Sony today introduced two new digital SLR cameras, the Sony a (alpha) DSLR-A350 camera with 10.2-megapixel and a 14.2-megapixel a (alpha) DSLR-A300 model. Both cameras feature new technologies that make picture taking faster, easier, and more familiar for first-time DSLR users. Here is more info:
"Quick AF Live View System
They both offer Sony's new "Quick AF Live View" technology so you can frame photos on the camera's LCD without sacrificing auto-focusing speed common to other live-view systems.
Sony's innovative Pentamirror Tilt mechanism directs light to a dedicated live view image sensor, enabling fast and responsive TTL phase-detection auto-focusing, even during live view.
Eliminating the focus delay of other systems, the new models are equally responsive whether using live view or optical viewfinder.
With its two sensor design, Quick AF Live View can even continuously focus-track the subject and provide live view during burst shooting, helping you capture that special moment.
Taking further advantage of Quick AF Live View is the models? variable angle 2.7-inch Clear Photo LCD screen. This makes it easy to frame scenes from high or low positions difficult to reach when using an eye-level viewfinder.
With Live View and an adjustable LCD, the cameras do not need to be in front of the user?s face, allowing parents, for example, to maintain eye-contact when photographing their children.
Exceptional Image Quality
The new models produce images with fine detail, rich tonality and vibrant color due to their APS-C CCD image sensors and BIONZ processing engine. To aid shooting in low light, Super SteadyShot image stabilization enables shutter speeds 2.5 to 3.5 steps slower than otherwise possible, with every compatible Minolta Maxxum and Sony α (alpha) lens (sold separately) attached to the camera.
High sensitivity operation at ISO 1600 and 3200 and very low noise are made possible by the user-selectable high-ISO noise reduction features. Sony?s D-Range Optimizer delivers suitable tonality and exposures with rich shadow and highlight detail, even under high contrast situations.
Powerful Performance, Easy to Use
The DSLR-A300 model can shoot about three continuous frames per second and the DSLR-A350 model can shoot up to two-and-a-half continuous frames per second, when using the optical viewfinder. Both are powered by the Bionz processing engine and supplied InfoLITHIUM battery for fast start-up times, quick response and long battery life ? up to 730 shots per full charge when using the optical viewfinder and up to 410 shots per full charge in live-view mode.
Both models feature lighter, slimmer bodies for easy handling; an improved user interface; an automatic pop-up flash; a comfortable camera grip with an easily accessible mode dial; an anti-dust system to keep the CCD image sensor clean for spot-free pictures; and JPEG and RAW file format support. Both have a slot for CompactFlash Type I/II media cards.
An adaptor for Memory Stick Duo media cards is also available for the cameras and sold separately.
The new DSLR-A300 and DSLR-A350 cameras are compatible with a range of accessories, including the ergonomic Sony VG-B30AM vertical grip. Also available as an option is the new Sony HVL-F42AM flash unit. It offers advanced features such as automatic white balance adjustment with color temperature information, adjustable bounce angles, ADI metering and wireless remote operation to suit the needs of most photographers.
Feature list for the DSLR-A350:
14.2 MP Super HAD CCD The highest pixel resolution in its class (as of January 2008), for spectacular image detail for making big prints and tight crops. An advanced APS-size CCD imager developed by Sony expands dynamic range and minimizes noise more effectively for clear, sharp photos even at high sensitivity setting (up to ISO 3200).
Live Preview of Your Subject The DSLR-A350?s Live Preview mode links you and your subject on a large 2.7? LCD screen, for a familiar point-and-shoot style -- with super-quick AF response and accurate exposure control to help you catch the perfect moment. In Live Preview mode, the camera bypasses the optical pentaprism mirror to create a live ?eye-to-eye? view on the LCD of loved ones, children, pets and fast-changing scenes.
Tiltable 2.7? Clear Photo LCD Plus Screen A large built-in screen with 2-way angle tilt provides a sharp, clear view of your subject and tilts up or down for low-angle or high-angle monitoring in situations where you want a child-level or overhead shot.
Continuous Shooting While Viewing The DSLR-A350 lets you shoot continuously at up to 2 frames per second while you see your subject in the large 2.7" LCD viewfinder, so you never lose track of the action. In JPEG mode, you can shoot up to the limit of your flash memory card; in RAW Burst Mode you can capture up to 4 shots, with intelligent buffer management to allow more shots to be captured without waiting for the buffer to clear.
Smart Teleconverter 2X Zoom At the touch of a button you can zoom in electronically on your subject, reproducing pixels on a 1:1 basis with no degradation in picture quality. One touch zooms in at 1.4X, the second touch advances to 2X zoom -- creating the 35mm equivalent of a 200mm telephoto effect with the DSLR-A350?s standard 18-70mm zoom lens.
