Sony today took the wraps off of two new cameras: one with a translucent mirror, and the other with no mirror at all. I'm going to start with the Alpha SLT-A37, which is the replacement to the entry-level A35.
Alpha SLT-A37 [specs]
- 16.1 Megapixel Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor
- Supports all Sony/Minolta A-mount lenses with a 1.5X crop factor
- Sensor-shift image stabilization
- Translucent Mirror Technology provides full-time live view (even when focusing) and fast continuous shooting w/AF between each shot
- Articulating 2.7" LCD display with 230,400 pixels
- Electronic Viewfinder (TruFinder) has 1.44 million dots, 1.15X magnification
- Full manual controls, with ISO range of 100 - 16000
- Superior Auto mode selects a scene mode for you, and will use multi-exposure features to get better photo quality
- 15-point AF system with 3 cross-type sensors
- Continuous shooting as fast as 7 fps with a 1.4X crop, or 5.5 fps at full resolution
- Handy focus peaking feature for precise manual focusing
- Clear Image Zoom doubles the focal length with a minimal drop in image quality
- Auto Portrait Framing identifies people in the frame and then uses the rule of thirds to compose a more interesting portrait (the original is saved, too)
- Fun Sweep Panorama feature, for 2D and 3D
- Records Full HD video at your choice of 1080/60i or 1080/24p with stereo sound and continuous autofocus
- Stereo mic input, HDMI output
- Support for both Memory Stick Pro Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC cards
- Uses NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery, 500 shots per charge with LCD
- Ships in June with an 18 - 55 mm lens for $600
There's a new A-mount lens to talk about, too. Sony's new F3.5-5.6, 18 - 135 mm lens has a SAM motor for silent autofocus, and will sell for $500 when it arrives in July. You'll also be able to get it as a kit lens with all of Sony's current SLT line-up: A37 ($800), A57 ($1000), A65 ($1200), and A77 ($1700).
Sony Introduces Speedy α37 Camera with Full-time Continuous AF Powered by Translucent Mirror Technology
New Model Features High-Quality 16.1MP APS-C Image Sensor, up to 7 fps Shooting, High- Resolution Electronic Viewfinder and more
SAN DIEGO, May 16, 2012 – Lightweight, easy to use and packed with a variety of useful features, the new Sony SLT-A37 camera is an ideal choice for consumers eager to explore the world of interchangeable lens DSLR photography.
The new α37 camera is the latest to feature Sony’s acclaimed Translucent Mirror Technology, which delivers a potent combination of fast shooting, non-stop phase detection autofocus and continuous live image preview during still and full HD video (60i/24p) shooting. This innovative technology also allows the new α37 camera to grab split-second action with a burst of sharply focused images. Shots can be captured at up to seven frames per second in Tele-Zoom High Speed Shooting Mode, where the central portion of the sensor’s image is magnified by approximately 1.4x.
The camera has a precision 3-cross 15-point AF system with tracking autofocus that keeps faces and fast-moving subjects in sharp focus. From action-packed sports to spontaneous family portraits, it will ensure that all the drama and beauty of that special moment is captured.
“Delivering lightning-fast shooting speeds and autofocus plus advanced full HD video capture, our innovative Translucent Mirror Technology continues to serve as the backbone of our A-mount line of cameras,” said Mike Kahn, director of the Alpha business at Sony. “Featuring this unique technology plus a host of exciting new features and an attractive price tag, our new α37 camera brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘entry level DSLR’.”
Framing and focusing is easy with the camera’s high-resolution Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder. With a high 1440k dot resolution, excellent contrast and 100% field of view, it matches or exceeds the abilities of many optical viewfinders. Adjustments to exposure and other creative picture settings can be previewed in real time, either via the Tru-Finder™ EVF or the tilt-angle 6.7 cm (2.7") Clear Photo™ LCD screen, making it easy to create shots with a customized, professional finish.
Additionally, the Sony α37 camera helps inexperienced photographers create top-quality portraits with ease. The new Auto Portrait Framing mode identifies the subject’s position in a composed image and follows the “rule of thirds” to trim the scene and create a beautifully framed portrait. The cropped photo is then boosted to full resolution using Sony’s unique By Pixel Super Resolution technology, which uses pattern matching to maintain superb image detail, tones and textures in the photo. Both the original and cropped image files are saved for review.
By Pixel Super Resolution Technology is also used for the “Clear Image Zoom” feature, which digitally doubles the effective magnification of any lens attached to the camera. Ideal for travel and everyday shooting, it’s a great way to boost maximum focal length without carrying extra hardware.
The 16.1 effective megapixel Exmor® APS HD CMOS sensor inside the α37 camera captures finely detailed, low noise stills and Full HD video. It’s teamed with the latest BIONZ® image processor that extends sensitivity to an ISO 100-16000 range, broadening options for low-light shooting without flash. Shared with all α A-mount cameras, SteadyShot INSIDE™ stabilization cuts the effects of camera shake by up to 4.0 stops for clearer handheld images with any A-mount lens.
The new α37 camera also features Superior Auto Mode, which intelligently recognizes a wide range of scenes and subjects and adjusts settings automatically.
New A-Mount 18-135mm Telephoto Zoom Lens and Accessories
A versatile match for the α37 and other Sony A-mount camera bodies, the new SAL18135 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 telephoto zoom offers a generous 8x (approx.) zoom range in a compact, go-anywhere lens that’s great for travel, street photography and everyday shooting. The lens features a SAM design that assures smooth, rapid, whisper-quiet autofocus operation and Direct Manual Focus for accurate fine-tuning of focus. This sharp telephoto zoom lens will also be offered as a kit lens with the α37 and other Sony A-mount camera bodies.
Compatible accessories include the new PCK-LM11 semi-hard screen protector sheet, exclusively designed for a perfect fit with the LCD screen on the α37 camera, as well as the HVL-F43AM flash, LCS-BP2 backpack and a variety of other exciting products that complete the Alpha ecosystem.
Pricing and Availability
The new α37 digital camera will be available this June with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens (model SEL1855) for about $600. The new SAL18135 telephoto zoom lens will be available as a stand-alone product this July for about $500, and will be offered as a kit lens with Sony A-mount cameras beginning this August at the below approximate prices:
- α37 camera kit with 18-135mm lens: $800
- α57 camera kit with 18-135mm lens: $1,000
- α65 camera kit with 18-135mm lens: $1,200
- α77 camera kit with 18-135mm lens: $1,700
The camera kits, new lens and variety of accessories will be available at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.