Sony unveils SLT A55 and A33 with translucent mirror technology
Sony has unveiled the SLT A55 and SLT A33, the first pair of cameras to incorporate the company's translucent mirror design. The Single Lens Translucent (SLT) cameras offer live view with full-time fast phase-detection AF whether in stills or movie shooting. This is achieved by having a fixed, semi-transparent mirror that redirects a small amount of light onto the AF sensor while allowing the rest through onto the main imaging sensor. The A55 is built around a 16.2MP sensor while the A33 features a 14.2MP unit. Both feature 3.0" articulated LCDs, full HD video recording and ISO sensitivity up to 12,800, while the A55 also features built-in GPS. Priced at $749 and $649 respectively, the A55 will be available from October, while the A33 will hit the markets earlier, in September.
Camera speed redefined: Sony introduces first Translucent Mirror Technology digital camera
- α55 (SLT-A55V) (16.2 megapixels) and α33 (SLT-A33) (14.2 megapixels)
- Ultra-quick shooting up to 10fps with fast, precision phase detection AF
- First ever Quick AF HD Movie with smooth, continuous autofocus during video shooting
- Enhanced Quick AF Live View and 7.5 cm (3") free-angle LCD, plus Tru-Finder (Electronic Viewfinder) with 100% coverage
- Advanced imaging functions including 3D Sweep Panorama, Auto HDR and multi-frame noise reduction
The α (pronounced Alpha) family of interchangeable lens cameras from Sony grows with the compact, ultra-responsive new α55 and α33.
Sony’s first-ever digital cameras to employ Translucent Mirror Technology showcase an innovative optical system that opens up dramatic new shooting possibilities. In contrast with conventional DSLR cameras, Translucent Mirror Technology uses a fixed, translucent mirror that ‘splits’ the optical pathway between the main image sensor and a separate phase-detection autofocus sensor.
High-resolution live image preview with rapid, accurate phase detection autofocus is thus available at all times – either via the angle-adjustable 7.5cm (3”) LCD or precision Tru-Finder (electronic viewfinder). This also ensures that even moving objects stay in sharp focus at all times, whether you’re shooting Full HD video or stills.
Translucent Mirror Technology overcomes other traditional limitations of DSLR models, with its simplified mechanical design shrinking camera size and complexity. This makes the α55 and α33 a compelling choice for casual photographers who want to capture spontaneous family moments and travel scenes with less to carry.
Full-resolution shooting at up to 10fps with precise AF tracking
Ground-breaking Translucent Mirror Technology allows high-speed shooting with the α55 at up to 10fps (α33: 7fps) in Continuous Priority AE mode. This represents the world’s fastest burst continuous AF shooting performance of any interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C size sensor.
A newly developed 15-point phase-detection autofocus system assures rapid, accurate AF tracking, keeping even moving subjects in sharp focus during continuous shooting. This enables the α55 and α33 to capture split-second action or fleeting nuances of expression with portrait subjects.
World’s first Quick AF Full HD movie shooting
The large sensor size Exmor™ APS HD CMOS Sensor inside both cameras lets photographers capture stunning, cinematic HD video footage with beautiful background defocus (bokeh) effects.
Theα55 and α33 also mark the debut of Quick AF Full HD movie shooting. Translucent Mirror Technology enables AVCHD 1080i video shooting with smooth, precise phase detection AF tracking of moving subjects. Real-time video image preview is now possible via the viewfinder – in contrast with DSLR cameras where the raised mirror prevents light from reaching the optical viewfinder during video shooting.
Effortless composition and image viewing
Theα55 and α33 enable exciting new possibilities for framing and viewing highest-quality video and still images. Already prized by step-up DSLR users and enthusiasts alike, Sony’s Quick AF Live View system is now more effective than ever. High-resolution live image preview is teamed with uncompromised phase detection AF performance – even with rapidly-moving subjects.
