I doubt the noise characteristics have improved. There are no signs whatsoever of ANY improvement to picture taking. At least Canon will throw in a new Digic and claim an improvement in ISO or processing time or dynamic range.
I don't know what you guys use your camera for, but I like pik-shures. Sony just made the same cameras more attractive to non-SLR users. And at the same time took away the ability to use a corded remote (I use one very often), dropped the flash power (although maybe they improved the height), dropped FPS on A200 and A300, but improved it by .5 on the A350, LOST THE AE BUTTON!, and some pretty important white balance settings.
I didn't know this until I read the photo club alpha article last night. Everything I have said about these cameras so far has been without this knowledge.
So for Jenny or Jimmy that are currently shooting a point and shoot, and really should move to a super-zoom, but think they want an SLR, this is great. For anyone wanting an SLR, these are a disappointment.
I hate to say it, but taking away the AE lock button just helps me further realize I made the right decision to leave Sony. I'm just not the customer they want. I like the way Canon, Oly, Nikon, and Pentax all make entry SLRs that give customers room to learn and grow. Buy some good glass and you can still do a lot with the entry cameras. I don't have as much experience with the other brands, but I know the only real reason to go from a Rebel to a 50D is for the bigger, more durable body, and faster FPS.
On the plus side, I think the flash is higher, which was a problem with the last cameras. The sliding door for the memory card slots seems really nice. In fact, I would say the design on these new cameras takes DSLR design to a whole new level. I can't speak to the fit and finish, but they look very nice in the pictures. And I do think they look cooler. I prefer a sort utilitarian look, but for style conscious people, these are far better than anything else on the market. And they did a good job with making them almost retro. I think the easier interface and attractive design will gain Sony customers. The fact that Sony accepted SD for the cameras is nice. Dual slots is kinda nice, but I wish they allowed things like shooting onto both at once for redundancy, or jpeg on one and RAW on the other like higher end cameras.
But it is mostly pluses on what I consider "fluff," and minuses on things that effect taking pictures. This is not a good path. I hope, as I said above, that Don is right and they are doing this to make way for something to go between the A700 and what the A300/350 used to be. Otherwise I think Sony is making super zooms with interchangeable lenses.
Oh, they offer a chic brown body, and you can use pink for the rear LCD. I'm sure this is intended for serious wedding photographers, that want to make sure their cameras match the bridesmaids outfits.
I just realized that all of us that are complaining now would never buy an entry level body at this point anyway!
So maybe we shouldn't judge these bodies until Sony releases non entry level bodies that are dissapointing.
It looks like they really have made room for an A400 or A500 model to fill in between the A700 and low end. And by not releasing the 28-75mm (future kit lens?), it would also seem like there maybe an A800 series that's a FF, but not quite as pro as the A900.
After reading these last few posts ... I have to ask, "are you at least reading anything I am writing? "
Honestly, iIt seems rather dubious based on the content that I am reading here. :rolleyes:
I suppose it is rather pointless to address this issue ... as the marketing plan is underway, however it spills out.
When you are manufacturing ... you have windows of ... opportunity. You just don't turn the spigot and begin running hot and cold cameras. C'mon ... the product has to be "on the shelf" for the market to come. That's the way it works. You cannot market what is not there ... unless you are Nikon - the masters of pre-sales. Remember, this is supposed to be the "Summer of SONY." Let's hope so ... ;)
Meanwhile ... here's the new sales tower ... from the bottom ... so far:
My next lens maybe a Canon. I am getting tired of waiting for Sony to make a move to address the noise issue. I may just get a Canon and start over. I am happy with my A100 but have been waiting to move up and all they put out in March was a few lenses. Then all they did was make a few body mods and nothing to replace the A700. I have alot of thinking to do. Good thing I am not ready to buy right now. I may borrow my friends Canon and take it for a test drive this weekend.