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Sony announce 'Alpha' D-SLR system

Apr 20, 2006 at 05:05 GMT

Sony has today announced the brand for its digital SLR system and it's hardly a big surprise. The new system will be known as the Sony α (Alpha) mount, the same name as Minolta has used for its SLR / D-SLR cameras in the Japanese market for over twenty years. This choice of name will perhaps be designed to provide some sense of continuation from the Konica-Minolta photo buy-out. Sony has confirmed that the new system is based on the existing Alpha / Maxxum / Dynax mount and will continue to be compatible. The other hint in the press release is the plural in 'cameras that will be launched worldwide this summer.'

Press Release:

SONY MARKS ENTRY INTO DIGITAL SINGLE LENS REFLEX CAMERA MARKET WITH NEW SYMBOLIC SUB-BRAND  

SAN DIEGO, April 19, 2006Sony has established a new brand name for its digital single lens reflex (D- SLR) cameras that will be launched worldwide this summer.

Meaning “beginning” and “essential,” the symbol a (pronounced alpha) embodies the spirit of Sony’s approach to the D- SLR market. Under this sub-brand, Sony will produce a complete camera system of accessories and lenses to enhance the enjoyment of photography.

The Sony α™ mount system of cameras, lenses and accessories will integrate advanced electromechanical technologies that are key to D- SLR performance, the versatility of the well-established Maxxum® lens mount system, and Sony’s renown in imaging devices and technologies. These include CCD and CMOS imaging sensors, as well as other image processing technologies, in addition to overall product miniaturization. People who have already made investments in many of Konica-Minolta’s lenses and accessories will be able to take full advantage of Sony’s new D- SLR cameras.

“We are expanding our product portfolio to build upon our leadership position in the digital imaging business,” said James Neal, director of marketing for digital imaging products at Sony Electronics. “ Our approach to D- SLR camera design and engineering will allow us to offer a new high-performance system for today’s digital camera users, as well as welcome the millions of Konica-Minolta owners who have Maxxum interchangeable lenses that are currently in the market.”

Sony is already handling support and repair service for existing Konica-Minolta digital and film cameras, as well as related lenses and accessories in the U.S. A dedicated call center and strong levels of web support have been established for these customers.

There is more information available about the new sub-brand at www.sony.com/dslr. Sony camera and related product support for Konica Minolta customers is also being offered at www. support.sony.com/EN/KM/service.html