Sony A900 Officially Announced

by on September 9, 2008

in News,Sony

After months of anticipation building among Sony Alpha followers, today Sony officially announced the 24 megapixel A900 DSLR. For the moment, Sony stands alone atop the megapixel hill of DSLRs.

The DSLR-A900 body will be available in November for about $3,000.

See below for the key specs and official press release from Sony. Be sure to check back at Photography Bay’s Sony A900 Reviews and Resources for the latest hands-on previews, reviews and pre-order information.

Sony A900 Key Features

  • 24.6 Megapixel Full Frame CMOS Sensor
  • Dual BIONZ Image Processing Engine
  • Intelligent Preview
  • 100% Viewfinder, 0.74x Magnification
  • 3.0″, 921,000 Dot Xtra Fine LCD
  • 9-point Center Dual-cross AF
  • 5 fps Continuous Shooting
  • SteadyShot Inside

Sony A900 FAQs

Sony A900 With New 70-400mm

Who are the target users of α900?

They are serious amateur photographers who enjoy taking quality digital photos and also step-up users from entry level DSLR/high-end compact DSC who want to get serious about their photography.

Why is the camera not totued for “professional use”? What is lacking that prevents the camera from being considered “professional” grade?

The term “professional use” is vague. Theα900 prioritizes amateur users, but we are confident that, with high quality images (at 24.6MP), a 100% viewfinder and other features, there is plenty for professionals to enjoy as well.

What are the key elements on the A900, as it is a flagship model?

High resolution and high picture quality (24.6MP) that utilizes the full size of the photo (full frame sensor). A viewfinder with an approx. 100% field of view, which enables accurate framing. Moreover, antishake control is built into the body itself in order to widen the photographic range.

The camera does not have live view? Why not?

The Quick AF Live View of the α350/α300 is incompatible with a high performance viewfinder (with a 100% field of view). The α900 incorporates a high performance optical viewfinder.

What is Sony’s shipping volume target?

We do not disclose specific figures, but our target is 10% of the D-SLR market share.

The new CMOS image sensor has 24.81 effective megapixel resolution, and the flagship model is announced to feature 24.6 effective megapixel resolution. What’s the story there?

The pixel resolution of the device is different from the effective pixel resolution of the camera.

What does Intelligent Preview do?

When you release the preview button with your finger, it temporarily displays the image captured at the current settings on the rear LCD monitor.

Sony A900 Press Release

Sony introduces Alpha A900

The world’s first full-frame 24.6 megapixel DSLR:

A900 delivers the unmatched image quality, creative expression and performance demanded by professional photographers

  • Superlative, detail-packed images from full-frame 24.6 effective megapixel CMOS sensor ExmorTM
  • Bright optical glass pentaprism viewfinder with 100% coverage
  • Enhanced SteadyShot INSIDE offers up to 4.0 steps anti-shake performance with α lenses
  • Ultra-sharp shooting responses and flawless, low-noise images from dual BIONZ image processor
  • Review images on High Resolution 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD
  • Fast, high-accuracy 9-point AF with 10 focus assist points
  • 5fps continuous shooting at full resolution 24.6 megapixels

The A900 digital SLR from Sony sets a new benchmark for serious photo enthusiasts who demand the unrivalled quality and creative possibilities of full-frame imaging.

The flagship of the Alpha digital SLR camera range features the industry’s first ever 24.6 effective megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. Developed by Sony, this groundbreaking sensor’s ultra-high pixel count and large size – equivalent to a 35mm film frame – deliver extraordinary image detail and wide dynamic range.

The new-generation sensor captures flawless images with unprecedented fidelity, characterised by vibrant colours, ultra-real textures and subtle tonal gradations. Complementing the extremely high native resolution of the sensor, Exmor performs on-chip analogue/digital (A/D) signal conversion and two-stage noise reduction. This guarantees ultra-low noise image files that take advantage of the superb resolving power of high-precision α lenses.

