Amateur Photographer has the latest on the coming additions to the Sony Alpha line. Apparently, Sony UK released some new publicity shots of the two new Alpha models yesterday. Nothing really new on the details of the cameras other than their release must be getting closer if Sony is now putting out “publicity shots” of the bodies. Get the full story over at Amateur Photographer.
[tags]sony, alpha, dslr, rumors, news, publicity shots[/tags]
Back at PMA 2007, Toru Katsumoto gave the following presentation at a press conference regarding Sony’s Alpha line of DSLRs, with particular attention being given to the then newly announced Pro and Semi-Pro bodies. Mr. Katsumoto is the head of the Sony Corporation’s AMC Division in the Digital Imaging Business Group. Somewhere in the mix of all the PMA buzz, I missed this little nugget. I don’t think there’s anything truly ground breaking in here, but its still an interesting read on a slow news day. (Due to the length, rather than place it in quoted format, I’ve left it in normal font for readability.)
When Sony and Konica Minolta joined forces to create a new digital SLR camera business unit, the AMC Division was created and I have been heading the business unit since then.
Given that we were in the midst of transition last March, I would say this is the first PMA in terms of Sony’s digital SLR business.
As many of you know, we have launched our first digital SLR camera in July 2006 under the α (Alpha) brand. The first wave of our products launched together with the “α100” camera included 21 pieces of interchangeable lenses and more than 45 pieces of accessories. Our desire to deliver the total system solution has led us to launch relatively large number of products during the first year.
The “α100” has enjoyed solid market acceptance worldwide thanks to high picture quality and in-camera image stabilization. It has received numerous Imaging industry awards, including the C-E-A’s 2007 Innovations and Design award, Popular Photography & Imaging’s “2006 Camera of the Year” and EISA “Best Product” award.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude for your support of the “α100.” As Shigeki Ishizuka mentioned earlier, we need to further solidify our market position and to do that, we must cater to varying degrees of customer requirements. Therefore, we are now working on the second wave of α (Alpha) products in order to expand the world of α (Alpha) and meet the demands of a broader user base.
We would like to show a glimpse of the second wave of products in this year’s PMA. Specifically, we are now developing two new products targeted at higher market segments compared with the α100. One of the two is expected to come to the market during this calendar year. When both products are launched, we will have three products that enable us to cover wider spectrum of the market. Also, this gives our customers more options and allows them to trade up products as their skills mature.
Now, let me explain the products briefly.
The first product targets the high amateur market. It will have a higher level of performance than the α100. The core strength of this camera is high picture quality. Sony’s vast technology and expertise, including a newly-developed image sensor and BIONZ processor, have been adopted for this product to achieve superb picture quality. Also, the ”Super SteadyShot” feature, the hallmark ofα (Alpha), is included and the existing-compatible lenses can be used with this camera.In addition, we are planning to incorporate features that meet the demanding performance and specification requirements of High Amateur photographers.
The next product is set to become our flagship product. The image sensor and Bionz processor are both being developed specifically for this product. And the ”Super SteadyShot” feature is of course part of it. We position this product to be the highest-end camera that meets the demanding performance and specification requirements of even Professional photographers.
Our second wave of products is not only camera bodies, but interchangeable lenses are also being developed. Five or more lenses, including models suitable for High Amateur and Professional use, to be launched within the next 12 months.
This chart includes such lenses ranging from Large Aperture Standard Zoom lens, Telephoto Zoom lens, High Magnification Zoom and more to come.
With these new lenses added to the 21 pieces of existing portfolio, broader and more diversified system configuration will become possible. Thanks to the added choice of camera bodies according to customers’ photo lifestyles coupled with enlarged portfolio of lenses and accessories, we believe α (Alpha) is set to spur the creativity of our customers.
By launching these new products swiftly, we would like to provide solutions with which people can fully leverage the potential of digital SLR. Therefore, the phrase which expresses our mission this year is “α (Alpha) Unlocks the Full Potential of D-SLR.”
Thank you very much.
[tags]sony, alpha, dslr, news, pma, 2007, lens, bionz, processor, super steadyshot[/tags]
Sounds like a cool new photo contest . . . at first.
May 24, 2007 – Sony and news agency Reuters have launched the “Take Your Best Shot” photo contest. Citizen photojournalists can submit photos and videos online to the You Witness News website for the chance to win a Sony camcorder, digital camera, or trip to New York to accompany a Reuters photographer. Read More. . . .
Enter the contest here.
