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Sony introduces three D-SLRs, four lenses and a flash | Digital Camera Resource Page News

Sony introduces three D-SLRs, four lenses and a flash

Date posted: Monday, May 18, 2009

Sony today announced three new entry-level digital SLRs. The new Alpha DSLR-A230, A330, and A380 replace the A200, A300, and A350, respectively. Some of the new features on these models include smaller and lighter bodies, a more intuitive interface, support for SD/SDHC cards (did I just see a pig fly by?), HDMI output, and new lens and flash options. Here are the highlights for all three of these cameras:

Alpha DSLR-A230 [specs]

  • 10.2 effective Megapixel CCD
  • Alpha (α) lens mount supports both Minolta and Sony lenses, with a 1.5X focal length conversion ratio
  • SteadyShot sensor-shift image stabilization gives you shake reduction on every lens
  • Dust reduction system
  • 2.7" LCD display with 230,400 pixels (does not have live view)
  • Optical viewfinder has 0.83X magnification, 95% coverage
  • 9-point autofocus system
  • Auto and scene modes, plus full manual controls
  • RAW, RAW+JPEG support
  • Continuous shooting at 2.5 frames/second
  • In-camera help system
  • Dual memory card slots: Memory Stick Duo + SD/SDHC
  • HDMI output
  • Uses NP-FH50 lithium-ion battery; 510 shots per charge
  • Ships in July for $550 with an 18 - 55 mm lens, or $750 with 18 - 55 mm and 55 - 200 mm lenses

Alpha DSLR-A330 [specs] - changes:

  • Tilting 2.7" LCD display (230,400 pixels), with a wider range of motion than on previous models
  • Live view and super-fast autofocus thanks to a dedicated sensor in the viewfinder chamber
  • Optical viewfinder is considerably smaller than the A230, with a 0.74X magnification; coverage is the same
  • Continuous shooting rate of 2.5 fps with the viewfinder, and 2.0 fps with live view
  • Same battery life with the viewfinder; live view battery life rated at 230 shots
  • Priced at $650 with the 18-55 and $850 with the 18-55/55-200 combo
  • A special brown-colored model will be available

Alpha DSLR-A380 [specs] - changes:

  • 14.2 effective Megapixel CCD
  • Priced at $850 for the single lens kit, and $1050 for the dual lens kit

Along with those new cameras come several new accessories. Both the F3.5-5.6, 18 - 55 and F4.0-5.6, 55 - 200 mm kit lenses are all new, and they're optimized for APS-C sensors. They both feature a Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) and extra-low dispersion (ED) elements. These lenses will be available separately for $200 and $230, respectively.

Sony also has two other lenses: a new F1.8, 50 mm portrait lens, and an F2.8, 30 mm macro lens. The 50 mm lens will be available in July for $150. Pricing and availability for the macro lens was not available.

Finally, there's a new external flash with a unique pop-up design. The flash has a guide number of 20 meters, and it has a bounce function for better quality flash photos. It's priced at $130.




SAN DIEGO, May 17, 2009 – Sony is making it easy for first-time digital SLR buyers to step up from point-and-shoot digital still cameras with the introduction today of three new easy-to-use α (alpha) cameras (models DSLR-A380, DSLR-A330 and DSLR-A230), four new lenses, a flash and accessories.

Uniquely Matched to Customers’ Needs

The new cameras are designed to overcome challenges faced by many customers taking their first steps in DSLR photography. Without compromising performance and versatility, the new models are smaller, lighter, easier to use and offer innovative expansion options not found in other systems.

“Our new alpha cameras, lenses and accessories make it easier for new users to get the great photos they expect without the steep learning curve that DSLRs have traditionally required,” said Kristen Elder, senior manager for the alpha business at Sony Electronics Inc. “By overcoming the obstacles, we’ve made it much easier for newcomers to take great pictures with DSLRs.”

Light and Compact

The 10.2 megapixel α230 camera is the lightest, most compact alpha DSLR camera body ever at 15.9 ounces. The 10.2 megapixel α330 and the 14.2 megapixel α380 cameras are also smaller and lighter than their predecessor models (the DSLR-A300 and DSLR-A350, respectively). These cameras are also more compact and feature an intuitive control layout that allows for easy single-handed operation. SteadyShot INSIDE™ in-camera image stabilization is built into each camera body, so every α-mount lens benefits from the ability to minimize blur due to camera shake.

