updated 12:55 am EDT, Mon May 18, 2009
Sony announces new SLRs
Following leaks this past month, Sony has announced three new digital SLR cameras; the DSLR-A380, DSLR-A330, and DSLR-A230. The announcement also includes four new lenses, a single flash and various accessories. The A330 and the A380 are the successors to the A300 and A350, respectively. Each camera is meant to help first-time digital SLR buyers advance their point-and-shoot camera skills.
The SLRs are designed to be smaller and lighter -- the A230 is the lightest, weighing only 15.9 ounces. Each model features the new SteadyShot INSIDE image-stabilization technology built into the body of the camera, which reduces blur from camera shake while using any lens. The cameras also offer SD and SDHC card slots and an HDMI terminal. All three devices provide a 2.7-inch LCD display, with the A380 and A330 models able to tilt the screen up or down.
The A380 and the A330 feature Sony's Quick Autofocus Live View technology, enabling users to frame photos both by looking through the optical view-finder and the LCD screen. The feature is claimed to cut down on the autofocus delay common on other live-view cameras.
The new Sony cameras will be sold in packages which include both a camera and a lens. Buyers can choose between the two new standard-zoom SAL-1855 and telephoto-zoom SAL-55200 lenses, or the portrait SAL-50F18 and macro SAL-30M28 lenses. Each lens is optimized for use with APS-C sized image sensors, and includes a Smooth Autofocus Motor.
Sony has also released a new external flash unit, the HVL-F20AM, designed to bounce light off the ceiling and walls of indoor locations. The flash module provides a greater level of subject illumination than the camera's built-in flash.
All of the products will be available for pre-order on May 18th, with distribution beginning in July. The A380L, A330L and A230L will cost $850, $650 and $550, respectively. Alternatively, the A380Y, A330Y and A230Y will cost about $1050, $850 and $750, respectively. The Y series two-lens kit ships with both the SAL-1855 standard-zoom and SAL-55200 telephoto-zoom lenses, while the L series only includes the SAL-1855 standard-zoom lens.