Sony today showed off its new Sony Alpha A700 digital SLR camera at a launch event in London's Natural History Museum.

Read: Hands on: Sony Alpha 700

The Sony Alpha A700 features a proprietary Sony 12.24-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor and brand new high-speed BIONZ image processor with RAW noise reduction. There's also an ultra-responsive 11-point autofocus and 5fps continuous shooting.

Sony has added a useful 'Quick Navigation' function button for instant access to camera settings such as flash, ISO, shooting modes etc. Sony has also developed 'PhotoTV HD' which displays your photos in 1080p HD on new Sony Bravia TVs.

Aimed at photo enthusiasts, the Sony Alpha A700 is housed in a weather-proof, rugged magnesium body with dust and moisture resistant seals. It has a large 3-inch, 921,000 dot photo-quality LCD screen at the back, as well as a bright, high-magnification viewfinder. There are also plenty of customisation options and creative tools to help you take better photos.

Integrated optical image stabilisation

Super SteadyShot optical image stabilisation technology inside the camera body reduces the risk of blurry photos. And anti-shake performance has been improved by up to half a stop over the entire focal length range, now extending from 2.5 to 4 stops (depending on lens, camera settings and shooting conditions). This can drastically reduce the risk of blurred images in situations where a tripod and flash would normally be needed.

The Sony Alpha A700 is the first of a number of new additions to the Sony Alpha family of digital SLR cameras. New models aimed at novices straight through to professional photographers are expected within the next few months, Sony said.

The new digital SLR goes on sale this weekend. The body is priced around £1,000, with various lens bundle options available.

We were able to have a first look at the camera at this morning's launch and will be posting a review soon.

Key specifications:

  • 12.24-megapixel CMOS sensor
  • BIONZ image processor
  • 11-point autofocus system
  • ISO 3200 (expandable to ISO 6400)
  • 5fps (for 17 shots in RAW mode)
  • 1/8000th shutter speed
  • 3-inch LCD screen (with 921,000 pixels)
  • Optional battery grip
  • Wireless Flash support
  • Support for MemoryStick and CompactFlash cards