September 25, 2010

Sony Alpha 55 and 33 Digital Cameras with Translucent Mirror Technology

New Alpha 55 and Alpha 33 Single Lens Translucent mirror cameras by Sony

The α (pronounced Alpha) family of interchangeable lens cameras from Sony grows with the compact new Alpha 55 (SLT-A55V) with 16.2 megapixels and Alpha 33 (SLT-A33) with 14.2 megapixels. In this post you can see the main features of these cameras. In green are the differences between the Alpha 55 and the Alpha 33 : megapixels, shutter speed, GPS and price: the Alpha 33 is cheaper than the Alpha 55.

Sony Alpha 55

SONY ALPHA 55 – Photo © 2010 Sony Inc.

Sony Alpha 33

SONY ALPHA 33 – Photo © 2010 Sony Inc.
The Alpha 33 has the same design but without GPS

Sony's first-ever digital cameras to employ Translucent Mirror Technology showcase an innovative optical system that opens up dramatic new shooting possibilities. In contrast with conventional DSLR cameras, Translucent Mirror Technology uses a fixed, translucent mirror that 'splits' the optical pathway between the main image sensor and a separate phase-detection autofocus sensor.

High-resolution live image preview with rapid, accurate phase detection autofocus is thus available at all times - either via the angle-adjustable 7.5cm (3") LCD or precision Tru-Finder (electronic viewfinder). This also ensures that even moving objects stay in sharp focus at all times, whether you're shooting Full HD video or stills.

Translucent Mirror Technology overcomes other traditional limitations of DSLR models, with its simplified mechanical design shrinking camera size and complexity. This makes the Alpha 55 and Alpha 33 a compelling choice for casual photographers who want to capture spontaneous family moments and travel scenes with less to carry.

Full-resolution shooting at up to 10fps with precise AF tracking

Ground-breaking Translucent Mirror Technology allows high-speed shooting with the Alpha 55 at up to 10fps (Alpha 33: 7fps) in Continuous Priority AE mode. This represents for the Alpha 55 the world's fastest burst continuous AF shooting performance of any interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C size sensor.

A newly developed 15-point phase-detection autofocus system assures rapid, accurate AF tracking, keeping even moving subjects in sharp focus during continuous shooting. This enables the Alpha 55 and Alpha 33 to capture split-second action or fleeting nuances of expression with portrait subjects.

World's first Quick AF Full HD movie shooting among consumer oriented interchangeable lens digital cameras (as of 24 August 2010).

The large sensor size Exmor™ APS HD CMOS Sensor inside both cameras lets photographers capture cinematic HD video footage with background defocus (bokeh) effects.

The Alpha 55 and Alpha 33 also mark the debut of Quick AF Full HD movie shooting. Translucent Mirror Technology enables AVCHD 1080i video shooting with smooth, precise phase detection AF tracking of moving subjects. Real-time video image preview is now possible via the viewfinder - in contrast with DSLR cameras where the raised mirror prevents light from reaching the optical viewfinder during video shooting.

Effortless composition and image viewing

The Alpha 55 and Alpha 33 enable new possibilities for framing and viewing highest-quality video and still images. Quick AF Live View system is now more effective. High-resolution live image preview is teamed with uncompromised phase detection AF performance - even with rapidly-moving subjects.

Tilting and swivelling freely (to maximum 270 degrees) for comfortable framing at any shooting angle, the bright 7.5 cm (3.0") (16:9) Xtra Fine LCD offers more detail and contrast.

There's also a precision electronic viewfinder with 1.15 million dot resolution that delivers a clear, bright image with 100% frame coverage. Adjustments to exposure, depth of field and colour can be previewed instantly, either in the viewfinder or on the LCD. Effortless composition is aided further by switchable grid line in the finder and LCD screen, plus a new digital levelling gauge.

Back of Sony Alpha 55

SONY ALPHA 55 Back – Photo © 2010 Sony Inc.

Enriched creative possibilities

The Alpha 55 and Alpha 33 are compatible with the full range of over 30 A-mount interchangeable lenses and offer SteadyShot INSIDE. This in-body image stabilisation system provides up to 4 exposure steps of anti-shake correction when shooting handheld.

Both cameras also feature 3D Sweep Panorama, allowing photographers to capture detail-packed extra-wide panoramas with a huge field of view. 3D panoramas can be enjoyed on any compatible 3D HD television. The Alpha 55 (but not the Alpha 33) is also the first Alpha camera by Sony with integrated GPS, allowing automatic geo-tagging of images and video clips.

The new-generation Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor inside both cameras supports a sophisticated range of digital image compositing and processing functions. This gives greater artistic possibilities to beginners and photo enthusiasts alike.

Auto HDR is now refined further compared with previous-generation Alpha models. Data from a burst of three frames at bracketed exposure values is automatically combined, creating a single image with extended highlight and shadow detail Multi-frame Noise Reduction 'stacks' a high-speed burst of six frames, creating a single low-noise exposure that boosts effective sensitivity as high as ISO 25600.

The new cameras accept both Memory Stick PRO Duo (including Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo) and SD (including both SDHC and SDXC formats) media (all sold separately). Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX 30MB per second transfer rate offers the best performance during cameras' continuous shooting mode or when transferring the data to another media.

The new Alpha 55 and Alpha 33 Single Lens Translucent mirror cameras by Sony are presented at Photokina 2010 and are available in September 2010.