Sony Enters D-SLR Market With New α DSLR-A100
Sony entered the digital single lens reflex (D-SLR) camera market with introduction of the α DSLR-A100 system.
The novelty features a 10.2-megapixel APS CCD image sensor and will be introduced with 19 high-quality Sony lenses. It will also be compatible with most of the former Konica-Minolta Maxxum mount lenses. The system will include a wide range of accessories as well.
Sony developed a new Dynamic Range Optimizer image analysis technology to provide improved picture quality and natural color reproduction, along with a new Bionz image processing engine. This new engine supports a continuous burst mode for fast-action shooting and performs intelligent power management.
The DSLR-A100 camera features light sensitivity up to ISO 1600 and Super SteadyShot image stabilization, a Sony technology that shifts the image sensor to compensate for camera movement.
Because Super SteadyShot is built into the camera body, all compatible telephoto, wide-angle, standard and macro lenses are automatically image-stabilized. This also allows from two to 3-1/2 stops of latitude in exposure, which supports hand-held shooting at longer shutter speeds than would otherwise be possible.
The α DSLR-A100 is claimed to be the only D-SLR camera that can optimize dynamic range, meaning the range from highlights to shadows, including gain and contrast, through in-camera hardware processing.
Sony’s Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) analyzes the captured image data and instantly determines the best exposure and color tonality of an image before JPEG compression. Unlike software optimization of a processed image, DRO is performed in the hardware. It is the first hardware-based DRO solution with the speed required for high-speed shooting.
The camera will offer high-speed burst shooting at up to three frames per second continuously, at 10.2-megapixels and the finest JPEG compression. For those action shots, you’re limited only by the speed of your media card.
The new camera will also have a long battery life. The supplied lithium ion battery gives you up to 750 shots per full charge, depending on usage patterns and environmental conditions.
Speaking of dust removal, the camera’s CCD image sensor has an indium tin oxide coating to avoid static build-up so that dust does not readily adhere. Additionally, when you turn the camera on or off, an anti-dust feature is activated to literally shake off dust particles.
Sony is continuing its long-standing relationship with Carl Zeiss to deliver new lenses for the α camera system. The two companies have co-developed three lenses, including an ultra-wide, 16-80 mm Vario-Sonnar T* zoom model and two fixed focal length telephoto models - a Planar T* 85 mm and Sonnar T* 135 mm.
The system will also be supported with a full range of accessories, including a line-up of flashes, cable releases, rechargeable battery packs and several styles of carrying cases.
The α camera also features eye-start auto focus, which starts focusing your picture before you even press the shutter; a 2.5-inch Clear Photo LCD Plus screen for wide-angle viewing and improved color reproduction; JPEG and RAW file format support; and a comfortable camera grip with easily-accessible function and mode dials.
There is a slot for CompactFlash Type I/II and Microdrive media cards. The camera also accepts Memory Stick PRO and Memory Stick PRO Duo media cards through a supplied adaptor.
The DSLR-A100 camera body will be available for about $900. The DSLR-A100K kit, which includes the camera body along with an 18-70mm zoom lens, will be available for about $1,000. Both will ship in July.
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