updated 12:00 am EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
Sony Alpha A57 ups entry level cameras
Sony unveiled a new entry level Alpha early Tuesday in the just leaked A57. It shoots at a typical 16 megapixels, but with an uncharacteristically fast mode, Continuous Advance Priority AE. By locking the aperture at f3.5 or smaller, it can capture 12 frames per second at 8.4 megapixels, even with autofocus and autoexposure.
It can likewise shoot 1080p video at a fast 60 frames per second. Auto Portrait Framing is completely new to any camera: it combines both face detection and a basic understanding of the rule of thirds to automatically create cropped portraits while keeping the unedited shot.
The translucent-mirror camera preserves the A65's 15-point autofocusing system and has a sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 16,000. Sony relies on a 1.44-megapixel electronic viewfinder to compose the shot along with a three-inch tilting LCD.
A57 units should start reaching stores in April. A body-only version will appear for $700, while opting for an 18-55mm lens in a kit ups the price to $800. A new LED video light for movie-making, the HVL-LE1, will come this month for $250.