Sony Gets Innovative with a Non-Moving dSLR Mirror

Sony redefines the DSLR category – a world first in Translucent Mirror Technology
New 55 and 33 cameras deliver impressive digital still images of up to 10 frames per second and Quick Auto Focus Full HD Movie recording

Sydney – 24 August, 2010 – Sony Australia today announced two new  cameras, the 55 and 33, that adopt Sony’s newly-developed Translucent Mirror Technology, offering the highest-level performance for still image and movie recording.

Revolutionary Translucent Mirror Technology
The 55 and 33 are the world’s first interchangeable lens digital cameras to incorporate Translucent Mirror Technology. By replacing the conventional DSLR mirror box with one that contains a fixed translucent mirror, the 55 and 33 offer full-time, TTL phase-detection auto-focusing during live view, movie shooting and high speed continuous shooting.

“With the introduction of Translucent Mirror Technology in the new 55 and 33 cameras, Sony has raised the innovation bar to offer consumers an advanced photography experience,” said Maurice Satya, Product Manager for  cameras at Sony Australia. “Adding these new models to the popular  range has redefined the DSLR category so that everyone from novice photographers, through to experienced enthusiasts, can capture stunning digital still images at up to 10 frames per second and Full HD movies with fast and accurate AF.”

World’s first Quick AF Full HD movie shooting
Translucent Mirror Technology makes the 55 and 33 the world’s first cameras to maintain continuous phase detect AF when recording Full HD AVCHD movies (1920 x 1080 / 60i, 50i)[1]. With fast and precise phase detection AF continually tracking subject movement, a subject that moves quickly to or from the camera is kept in focus, even when there is a shallow depth of field.

World’s fastest continuous shooting with AF
The 55 and 33 use a fixed translucent mirror that does not need to be raised and lowered each time the shutter is released. This enables light passing through the lens to be simultaneously received by the image sensor and the auto focus sensor, allowing continuous shooting and focusing at speeds never before possible. The result is highly responsive camera performance, with world’s fastest continuous shooting at up to 10 frames per second with continuous AF on the 55[2], and up to 7 frames per second on the 33.

High-speed and high-precision TTL phase-detection AF during movie shooting

Users can benefit from fast and precise auto-focusing during movie recording through the cameras’ 15-point phase-detection AF system, another first for an interchangeable lens camera[3]. The newly developed system incorporates three cross sensors, vertically aligned in the centre of the frame so users can enjoy fast and accurate AF operation, whether in still image or video mode.

As the first  cameras equipped to capture Full HD quality movies, the new 55 and 33 are designed with Sony’s latest ExmorTM APS HD CMOS sensor, offering users high quality imaging of up to 16.2 megapixels on the 55 and 14.2 megapixels on the 33. The sensor also has the large surface area required to create a background defocusing effect, adding impressive depth of field effects to images and enabling crisp, clear movie shooting even in low light conditions. The cameras are compatible with a variety of A-mount interchangeable lenses so users can exercise their cinematic creativity.

Significantly improved Quick AF Live View
The cameras feature a newly developed Tru-Finder, a view finder that boasts 100% frame coverage and an effective resolution of 1.15 million dots (1.44 million total dots).  It also allows a range of unique on-screen displays within the viewfinder, including a digital level gauge, histogram, guide lines and real-time creative style preview. The 3-inch Xtra Fine screen also has a built-in intelligent brightness control that assures a clear, natural view by automatically adjusting luminance and saturation on-screen in response to ambient lighting conditions. In addition, the cameras offer a wide, 33.2o (16:9) viewing angle which is comparable to that of the 900.

The 55 and 33 sport several noise reduction features to ensure the optimum image quality. Multi-frame NR automatically captures six frames and combines them into a single JPEG image, which reduces image noise by approximately two ISO steps and boosts effective sensitivity as high as ISO 25600. Similarly, Hand-Held Twilight™ shoots and combines six frames into a single photo, suppressing blur to enable clear night-scene imaging without a tripod or flash. While Auto HDR™ shoots and combines three frames into a single high dynamic range (HDR) photo with rich shadow and highlighting detail.

Novice photographers aren’t forgotten with AUTO+
The 55 and 33 are equipped with a new AUTO+ mode that makes it easy for novice photographers to experience the advanced features of both cameras. In the AUTO+ mode, the cameras analyse the scene and shooting conditions, optimise settings for aperture and shutter speed, and automatically activate advanced features such as burst shooting for fast-moving subjects and Auto HDR for backlit subjects.

3D Sweep Panorama mode is also featured on both cameras and when activated, allows photographers to capture impressive, ultra-wide panoramic photos in 3D by simply sweeping the camera in a horizontal direction.

High ISO sensitivity of up to 12800 and an AUTO ISO range of ISO100 – ISO1600 enable the 55 and 33 to capture quality hand-held shots in low-light conditions, even by candlelight.

For users who enjoy geo-tagging, the 55 is the first  camera with a built-in GPS that can tag images with the geographical coordinates of the location where they were taken. When viewed on a computer using the bundled Picture Motion Browser (PMB) software or on a compatible BRAVIA TV equipped with the Photo Map function, the geo-tagged images are beautifully displayed on a world map.

For greater convenience, both cameras support Memory Stick and SD cards. With the Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™, movies and photos can be transferred up to 4 times faster than when using the Memory Stick PRO Duo Mark2™.

The new 55 and 33 cameras are available in Australia from September 2010. Further information on some of the unique features of the cameras can be viewed on the Sony Australia
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/sonyaustralia.

In Australia the pricing is (including GST)

A55:
• SLTA55VB (body only): $1249
• SLTA55VL (single lens): $1399
• SLTA55VY (twin lens): $1699

A33:

• SLTA33B (body only): $949
• SLTA33L (single lens): $1099
• SLTA33Y (twin lens): $1399

Sony debuts three new  A-mount lenses
The new SAL24F20Z, SAL85F28 and SAL35F18 lenses expand the imaging possibilities for   DSLR and NEX users.

Jointly developed by Sony and Carl Zeiss, the SAL24F20Z features the esteemed Distagon design, delivering stunning image clarity for users. Featuring wide 24mm focal length, the lens offers emphasis on the distance of background objects and scenery and when combined with an APS-C sensor camera, the lens provides a 35mm focal length, ideal for capturing scenery, travel and indoor shots.

The SAL85F28 is the first full-frame lens to be offered in the “Easy Choice” prime lens series, offering entry-level DSLR users the professional standard for portraiture with 85mm focal length. Users can also expect high contrast image quality from the centre of the image right out to the edges as the lens offers unrivalled resolution and performance at the intermediate 35mm full-frame level.

As with the SAL85F28, the SAL35F18 is a new addition to the compact, lightweight range of “Easy Choice” prime lens. The highly accessible lens offers a good balance between high optical performance and reasonable price, ideal for snapshots and portraits with its 35mm focal length. Combined with an APS-C sensor camera, the focal length of the lens is equivalent to 52.5mm, offering users the versatility to cover shots from landscapes, to snapshots, to portraits and more.

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