Quick AF Live View System

Both the α380 and α330 cameras offer Sony’s Quick Autofocus (AF) Live View technology, so you can frame photos on the camera’s LCD screen as well as in the optical viewfinder.  Through the use of a dedicated image sensor, Quick AF Live View maintains the rapid response of a DSLR, while avoiding the focus delay common to other live view systems.

The new cameras feature a 2.7-inch (diagonally) Clear Photo LCD™ screen that is easy to view even in bright sunlight. Additionally, the LCD on the α380 and α330 models can be tilted up or down, making it easy to frame your subject from high or low positions, otherwise difficult to see using an eye-level viewfinder.  The range of adjustment has been increased from their predecessors, making it even easier to get shots from difficult angles.

By combining Quick AF Live View and an adjustable LCD, users can frame the scene without holding the camera in front of their face, allowing parents, for example, to maintain eye-contact when photographing their children for more natural expressions.

An HDMI™ terminal gives you the option of connecting your camera to a compatible HDTV and playing back your images in high definition quality (HDMI cable required, sold separately). Additionally, BRAVIA® Sync™ works with compatible Sony® BRAVIA HDTVs to let you control camera playback using the television’s remote (HDMI cable and BRAVIA Sync capable HDTV required, sold separately).

The new cameras include dedicated slots for high-capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo™, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™ and SD/SDHC media (sold separately).

Built-in Help Guide

The α380, α330 and α230 models are Sony’s first DSLR cameras to feature a graphical user interface (GUI) with built-in on-screen Help Guide.

The Help Guide offers clear, concise explanations of various modes and settings, while the Graphic Display helps you understand the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, as well as the effect each has on photographic results.

Systems, Lenses and Flash

Making it easier for first-time DSLR users to get started, the new Sony cameras come in camera-and-lens packages. In addition to the two new standard zoom and telephoto lenses that are offered with the camera bodies, the company introduced new portrait and macro lenses. These purpose-built lenses make it much easier to obtain professional-looking, creative results. 

Optimized for use with APS-C sized image sensors, these lenses feature a Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) that enables in-lens auto focus (AF) drive for smooth, quiet operation, and high optical performance in a compact size.

The DT 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens (model SAL-1855) incorporates aspherical and Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements to provide an all purpose lens with outstanding image quality.  The DT 55-200mm F/4-5.6 telephoto zoom lens (model SAL-55200/2) features an ED glass element and helps bring distant subjects closer, ideal for capturing sports. Both the SAL-1855 and SAL-55200 lenses are available separately, or packaged as kits with the new cameras.

To make the benefits of portrait and macro photography easier and more accessible, Sony is introducing a DT 50mm F/1.8 portrait lens (model SAL-50F18) and DT 30mm F/2.8 (model SAL-30M28) macro lens.  The wide aperture SAL-50F18 lens helps users capture beautiful portraits with gently defocused backgrounds while the SAL-30M28 macro lens captures intricate close-ups. Both techniques are difficult to achieve with standard lenses. 

To help users take better shots with flash, Sony offers an affordable, compact external flash unit (model HVL-F20AM) that is simple to operate. Unlike a camera’s built-in flash, this external flash provides higher output (Guide Number 20), and enables users to bounce light off the ceiling to eliminate harsh shadows and achieve more even illumination when shooting indoors.

Pricing and Availability
Pre-orders will begin on May 18, 2009 at www.sonystyle.com/retail and at selected retailers nationwide. The cameras and a range of accessories will be available in July at Sony Style® retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail), at military base exchanges and at authorized dealers nationwide.

The α380L, α330L and α230L will cost about $850, $650 and $550, respectively. The L series one-lens kit comes with the SAL-1855 standard zoom lens.

The α380Y, α330Y and α230Y will cost about $1050, $850 and $750, respectively. The Y series two-lens kit comes with both the SAL-1855 standard zoom and SAL-55200 telephoto zoom lenses.

  • The SAL-1855 standard zoom lens will cost about $200.
  • The SAL-55200 telephoto zoom lens will cost about $230.
  • The SAL-50F18 portrait lens will cost about $150.
  • The HVL-F20AM flash will cost about $130.