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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sony Alpha SLT-A33 and SLT-A55

A pair of new cameras change the whole DSLR paradigm

Labels: GearFirst Look

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We’ve had DSLRs for some time, and more recently the compact mirrorless interchangeable-lens digital cameras. Now, Sony gives us a new class of camera: the SLT, an interchangeable-lens camera with a translucent nonmoving mirror and a high-res eye-level EVF to complement its external live-view LCD monitor.

The new SLT-A33 and SLT-A55 look like DSLRs, and can be held like DSLRs, but they offer a number of advantages. One is quick phase-detection AF for both still and video shooting. Another is the ability to use the LCD monitor or the EVF in both still and video modes. Still another is the ability to display a wide selection of data options on the monitor or EVF. Yet another is quick operation overall.

Special Sony Features
The A33 and A55 incorporate a host of versatile Sony features, including Sweep Panorama, Handheld Twilight Mode, Dynamic Range Optimizer, Face Detection and Smile Shutter Technology and more.

Sensor-Shift Anti-Dust And Stabilization
A charge-protection coating on the low-pass filter and sensor-shift mechanism help keep the sensor free of dust, while Sony’s SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization works with all lenses.

New AF Sensor
The A33 and A55 feature a new AF sensor with 15 AF points, including three cross-types. The cameras’ translucent pellicle mirror technology allows quick phase-detection AF to be used with full-time live-view, for both still and video shooting.
Speed Priority
The A33 and A55 can shoot up to 20 RAW images or 39 standard JPEG images at up to 6 fps. In Speed Priority mode, with focus locked, the A33 can do 7 fps, the A55 10 fps—especially remarkable considering the latter’s big 16.2-megapixel images.
Sony A Lens Mount
Both models are compatible with all Sony A-mount lenses, as well as legacy Konica Minolta Maxxum lenses. These currently range from 16mm full-frame fisheye to 70-400mm tele-zoom, including five Carl Zeiss lenses, plus 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters. The sensor’s 1.5x focal-length factor makes that 70-400mm zoom equivalent to a 105-600mm on a 35mm camera.
The A33 and A55 feature Sony’s new 14.2-megapixel and 16.2-megapixel (respectively) Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor. The first Sony still-camera sensor capable of full HD video, the APS-C-size unit has a focal-length factor of 1.5x and is capable of ISOs up to 12,800.

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