduction stacks a high-speed burst of six frames, creating a single low-noise exposure that boosts effective sensitivity as high as ISO 25600.

Quick AF Live View

With Quick AF Live View, the α560 camera can focus just as quickly in Live View as when shooting through the eye-level viewfinder, which is unlike any other DSLR in its class.

Because composing shots on the LCD monitor is becoming increasingly important to DSLR users, Sony has equipped this camera with two Live View functions and a 3-inch (measured diagonally) LCD screen that tilts 90 degrees up or down. The α560 has a high resolution 921,600 pixel Xtra Fine LCD™ display.

Sony’s Quick AF Live View uses two sensors to maintain the same focusing speed as with the optical viewfinder. While the speed of Quick AF Live View is ideal for every day shooting, Focus Check Live View enables critical framing and magnification for setting precise focus in macro and tripod shooting.

Focus Check Live View mode simplifies critical assessment of the finest image details. A real-time ‘feed’ from the main sensor can be viewed on the LCD monitor, with switchable magnification allowing close-up confirmation of delicate manual focus adjustments. Contrast AF method is selectable in focus check Live View mode.

Temporary 7x and 14x zoom views enable you to focus on extremely fine detail while the 1x view shows 100 percent framing in the LCD.

Fast Shooting Speeds

With its unique sensor-processor combination, the α560 camera is a leader in its class with up to seven frames per second shooting speed for under $1,000. Using the optical viewfinder, you can shoot up to three frames with Quick AF Live View, which helps you capture the decisive moment when shooting fast moving subjects like in sports.

HD Movie Recording

The α560 α camera offers the extra convenience of high-definition video recording. This model also captures Full HD (1920 x 1080i) video in high-quality AVCHD™ files that can be easily enjoyed on a compatible HD television via the cameras built-in HDMI™ terminal (cable not included). The camera includes built-in stereo microphones for high-quality audio recording.

With multi-shot technology, the α560 camera’s high-speed sensor and processor rapidly captures and assembles many frames to realize unmatched low-noise, extended dynamic range, wide panoramas and 3D images.

The α560 offers versatile creative control even when shooting movies. Creativity is also enhanced by the ability to apply white balance and Creative Style settings, as well as Aperture Priority (A) mode aperture settings, to movies. What's more, exposure compensation can be adjusted even while movie shooting is in progress.

Sweep Panorama Technology

Featuring Sweep Panorama technology, the α560 model captures breathtaking shots up to 180 degree horizontal or 126-degree vertical shots (18 mm focal length).

With 3D Sweep Panorama mode, the camera can shoot 3D panoramic still images with a single lens. The high-speed burst of frames is stitched together using innovative processing techniques to automatically create detail-packed 3D panoramas. These files can be enjoyed in stunning 3D on compatible 3D televisions (other accessories are required).

In-Camera High Dynamic Range

In-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) has been further enhanced incorporating three shots. It can capture highlights, midtones and shadows. Unlike HDR features in other DSLR cameras, Sony’s unique positional interpolation technology can overcome slight changes in camera position and align individual shots so that a tripod is not required.

The feature handles severe backlighting and other high-contrast scenes like looking out a window into bright daylight. The in-camera auto HDR technology combines the highlight, midtone and shadow detail of three separate captures into one remarkably natural looking image. The α560 offers a maximum Auto HDR range of 6EV.

Multi Frame NR is a new function where, when the shutter is released, the camera automatically takes 6 frames at the currently selected shutter speed, aperture, and ISO setting, and then combines them into a single JPEG image with a reduction in noise at the selected aperture and shutter speed that is equivalent to approximately two ISO steps. In addition, ISO expansion achieves class-leading, ultra-high sensitivity equivalent to ISO25600, while accurate subject detection assures high-precision alignment of the 6 frames during compositing.

Accessories

The new camera accepts both Memory Stick PRO Duo™ (including Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™) and SD (including both SDHC and SDXC formats) media (all sold separately). With a 30MB per second transfer rate, Sony’s Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX offers the best performance of all memory cards whether in continuous shooting mode or transferring data to other media.

Lenses for Active Shooters

Made for experienced and budding photographers alike, the Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2 ZA SSM (model SAL24F20Z) functions as a wide-angle 24mm lens on full-frame cameras with 36mm (35mm equivalent) lens sensors, or as a 36mm equivalent lens ideal for general use on cameras with APS-C sensors. Jointly developed with Carl Zeiss, it features the highly-regarded Carl Zeiss Distagon designed for wide-angle lenses.

