PMA 2008: PMA 2008 is almost underway and to kick things of we're at the Sony press conference. We'll update this story as and when we have any information about new announcements. Updated with pictures of new sensor and flagship model mockup.
PMA 2008: Live from the Sony press conference
Key points: No high end DLSR announced today, but a little more detail: It's going to be a full frame 24.6MP CMOS model with Super Steady Shot stabilization, and it's coming this year.
09:05: We're here. Steve Haber SVP Digital Imaging and Audio division is giving opening speech.
09:07: Haber is giving a general overview of the state of the imaging business, things are going well with record sales of Cyber-shot. Talking up the 'ease of use' innovations such as Face Detection. Very happy with the results of Sony's entry into the DSLR market. Making good progress (no hard facts or figures).
09:10: Shigeki Ishizuka, President of the Digital Imaging Business Group is giving a history of Sony's involvement in the DSC business, going back to the original Mavica system in 1981.
09:12: First Cyber shot announced in 1996, will have sold 100 million at some point this year. Talking about the importance of 'HD Photo' (HDTV output on still cameras).
09:13: Mr Ishizuka is talking about the new Live View system in the cameras announced yesterday. Oh and the wonder of 'smile capture'.
09:15: Announcing the launch of the 'S-Frame' digital photo frame system.
09:17: 'Creating and Spreading New Digital Lifestyles'. Quite ambitious that.
09:17: Over to Toru Katsumoto, Senior GM AMC Division.
09:18: '2008 Alpha proceeds onto main stage'. Covering the segmentation of the DSLR market, and how Sony is filling the 'ease of use' and 'high quality' gap. Reseach from consumers and buyers of the A100 led them to develop new Live View system. Needed to be suitable for entry-level users and had to be quick, not impacting on focus speed.
09:19: Concept video for the new Alpha products. Very loud for this time of the morning. Lots about the advantage of the new live view system.
09:20: 'What do you think?' Polite applause.
09:21: Alpha 300 / Alpha 350 features. Quick AF Live View - as fast as shooting with the optical viewfinder. Ideal for customers who want the SLR quality with compact camera ease of use. Nothing new so far; we're getting a detailed run-down of the new features and improvements of the models announced thus far this year.
09:22: Now here's the breaking news. We revealed last year that we would be announcing a high end Alpha. Development is continuing. Here's some detail of the sensor it will be built around. 24.6MP Full Frame CMOS sensor. It will be available by the end of this year (we're guessing a Photokina announcement).
09:23: Guy from DSLR development has taken the stage. Talking about Sony's image sensor ('Exmor'). They're working on the development of the new CMOS full frame (for the flagship model) and he's talking about the new CCD sensor developed for the A350.
09:27: Super Steady Shot for the Full Frame sensor is confirmed. Apparently there's a prototype here we can see in action.
09:28: Onto lenses (looks like that's all we're getting on the flagship model for today). Talking about the 2-70 and 70-300mm lenses announced yesterday and promising there's more to come.
09:29: Now talking about the growing Alpha system from entry level to high end and wrapping up this section. Thank you very much.
09:30: There's a lady on stage now who appears to be talking about cameras but there are so many buzzwords ('leveraging user experience') that I'm not sure.
09:31: We're onto Cyber-shot now - covering the new technologies featured in the products announced this week. Apparently 'the camera's not calling you stupid' when it refuses to take a picture unless it's happy everything is right and the subjects are all smiling. Not sure what Adult Priority mode is...
09:33: Talking about the shared technologies across the Sony product range (Bionz processors in camcorders, DRO trickling down from Alpha to Cyber-shot and Handycam). Face Detection for video debuting this year.
09:36: Talking about High Def and the new printers / digital photo frames.'HDNA' - HD across the entire product portfolio.
09:37: S-Frame digital photo frames. Bluetooth connectivity, auto image rotation (orientation sensor). Can decode and display virtually any image in less than a second.
09:40: We've moved onto professional digital photofinishing now. Not a lot to say about that really.
09:41: Back to Steve Haber for closing comments and thanks. That's all folks.
Live coverage written by Simon Joinson. Pictures by Phil Askey.
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