Tilting and swivelling freely (to maximum 270 degrees) for comfortable framing at any shooting angle, the bright 7.5 cm (3.0") (16:9) Xtra Fine LCD offers superb detail and contrast.
There’s also a precision electronic viewfinder with 1.15 million dot resolution that delivers a clear, bright image with 100% frame coverage. Adjustments to exposure, depth of field and colour can be previewed instantly, either in the viewfinder or on the LCD. Effortless composition is aided further by switchable grid line in the finder and LCD screen, plus a new digital levelling gauge.
Enriched creative possibilities
Theα55 and α33 are compatible with the full range of over 30 A-mount interchangeable lenses and offer SteadyShot INSIDE. This in-body image stabilisation system provides up to 4 exposure steps of anti-shake correction when shooting handheld.
Both cameras also feature 3D Sweep Panorama, allowing photographers to capture detail-packed extra-wide panoramas with a huge field of view. 3D panoramas can be enjoyed on any compatible 3D HD television. The SLT-A55 is also the first α camera by Sony with integrated GPS, allowing automatic geo-tagging of images and video clips.
The new-generation Exmor™ APS HD CMOS Sensor inside both cameras supports a sophisticated range of digital image compositing and processing functions. This gives even greater artistic possibilities to beginners and photo enthusiasts alike.
Auto HDR is now refined further compared with previous-generation α models. Data from a burst of three frames at bracketed exposure values is automatically combined, creating a single image with extended highlight and shadow detail Multi-frame Noise Reduction ‘stacks’ a high-speed burst of six frames, creating a single low-noise exposure that boosts effective sensitivity as high as ISO 25600.
The new cameras accept both Memory Stick PRO Duo™ (including Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™) and SD (including both SDHC and SDXC formats) media (all sold separately). Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX 30MB per second transfer rate offers the best performance during cameras' continuous shooting mode or when transferring the data to another media.
The new α55 and α33 Single Lens Translucent mirror cameras by Sony are available from September 2010.
|SLT A55||SLT A33|
|Sensor|| APS-C "Exmor" HD CMOS
16.7 million total pixels
16.2 million effective pixels
RGB (Primary) color filter array
| APS-C 'Exmor' APS HD CMOS
14.6 million total pixels
14.2 million effective pixels
RGB (Primary) color filter array
|Image sizes (3:2)||
4912 x 3264
4592 x 3056
|Image sizes (Video)||• AVCHD:
• 1920 x 1080, 59.94i (from 29.97fps sensor output)
• Motion JPEG:
• 1440 x 1080, 29.97p or 25p, depending on region
• 640 x 480, 29.94 fps
|Aspect ratios|| 3:2
variable (Sweep Panorama)
|File formats|| RAW
RAW + JPEG
RAW + JPEG Fine
JPEG (EXIF 2.2) - Standard
JPEG (EXIF 2.2) - Fine
|File formats (Movie)||• AVCHD
• QuickTime Motion JPEG
|Lenses||• Sony A-mount
• Konica-Minolta AF mount
|Focus modes||• Auto Focus (15-point phase-detection AF system)
• Manual focus
• Face Detection
• AF Tracking
|AF assist lamp||Yes, dedicated lamp|
|Image stabilization||Super SteadyShot INSIDE|
|Extended optical zoom||N/A|
|Exposure modes||• Program AE
• Aperture priority AE
• Shutter priority AE
• Auto +
• High-speed mode
• Sweep Panorama (2D/3D)
• SCN (see below)
• Flash off
|Scene modes||• Portrait
• Sports Action
• Night view
• Hand held Twilight
• Night portrait
|Scene modes (movie)||• Portrait
• Sports Action
• Night view
• Hand held Twilight
• Night portrait
• Intelligent ISO
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200
• ISO 6400
• ISO 12800
• ISO 25600 (multi-shot NR mode - JPEG only)
|ISO steps||1/3 or 1.0 EV|
|Metering range||-2 to 17 EV|
|Metering modes||• 1200-zone multi-segment
|Exposure compensation||• -2 to +2 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
|Shutter speed||• 60 -1/4000 sec.
