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Sony announces Alpha SLT-A65 consumer-level DSLR-competitor

By dpreview staff on Aug 24, 2011 at 05:01 GMT
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Sony has also launched the Sony Alpha SLT-A65, a consumer-level DSLR-competitor. Making use of the company's translucent mirror technology, the A65 offers many of the features of SLT-A77 at a considerably lower price. It includes the same 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor and 2.4M dot OLED viewfinder. It can shoot at up to 10 frames-per-second and includes all the lens correction capabilities of its big brother. We've been using the A65 for the last week and have prepared a hands-on preview, detailing its features.

Click here to read our Sony Alpha SLT-A65 hands-on preview

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Press Release:

SONY'S LATEST α DSLR CAMERAS BRING NEW LEVELS OF SPEED, PERFORMANCE AND CREATIVITY TO PHOTO ENTHUSIASTS

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 24, 2011 – Blazing speed, enhanced image quality, high resolution and incredible performance are just some of the features advanced amateurs and photo enthusiasts will find in Sony's newest alpha cameras, models SLT-A77 (α77) and SLT-A65 (α65).

Sony's latest refinements to its Translucent Mirror Technology make these new cameras the fastest, most responsive interchangeable lens cameras in their class, as well as set new performance benchmarks that even professional DSLRs have yet to achieve. The α77 and α65 both feature a newly developed Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor with 24.3 effective megapixel resolution, as well as the world's first XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ viewfinder. The sensor teams with the next generation of Sony's BIONZ® image processing engine to handle huge amounts of high speed data from the camera sensor, enabling unprecedented response times and flawless image quality with ultra-low noise when shooting still images or Full HD video.

"We feel that these cameras are not only a significant evolution of our breakthrough Translucent Mirror Technology," said Mike Kahn, director of the alpha camera business group for Sony Electronics. "They're also a revolution in terms of redefining how this unique technology can be put to use by enthusiasts."
The much anticipated successor to Sony's acclaimed α700 DSLR, the α77 boasts the world's fastest continuous autofocus (AF) shooting performance (among DSLRs in Aug 2011), capturing a burst of full resolution, 24 megapixel images at 12 frames per second with full-time phase-detection AF. The α65 achieves a similarly impressive 10fps shooting speed.

Precision AF tracking of moving subjects is more precise with the α77 due to a new 19-point autofocus system with 11 cross sensors. The α65 boasts 15-point AF with three cross sensors. Tracking Focus maintains accurate focus lock on a moving subject – even if the target is momentarily obscured. Additionally, a new electronic front shutter curtain achieves a minimum release time lag of approximately 50 milliseconds, comparable to much more expensive professional-class DSLRs.

The α77 and α65 further refine Sony's acclaimed Fast Continuous AF Full HD Movie shooting, already featured on previous Sony Translucent Mirror cameras. Phase Detection maintains accurate focus during video shooting of portrait subjects, even when they're moving at fast speeds.

Unprecedented image quality and creative options

A broad sensitivity range of ISO 100-16000 expands (α77 only) down to ISO 50. At the highest sensitivities, both cameras can freeze fast action or capture atmospheric low-noise shots without flash. Low ISO settings are ideal when used with a long exposure to create expressive shots, such as splashing water.

Both cameras showcase a remarkably crisp OLED Tru-Finder™ viewfinder, the world's first of its kind. With a 2359k dot (XGA) resolution, this precision electronic viewfinder offers a bright, highly detailed, high contrast image with 100 percent frame coverage and a wide field of view comparable to the most advanced class optical viewfinders.

However, unlike optical viewfinders, users have expansive customization capabilities through the XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ viewfinder and can preview the effects of adjusting exposure, white balance and other settings in real-time. Photographers can also make fine focus adjustments via a zoomed-in portion of the image.

The Smart Teleconverter displays an enlarged central portion of the image sensor, allowing compositions to be displayed clearly on the OLED viewfinder and captured as 12 megapixel images with a digital zoom factor of 1.4x or 2x.

