Sony announces two new Alpha series DSLRs and two new NEX series cameras

Wednesday August 24 2011

Sony announces two new Alpha series DSLRs and two new NEX series cameras

Sony announced Wednesday two new NEX series compact interchangeable lens cameras, the NEX 5N and NEX 7, and two new DSLRs in the Alpha lineup, the Alpha 65 and Alpha 77.

New Sony Alpha 65 and Alpha 77

These 2 new DSLRs both logically come with the Translucent Mirror technology included by Sony on all its new DSLRs since it launch last year.

With this Translucent Mirror technology, the light passing through the lens goes both to the image sensor and the auto focus sensor. This enables the camera to focus continuously even while taking the picture and enables a much higher continuous shooting speed, but it also reduces the size of the camera because the mirror doesn't move up and down when exposing the image sensor. Another advantage with Translucent Mirror is its absence of "blackout time", which occurs when the mirror moves upward and blocks the view in the optical viewfinder. So, it becomes possible to see what's happening in the scene even when they are taking photos, thus preparing them for the next shot.

In addition to the Translucent Mirror, the A65 and A77 feature an Electronic First Curtain which is an electronic high-speed scanning and reset system that simulates the mechanical shutter operation. Thanks to this "electronic shutter", the exposure is initiated directly from "live view" without lag time or mechanical movement, for even quicker "burst" successive pictures.

The Sony Alpha 77, successor of the Alpha 70, will feature the brand new ultra-high resolution 24.3 megapixel APS-C sensor. This sensor is the first Exmor R CMOS sensor with such a resolution. The A77 also includes a Bionz image processor, a 19-point AF system with 11 cross sensors with a full-time continous AF system for "burst" shooting up to 12 fps.

This camera can also records video in Full HD 1080/60p and 24p format, with a phase detection auto-focus.

As most Sony Alpha DSLRs, the A77 offers a large electronic viewfinder, but, it's one of the first to offer a 2.5 megapixel OLED screen.

Some other specs can be noted: an ISO ranging from 100-16 000, a 3-way tiltable LCD screen, a multi-frame A-HDR capability and a built-in image stabilization.

The Alpha A77 should launch in October at $1399 for the body only and below $2000 for the first kit.

The Alpha A65, which will also launch this fall, is targeting the top of the entry-level market segment with a price under $1000.

It features the exact same 24.3 megapixel Exmor R sensor, the new Bionz image processor, the electronic first curtain, an OLED electronic viewfinder with a lower resolution, the tiltable LCD screen.

The main difference with the A77 comes from its auto-focus which is a bit less fast with only 10 fps in continuous shooting and only 15 points with three cross sensors.

New Sony NEX 5N and NEX 7

In addition to these DSLRs, Sony introduced 2 new compact mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras to its NEX series: the NEX 5N and NEX 7. Like the aforementioned DSLRs, these 2 cameras feature translucent mirror technology.

The new Sony NEX 7 features the new 24.3-megapixel APS-C image sensor, a OLED Electronic View Finder, the new Bionz image processor, an electronic first curtain faster "burst" shooting up to 10fps at full resolution. The auto-focus has been improved with object tracking, where objects can be selected by touch on the tilting 3-inch LCD.

It can also shoot 1080/60p and 24p videos in AVCHD Pro, with exposure modes including aperture priority, shutter priority and manual exposure.

The Sony NEX 5N, successor to the NEX 5, features a smaller 16.1-megapixel APS-C image sensor, but it offers the same Bionz image processor, electronic first curtain technology with a similar maximum 10fps in continuous shooting. Moreover, its AF and video capacities are the same as the NEX 7.

Both these new Sony NEX cameras include 15 picture effects and will be available in black, silver or white color.