Sony has just announced its newest alpha cameras, models SLT-A77 (α77) and SLT-A65 (α65), as well as the α NEX-5N and α NEX-7 cameras, available from October.
New α DSLR cameras
Speed, enhanced image quality, high resolution and high performance are some of the features advanced amateurs and photo enthusiasts will find in Sony’s newest alpha cameras, models SLT-A77 (α77) and SLT-A65 (α65).
Sony’s latest refinements to its Translucent Mirror Technology make these new interchangeable lens cameras faster and more responsive.The α77 and α65 both feature a newly developed Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with 24.3 effective megapixel resolution, as well as the first XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder. The sensor teams with the next generation of Sony’s BIONZ image processing engine to handle huge amounts of high speed data from the camera sensor, enabling lowresponse times and high image quality with low noise when shooting still images or Full HD video.
Sony claims that the successor to Sony’s acclaimed α700 DSLR, the α77 boasts the world’s fastest continuous autofocus (AF) shooting performance (among DSLRs in Aug 2011), capturing a burst of full resolution, 24 megapixel images at 12 frames per second with full-time phase-detection AF. The α65 achieves a 10fps shooting speed.
Precision AF tracking of moving subjects is more precise with the α77 due to a new 19-point autofocus system with 11 cross sensors. The α65 boasts 15-point AF with three cross sensors. Tracking Focus maintains accurate focus lock on a moving subject – even if the target is momentarily obscured. Additionally, a new electronic frontshutter curtain achieves a minimum release time lag of approximately 50 milliseconds.
The α77 and α65 further refine Sony’s Fast Continuous AF Full HD Movie shooting, already featured on previous Sony Translucent Mirror cameras. Phase Detection maintains focus during video shooting of portrait subjects, even when they’re moving at fast speeds.
A sensitivity range of ISO 100-16000 expands (α77 only) down to ISO 50. At the highest sensitivities, both cameras can freeze fast action or capture low-noise shots without flash.
Both cameras showcase a crisp OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder. With a 2359k dot (XGA) resolution, this precision electronic viewfinder offers a bright, high contrast image with 100 percent frame coverage and a wide field of view.
However, users have expansive customization capabilities through the XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder and can preview the effects of adjusting exposure, white balance and other settings in real-time.
Photographers can also make fine focus adjustments via a zoomed-in portion of the image.The Smart Teleconverter displays an enlarged central portion of the image sensor, allowing compositions to be displayed clearly on theOLED viewfinder and captured as 12 megapixel images with a digital zoom factor of 1.4x or 2x.
In another first for DSLR cameras, both new models can capture Full HD video at 60p (progressive) frame rates – incorporating the recently introduced AVCHD Progressive (Ver. 2.0) format. Also, 24p shooting is available for capturing beautiful cinematic video footage. Manual focusing and P/A/S/M exposure modes, familiar to creative filmmakers, also can provide enhanced control during video shooting.
Shooters can compose and review stills and video on the adjustable-angle three-inch Xtra Fine LCD display that offers high resolution (921k dot) and TruBlack technology for high detail and contrast. As an extra refinement, the α77 introduces the first three-way adjustable screen that tilts and pivots freely for easy framing at any angle (α65: two-way adjust LCD).
The α77 adds front and rear control dials for fingertip operation and a separate top-mounted LCD data display. The body features magnesium alloy panels for strength and lightness. Key controls are sealed against the effects of dust and moisture, complementing similar levels of protection offered by the new SAL1650 lens,VG-C77AM Vertical Grip for α77 and HVL-F43AM flash unit.
A new shutter unit on the α77 is tested up to 150,000 cycles and supports an ultra-fast minimum 1/8000 sec shutter speed (1/250 sec flash sync). On-board GPS allows automatic geo-tagging of photos and video clips with location data.
The range of compatible A-mount lenses for both cameras now includes the DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM standard zoom with 16mm wide angle coverage.The lens features a dust- and moisture-resistant design, and offers a zoom range of approximately 3x range at constant wide F2.8 aperture. Optical performance is assured by aspherical glass andthree ED (Extra Low Dispersion) lens elements to minimize aberration at all focal lengths. An internal Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) drive enables fast autofocus.
An optional dust- and moisture-resistant VG-C77AM Vertical Grip for α77 assures comfortable handling in vertical shooting positions. It can house up to two NP-FM500H InfoLITHIUM batteries, doubling shooting stamina up to approximately 1060 shots (via LCD monitor)/940 shots (via Tru-Finder viewfinder) when using MemoryStick PRO Duo media. Other new A-mount system accessories include a back pack (LCS-BP2), soft carrying cases (LCS-SC21 and LCS-SC8), LCD protectors and eyepiece cups.
The new α77 is compatible with Sony’s Memory Stick PRO-HG DUO HX series as well as Sony’s full line of SD memory cards.
The α77 camera will be available in a kit with the new SAL1650 f2.8 lens for about $2000, and offered as body-only for about $1400.
The SAL1650 lens will also be sold separately for about $700.
The new VG-C77AM vertical grip, designed for the α77 camera, will be available in October for about $300.
The new α65 Translucent Mirror interchangeable lens camera will be available in a kit with a standard 18-55mm lens (SAL1855) for about $1000, and offered as body-only for about $900.
