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Sony Unveils Alpha, NEX Series Cameras

8/24/2011 01:01:00 AM Eastern

San Diego -Sony unveiled Wednesday a pair
of new NEX series compact interchangeable lens cameras and a pair of Alpha
series d-SLRs for advanced photo enthusiasts.

 

AlphaThe company also announced a second-generation model of its
consumer-level interchangeable lens camcorders - the NEX-VG20 (shipping in
November at a $1,599 suggested retail), which takes E-mount lenses designed for
the NEX camera family.

The new Alpha d-SLRs include the A65 and A77 models, both of
which incorporate Sony's unique Translucent Mirror technology and are scheduled
to see fall market introductions.

The translucent mirror technology, which was introduced last
year, allows the camera to continuously track and adjust exposure and focus
through to image capture. Other d-SLRs lose the ability to continuously adjust
focus and exposure after the reflex mirror is raised prior to exposure.

The camera also includes an electronic first curtain technology
that significantly reduces release lag time and lets the camera go directly
from live view to an exposure without cycling the focal plane shutter.

The A77, which is the successor to the popular A70, is scheduled
to fit in the $1,200-$2,000 price point class when it ships in October. Amazon
is showing the body only at a $1,400 price point. It features a full-time
continuous AF system with tracking focus at high speed, and phase detect AF in
movie mode.

It includes a new 19-point AF system with 11 cross sensors and
enables high-speed shooting in up to 12fps with full resolution.

The camera includes an ultra-high resolution 24.3-megapixel APS-C
Exmor R CMOS image sensor, Bionz image processor and records video in up to
Full HD 1080/60p and 24p format with improved sound.

As with several Alpha models introduced last year, the A77
includes an electronic viewfinder, but is one of the first cameras to use OLED
(2.5 million dots) technology in a eye-level viewfinder instead of LCD. Sony
calls the feature an XGA OLED Tru-Finder.

The company also employs a 3-way tiltable LCD and includes
built-in image stabilization.

Low-light shooting is supported with an ultra-high ISO range from
100-16,000. Also included is a built-in flash, extensive weather sealing
throughout the camera, multi-frame A-HDR capability and a cropped zoom (12M,
1.4x crop factor) function.

The Alpha A65 d-SLR, which will ship in October  at $899 (body only), or $999 (with 18-55mm
lens) is positioned at the top of the entry d-SLR class, Sony said.

It features the same 24.3-megapixel Exmor R CMOS imager as the in
the A77, but steps down to 10fps shooting with continuous AF and object
tracking.

The AF system steps down to 15 sensor points with three cross
sensors.

It also uses a new Bionz video processor, includes an electronic
first curtain feature and captures video in 1080/60p in AVCHD Progressive
compression format.

 The A65 also features an
eye-level 921,000-dot OLED EVF, articulating LCD screen, full-time continuous
AF, ISO range from 100-16,000, and built-in image stabilization.

Both the A65 and A77 also include Sweep Panorama and 3D Sweep
Panorama functions, GPS geo-tagging capability and D-Range optimization.

Sony's new additions to the NEX series compact mirrorless
interchangeable lens cameras include the NEX 5N and NEX 7 models, to fill out a
three-model lineup for 2011.

The NEX 5 is expected to ship in September at a $600 suggested
retail for the body only or $700 with an 18-55mm lens. The NEX 7 is expected in
November at a $1,200 suggested retail for the body or $1,350 with an 18-55mm
lens.

The NEX 5N, which is the successor to the NEX 5, features a 16.1-megapixel
APS-C EXMOR R CMOS image sensor, new Bionz image processing, electronic first
curtain technology for a release lag time of 20ms (.02 seconds) and up to 10fps
continuous burst shooting.

The AF system has been advanced with object tracking, where an
object is tracked by touch.

The camera shoots Full HD 1080/60p and 24p video in AVCHD
Progressive or MP4 formats with full exposure control flexibility in program,
aperture priority, shutter priority and manual exposure modes.

The 5N is said to employ an intuitive easy touch-sensitive
operation that is complemented by hard and soft key controls as well. The
camera includes a tilting 3-inch high-resolution touchscreen LCD with True-Black
technology.

Other features include 15-different picture effects. It will be
available in a choice of black, silver or white body colors.

In NEX E-mount lens accessories, Sony also introduced the LA-EA2
second mount adapter and focusing system that includes the translucent mirror
technology in an adapter. The adapter will permit the camera to work with any
A-mount series lens from Sony or Konica/Minolta, whether or not it has focus
motor built-in because the EA2 has a focus motor built in it to drive non-AF
motor lenses.

Sony also introduced an OLED eye-level electronic viewfinder
accessory attachment with XGA resolution for the 5N.

Meanwhile, the new NEX-7 compact interchangeable lens camera will
feature a built-in eye level OLED EVF, a new 24.3-megapixel APS-C image sensor,
new Bionz image processor, electronic first curtain release for reduced lag
time, and a new Tri-Navi three-dial control (two on top one on the back)
interface for very detailed control.

Video is captured at 1080/60p and 24p in AVCHD Pro with extensive
exposure control.

It will shoot in up to 10fps continuous shooting mode at full
resolution, and includes object tracking AF with face registration.

Sony also announced three new E-mount series lenses to support
the NEX camera line. These include a 55-210mm f4.5 telezoom, a 50mm f1.8 wide
aperture portrait lens, and a Carl Zeiss 24mm F1.8 Sonnar T* lens.

In E-mount camcorders, Sony introduced the NEX-VG20 body only (shipping
in November at a $1,599 suggested retail) and the NEX-VG20H body and lens bundle
(shipping in November $2,199 suggested retail), second-generation
interchangeable lens camcorder. The NEX-VG20H bundles an 18-200mm lens with the
camcorder body.

The VG20 will replace the NEX-VG10 introduced last year.

The concept combines the benefits of a large sensor (APS-C sized)
interchangeable lens still camera, such as a d-SLR or mirrorless hybrid, with
the superior audio recording quality and easier video operability of a Handycam
camcorder.

 The VG20 continues to
feature Sony's Quadcapsule recording mic and adds 5.1-channel surround sound
and audio-level control.

It also adds a 16.1-megapixel APS-C image sensor (up from a
14.2MP version in the VG10), 1080/24p and 60p frame rate recording capability,
RAW still image format capture,  270-degree articulating LCD touchscreen,
improved grip design, additional record button on the handle, remote control,
and HDMI output that works while the LCD is on.

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