Thursday, September 6, 2007
Sony Introduces New High-Performance D-SLR
SAN DIEGO, Sept. 5, 2007 — Sony is expanding its (Alpha) digital SLR system with the introduction of the DSLR-A700 camera, which is aimed at photo enthusiasts or serious photo hobbyists. The new model features advanced imaging technologies and ultra-responsive operation, as well as a lightweight, dust- and moisture-resistant, magnesium alloy construction common to enthusiast-class D-SLR cameras.
Like Sony's mainstream DSLR-A100 model, the new A700 unit incorporates Super SteadyShot Inside image stabilization in the camera body and is compatible with most Minolta Maxxum mount lenses in addition to Sony lenses.
“Discerning photo enthusiasts will be impressed with the rugged construction and outstanding performance of the A700, said Phil Lubell, director of marketing for digital cameras at Sony Electronics. “We also expect that this new camera will re-define the post-capture experience with HDMI™ output for high-quality playback of images on high-definition televisions.”
The camera's new 12.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor conducts analog-to-digital (A/D) signal conversion and dual noise reduction right on the sensor itself. Noise reduction is applied to analog signals before A/D conversion and the resulting digital signals are then subject to a second round of noise reduction.
According to Lubell, “These digital signals are virtually immune to external noise and interference.”
Clean, noise-free digital signals are then sent to the newly developed BIONZ™ processing engine. Lubell said this engine has been optimized to process data-rich picture information at high speeds, and to reduce picture noise in the RAW data stage before final image compression and encoding. The results are high-resolution, detailed images with rich tonal reproduction.
The A700 camera is engineered to be fast and ultra-responsive so as to become “a virtual extension of your own senses,” Lubell said, “capturing fleeting moments as you see them.”
A newly developed, auto-focus system features 11 wide-area sensors, including a center dual cross sensor comprised of two horizontal and two vertical line sensors for exceptional AF precision. An F2.8 line sensor leverages the brightness of fast aperture lenses for even greater precision. Lubell said that extraordinary focusing speed has been realized through improved algorithms and a high-torque focusing drive motor.
The large, bright, viewfinder uses a precision-ground optical glass pentaprism and a high refractive index eyepiece lens to provide 0.9x viewfinder magnification and 95 percent frame coverage. Manual focusing is aided by an interchangeable spherical acute matte focusing screen.
The camera has a high-performance vertical traverse shutter with a maximum shutter speed of 1/8,000th of a second to freeze fast-moving action. A high-power coreless motor charges the shutter and mirror mechanism, allowing continuous shooting at up to five frames per second. In JPEG fine or standard mode, continuous shooting is limited only by the capacity of the media card (sold separately), while up to 18 frames can be captured in RAW.