In another first for DSLR cameras, both new models can capture Full HD video at 60p (progressive) frame rates – incorporating the recently introduced AVCHD™ Progressive (Ver. 2.0) format. Also, 24p shooting is available for capturing beautiful cinematic video footage. Manual focusing and P/A/S/M exposure modes, familiar to creative filmmakers, also can provide enhanced control during video shooting.
Shooters can compose and review stills and video on the adjustable-angle three-inch Xtra Fine LCD™ display that offers high resolution (921k dot) and TruBlack™ technology for superb detail and contrast. As an extra refinement, the α77 introduces the world's first three-way adjustable screen that tilts and pivots freely for effortless framing at any angle (α65: two-way adjust LCD).

Revised ergonomics on both cameras include a comfortably contoured new grip design and tactile new button layout for 'eyes off' operation while viewing via the high-resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ viewfinder.

The α77 adds front and rear control dials for intuitive fingertip operation and a separate top-mounted LCD data display. The durable body features magnesium alloy panels for strength and lightness. Key controls are sealed against the effects of dust and moisture, complementing similar levels of protection offered by the new SAL1650 lens, VG-C77AM Vertical Grip for α77 and HVL-F43AM flash unit.
A new shutter unit on the α77 is tested up to 150,000 cycles and supports an ultra-fast minimum 1/8000 sec shutter speed (1/250 sec flash sync). On-board GPS allows automatic geo-tagging of photos and video clips with location data.

New DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM zoom lens and accessories

The growing range of compatible A-mount lenses for both cameras now includes the quiet, bright DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM standard zoom with 16mm wide angle coverage that's ideal for both portrait and everyday shooting.

The high-performance lens features a dust- and moisture-resistant design, and offers a zoom range of approximately 3x range at constant wide F2.8 aperture. Optical performance is assured by aspherical glass and three ED (Extra Low Dispersion) lens elements to minimize aberration at all focal lengths. An internal Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) drive enables fast, quiet autofocus.

An optional dust- and moisture-resistant VG-C77AM Vertical Grip for α77 assures comfortable handling in vertical shooting positions. It can house up to two NP-FM500H InfoLITHIUM® batteries, doubling shooting stamina up to approximately 1060 shots (via LCD monitor)/940 shots (via Tru-Finder™ viewfinder) when using Memory Stick PRO Duo™ media. Other new A-mount system accessories include a back pack (LCS-BP2), soft carrying cases (LCS-SC21 and LCS-SC8), LCD protectors and eyepiece cups.

Pricing and Availability

The new α77 Translucent Mirror interchangeable lens camera will be available in a kit with the new SAL1650 f2.8 lens for about $2000, and offered as body-only for about $1400. The SAL1650 lens will also be sold separately for about $700.

The new VG-C77AM vertical grip, designed for the α77 camera, will be available in October for about $300.

The new α65 Translucent Mirror interchangeable lens camera will be available in a kit with a standard 18-55mm lens (SAL1855) for about $1000, and offered as body-only for about $900.
Both the α77 and α65 cameras kits and the new SAL1650 lens will be available this October at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) as well as other authorized retailers throughout the Sony dealer network.

For "sneak peak" videos of the new products, please visit www.sony.com/cameravideos.
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Comments

Total comments: 26
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (Aug 25, 2011)

Is there a V-Grip for the A65??

1 upvote
flo-w
By flo-w (Aug 24, 2011)

I was waiting for the A55 successor. Why? The AF couldn't keep up with the frame rate. I'm waiting for the in-depth review on the A65 and A77 to see if that has been fully solved.
Saying that, I'm very excited. And it's in time for my next big trip. :)

0 upvotes
The Scurvy Dog of PR
By The Scurvy Dog of PR (Aug 24, 2011)

I, for one, will be buying the A65 when it comes out. It is exactly the digital camera I have 'dreamed' of, for the last 20 years. A hard prism is over-rated. Thank You Sony!

2 upvotes
Lukino
By Lukino (Aug 24, 2011)

I am in love for Sony DSLTs too but... those awful lenses!
I was totally sold on the A55! Went to the shop to buy it (found a great price too), took in hand, happy, turned it on, excited, looked inside evf, exalted! Then moved the lens zoom ring... wtf? It's a toy, cheap and stiffy! Ok, there might be great lenses from zeiss, but I cannot afford them. I think I'll buy a Nikon.

