Sony SLT-A35 announced and previewed
Sony has announced the SLT A35, the latest addition to its innovative range of fixed-mirror DSLRs. The A35 replaces the A33 and features a new 16.2MP EXMOR APS-C CMOS sensor. The chip has been redesigned to improve power consumption, promising improved battery and thermal performance. The A35 can shoot 1080i60 video and shoot 7 frames per second at 8.4MP (a 1.4x crop from the middle of the sensor that Sony is calling Tele-zoom High Speed Shooting). The camera also gains 'Picture Effects' processing filters that will be offered to existing A33 and A55 owners in a forthcoming firmware update. We've been using a pre-production version of this latest SLT and have prepared a hands-on preview and samples gallery.
Sony Introduces α35 DSLR Camera with Leading Video and Still Performance Powered by Translucent Mirror Technology
SAN DIEGO, June 8, 2011 -- Light, compact and easy to use, Sony’s new α35 (SLT-A35) interchangeable lens camera brings pro-style shooting speeds and diverse creative options to photographers of all abilities.
Building on the acclaimed α33 and α55 models, the α35 camera with Sony’s Translucent Mirror Technology allows responsive, accurate continuous autofocus - whether shooting high-speed still photos or recording full HD movies.
“Our Translucent Mirror Technology continues to push the limits of modern DSLR technology,” said Kristen Elder, director of the alpha digital imaging business at Sony Electronics. “The new α35 camera combines this unique innovation with a newly developed APS HD CMOS sensor and a diverse, user-friendly interface, making it a compelling choice for experienced photographers and first-time SLR buyers alike.”
She added, “Amateur photographers will appreciate the on-screen Help Guide, which gives a clear explanation of selected functions and how they’re used. More advanced photographers will welcome features such as a top panel-mounted button that is fully customizable, allowing instant recall of any one of 14 frequently-used functions according to their preference.”
Premium, High-Speed Performance
Making its debut on the α35 camera, Tele-zoom High Speed Shooting magnifies a central portion of the image area providing an effective 1.4x magnification (appx) while shooting at up to 7 fps. Providing continuous tracking autofocus of still or moving objects, this feature is ideal for capturing fast-moving sports, children’s expressions at just the right moment or distant subjects with a high-speed burst of frames. There’s also a rapid up to5.5 fps drive mode that offers full-resolution continuous shooting with tracking AF.
With a resolution of 16.2 effective megapixels, the Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor delivers stunningly detailed, low-noise still and HD video images. Complementing the sensor’s extremely high resolution and sensitivity, the camera’s powerful BIONZ® processor optimizes image data to assure flawless images with rich, natural color reproduction. A maximum sensitivity of ISO 12800 and extension to ISO 25600 makes it possible to capture beautifully natural still images and HD video in low light.
Advanced Quick AF Live View continuously displays a real-time output from the main image sensor during still or Full HD video shooting. Light is partially directed from the translucent mirror to an AF sensor to permit non-stop precision TTL phase-detection autofocus – a benefit not possible with traditional DSLR cameras.
Shooting stills or AVCHD™ video, users can enjoy a superbly detailed view on the high-quality 3-inch Xtra Fine LCD™ display. Sony’s TruBlack™ technology assures high-contrast images with rich, deep blacks – even when shooting outdoors.
The high-resolution Tru-Finder™ display offers a precision alternative to framing shots on the camera’s LCD. Offering an extremely detailed, high contrast image with full 100% field coverage, it’s ideal for live preview of picture effects and exposure adjustments. Accurate composition of landscapes, architecture and other scenes is enhanced by 3 selectable grid line patterns.
Creative New “Picture Effects”
The α35 model offers a new in-camera ‘Picture Effect’ setting that lets users add extra impact to stills or Full HD video during shooting, without the worry of editing images afterwards. Effects can be previewed on the camera screen, allowing photographers to see the result of a chosen effect instantly rather than post-shooting. The inspiring palette of artistic treatments includes Retro Photo, High-key, Toy Camera and Posterization.
It’s also easy to produce dramatic Partial Color effects, with a single color highlighted against the rest of the image in monochrome. This popular effect is normally achieved through a series of painstaking steps using photo editing software. With the new α35 camera it’s both automatic and instant.
Improved Battery Life and Compatible α Accessories
Reductions in power consumption boost the camera’s battery life to a generous 440 still shots (approx. when using the rear LCD panel) between battery charges – a 30 percent increase over its predecessor.
The α35 model is compatible with the full range of 32 A-mount interchangeable lenses that includes six Carl Zeiss® lenses, as well as the full range of alpha accessories including flashes, carrying cases, LCD monitors and more.
The new camera is compatible with Sony’s full line of SD memory cards, including the newest Class 10 versions, as well as the Memory Stick PRO-HG™ Duo HX series. Available in capacities up to 32 GB, both media enable higher read speeds for more stable and optimal performance by Sony hardware features such as high-speed burst shooting or HD movie shooting.
Firmware Upgrade for A33 / A55 Models
Available beginning June 20th, a firmware update for existing α33 and α55 cameras adds several creative and operational enhancements.
Support for the ‘Picture Effect’ function featured on the new α35 model is now offered. High-Speed Synch is supported during wireless operation with a compatible external flash (α55 only). Ergonomics are further improved with revised menus and a new mode that lets users switch shooting parameters overlaid on-screen for clear, uncluttered composition.
The a33 and a55camera’s Digital Level Gauge can also be displayed when shooting via the optional CLM-V55 external LCD monitor. Frequently used features can now be custom-assigned to the D-RANGE button for rapid, menu-free access.
The upgrade can be downloaded from: (www.esupport.sony.com).
Pricing and Availability
The new α35 interchangeable lens camera will be available this August with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens (model SEL1855) for about $700. It will also be offered as a body-only (without kit lens) for about $600.
Both the camera kit package (model SLT-A35K) and body-only (model SLT-A35) will be sold at Sony retail stores (www.sonystyle.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.