The new Sony a55 and a33 is the latest DSLR setup from Sony, which offers something completely new to the camera world – a translucent mirror.
The new mirror technology found in the camera readies the autofocus so that fast-moving shots are easily snapped up.This is because there is no synching of shutter and sensor in the camera, as the see-through tech does away with this.
Considering this is how SLRs have worked since 1985, it's brave of Sony to go in this new direction. But it does mean that it is the smallest camera of its class, with Sony managing to get reduce the size of the Alpha by 26 per cent. It also means that the a33 and a55 use an electronic viewfinder.
Sony has also introduced HD video to its Alpha range, in the form of 1080i. The camera shoots both to AVCHD and MP4, so there shouldn't be any compatibility issues when it comes to editing the footage.
Autofocus on the video is as good as on still images. You should be able to shoot objects that are moving as fast as 50km an hour and keep the shot in focus. Sony is calling this technology Phase Detection.
TechRadar managed to catch a glimpse of the a55 at an event in London this week and the system looks great.
Below are some pictures of the camera and some more information about the specs.
The variable angle tilt LCD is adjustable to 270 degrees. The viewfinder packs 1.15 million dots and is superbright, so should be good for low light shots.
Sweep Panorama mode is also on board and it is 3D compatible - so connect up your a55 to a 3D Ready TV and you will be able to play back your stills in the third dimension.
Inside the camera is a brand-new sensor. Called the Exmor APS HD CMOS (16.2MP for the a55 and 14.2MP for the a33) the sensor uses BIONZ high-speed image processing engine and brings a stupidly high ISO range of 100-12,800.
UK release date for the Sony a55 and a33 is September, with pricing as follows: an a33 with standard kit will cost between £600 and £700. Expect to pay £100 more for the a55.
TechRadar will get a hands-on with the cameras later today so stay tuned.
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Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.