• Bulb (up to 4 mins)
• Flash X-sync 1/160 sec
|White balance||• Auto
• Kelvin temp (2500 - 9909K, 100K steps)
|WB fine tuning||Yes (magenta/green bias)|
|Color space||• sRGB
• Adobe RGB
|Image parameters||• Creative Style (Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, B/W)
• Saturation (5 levels)
• Contrast (5 levels)
• Saturation (5 levels)
• Sharpness (5 levels)
|Drive modes||• Single
• Continuous Hi (6 fps)
• Continuous Lo (3 fps)
|Self-timer||• 2 sec
• 10 sec
|Flash||• Manual pop-up
• TTL auto / manual
• Guide no. 10 (ISO 100)
• Sync modes: Auto, Fill flash, Slow sync, Rear-curtain sync, Red-eye reduction on/off, Wireless
• Flash exposure compensation: Up to +/- 2EV in 1/3 EV steps
|Flash X-sync speed||1/160 sec|
|External flash||• Hot shoe|
|Viewfinder||• Electronic Viewfinder
• Color LCD Viewfinder
• Field of view 100%
• Eye point 19mm
• Magnification 1.1x
• Dioptre adjustment -4 to +4 dioptre
• 1,440,000 dots
• Field Sequential (RGB)
|LCD monitor||• 3.0" TFT LCD monitor
• Multi-angle swing and tilt (180°swing, 180° swivel)*
• Low temperature Polycrystalline TFT LCD
• 921,600 dots
• Approx 100% frame coverage
• Auto / Manual (5 steps between -2 and +2) / Sunny Weather
|Connectivity||• USB 2.0 (High Speed)
• HDMI type C
|Print compliance||• Exif Print
• Print Image Matching III
• DPOF setting
|Storage||SD/SDHC/SDXC/MemoryStick Pro Duo|
|Power||• NP-FW50 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
• Supplied charger / AC adapter (sold separately)
|Dimensions||124 x 92 x 85 mm (4.8 x 3.6 x 3.3 in)|
|Weight (camera body)||Approx. 441g||Approx. 433g|
|Moon 99% D55 C14 St-Zénon 20170806 DP by MarioSS|
from Best Picture of the Week
|Reeds on lake by kkardster|
from Abstracts in Nature
|Florence & the Machine by Dutch Newchurch|
from Second chances..
Western Digital's new My Book Duo external desktop storage system offers up to 20TB of storage capacity, and comes with RAID-optimized WD Red hard drives.
Version 1.04 of the Sony a6500 firmware can be downloaded from the Sony Support website now.
Not sure how to choose your first drone? In this article, the second of a 3-part series, we discuss what factors you should consider when deciding what drone is right for you.
NASA photo editor Joel Kowsky didn't just capture the solar eclipse from his vantage point in Wyoming, he also managed to capture the ISS buzzing across what remained of the sun.
In these videos, talented photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco breaks down several tips that will help flash photography newbies start experimenting with artificial light.
Photographer and master potter Steve Irvine makes incredibly intricate, functional ceramic pinhole cameras that look like robots and monsters.
Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released a firmware update for its Moza Air that lets you control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.
Curious how the Sony a9 performs underwater? Our friends at Backscatter took the camera diving off the Baja California coast, to find out how it handled shooting great white sharks.
While most of the DPReview crew put away our cameras and just watched the celestial event, Rishi decided last-minute to hack together a rig and capture a few shots.
Defunct Russian camera maker Zenit is making a comeback, and they're planning to release a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018.
The days where you're more or less locked into premium or first-party flash units has gone. They're less than $50 now, so there's one less excuse not to get one. Here's our case for adding one to your kit, and a few pointers to get you going.
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.
Buying used is a good way to save some dough, and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.