New Sony Alpha DSLR Update

The three new DSLR Alpha models from Sony now appear to be all-but-official with leaked images on the Sony Style sites now making their rounds on blogs and forums accross the Interwebs.  Again, the models appear to be the Sony A380, Sony A330 and Sony A230, which would obviously replace the existing Sony A350, Sony A300 and Sony A200, respectively.

As you can see in the images from Sony Style, there are clearly three new cameras being shown off, beginning with the A380 next to the A900, and moving right to the A330 and A230.  The lines in the bodies show the distinct differences between these new cameras and the former Alpha lineup.

I don’t know what Sony is going for in the new grips with such sharp lines, which also appear much smaller than the A350/A300.  Personally, I thought the grip on the A350 was just about perfect for an entry-level DSLR.  Much smaller and I’ll be back in the uncomfortable territory of the Canon T1i and Nikon D5000, which I’m testing now.

As for specs and features, still no real word.  I’m sticking to my guns on the speculation that at least the A380 (and probably A330 too) will feature video capture.  I would expect the bottom rung A230 to remain an still image shooter only.  Solid Live View must remain in place and, hopefully, a swivel LCD screen.  The LCD on the A350 was almost good enough; however, photographers sometimes like to shoot vertically too ; )  Hopefully, Sony has recognized this.

More pixels?  What’s the point?  But, Sony likes its pixels, so I wouldn’t be shocked at 15+ megapixels in one or more of these cameras.  However, Sony did manage to show some restraint in its solid superzoom HX1 (PB’s Sony HX1 Review).  If Sony keeps its head out of the clouds and sticks with improving image quality at the 14 and 10 megapixel range of the predecessors, the engineers deserve a pat on the back for keeping the marketing hounds from running the show.

When?  May 15th is one rumor.  Other reports suggest June.  I would expect sooner rather than later due to the sheer volume of info and leaks that have surfaced over the past several days, particularly because of the content on Sony Style sites.  My gut says next week sometime . . . maybe May 12th or 13th.

[hat tip to photoclub alpha]