Sony’s latest additions to its Alpha DSLR and NEX camera lines offer enhanced speed and performance to advanced amateurs and photo enthusiasts. The A77 and A65 models deliver 24.3 megapixels and AF-enabled continuous shooting at 12 and 10 fps respectively, while the NEX-7 and NEX-5N deliver DSLR quality at about half the size and weight.
A77 and A65
Sony’s latest refinements to its Translucent Mirror Technology make these DSLR cameras the fastest, most responsive interchangeable lens cameras in their class. The award-winning Translucent Mirror system directs light to the image sensor and the Phase Detection AF sensor simultaneously, which allows you to shoot with greater speed and precision.
“We feel that these cameras are not only a significant evolution of our breakthrough Translucent Mirror Technology,” said Mike Kahn, director of the Alpha camera business group for Sony Electronics. “They’re also a revolution in terms of redefining how this unique technology can be put to use by enthusiasts.”
The A77 and A65 feature a new Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor with 24.3 effective megapixel resolution. This sensor, combined with Sony’s BIONZ® image processing engine, results in faster response times, superior image quality and ultra-low noise, whether you’re shooting still images or Full HD video. Six-image layering allows you to capture six images in a fraction of a second, then combine the data into an optimized single image.
The A77, the successor to Sony’s acclaimed A700 DSLR, captures images at up to 12 fps. Precise AF tracking of moving subjects is assured by a new 19- point autofocus system with 11 cross sensors. (To compare, the A65 has a shooting speed of 10 fps and 15-point AF with three cross sensors.) The Tracking Focus feature can maintain an accurate lock on a moving subject even when it’s momentarily obscured. In addition, the electronic front shutter curtain has a minimum release time lag of approximately 50 milliseconds, similar to professional- class DSLRs.
On the A77, the sensitivity range goes as low as ISO 50. At the high end of the range (16,000), both the A77 and A65 can freeze fast action or capture atmospheric low-noise shots without flash. Both cameras boast a precision electronic viewfinder, the OLED Tru-Finder™, which has 2359k dot (XGA) resolution, 100 per-cent frame coverage and a field of view comparable to the most advanced optical viewfinders. The OLED reduces motion blur to a bare minimum and lets you preview the effects of adjusting exposure, white balance and other settings in real time.
On the video front, both the A77 and A65 capture Full HD at 60p (progressive) frame rates. 60i and 24p shooting are also available, along with manual focusing and P/A/S/M (Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority or Manual) exposure modes for further control.
Additional refinements on the A77 include a three-way adjustable screen for effortless framing at any angle, front and rear control dials for intuitive operation, a separate top-mounted LCD with exposure information, a weather-resistant magnesium body and GPS for automatic tagging of photos and video clips.
The A77 is available for $1,400 (body only) or in a kit with Sony’s SAL1650 f2.8 lens for $2,000. The A65 is available for $900 (body only) or in a kit with Sony’s SAL1855 lens for $1,000. The range of compatible A-mount lenses for both cameras now includes the DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM standard zoom with 16mm wide angle coverage. Optional accessories range from the VG-C77AM Vertical Grip for the A77 to a backpack (LCS-BP2) and soft carrying cases (LCS-SC21 and LCS-SC8).
NEX-7 and NEX-5N
These compact, mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras provide a viable alternative for times when you need professional- quality images without carrying a bulky, full-size DSLR.
As Sony’s top-of-the-line mirrorless camera, the NEX-7 shares some of the same features as the A77 described above ”” among them, the 24.3 megapixel APS-C Exmor sensor, the OLED Tru- Finder™ viewfinder, and 1080p60, 60i and 24p HD video recording. Another noteworthy perk is the world’s shortest release time lag for an interchangeable lens digital camera: approximately 20 milliseconds. “The NEX-7 creates a shooting experience unlike anything else in the market today,” says Kelly Davis, vice president of digital imaging.
The ISO range extends from 100- 16,000. For the ultimate in manual control, the intuitive TRINAVI interface supplies two dials on top of the camera plus a control wheel, all customizable. There is a built-in pop-up flash and an auto-lock accessory shoe for advanced shooting applications. You can use any of Sony’s Emount lenses, which are small, light-weight lenses designed specifically for compact interchangeable lens cameras; or, add an adapter and attach the full range of Sony A-mount lenses as well as Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax or Leica lenses.
As for the NEX-5N, it replaces Sony’s popular NEX-5 and adds enhanced features such as 16.1 effective megapixels, a touch-sensitive screen, improved autofocus and a maximum ISO sensitivity of 25,600. This user-friendly camera has a simple design and interface ”” perfect for beginners who want the experience of taking professional-quality photos.
The NEX-5N has the same short release time lag as the NEX-7, along with the option of fully controlling exposure with P/A/S/M modes. A new Photo Creativity Touch interface allows you to preview, apply and combine options such as Background Defocus, Exposure, Picture Effect and other adjustments.
Both the NEX-7 and NEX-5N come with Picture Effects, which enables you to apply a variety of artistic effects without the need for post-processing. There are 11 modes ”” such as 3D Sweep Panorama, Soft Skin, Auto HDR, Handheld Twilight and Anti Motion Blur ”” and 15 effects, such as HDR Painting, Soft Focus, Miniature and Rich-Tone Mono.
The NEX-7 is available for $1,200 (body only) or in a kit with an 18-55mm zoom lens for $1,350. The NEX-5N is available for $600 (body only) or in a kit with an 18-55mm zoom lens for $700. For more information on the products described in this article, visit www.store.sony.com.