Toronto, ON ; September 12, 2012 — Today at the Thompson Hotel in Toronto, Sony Canada unveils a slew of image capture devices utilizing full-frame sensor which will result in greater dynamic range and lower high-ISO noise for their semi-pro camcorder, interchangeable-lens pocket camera and dSLR system.
Sony Alpha A99 flagship full-frame dSLR
Priced at an estimated suggested retail of 3 000 $, this dSLR is targeting both professional photographers and leading filmmakers, with plenty of features that will appeal to both. The centerpiece is an all-new 24.3-megapixel Exmor sensor which features an increased photodiode area for boosted low light quality (up to ISO 102 400 !!!). The camera also features what Sony‘s calling the « world’s first dual-AF system, » which includes two different phase-detect AF systems, including the same 19-point system on the A77 plus an additional 102 points on the imager itself.
Video shooters will find 1080/60p and 24p options with AVCHD 2.0 (also called AVCHD Progressive), including uncompressed output through HDMI (with simultaneous output to a monitor) and phase-detect focus support in video mode. There’s also a 6 frames-per-second burst mode, 14-bit RAW output for stills, the same 921k-dot Xtra Fine tilt-and-swivel LCD included with the A77 with WhiteMagic and TruBlack, and the same OLED viewfinder found on the A77, NEX-6 and NEX-7, that offers slightly boosted functionality thanks to the full-frame sensor, letting photographers snag a realtime depth-of-field preview without dimming the finder. It also offers a 34-degree viewing angle and color tone adjustment control. Because the A99 offers a translucent mirror, Sony was able to eliminate the pentaprism to keep the size and weight at bay, making the dSLR lighter than
my Canon 7D.
There are plenty of other connectivity options as well, including a mini USB port, HDMI out, headphone and microphone jacks, power in, a remote control jack, PC Sync socket (for studio strobes) and GPS. Video shooters will surely appreciate the new silent controller just to the left of the lens, and the ability to add an XLR input module to the hot shoe. There are also dual SD card slots, letting you duplicate images, assign video and stills to different cards or copy folders without removing a card.
You’ll also be able to pick up the VG-C99AM vertical grip (380 $), which doesn’t include the typical « shaft, » letting you add two more battery packs for a total of three. You can also obtain Sony’s own 800 $ XLR mic module, which features a shotgun microphone.[nggallery id=69]
Cyber-shot RX1 full-frame pocket camera
If pocket camera is more your style, Sony also introduced a new, world’s first compact Cyber-shot RX1 Camera featuring 35 mm full-frame image sensor and wide aperture f/2 lens.
The extraordinary new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 digital camera packs an advanced 35 mm full-frame 24.3 MP Exmor CMOS sensor just like the A99 dSLR and exceptionally Carl Zeiss T*t 35 mm f/2.0 fixed lens into a highly portable, lightweight camera body. Measuring approximately 4.5 inches wide by 3 inches tall and weighing just over a pound, it’s significantly smaller and lighter than any full-frame DSLR yet sacrifices nothing in terms of image quality, HD video quality or manual control.
The new camera’s unified lens and body design allows performance that few interchangeable lenses can match. The Carl Zeiss lens not only delivers spectacular image quality all the way to the edges of each frame, it incorporates a near-silent in-lens shutter and is far more compact than comparable lenses of interchangeable design. The camera also features full manual control options and an intuitive user interface, making it easy for photographers to adjust all settings quickly and easily.
The 35 mm full-frame sensor inside the RX1 camera more than doubles the area of APS-C sensors commonly found in much bulkier DSLR cameras, allowing it to take in significantly more light while capturing content with an impressively broad dynamic range as previously mentioned in the beginning of this article.
The large sensor size also boosts the camera’s sensitivity range to a generous ISO 100 – 25600, with the option to shoot as low as ISO 50 in expanded sensitivity mode. Similarly, ISO settings as high as 102 400 can be achieved using Multi Frame Noise Reduction. This allows the camera to capture natural, low noise handheld images in near-dark conditions without needing flash.
Furthermore, the new camera features a memory recall (MR) mode is accessible via the mode dial so photographers can store and instantly recall up to three sets of camera settings.
This new camera also features 13 different Creative Styles for fine-tuning images, plus a wide range of Picture Effect treatments. Furthermore, it has Auto HDR and D-Range Optimizer, bracket shooting (Exposure, DRO or White Balance) and Auto HDR shooting modes, and there’s a Digital Level Gauge that indicates camera pitch and camera roll on the LCD screen for straight, even landscape and architectural shots.
Basically, this pocket camera is an A99 in a small form factor. Pricing is estimated to be identical to the A99.
NEX-VG900 full-frame Handycam
Meet the Sony NEX-VG900 Handycam — the company’s first 35 mm HD video camera. Taking cues from its Alpha 99 and RX-1 mentioned earlier, it is price virtually identical with the former too (well, it’s going to be 3 499 $ actually). The VG900 is compatible with E-mount lenses and it’s also a fine stills shooter (like the A99, it’s capable of 14-bit RAW captures), but it’s best suited for high-end video production, where it offers 1080p recording at 24 or 60 frames-per-second at the maximum video bit-rate of 28 Mbps (strange, considering the old VG-20 had a much higher video bit-rate) through a sensor that features 45 times the area of a conventional camcorder. This model even adds some of Sony‘s picture effects from the stills line, such as soft focus and miniature mode, while certain filters, like partial color and high-contrast monochrome can be added to video.
Other important features include a 270-degree swivel 921 000-dot touch-enabled TruBlack LCDs and XGA OLED eye-level electronic viewfinders, along with Sony‘s new Multi Interface Shoe, which enables XLR microphone inputs through an optional accessory. The Handycams offer a new zoom seesaw level with multiple speeds for smooth, silent lens adjustments. Last but not least, film-like results can be achieved by shooting video in 24p progressive mode with CinemaTone Gamma and CinemaTone Color presets to precisely control cinematic grading effects.