Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Sony 09/09/2008 Press Release




Sony

Press Release - September 9, 2008




SONY UNVEILS FIRST FULL-FRAME ALPHA DSLR MODEL





Sept. 9, 2008 - Sony is introducing its full-frame Alpha DSLR-A900 camera, aimed at serious photo enthusiasts looking for traditional SLR performance with the added benefits of digital photography.

It is designed to deliver ultra-fine picture quality with the world's highest resolution, 24.6-megapixel, 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor and fast image processing with a new dual BIONZ processing engines. The camera is also the first to have a body-integrated image stabilization system for a full-frame sensor with Sony's SteadyShot Inside anti-shake system.

One look at the camera's distinctive pentaprism and nostalgic body design will evoke its full-frame optical performance. It features a bright, clear optical viewfinder with 100% field of view coverage that would impress even film photography loyalists.

"The Alpha DSLR-A900 introduction solidifies Sony's position as a leading camera manufacturer that can meet the demands of serious enthusiasts," said Phil Lubell, director of digital camera marketing at Sony Electronics. "It represents the best in sensor and image processing technologies and offers enhanced functions, performance and reliability so photographers can push their creativity to the limit."

Ultra-Fine Images As The Human Eye Perceives Them



The camera's Exmor CMOS sensor delivers the photographic expressive power of wide angles and perspective that only a 35 mm full-frame sensor can offer, and is designed to take advantage of the resolving power of high-precision Alpha lenses. Its high pixel count and large size provide enhanced image detail and a wider dynamic range for natural color reproduction and subtle tonal gradations.

The sensor is produced using proprietary Sony planarization technologies to ensure an ultra-flat surface across the entire imaging area. Instead of a single analog/digital convertor, the sensor uses over 6,000 on-chip, column-parallel A/D converters to convert analog signals to noise-resistant digital signals at the earliest possible stage. The result is reduced noise and high-speed transfer of data.

Image processing gets a boost in speed and power from the application of two BIONZ image processing engines. Large amounts of data captured by the 24.6-megapixel sensor can be quickly processed to achieve a fast shooting response. Additionally, this dual BIONZ processing system applies advanced noise reduction algorithms producing images of exceptional quality and detail, especially at high ISO sensitivities.

World's First Anti-Shake System for a Full-Frame Sensor

The camera's newly-developed, body-integrated SteadyShot Inside unit achieves an anti-shake effect equivalent to shutter speeds faster by 2.5 to 4 stops. This new unit provides stabilization for Sony, Minolta and Konica-Minolta wide angle, large-aperture lenses, which is difficult for lens-integrated systems.





State-of-the Art Optical Performance and Responsiveness

The ultra-bright viewfinder with 100% field of view coverage and 0.74x magnification enables accurate framing and preview. It features a high-power condenser lens, an eyepiece with high reflective-index glass, and a multi-layer, anti-reflective coating on every optical surface to deliver its extraordinarily bright and accurate view. Additionally, the focusing screen is user-replaceable, with additional L-type (grid pattern) and M-type (super spherical acute matte) screens sold separately.

The camera's newly-developed autofocus system consists of nine wide-area sensors with 10 assist points for improved tracking of moving subjects. A center dual cross sensor comprised of two horizontal and two vertical line sensors as well as a dedicated f/2.8 sensor are included to achieve greater precision, especially when using fast-aperture lenses. It also offers high-speed continuous shooting of 24.6 megapixel images at five frames per second. A newly-designed mirror box features a unique parallel-link mirror mechanism that moves on two horizontal axes to accommodate both 100% viewfinder coverage and the body-integrated image stabilization system without increasing the camera's size. The mirror box also has a new moving magnet actuator, a high-powered coreless motor for a faster shutter charge, and a magnet catcher to minimize mirror bounce and light refraction within the box.

Versatility to Unleash Creative Possibilities

The model's innovative intelligent preview function takes the guesswork out of setting up a shot and the hassle of taking multiple shots to achieve a desired effect.

After pressing the depth of field preview button, the camera "grabs" a RAW preview image which is processed and displayed on the LCD screen. You can then fine tune white balance, determine the best level and effect of dynamic range optimization, adjust exposure compensation and check histogram data, all before you actually take the picture. Preview images are not recorded on the camera's memory card, thus saving capacity.





Other key features aimed to expand creative options include the Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) with five levels of user-selectable correction as well as DRO bracketing for enhanced scene analysis and graduation optimization. EV bracketing with ±2EV range makes it easy to create high dynamic range composite images.

Thirteen creative styles can be selected to enhance images and then fine-tuned by customizing contrast, sharpness, zone matching and other parameters, while 3 user-programmable memories provide instant access to as many as 26 different mode settings.

Powerful RAW file processing control is put in the photographer's hands with the included Image Data Converter SR3 software that delivers faster file processing speeds, easy adjustment of image parameters, Dynamic Range Optimization and a new Peripheral Illumination function that compensates for corner light fall off.

With the camera's HDMI output and Photo TV HD mode, your creative output can be enjoyed on a compatible HD television. This mode brings the look of actual printed photography to the television, by fine-tuning such image parameters as sharpness, gradation and color.

Comfort in Your Hands

Its construction features rugged, lightweight magnesium alloy with moisture-resistant, rubber seals for buttons and dials, an anti-static coating to prevent dust adherence to the imager, and a high-endurance shutter rated for more than 100,000 release cycles.

It has a 3-inch, Xtra Fine LCD screen (921K) makes it possible to check focus and image quality with accuracy. It incorporates an easy-to-see display with a quick navigation menu to easily access common functions without interrupting your creative flow. A backlit LCD panel sits on top of the camera and displays key settings.

