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Sony Takes Aim At Competitors With New d-SLR

9/15/2008 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Seeking to stake its claim as a major player in the prosumer digital-SLR market, Sony introduced its first digital SLR with a full-frame image sensor.

The Alpha A900, originally introduced at this year's PMA Show, is due in November with a body-only package expected to retail for $3,000.

The d-SLR features a new full frame, 24-megapixel 35mm-sized CMOS sensor; a 3-inch, 921K pixel LCD; a 5 fps burst mode at full resolution; and dual Bionz processors.

It features a sensor-shifting image stabilization system that Sony claimed is a first for a full-frame image sensor.

Additional features include a sensor-vibrating dust-reduction system, dual memory card slot for MS and CF, and viewfinder with 100 percent coverage.

The camera's focus screen can be replaced with optional L-type or M-type screens.

The A900 uses a new autofocus system with nine wide-area sensors with 10 assist points. A center dual cross sensor uses two horizontal, two vertical line sensors and a dedicated f/2.8 sensor. The d-SLR can preview image effects on its LCD, bringing up a preview RAW file allowing photographers to adjust white balance, dynamic range, exposure compensation, etc., before snapping the photo.

The camera features 13 creative styles that can be further tweaked by users, alongside three custom modes, HDMI output and a shutter rated for 100,000 releases.

Ever since it acquired the assets of Konica Minolta, Sony has aggressively expanded into the digital SLR market — a category dominated by two photo industry stalwarts, Canon and Nikon.