Sony a77 & a65 DSLRs

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Alpha 77

Sony has added two DSLRs to its lineup, the SLT-A77 (a77) and SLT-A65 (a65).

The company’s latest refinements to its Translucent Mirror Technology make these new cameras the fastest, most responsive interchangeable lens cameras in their class, says Sony. The a77 and a65 both feature a newly-developed Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with 24.3-megapixel (effective) resolution, as well as the world’s first XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder. The sensor teams with the next generation of Sony’s BIONZ image processing engine to handle huge amounts of high speed data from the camera sensor, enabling fast response times and high quality images with ultra-low noise when shooting still images or Full HD video.

The successor to Sony’s a700 DSLR, the a77 boasts the world’s fastest continuous autofocus (AF) shooting performance (among APS-C DSLRs), capturing a burst of full resolution, 24-megapixel images at 12 frames per second with full-time phase-detection AF. The a65 achieves 10fps shooting speed.

Alpha 65

Precision AF tracking of moving subjects is more precise with the a77, thanks to a new 19-point autofocus system with 11 cross sensors. The a65 has 15-point AF with 3 cross sensors. Tracking Focus maintains accurate focus lock on a moving subject – even if the target is momentarily obscured. Additionally, a new electronic front shutter curtain achieves a minimum release time lag of just 50 milliseconds seconds, which Sony says is comparable to much more expensive professional-class DSLRs.

The a77 and a65 further refine Sony’s Fast Continuous AF Full HD Movie shooting, found on previous Sony Translucent Mirror cameras. Phase Detection maintains accurate focus during video shooting of subjects, even when they’re moving at fast speeds.

Both new models can capture Full HD video at 60p (progressive) frame rates – incorporating the recently introduced AVCHD Progressive (Ver. 2.0) format. Also, 24p shooting is available for capturing ‘cinematic’ video footage. Manual focusing and P/A/S/M exposure modes also can provide enhanced control during video shooting.

A broad sensitivity range of ISO 100-16000 expands (a77 only) down to ISO 50.

Both cameras feature the world’s first OLED Tru-Finder, a world’s first, says Sony. This precision electronic viewfinder offers a bright, highly detailed, high contrast image with 100 percent frame coverage and a wide field of view comparable to optical viewfinders. However, unlike optical viewfinders, users have expansive customization capabilities through the OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder and can preview the effects of adjusting exposure, white balance and other settings in real-time. Photographers can also make fine focus tweaks via a zoomed-in portion of the image.

The Smart Teleconverter displays an enlarged central portion of the image sensor, allowing compositions to be displayed clearly on the viewfinder and captured as 12-megapixel images with a digital zoom factor of 1.4x or 2x.

Shooters can compose and review stills and video on the adjustable-angle 3-inch LCD display that offers high resolution and TruBlack technology for superb detail and contrast. As an extra refinement, the a77 introduces the world’s first three-way adjustable screen that tilts and pivots freely for effortless framing at any angle (a65: two-way adjust LCD).

Revised ergonomics on both cameras include a comfortably contoured new grip design and tactile new button layout for ‘eyes off’ operation.

The a77 adds front and rear control dials for fingertip operation and a separate top-mounted LCD data display. The durable body features magnesium alloy panels for strength and lightness. Key controls are sealed against dust and moisture.

A new shutter unit on the a77 is tested to 150,000 cycles and supports an ultra-fast minimum 1/8000 sec shutter speed (1/250 sec flash sync). On-board GPS allows automatic geo-tagging of photos and video clips with location data.

The a77 will be available in a kit with the new SAL1650 f/2.8 lens for about $2,150, and offered as body-only for about $1,500.

The a65 will be available in a kit with a standard 18-55 mm lens for about $1,150 and offered as body-only for about $1,050.

Both the a77 and a65 camera kits will be available in October.

The growing range of compatible A-mount lenses for both cameras now includes the DT 16-50 mm f/2.8 SSM standard zoom with 16 mm wide angle coverage. The high-performance lens features a dust and moisture-resistant design, and offers a zoom range of approximately 3x range at constant wide f/2.8 aperture. Optical performance is assured by aspherical glass and three ED lens elements to minimize aberration at all focal lengths. An internal Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) drive enables fast, quiet autofocus.

The SAL1650 lens will be sold separately for about $800, available in October.

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