Read the fine print though:
OWNERSHIP OF ENTRIES: By entering, each entrant unconditionally assigns and transfers to Sponsor a nonexclusive, unlimited license in the photo or video, including, without limitation, the right, in Sponsor’s sole discretion, to edit, composite, morph, scan, duplicate, or alter, the photo or video for any purpose which Sponsor deems necessary or desirable, and each entrant irrevocably waives any and all so-called moral rights they may have in the photo or video submitted by him or her. Each entrant agrees that Sponsor may, without any limitation or further compensation, use his or her name, voice and/or likeness in any and all media for the purpose of advertising and promoting the Website, the Contest, or any other promotion, contest or sweepstakes sponsored by the Releasees, unless prohibited by law. Neither entrants nor winners shall be entitled to receive any compensation or credit for use of entries, other than that disclosed in these Official Rules.
Holy cow! By simply entering the contest, you’re giving Reuters to use your photo in any way shape or form that they please for $0, forever.
[tags]photo contest, photography, scam, ?, sony, reuters[/tags]
There’s some new shots of the 2 new Sony Alpha DSLRs that were announced at PMA 2007 over at PhotographyBLOG. Check out PhotographyBLOG’s take on it with some hi-res close-ups. Still looks like a pro level and a pro-sumer level camera is coming from Sony. Note the pop-up flash on the smaller of the two.
[tags]sony, alpha, dslr, digital camera, new, rumor, announcement, photos, pics[/tags]
Well, here goes the rumor mill again. Remember the earlier reports about Sony offering a high amateur and pro body? Clearly, Sony gave us some official dirt on that from their PMA release.
Now, we’ve got some unconfirmed details on the specs:
source from SONY at shanghai general office. A10 made in China, will replace the KM A7D, A1 made in Japan(1.0X full frame). the same sensor will sold to Pentax and Nikon soon. Pentax K10D’s upgraded version K10DS or successor K20D may use it…
not 10M not 24M, it is 1.25X, 12M. Anti-shake image sensor.
Found on the Club Snap forums. Take it for what it’s worth. When I dig up more dirt, I’ll pass it along. Also, you can check out another Sony rumor thread over at Dyxum.com that’s been cooking since December 2006.
Also, note that the same poster in the thread suggests a May ’07 release for the Nikon D3 rather than the July 5, 2007 release I noted earlier.
Sony announced the a700 on September 6, 2007. The new a700 is available in body only, kit w/ 18-70mm lens or kit w/ 16-105mm lens. You can find the original press release here.
Sony A700 Key Features
- 12.24 megapixel CMOS sensor
- BIONZ image processor
- 11 point autofocus system
- ISO 6400
- 5fps (for 17 shots in RAW mode)
- 1/8000th shutter speed
- 3 inch LCD screen (with 921,000 pixels)
- Optional battery grip
- Wireless Flash support
- Both MemoryStick and CompactFlash cards supported w/ dual slots
Sony A700 Reviews
Don’t be fooled by the hype that Nikon and Canon are the only two ‘serious’ competitors in the DSLR market because with the Alpha A700, Sony are undoubtedly making a push for the front.
This camera has the ergonomics, ease of use, and overall quality I have always had with Minolta’s high end film cameras.
The The Sony α (Alpha) DSLR-A700 is a solid piece of equipment that combines strong performance with affordability. I reviewed the Sony’s original DSLR, the A100, and liked it, and the A700 is a step up. It has a higher-resolution sensor, is more responsive and feels better built.
Offering a compelling combination of intuitive design and handling, sophisticated functionality and excellent image quality, the Sony A700 is an easy DSLR camera to recommend. Being based so clearly upon a previous Konica Minolta camera has given Sony the benefits of an already installed user-base, eager for a new body to use their lenses with, and a proven design on which to build.
A major advancement for Sony over the last year has been the development of the ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor. You can expect great images from the Sony DSLR-A700 from ISO 100 through ISO 800, and ISO 1600 is more than useable. The noise at ISO 3200 is not great however, becoming fairly useless when pushed to the ISO 6400 limit. It’s not so much the noise that’s an issue at this ultra high sensitivity – it’s the colour shift being much bluer and flatter due to the excess noise.
Overall then the A700 is a good performer with good overall image quality with a nice range of features – even if on the negative side there are some quirky design decisions which may or may not affect you. Best of all though is the fact that it weighs in at the lower end of the price band for this category of DSLR, that makes it about $400 less than the Nikon D300 and $300 less than the Olympus E-3.
