Pre-IFA 2009: Sony unveiled its second full-frame digital SLR in the shape of DSLR-A850. It offers almost all features of the company's flagship full frame DSLR A900, but at a more affordable price. It is built around the same 24.6MP CMOS sensor and incorporates A900's 3.0 inch 921k LCD, sensor-shift image-stabilization and Dual Bionz processors. The only compromise is a 98% viewfinder coverage against A900's 100% and slower continuous shooting. To complement the A850, Sony has also announced a mid-priced 28-75mm constant F2.8 SAM lens to fit with the A850's affordable full-frame ethos. The A850 will start shipping from September 2009 with the 28-75mm lens available from November 2009.
MSRP of the new camera (body only) is $2000/€1999
Full-frame DSLR shooting at a real-world price
Weybridge, 27th August 2009: The new DSLR-A850 from Sony offers serious photo enthusiasts a step up to the creative possibilities of full-frame imaging at a compelling price.
Ruggedly built for unflinching pro-style handling and performance, the A850 shares the same 24.6 megapixel sensor and virtually all features of the flagship DSLR-A900, introduced last year. Like its full-frame sibling, the A850 fully exploits the creative possibilities of the α family of lenses that includes premium full-frame optics from Carl Zeiss, plus five high-performance G Lens models.
At the heart of the A850 is a full frame 24.6 effective megapixel Exmor™ CMOS sensor that captures flawless, detail-packed images with vibrant, lifelike colours and fine textures.
The purity of high-resolution image data captured by the full-frame sensor is optimised by two-stage noise reduction in both analogue and digital domains. Noise reduction is first applied as the full-frame sensor converts light to electronic signals. Dual BIONZ™ image engines process large amounts of digital data, applying finely-tuned noise reduction during image processing to deliver pictures with extremely high level of sharpness and minimal noise level. This combination of high native sensor resolution and powerful noise control techniques ensures superlative image quality, even at high sensitivity settings up to a maximum ISO 6400 (with expanded ISO range).
The camera’s optical glass pentaprism viewfinder aids accurate shot composition, offering an extremely bright view with minimal distortion and a generous 98% field coverage.
Serious enthusiasts will also prize the camera’s fast, high-accuracy autofocus system that provides excellent framing freedom while making it easier to achieve optimum focus with moving subjects. The 9-point AF system is supplemented by 10 focus assist points to assist subject detection, improved out-of-focus detection to reduce focus hunting and a dedicated F2.8 sensor for enhanced AF accuracy with wide aperture lenses.
Shots can be viewed on the large, high contrast 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD that offers an exceptionally high resolution (921k dot) for critical evaluation – even outdoors or in bright ambient light.
For greater creative control, an Intelligent Preview function indicates the effects of exposure, white balance, and D-Range Optimiser adjustments prior to shooting. This Preview is invaluable when composing complex scenes that may typically combine multiple light sources with different colour temperatures.
Touching the Fn button switches the display to Quick Navi mode, allowing convenient one-handed adjustment of key shooting parameters. A secondary backlit LCD panel on the top of the camera body gives useful confirmation of major settings, even when the main LCD is turned off.
In common with all other DSLR cameras from Sony, the A850 features SteadyShot INSIDE™. This in-body optical stabilisation system delivers up to 4 steps of anti-shake correction with all compatible lenses, opening up even greater creative possibilities when shooting handheld.
Like its full-frame sibling, the A850 is ruggedly built for dependable performance in gruelling conditions with a high-tensile aluminium chassis and all-magnesium alloy body shell. Viewfinder, card slots, controls and other sensitive areas are protected from dust and moisture by rubber seals. In addition, a dual anti-dust system guards the full-frame sensor from the effects of dust entering the body during lens exchange.
The supplied high-capacity InfoLITHIUM™ Battery Pack (NP-FM500H) delivers power for up to 880 shots (approx.) per charge. Battery levels can be monitored in precise 1% increments, cutting uncertainty about remaining shooting time.
The camera can be connected to your BRAVIA™ or any HD TV (requires optional HDMI cable) for a big-screen view of your shots. On-screen image quality is optimised for superbly lifelike reproduction on BRAVIA™ models supporting PhotoTV HD. On-screen playback can be controlled via an optional remote commander.
The choice of full-frame lenses to complement the A850 is enhanced with the new 28-75mm F2.8 SAM. This compact, easy-to-carry lens is ideal for photo enthusiasts looking to add a bright, general purpose zoom to their collection of full-frame optics. Delivering excellent imaging quality at an accessible price, it’s the first zoom for the Alpha range offering a wide F2.8 aperture over its entire zoom range. Ideal for day-to-day shooting tasks, its bright maximum aperture makes the 28-75mm F2.8 SAM particularly valuable for interior scenes and available-light portraits.
The DSLR-A850 full-frame digital SLR camera is available from September 2009 and the 28-75mm lens will be available from November 2009.
- Full-frame 24.6 effective megapixel Exmor™ CMOS sensor and dual BIONZ processors for detail-packed, low-noise images with high sensitivity up to ISO 6400 (with expanded ISO range)
- Bright optical glass pentaprism viewfinder with 98% coverage
- SteadyShot INSIDE™ offers up to 4.0 steps anti-shake performance with all lenses
- Photo quality (921k dot) 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD
- Fast, high-accuracy 9-point AF with 10 focus assist points
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