Expanded ISO Sensitivity A broad sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200 enables the DSLR-A350 to capture beautiful color images even in very dim light -- with High ISO Noise Reduction technology that reduces picture noise artifacts at high-sensitivity ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 settings by eliminating noise from RAW data after analog-to-digital conversion.
Super SteadyShot In-Camera Image Stabilization Because image stabilization is built into the DSLR-A350, every lens benefits by an advantage of from 2.5 to 3.5 exposure steps. This allows you to shoot effectively with minimum blur even in low light without flash -- or adjust exposure control for smaller lens aperture to increase depth of field and bring both foreground and background into sharp focus.
Bionz Image Processor The ?brain? of the ? (alpha) DSLR-A350 is the advanced Sony Bionz Image Processor, using hardware-based Large Scale Integrated (LSI) circuitry to enhance images with rich tonal reproduction, improved white balance and exposure control, and expanded D-Range Optimizer capabilities. With 2-channel data transfer from CCD to processor, your camera can also respond faster.
1200-zone Evaluative Metering Information from the image sensor dedicated to Live View is divided into 1200 zones of luminance and RGB color information. In addition D-Range Optimizer technology contributes to judge the scene and then determine the optimum exposure to reproduce images with a more natural look.
Dynamic Range Optimizer To improve results with backlit subjects and recover details hidden in shadows or lost in glare, the DSLR-A350 provides Dynamic Range Optimizer at two levels: Normal DRO, to improve detail using standard gamma curves for fast shot-to-shot response time, or Advanced DRO, to adjust dynamic range area-by-area for the greatest precision.
Anti-Dust Technology Changing lenses in a DSLR can allow dust to enter the camera -- so to keep the CCD imager cleaner for better pictures, the DSLR-A350 utilizes both static-free anti-dust coating on the CCD filter and anti-dust vibration that automatically shakes the CCD to dislodge dust each time the camera is shut off.
Auto Pop-Up Flash The camera flash automatically pops up and fires when needed, to help first-time DSLR photographers shoot more effectively. Auto Pop-up works in Auto mode and some scene selection modes; Flash is cancelled in Landscape, Sport or Sunset modes and in ?Flash Off? position on the Exposure Mode dial.
Eye-Start Autofocus System It begins precision autofocus adjustments the moment you raise the camera to your eye -- so unlike some DSLR cameras that don?t start focusing until the shutter button is half-pressed, the Sony DSLR-A350 never slows down your ability to catch fast action.
9-Point Center Cross AF Sensor A fast focus motor and improved focus control help bring images into sharp definition more quickly, with predictive focus control that automatically calculates the position of a fast-moving subject.
Scene Selection Modes Along with auto exposure, the DSLR-A350 gives you scene selection modes to optimize camera performance for Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports, Sunset and Night Portrait/Night View situations.
Creative Style Settings To express your creativity and personal taste, you can adjust contrast, saturation and sharpness settings for any of 8 finishing styles -- including Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Night View, Sunset, B & W and Adobe RGB modes.
Index and Slide Show Display To quickly review your photos, the DSLR-A350 can display 4, 9 or 25-frame index views -- or present automatic slide shows with fade-in/fade-out effect.
High-Resolution Thumbnails for PhotoTV HD Viewing The DSLR-A350 automatically creates high-resolution thumbnail images for viewing on Sony?s BRAVIA HDTV in optimized PhotoTV HD mode, with image format adjustable for standard 3:2 or widescreen 16:9 display.
Function Guide Display On-screen menus are intuitive and easy to use -- and a simple Camera Function Display can be activated and operated with one hand using the ?Fn?(Function) button and controller button to adjust Flash mode, Autofocus mode, White Balance, Metering mode, AF area and D-Range Optimizer.
Stamina Battery Power In optical viewfinder mode, you can take up to 730 shots3 on a fully charged NP-FM500H InfoLITHIUM battery -- and you?ll be able to see about how much power remains in percentage increments, so you can keep shooting in confidence.
High-Capacity Media Options For conveniently storing and sharing your images, the DSLR-A350 accepts CompactFlash Type I/II media and optional Memory Stick PRO Duo media.
Advanced Lenses and Accessories Sony?s ? (alpha) system gives you everything you need to expand your creativity in DSLR photography: precision Sony DT zoom lenses and specialty lenses, Sony ?G? Series lenses with advanced motorized autofocusing, amazingly bright Carl Zeiss lens designs, professional-quality flash units, and over 16 million Minolta a-mount lenses sold worldwide.
Price and Availability
The DSLR-A300 kit with a DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens will ship in April for about $800. The DSLR-A350 camera body will be available in March for about $800, and the DSLR-A350 kit with a DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 3.9x zoom lens will be available for about $900 at the same time. Both models will be available at sonystyle.com, Sony Style retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail ), military base exchanges, and authorized dealers nationwide. Pre-orders begin online today at www.sonystyle.com/dslr "