San Diego, Calif. -
introduced Tuesday the Alpha SLT-A57 d-SLR that continues the use of the company's translucent mirror technology.
The midrange d-SLR
features a 16-megapixel, APS-C-sized sensor and is positioned to compete with
Canon's EOS Rebel T3i and the Nikon's D5100.
Sony is selling the a57 for a $700 suggested retail for the body only, or in a kit with an 18-55mm zoom lens for $800, starting in April.
As with previous top-end Sony d-SLRs, the a57 uses a fixed internal reflex mirror to drive a continuous phase-detection autofocus system rather than an optical viewfinder.
The a57 uses both a 1.4-million-dot eye-level LCD electronic viewfinder and a tilting 3-inch LCD screen.
The a57 is also capable of burst-shooting speeds up to 12 fps at an 8-megapixel resolution, or 10 fps at full 16-megapixel resolution.
For video, the a57 captures FullHD 1080p at 60 fps in AVCHD Progressive format. Users can switch to full manual exposure control when shooting video, and the camera offers continuous phase-detection autofocus and auto-exposure adjustments for video and burst shooting.
Maximum ISO sensitivity is listed at 16,000.
A new feature in the camera is called Auto Portrait Framing. This in-camera editing tool combines face detection and a rule-of-thirds algorithm to automatically crop portrait photos for the best composition.
Other features include Sony's Sweep Panorama mode, single-shot 3D and panorama 3D modes, and an exposure-bracketing HDR mode.
The a57 features a new "by pixel super resolution" digital zoom technology that adds an extra 2x simulated zoom at the telephoto end of any A-mount lens.