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Sony Adds Live View To New Digital SLRs

Las Vegas — Sony will add a pair of digital SLRs with live view mode to its Alpha line in the spring.

Both the 14-megapixel A350 and the 10-megapixel A300 will offer “Quick AF” live-view shooting modes. According to Sony, the system provides similar focus response times when shooting in live view or when using the optical viewfinder. Both cameras will sport a 2.7-inch variable angle LCD display.

Additional features shared by the new SLRs include CCD-shifting image stabilization, a nine-point autofocus system, ISO 3,200, Sony’s D-Range Optimizer, a pop-up flash, CCD vibrating dust-reduction system and CompactFlash card slots. Both models begin focusing as the camera is raised up to eye-level to speed focusing performance.

The supplied battery offers 730 shots per charge with live view off, or 410 shots per charge when using the LCD.

The A300 offers a slightly quicker burst speed of 3 fps to an unlimited number of JPEGs or up to six RAW files. The A350 clocks in at 2.5 fps to an unlimited number of JPEGs or up to six RAW image files.

The A300 ships in April and will bundle a DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 lens for $800.

The A350 will be sold body-only for $800 or in a kit with the DT lens for $900. Both kits ship in March.

Sony will also add a pair of lenses to its lineup in the spring. The wide angle Vario Sonnar T* 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA (SAL2470Z), co-developed with Carl Zeiss, uses a super sonic wave motor (SSM) for focusing. It will retail for $1,750.

A 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G telephoto lens (SAL70300G) will retail for $800.

With the new Alphas, Sony’s line now consists of four digital SLRs spanning price points from $700 to $1,900, depending on lens bundle.