Released over a year and a half ago, the Alpha SLT-A55V was at one point the flagship of Sony's (then) new translucent-mirror lineup. It's since been surpassed by the A77 and the A65V, leaving it to occupy the a-bit-less-entry-level position above the A35. The new replacement, the SLT-A57, comes in at the same price as its predecessor but without the built-in geotagging capabilities that were notable in the A55, and with a few new features.… Read more
The Sony Alpha SLT-A77V is an excellent, well-designed camera for deep-pocketed amateurs.
I'll lead off by saying that I enjoyed shooting with the A77V more than any camera since the Nikon D7000. It's heavy, especially with the 16-50mm kit lens (which, by the way, has become my favorite Sony lens), but the grip is comfy, it feels well balanced, and with only a few exceptions, has the controls in the right places. The EVF is a pleasure to use. It's packed full of solid features, although still missing a couple key ones. And of course the photo … Read more
Incessant flooding in Thailand is affecting many people, as well as another area of consumer electronics in addition to hard drives: Sony's upcoming high-end NEX-7 and A65 cameras, as well as some lens kits.
Sony's manufacturing plant in Ayutthaya has stopped production after torrents of water damaged the facility, the company said in a statement. The situation is so bad that the company is shifting production to another Sony factory southwest of Ayutthaya in the Chonburi province. Crave Asia visited the Ayutthaya facility last year and shot several pictures. … Read more
Sony's upcoming A65 dSLR camera is on hold, shifting from an October release to November 11, Sony Japan announced today. The company says it's delaying the launch to review production of the camera.
The A65 is Sony's next-generation dSLR that features 24.3-megapixel resolution, translucent mirror technology, a crisp OLED electronic viewfinder, 1080p video recording, and many other features. The delay also affects the A65Vk zoom lens kit and the A65Vy double-zoom lens kit.
The blog discovered that placeholder pages for the A65 on various Sony store Web sites in the U.S., Europe, and Asia indicate a November release instead of October. Strangely, the official page for the A77 on Sony Japan's Web site still indicates an October 14 release, so perhaps the camera will land in Japan first and arrive elsewhere later.
In related news, the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM (SAL1650) zoom lens release date is now sometime in December, shifting from an expected November release date.
CNET Senior Editor Lori Grunin contributed to this report.… Read more
We joke about the worst-kept product secrets on the Web, but Sony's late-summer camera and camcorder announcements have to be some sort of record. Finally made public today, specs and photos of its higher-end updates to the Alpha line have been floating around for a while--the semi-pro SLT-A77V was even prematurely nominated for an award. So while chances are you're already familiar with the new models--the SLT-A77V, SLT-A65V, NEX-7, NEX-5N, and NEX-VG20 camcorder--read on for my take and more details.
To be fair, there really is a boatload of interesting, potentially game-changing, stuff here, with lenses and accessories in addition to the cameras.
Starting at the top, the SLT-A77V is the long-awaited successor to the DSLR-A700, though the former uses Sony's fixed translucent-mirror technology and the latter is a conventional dSLR. The A77V incorporates Sony's newest sensor, a 24-megapixel version of its Exmor HD series, along with a new 19-point autofocus system, OLED electronic viewfinder, and 1080/60p video recording in a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body. Priced at $1,400 for the body only or $2,000 with the new 16-50mm f2.8 SSM Zeiss lens, the A77V comes in a at an odd price relative to potential competitors from Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic. Sony will offer a new vertical grip for it, the VG-C77AM (October, $299.99).
Into the unenviable slot that competes directly against the Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Nikon D5100, and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2, Sony launches the SLT-A65V. The A65V sits in the SLT product line between the older A55V and the A77V, and incorporates aspects of both: the newer 24-megapixel sensor, EVF, drive mode, and video codec from the higher-end model with the older 15-point AF system, and similar body design from the A55V. Both of the new models have built-in GPS for geotagging as well.