Realising the immense creative potential of the 24.6 megapixel full-frame sensor, the new advanced dual BIONZ processors handle massive amounts of image data at extremely high speed. Powerful noise reduction algorithms are applied prior to RAW data conversion and then again during image processing, yielding flawless, detail packed images with an absolute minimum of noise. The dual BIONZ processors also underpin the camera’s razor-sharp shooting responses, allowing sustained 5fps continuous shooting at full 24.6 megapixel resolution.

Serious photo enthuasiasts will appreciate the ground-glass optical pentaprism viewfinder that offers exceptional brightness and a field of view covering 100% of the full-frame sensor’s imaging area (approx.).

The camera’s uncompromising credentials are underlined by a fast, high-accuracy 9-point AF system to ensure fewer missed shots. It’s supplemented by 10 focus assist points to assist subject detection, improved out-of-focus detection to reduce focus hunting and a dedicated F2.8 sensor for enhanced AF accuracy with wide aperture lenses.

The A900 digital SLR camera is also the world’s first full-frame camera to feature SteadyShot INSIDE. This enhanced in-body optical stabilisation system delivers up to 4 steps of anti-shake correction with all compatible lenses*, opening up even greater creative possibilities when shooting handheld.

Shots can be evaluated critically on the 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD with an exceptionally high resolution (921k dot) that offers sharp, clear viewing – even outdoors or in bright ambient light. There’s a wide choice of index view options to simplify best-shot selection, plus a full-featured RGB histogram and shooting information display.

At the touch of a button, the LCD display switches to Quick Navi mode, allowing rapid on-the-fly adjustment of camera settings without disturbing your creative workflow.

A new Intelligent Preview function simulates the effect of White Balance, D‑Range Optimiser and exposure level on the LCD screen without actually taking a picture. By simple confirmation on the camera, all the new settings are applied to take the next picture. This simplifies precise control over the final image in complex setups.

Shots can also be viewed on a connected HD television. PhotoTV HD mode provides optimised still image viewing with breathtaking clarity and lifelike colours on compatible BRAVIA televisions. The HDMI terminal also give acces to HD picture viewing on any compatible TV.

Built for years of unstinting service in challenging environments, the A900 digital SLR camera is ruggedly constructed from a high-tensile aluminium chassis with magnesium alloy body panels. Viewfinder, card slots, controls and other sensitive areas are protected from dust and moisture by rubber seals for worry-free shooting. The inside of the camera is also protected by an anti-dust system that safeguards the full-frame sensor from the effects of dust entering the body during lens exchange.

Allowing stable, comfortable handling in portrait or landscape orientations, the optional VG-C90AM Vertical Grip holds up to two high-capacity batteries for extended shooting time and all the major controls are available in vertical holding for easy operation. The grip has also been designed in same high quality material as the A900 with magnesium alloy and rubber parts.

There’s now wide range of compatible α lenses to fully realise the incredible imaging potential of the camera’s full-frame sensor.

The choice of premium G series optics by Sony is joined by the high-power 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM telephoto, featuring a High-torque Super Sonic wave Motor for fast, silent AF operation.

Also from Carl Zeiss, the Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM is a fast, high-performance wide angle zoom that’s ideal for interiors, landscapes and challenging photo-reportage applications.

The complete α system is further strengthened by the new HVL-F58AM – a high-power flash (GN 58) featuring Sony’s innovative ‘Quick Shift Bounce’ system that offers even more creative control over lighting, flash and bounce angles. It’s unique ‘Quick Shift Bounce’ design make the flash head able to rotate instantly in portrait mode to keep the bounce direction for much more natural and beautiful subject lightning. For those using studio setups, Wireless Auto Flash Control also computes power ratios for up to three groups of flashes, simplifiying the management of complex lighting set-ups.

* Automatic crop factor is applied when DSLR-A900 is used with DT format lenses. Exposure accuracy is not guaranteed with DT lenses in certain shooting situations.

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