Upcoming Sony NEX-5R to Use Phase Detect AF at Pixel Level

Sony NEX-5R Rumors

The Sony NEX line is already knocking it out of the park, so this news comes as icing on the cake.  SonyAlphaRumors.com has good word that the upcoming Sony NEX-5R (which will replace the NEX-5N) will sport a new 16MP CMOS sensor with phase detection AF sensors built as pixels directly on the sensor.

For those unfamiliar with the tech, phase detection AF is what’s used in all DSLRs; however, most mirrorless cameras to date have featured a contrast detection AF method.  The contrast AF system has gotten better in recent years – with Sony, Panasonic and Olympus doing a bang-up job of making it much faster in the latest models.  However, if you’ve used both a DSLR and a mirrorless camera, then you know that DSLRs just focus faster . . . and that’s due to phase detection AF.

The recently announced Canon EOS M features a phase detection AF method at the pixel level as well.  And, Canon even introduced the feature into the Canon Rebel T4i.  While the Rebel T4i certainly does a better job at AF than other traditional DSLRs, it still has a ways to go based on my early testing with the camera for full time AF during video.  Hopefully, the EOS M performs much better than the Rebel T4i’s AF.

But Sony is really sneaking up on Canon and Nikon.  Frankly, I think Sony is the manufacturer to beat at this point in the mirrorless market.  If the new NEX-5R steps up the game with an even better AF system than exists in current NEX models, then it’s going to be hard for others to really push past.

Sony A99 Video Up to 1080p at 120fps Rumored

Sony A99 Rumors

If anybody is going to do it, it would be Sony.

The same company that jumped out in front with the NEX-VG10, then the FS100, and then the high frame rate FS700 that shook everything up could be stirring another big pot with a full frame camera that shoots 120 fps at 1080p.

Moreover, SonyAlphaRumors.com reports on potential specifications that include 1080p video at 50Mbps at 4:2:2 sampling, among other highly sought after video specs noted below.

Sony A99 Rumored Video Specs

  1. AVCHD2.0 format ,below 1080p it have the Bit rate of 50Mbps, 4:2:2 sampling
  2. 1080P with the highest 120fps,at 720P, the highest is 240FPS
  3. MP4 format still 35Mbps
  4. center focus all the lens can use the biggest Aperture. others still F3.5
  5. except P model, A,S model can also auto-focus but M model still MF
  6. 4 times zoom in during 1080P can be captured
  7. multi-recording can take a 2.4Megapixels during recording
  8. HDMI can be Non-destructive Output new shoe can fit the wireless(bluetooth) mic
  9. except the high speed model,other model Maximum recording time is 29min 59s
  10. Time code support

That reads more like a wish list than an actual spec sheet for a DSLR-style camera.  But if anyone would drop this in a sub-$5k DSLR, Sony would.  Expect lots more noise from Sony in the lead-up to Photokina 2012.