System Expansion with New Accessories

The A900 camera will be accompanied with an array of accessories like the recently-announced Sony HVL-F58AM flash unit with its innovative Quick Shift Bounce system, powerful performance with a guide number of 58, and wireless auto flash ratio control.





The Sony VG-C90AM vertical grip offers the same ease of operation when shooting vertically as horizontally, with its button layout and low-position shutter-release button. It also houses two InfoLITHIUM batteries (sold separately) for longer shooting and playback.

The DSLR-A900 body will be available in November for about ,000 along with related accessories. All will be available at authorized dealers, at military base exchanges, Sony Style retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail) and at sonystyle.com. Online pre-orders begin online on Sept. 10.


A900 Image Size/Storage Capacity

Aspect RatioResolutionQualityApprox. file size# Images on 2GB CF card
3:2Large (24 MP)
6048 x 4032
RAW+JPEG48.8 MB41
cRAW+JPEG35.7 MB56
RAW38.5 MB52
cRAW25.6 MB78
Extra fine23.3 MB86
Fine10.2 MB197
Standard6.8 MB296
Medium (13 MP)
4400 x 2936
RAW+JPEG44.4 MB45
cRAW+JPEG31.7 MB63
Extra fine13.1 MB153
Fine5.9 MB337
Standard4.2 MB481
Small (6.1 MP)
3024 x 2016
RAW+JPEG41.7 MB48
cRAW+JPEG29.0 MB69
Extra fine7.2 MB277
Fine3.4 MB587
Standard2.6 MB773
16:9

Large (21 MP)
6048 x 3408

RAW+JPEG46.5 MB43
cRAW+JPEG34.5 MB58
RAW38.5 MB52
cRAW25.6 MB78
Extra fine19.8 MB101
Fine8.7 MB230
Standard5.8 MB343
Medium (11 MP)
4400 x 2472
RAW+JPEG43.5 MB46
cRAW+JPEG30.8 MB65
Extra fine11.1 MB180
Fine5.1 MB389
Standard3.6 MB550
Small (5.2 MP)
3072 x 1704
RAW+JPEG40.8 MB49
cRAW+JPEG28.6 MB70
Extra fine6.2 MB321
Fine3.0 MB664
Standard2.3 MB861
APS-CLarge (11 MP)
3984 x 2656
RAW+JPEG22.0 MB91
cRAW+JPEG16.7 MB120
RAW16.1 MB117
cRAW11.7 MB171
Extra fine10.6 MB188
Fine4.9 MB407
Standard3.4 MB582
Medium (5.6 MP)
2896 x 1928
RAW+JPEG20.2 MB99
cRAW+JPEG14.8 MB135
Extra fine6.2 MB325
Fine3.1 MB650
Standard2.3 MB861
Small (2.6 MP)
1984 x 1320
RAW+JPEG19.0 MB105
cRAW+JPEG13.7 MB146
Extra fine3.6 MB550
Fine2.0 MB1002
Standard1.6 MB1222



NEW PREMIUM LENSES SUPPORT FULL-FRAME ALPHA DSLR CAMERA

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 9, 2008 - Sony is expanding its number of high performance Carl Zeiss and G Series lenses with the addition of the new SAL1635ZA and SAL70400G models.





Vario Sonnar T* 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Series Lens

The SAL1635ZA model is a super wide angle 16-35mm f/2.8 constant aperture zoom lens, well-suited for landscape, snapshot and indoor photography.

It is constructed of 17 lens elements in 13 groups, including an extra-low dispersion (ED) for exceptional clarity and center-to-edge resolution and a super ED glass element for much stronger correction of chromatic aberration or discoloration. It also features three aspherical lens elements that provide greater brightness from center to the edge of the image field.

Its Carl Zeiss T* (T star) coating technology provides higher light transmission, and minimizes flare to produce images of luminous clarity, color and sharpness.

The SAL1635ZA lens offers the utmost flexibility in challenging lighting conditions due to its wide f/2.8 constant aperture. Combined with Sony's in-camera SteadyShot® Inside image stabilization system, this lens is the only large aperture, full-frame capable, wide-angle zoom lens with the benefit of stabilization in the industry. Smooth, fast and precise focusing is delivered by Sony's Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) autofocus drive system. It utilizes a solid-state focus drive motor to provide silent, high-speed response, powerful torque and fine rotational control " critically important for large wide-aperture lenses.

70-400mm f/4-5.6 G Series Lens

The SAL70400G lens is a 5.7x super telephoto zoom lens and the latest addition to Sony's G-series line of premium lenses. Designed to deliver extremely sharp descriptive performance across its wide focal length range, it is ideally suited for sports, action and wildlife photography.

Constructed of 18 elements in 12 groups, it includes two extra-low dispersion glass lenses for high contrast, sharp details, and exceptional center-to-edge resolution with minimal chromatic aberration. A circular aperture with nine diaphragm blades is utilized to achieve natural, aesthetically-pleasing de-focusing effects.

With a minimum focus distance of 1.5m and maximum magnification of 0.27x, the lens delivers best-in-class performance. Like the SAL1635ZA lens, focus drive is provided by its SSM system, which offers the speed and rotational precision often required for telephoto shooting. Additionally, the lens has an internal focusing system for faster auto focusing. A focus-mode/range switch and three focus-hold buttons have been added to the lens barrel for enhanced operability. For both models, when attached to the flagship α900 camera body, the AF hold buttons can be customized to activate the intelligent preview function.

Price and Availability The Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA and 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G lens will ship in January 2009 for about ,800 and ,500, respectively. They will be available at sonystyle.com, at Sony Style retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail), at military base exchanges, and at authorized dealers nationwide.





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