This lens is distinguished by its fast response focus and extremely quiet, very smooth operation thanks to its built-in SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor).

It offers a wide and therefore highly versatile focal range from 0.19m to infinity, and features a nine-blade circular aperture that along with the large F2 maximum aperture contributes to smooth, natural bokeh effects.

In keeping with traditional Carl Zeiss design, the all-metal lens barrel has been finished to a very high standard resulting in a visibly high-quality appearance.

Offering photographers at all levels great value and performance in a compact and lightweight design, the new DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18) weighs just 6 ounces. It can be added to a lens kit system and carried without noticeably increasing the weight of the bag.

With an approximately 50mm (35mm equivalent) focal length on an APS-C sensor, this lens is ideal for snapshots and portraits under a wide range of shooting conditions. The high-speed F1.8 maximum aperture is particularly advantageous for hand held shooting in low light.

At just 0.8 feet, the DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18) has the shortest minimum focus in its class, making it an excellent choice for dramatic close-ups too. Whatever the shot, the internal Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) drives the focusing group directly and ensures responsive and fluid autofocus operation.

The new 85mm F2.8 SAM (SAL85F28) lens is a full-frame lens in that offers performance and affordability. The 85mm focal length is a standard for portraiture because of the natural perspective that it provides. On an APS-C sensor camera the 85mm F2.8 SAM functions as a 127.5mm (35mm equivalent) telephoto lens – and features a Sonnar-type optical design that is considered ideal for mid-range telephoto lenses.

The lens is sharp center to corner, and features smooth defocusing thanks to its large F2.8 maximum aperture and circular aperture design. At two feet, the minimum focusing distance is the shortest in its class, and SAM motor technology ensures smooth autofocus operation.

The quality optical and mechanical features of the lens mean it is suitable for serious photography and should more than satisfy intermediate and advanced users alike.

Pricing and Availability

The α560 model with the camera body and 18-55mm kit lens will cost about $750 and will be available in October. With the body only, it will cost about $650. The Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2 SSM (model SAL24F20Z), DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (model SAL35F18) and 85mm F2.8 SAM (model SAL85F28) lenses will be available in October for about $1,250, $200, $250 respectively.

The cameras, lens and a range of accessories will be available at Sony Style® retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail) and at authorized dealers nationwide.


Last edited by Gordon Laing on Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:27 am 
I feel a little bad for these cameras as I honestly think the A33/A55 is going to eat them alive. I guess it comes down to small form factor and viewfinder preference. Thats a good problem to have though :D


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:01 pm 
I'll buy these well before I buy the a55 or a33.
EVF's don't do it for me, i like my mirrors


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:16 am 
I wouldn't either, but it has to be said that people seem to really be interested in the A55/33, at least much more than the A5xx. Not debating which is the better camera, just saying that I think the A55 might have much more mass appeal.

This can be a good thing as I think Sony needs a big hit this year (and I said this from back in 2009) or else they may eventually decide to gradually (over several years) pull out of the DSLR market (this is a tactic many have used before, investing less and less until it dies a natural death some years later). Thankfully, the NEX seems to be a big hit already, and the A55 can only add to that.

Only time will tell though.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:10 am 
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“This can be a good thing as I think Sony needs a big hit this year (and I said this from back in 2009) or else they may eventually decide to gradually (over several years) pull out of the DSLR market (this is a tactic many have used before, investing less and less until it dies a natural death some years later).”


I kind of doubt that a Behemoth like Sony “pulls-out” of anything.
The usual plan is to take over and control.
Maybe google Sony Entertainment and stuff like that.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:24 am 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
They certainly haven't showed any signs of backing out of anything - what with no less than 9 APS-C cameras released this year alone!

I particularly like that they seem to have listened to the criticisms brought up on the A550, and addressed a great many of them on the A560, as well as touching up a few other things just as evolutionary improvement. The image quality at high ISO, already a strong suit of the A550, was tweaked nicely, and actually slightly edges even the NEX in early test shots at ISO3200 and up. With the addition of the multi-image NR stacking functionality, these are killer. The criticisms addressed going from A550 to A560:

•Got rid of the grey color on top (trivial, but some didn't like it. I did, but oh well!)