Both the α77 and α65 cameras kits and the new SAL1650 lens will be available this October at Sony retail stores.
The α NEX-7 camera is styled in magnesium alloy for strength and designed with a blend of classic and modern inspiration. The new compact interchangeable lens model weighs only 10.3 ounces (291g).
The NEX-7 camera features a new Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with 24.3 effective megapixel resolution that complements the latest generation of Sony’s BIONZ image processing engine.This combination of sensor and processor technology delivers image and HD video quality with very low noise and fast shooting responses. An high sensitivity range extends from ISO 100-16000.
Response is accelerated even further by a shutter release lag of approximately 20 milliseconds. In speed priority continuous mode, the NEX-7 camera captures fast-moving action at up to 10fps (AF/AE is fixed).
The NEX-7 model offers direct control over creative settings via a new TRINAVI control interface, important for enthusiast and professional photographers. Two control dials on the top of the camera are complemented by a control wheel, giving users three customizable, manual controls and the ability to create images with the flexibility and precision of a DSLR camera.
The NEX-7 model also features an integrated XGA OLED TruFinder viewfinder for precision framing and focusing. The XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder is complemented by a three-inch Xtra Fine LCD display that can be angled up to 90-degrees up or 45-degrees down for easy viewing in any shooting position.
At the touch of a button, the NEX-7 camera shoots smooth AVCHD Full HD movies with high-quality stereo sound. Support for the new AVCHD Progressive (Ver. 2.0) format allows users to capture Full HD videoat 60p (progressive) frame rates. 24p video shooting is also available. The Tracking Focus feature lets users select a target object on screen and focus on it accurately, even if it is moving.
Additionally, manual focus is now possible during video shooting. Enthusiasts can also enjoy full control over creating the perfect video image with Program, Aperture/Shutter Priority and all-Manual modes (P/A/S/M) – just like the most advanced DSLR cameras. Stereo audio quality is improved, with revised circuitry that lowers noiselevels, especially when shooting quiet scenes.
The NEX-7 camera includes an integrated flash system and also features an Auto-lock Accessory Shoe for advanced shooting applications, both of which are firsts for Sony’s E-mount line of cameras. The shoe supports the full range of Alpha flashes and monitors, as well as adaptors to accommodate studio lighting.
The α NEX-7 camera will be available this November in a kit with an exclusive black 18-55mm zoom lens for about $1350, or as a body- for about $1200.
2nd Generation NEX-5N
Sony also adds responsiveness, image quality, and creative possibilities to its line of E-mount interchangeable lens cameras with the new α NEX-5N model. Housed in a rugged, light magnesium alloy body, with a touch-screen interface, the camera is just 23.3mm at its slimmest point.
Response is accelerated even further by a release time lag of approximately 20 milliseconds. Combined with an improved autofocus (AF) algorithm and more efficient image processing, this results in an AF that is significantly faster than the current NEX-5 model.
The camera’s Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with 16.1 effective megapixel resolution is complemented by a specially-optimized version of the powerful BIONZ image processing engine. Maximum sensitivity is also boosted to ISO 25600.
The NEX-5N camera shoots smooth AVCHD Progressive (Ver2.0) Full HD movies with high-quality stereo sound at 60p – the same resolution and frame rate as Blu-ray Disc media, a first for interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C size sensor. Faster readout from the sensor doubles the maximum frame rate to 60 fps and, when shooting at the 24p setting, movies achieve a cinematic feel. Additionally, continuous auto-focus while recording video has been improved and object Tracking Focus has been added, which allows a target object to be selected and tracked accurately via the touch-screen, even when the subject is moving.
Photographers can also fully control exposure with Program, Aperture/Shutter Priority and all-Manual modes (P/A/S/M) – just like the most DSLR cameras. Stereo audio quality is improved, with revised circuitry that lowers wind noise levels, especially when shooting quiet scenes.
The NEX-5N is the first E-mount interchangeable lens camera from Sony that features an intuitive new Photo Creativity Touch interface. Background Defocus, Exposure, Picture Effect and other adjustments can be quickly previewed, applied and combined via the LCD touch panel and control dial, with traditional "photo jargon" simplified for beginner shooters.
In Speed Priority Continuous mode, the NEX-5N captures fast-moving action at up to 10 fps (actual speed depends on shooting conditions and memory card performance).
The camera’s 3-inch Xtra Fine LCD display can angle up to 80 degrees up or 45 degrees down for easy viewing in any shooting position.
TruBlack technology assures superb detail and contrast with reduced on-screen reflections.
The NEX-5N is also compatible with Sony’s Memory Stick PRO-HG DUO HX series as well as Sony’s full line of SD memory cards.
The NEX-5N will be available this September in black and silver with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens (model SEL1855) for about $700 and as a body-only for about $600.
The new E-mount Telephoto zoom E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS (SEL55210) will be available this October for about $350. The new Carl Zeiss Sonnar T E 24mm F1.8 ZA (SEL24F18Z) and the E 50mm F1.8 OSS (SEL50F18) will each be available this December for about $1000 and $300, respectively.
The new LA-EA2 mount adaptor and FDA-EV1S OLED viewfinder will both be available this November for about $400 and $350, respectively.
The new camera kits, lenses and compatible accessories will all be sold at Sony retail stores.