The two SLT models have very aggressive continuous-shooting specs for their respective classes, and as long as Sony doesn't run into heat problems with video shooting on the new sensor, they sound quite nice (although, as far as I understand, there's no official way to crop into a 1080 window on the sensor while shooting video). But I'm not thrilled about the jump to 24 megapixels, though I'm sure we'll see a Nikon using some variant of that sensor next year.Related link More on the SLT-A65V and SLT-A77V… Read more
Editor's note 10/6/2011: Sony has delayed shipment of the A65 until mid-November.
Though not as sleek as the NEX models announced at the same time, Sony's translucent mirror, dSLR-style cameras are more-mainstream workhorses. And with the Alpha SLT-A77V, it's the first time that Sony's trotted a real weather-and-dust-sealed model onto the field; plus, it's packed full of new technology that ostensibly make it faster and better than ever. But despite comparisons with models like the Canon EOS 7D, Sony reps were very emphatic that this is an enthusiast-targeted model, not pro. Whether that's because it's got as-yet unknown limitations or because Sony's planning to release a subsequent even higher-end model, I don't know.Related link Sony redefines its Alpha lines
The design (and price) certainly seems pro oriented, with a top informational display and 150,000-cycle shutter rating. And the camera pretty much includes a new everything: autofocus system, OLED viewfinder, AVCHD 2.0 progressive video capture with full-time AF, 24-plus-megapixel sensor, and articulated LCD. Plus it's got a built-in GPS, which is absent from competing models. Sony also claims class-leading performance, in part because of what Sony refers to as a "electronic first curtain" release. (In essence, since the camera has to keep the shutter open in order for you to view the image through the viewfinder, it would normally have to close the shutter before it could initiate exposure. Instead, it simulates a shutter close via the sensor, which of course is faster. It will be interesting to see if this introduces any artifacts during, say, panning.)… Read more
As Sony's replacement for its SLT-A33, the current entry-level model in its line of interchangeable-lens cameras with a fixed translucent-mirror design, the A35 looks like only a modest update, but it is also merely marginally different than the currently shipping A55. That's probably one reason why the A35 won't be shipping until August, at which point I expect that Sony will be ready to announce the replacement for the A55, which will be a year old in September. The other Sony camera announced today, the Alpha NEX-C3, is also slated to ship in August.
The most notable … Read more
The partially transparent mirror in Sony's SLT (single-lens translucent) cameras offers some interesting features, but what hasn't been clear is the toll it takes on image quality.
DxO Labs released today sensor test results for Sony's SLT-A33 and A55 and found that the mirror soaks up about one-third of an F-stop's worth of light.
This means a shot that otherwise could be taken at a shutter speed of 1/200th of a second would have be slowed down to 1/160th to get the same amount of light on an SLT camera, for example--or, holding other factors unchanged, that ISO sensitivity in dim conditions would have to be increased from 1,600 to 2,000, with the commensurate increase in noise.
DxO Labs made the measurements by comparing the results from the A33 with the compact NEX-5, which uses the same sensor but lacks the partially translucent mirror arrangement.
That type of mirror, also called a pellicle mirror, lets the SLT camera line perform some neat tricks--autofocus can be continuously engaged, which allows the A33 to shoot 7 frames per second and the A55 to shoot 10 frames per second. With a pellicle mirror, autofocus works when shooting video, too.
COLOGNE, Germany--Sony's two translucent-mirror cameras are going to get a big brother, an advanced model geared for enthusiasts, the electronics giant said Tuesday.
The Sony Alpha 33 and 55 arrived earlier this year sporting an SLR look but lacking a mirror that flips out of the way when it's time for the photo to be taken and the light to go to the sensor rather than the viewfinder. Instead, these models use a translucent mirror that sends most of the light to the sensor but shares some with an autofocus subsystem. Sony's SLT (single-lens translucent) cameras use an electronic viewfinder; there's no optical viewfinder.
One result of the SLT designs is a camera that can shoot 10 frames per second with autofocus continuously engaged and that can use autofocus even when shooting video. Another result is demand for a55 and a33 that pushed back until 2011 availability of Sony's A560, which uses the same image sensor.
So it's probably no surprise that Sony is pushing ahead with further models. … Read more