0 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (Aug 25, 2011)

I don't really share your opinion on Sony lenses ( maybe the kit lens feels ( as it is ) cheap..., and if you can't go for a G or Zeiss right now, think of Sigma, Tamron and Tokina! They all have great lenses for Sony.

0 upvotes
Tormenborba
By Tormenborba (Aug 25, 2011)

ehy man have you ever tried canon and Nikon kit lenses? thay are just the same crap... I have canon and the 18-55 was terrible!

0 upvotes
Lukino
By Lukino (Aug 25, 2011)

Nikon 18-55 VR sold with D3100 and 5100 kits feels very smooth and solid built, I must say... not tried canons yet.

0 upvotes
wmac
By wmac (Aug 25, 2011)

I have had Sony, canon and Nikon kitlenses.

Sony 1870 was the worse lens (not even kitlens) I have ever had. It had terrible sharpness. Canon 18-55 was ok but just ok. The build quality of Canon was not good (the ribbon inside gets broken for most users and needs repair).

However Nikon 18-55 VRII is a real good lens in comparison to others. At 35mm F8 it is as sharp as my Canon 50mm-F1.8II prime lens.

0 upvotes
pixel_colorado
By pixel_colorado (Aug 25, 2011)

You've been dreaming about a camera for 20 years...dude...that's just sad.

0 upvotes
pixel_colorado
By pixel_colorado (Aug 24, 2011)

No focus assist light...I'm not an pro, but it seems like that would be a useful thing to have?

Am I missing something?

0 upvotes
pete_mb
By pete_mb (Aug 24, 2011)

It uses the pop-up flash for focus assist like lower-end Canons.

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Aug 24, 2011)

Why pay $500 more for the a77? 2 additional fps, crazy pull out LCD, micro AF adjustments? If I were looking sony I'd grab the a65 over the a77 easily - or even the a55 that has a sensor not overly crammed with pixels!

0 upvotes
Mapel
By Mapel (Aug 24, 2011)

I hope to see a complete review of this camera as soon as possible.

0 upvotes
wutsurstyle
By wutsurstyle (Aug 24, 2011)

why do they continue to use a bottom-hinge screen when the side-hinge is so much better? do they not use tripods?

0 upvotes
pixel_colorado
By pixel_colorado (Aug 24, 2011)

Unless I'm missing something...bottom-hinged screens are stupid!

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

Bottom hinge is better for framing unless you are cross eyed because everything is centered with the lens. They refuse to go side hinge with the A77 for a reason.

0 upvotes
pixel_colorado
By pixel_colorado (Aug 24, 2011)

It's a shame they made it bigger than the A33, A35 and the A55.

1 upvote
Rolo King
By Rolo King (Aug 24, 2011)

"Bigger" sells. It's more professional, don't you know?

0 upvotes
The Lotus Eater
By The Lotus Eater (Aug 24, 2011)

Impossible not to make the A77 bigger than previous SLTs if you want enthusiast/semi-pro level handling.

0 upvotes
pixel_colorado
By pixel_colorado (Aug 24, 2011)

Who said anything about the A77...this is the comments section for the A65

0 upvotes
BozemanMark
By BozemanMark (Aug 24, 2011)

I was hoping the A65 would be closer in size and weight to the A55. You could get an A55 with18-250 lens weighing in about 2 lb. I want a great camera without excess bulk and weight. That was a big attraction of the SLT cameras. As I get older, I would rather carry less weight - especially backpacking. Now I am leaning toward the NEX-7.

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

Yup. That is why it is called the A65 and not the A57. It is supposed to be bigger. Get an A55 or wait for the replacement if it ever comes.

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

It is about T3i. I think it is mainly that size because people complained about the T2i and A55 grip. Now we have people complaining that it is too big. Perfect example of Sony losing either way they go.

0 upvotes
rttew
By rttew (Aug 24, 2011)

Maybe because we that make our living off of shooting all day long in many different situations don't want to walk into our events with a toy-looking camera.

0 upvotes
BozemanMark
By BozemanMark (Aug 24, 2011)

Yup. There is now quite a gap between the A35 (definitely entry level) and the A65. I hope Sony fills it with an upgraded version of the A55.

0 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (Aug 25, 2011)

I consider the A65 an excellent replacement/upgrade for the A55. I may even get one and sell my A55!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 26