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August 27, 2009

Sony reveals the three rumored DSLRs: Alpha A850 (FF), A550 and A500

The rumor stew was boiling over the last few days, and it is now fully cooked because Sony has officially announced the three DSLRs that were making the rounds!


Sony Alpha A850 - the full-frame
As rumored and leaked in the user manual a few weeks ago, the new Alpha A850 is a brand new $2000 35mm-full-frame DSLR! It has a 24mp sensor, it is dual-core (two Bionz engines *sigh-of-relief*), has a 98% OVF, and sensor shift stabilization! And the good news for Alpha-fans, it is expected to come out in September! You can already get in-line and pre-order it at Amazon.

And you don't have to wait long for some test data! Thanks to Massimo (flickr gallery) for the tip - DXoMaRK has already posted a review of the Alpha A850, complete with the pixel-peepiential nirvana charts and graphs and data. And remember, using the historical data at DXo, you can compare the data of different cameras and perhaps reach some interesting (pixel-peepiential) conclusions! [New!]

Also joining it, is the rumored 28-75mm f2.8 lens, with a November release date and a price of $800!

Press release of this at Imaging Insider, along with camera-body pictures.

So this fires the next shot in the slow-moving full-frame price wars! Before this announcement, the lowest brand-new 35mm full frame DSLR was the three-year-old Canon 5D Mark I going for $2000, and the Nikon D700 going for $2300. You can get 3.5 A850s for the price of one D3X!


Sony Alpha A550 and A500 - the CMOS APS-C
The Sony Exmor CMOS sensors stroll into the A5XX-series, in 12mp and 14mp flavors! Both cameras feature Quick Autofocus Live View, something that has been a little bit of a riddle for DSLRs in general since they begrudgingly decided to add this feature that was very common even in $100 P&S compacts.

Just like the rumors said, the A550 will speed-demon its way at 7fps (vroooooom!) and it drops to 4fps when using the Q-AF-LV (Quick AutoFocus LiveView). The A500's top speed is a solid 5fps. Photo Club Alpha has an article talking 7fps - good or marketing?

In comes in-body camera HDR, a feature that is picking up momentum in DSLR bodies!

dpreview has a 10-page hands-on preview of the Alpha A550, and the Olympus E-330 gets an homage! There are some good stuff in the preview!

A new 30mm f2.8 macro lens is coming out as well, going for $200 with an estimated October release.

Press release at Imaging Insider.

The body-only prices are $750 and $950 respectively, with a $100 surcharge for the kits coming with the 18-55mm SAM DT lens.

All the new Sony bodies are available for pre-order at Amazon!


Further Reading
You can read more about these new DSLRs at Photo Club Alpha and Alpha Mount World, which has a brief hands-on.


More
This is a summary of the three announcements, we will have detailed camera-by-camera play-by-play later in the evening.


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