It’s fast 5 fps frame rate and focus acquisition are easily on par with the 20/30D (which is my reference for comparison as I have used them for years) making it a joy to use for fast paced sports or news coverage. The A700 has a great viewfinder – large and bright, it’s also easy to see the outer frame with the information overlay through the eyepiece even with glasses and most importantly, with sunglasses. The camera is heavy, and very solid, inspiring confidence in its long-term durability, and comfortable to hold for extended shoots.
With their Alpha DSLR-A700, Sony has created a midrange digital SLR that keeps up with the “big boys”. The A700 offers an excellent mix of photo quality, performance, features, and build quality — not to mention support for legacy Minolta lenses. Yes, it’s lacking the live view feature of its competitors, but I don’t really miss it, to be honest. While I don’t see Canon and Nikon owners rushing to eBay to sell their gear to buy the A700, it’s a great D-SLR for those with a collection of Minolta lenses. I enjoyed my time with the DSLR-A700, and can recommend it without hesitation.
While the Alpha 100 was Sony’s first dSLR camera and the result of its acquisition of Konica Minolta’s camera division, the A700 is much more stamped as a Sony camera, and probably indicates the company’s intention to anchor itself solidly in the dSLR market segment. Still, although Sony products tend to command a premium, the A700’s price point places it in direct competition with very well established dSLR systems and lacks the Live View function adopted by most others, things that could hinder its success.
Having produced what is arguably the best entry-level DSLR on the market in the A100, Sony has followed it up with another outstanding camera. The A700 is a superb tool for the enthusiast or semi-professional photographer, providing high quality results in almost any conditions. The combination of rugged durability, fast performance, a class-leading AF system, on-board image stabilisation and great handling will prove hard to beat.
It also focuses faster than the Canon EOS 40D, Nikon D80, and Nikon D200 down to EV 4, then gives up a fraction of a second at EV 2 through -1. It’s slower than the Canon at EV -2, but faster than the Nikons. And it focuses faster at all light levels than either the Pentax K10D or the Olympus Evolt E-510.
My conclusion after extensively using the Sony DSLR-A700 in practice and testing it thoroughly can be short. Sony’s Alpha 700 is a beautiful DSLR and offers the demanding photographer as well as the amateur a perfect tool to practice photography on a high level. The camera is not perfect but if you put some effort in getting to know the camera and making it part of your digital work environment, you will soon find that you have a refined DSLR camera in your hands. If you are looking for a new DSLR or ready to get acquainted with an advanced camera system you definitely ought to put the Sony Alpha 700 on your wish list.
A top-of-the-line amateur digital SLR camera, the Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 will delight Konica Minolta diehards and makes a great choice if you don’t already have a stake in other lens systems.
Even though Sony says the “DSLR-A700 is the perfect DSLR for serious amateurs” I found nothing amateur about this camera. In fact it elevates the “Prosumer” definition and will have the other manufactures working to catch up.
What do I mean by that you say? How about the continuous 5 FPS advance at full 12.24 megapixel resolution? And what about the high-speed processing power of the Bionz™ engine, a quick-response coreless motor to drive the shutter, and dual mirror stoppers to prevent mirror bounce? All this enables the a 700 to shoot continuously to the limit of available memory in JPEG Fine mode. Not too amateur at that.
Despite taking a while to produce this camera, in the DSLR-A700 Sony has delivered a camera that enthusiasts can enjoy with features that will be of value to many professional photographers. A nice step up from the A100, it goes head-to-head against Canon’s recently-released EOS 40D and Nikon’s D300, which is expected in November.
I’m not really convinced by the image quality. Nevertheless, this is not the final production firmware, so let’s not judge too hastily.
. . . .
It seems to mee that there’s just too much noise reduction.
When we later viewed some of the images (unenhanced) on big HDTV screens, it was clear from the sharp, saturated images that the cameras were working very well.
DPReview.com has a thorough hands-on preview of the new a700.
Camera Labs (pre-production preview)
The Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 is certainly an impressive DSLR and a significant step-up from the debut A100. It proves Sony can produce a camera tailored for higher-end enthusiasts while also incorporating the neat gadgets we’ve come to expect from the electronics giant.
Sony A700 Sample Images
Sony Japan sample images.
Photoclub Alpha – More High ISO Samples (ISO 3200-6400)
Real World Sample Set (includes ISO 6400 shots)
Official Sony A700 Resources
Sony a700 product page.
Sony A700 Accessories
Where to Buy