•Restored release w/o lens (manual lens users get restored A mode control over exposure)

•Restored DOF preview button (finally)

•Restored focus hold button mapping (pairing with the higher lenses that have those, allowing focus hold or DOF again)

•Restored MLU on 2-second timer (another much wanted restoration)

•Tinkered with the high ISO NR by adding a lower NR mode (as some wanted less NR in jpeg mode)

•Improved main sensor live view to add both phase detect and contrast autofocus abilities in that mode (nice touch)

•Eliminated the 'smart teleconverter' button that most disliked (no more 'error' messages when pressing the button, because it isn't there!)

•Added video (something I could care less about, but needed to be competitive in the marketplace)

•Restored ISO100 (people asked for it...it's back)

•Increased HDR mode from 2 shots to 3 (to expand the tonal range and the amount of the effect)

•Added multi-image stacking NR for all ISOs (similar to the NEX, but on these cameras it maintains much more user control)

•Possibly added a RAW+JPEG fine mode (some early tests and reviews pointed that out, but unconfirmed)

•Possibly added AEL button customizing options (another unknown, but a GIF of the menu shows AEL mapping as an option)

•Increased battery life (as if it was needed - the A550 was already one of the very best in the business).

All in all, a very nice upgrade, and all starting at more than $200 LESS than the A550's retail price!

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:42 pm 
Hi everyone! This is my first post in here!

After reading and watching reviews of most of the DSLRs available in the market, I was going to order an A550 today evening. Now I get to know about the A560. Do you suggest I wait til October to buy an A560?

This is my first SLR I'll be buying, and as such have no hands-on experience on the use of SLRs.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:06 pm 
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If you want something similar to the A550, I'd look at the A580. Higher resolution, larger buffer than the A550 (22 RAW shots of 16.2 MP, compared to 14 RAW shots at 14.2 MP) and a couple of other improvements. In my opinion worth waiting for it.

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Sony α77V/VG-C77AM/α350/18-70/70-400 G SSM/NEX-5/18-55 OSS/Lowepro Pro Trekker 600 AW/CompuTrekker AW/Nova 140 AW/Street & Field gear/Toploader Pro 75 AW. And a huge wishlist...

My photos on Flickr...


Last edited by Joris Van den Berghe on Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:48 pm 
I think I'm going to be right here and say the a560 & a580 will outsell, out perform and out do the a55 & a33 in everyway.

I can't see a single pro going for a EVF, I do want the 10 frames but not at the cost of a mirror.

Video - IT MEANS NOTHING TO ME, so losing light to add it in like they have tells us sony doesn't want to corner the pro market, they're only after the high end hobbyists.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:52 pm 
"The new camera accepts both Memory Stick PRO Duo™ (including Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™) and SD (including both SDHC and SDXC formats) media (all sold separately). With a 30MB per second transfer rate, Sony’s Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX offers the best performance of all memory cards whether in continuous shooting mode or transferring data to other media. "

Thats rubbish, maybe if you leave out C/Flash.
I've got a slow C/Flash that is faster than any of my SD or MSP-HG-D cards and that of the ones I've seen.

Show me a card that writes as quick as 90mb/s


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:17 am 
If you think A560/A580 will outsell A55/A33, then I have a bridge to sell you. LOL. It won't even be close (forget outselling). It will be like 10 to 1 in favor of A55/A33.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:35 am 
I've worked in a camera store for a while to know what most people want.
One of the things most people don't want buying SLR's is a EVF.
LCD screens yes, not a EVF no.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:44 am 
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sdowden - which camera store? I'm looking for an Ozzie affiliate...


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:46 am 
Camera House in Melbourne


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:15 pm 
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News for my fellow United Statesmen...

Sony has explained the recently announced delay of A560 orders (preorders on Sonystyle were actually canceled!!) as due to the heavy unexpected demand for the 14mp sensor in the hot-selling NEX, as well as the needed production run for the Axx series...

But they also paired that announcement with a bad-new-good-news pairing - they've decided to go ahead and release the A580 in the US, which was previously NOT going to be released here...since it uses a different sensor. Current sales of the A580 are now predicted to start in November.

A560 should still be forthcoming, but may not be until January or after...depending on what they do around that time with an A7xx replacement rumored to be about that time!

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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