Sony has gone camera-mad giving its Alpha and NEX camera range a serious technical revamp with four brand new cameras announced to add to its imaging lineup.
The new Alpha snappers come in the form of the A65 and A77, both of which boast a 24.3-megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor as well as a newly designed Bionz processor.
As of yet this number of megapixels is practically unparalleled in the APS-C sized sensor market. With all these pixels flying about however, you would expect it to cause serious noise issues when shooting at high ISOs. Sony is adamant that things stay clean up to around 12800 ISO though, but until we get our grubby mitts on one we can't be sure. Expect ISO to top out at 16000 on both the Alpha cameras, with the A77 having the added bonus of being able to extend down to 50.
The new Bionz setup brings with it a 19-point auto focus system and intelligent object tracking focus to both cameras. The idea is that you can lock onto a single subject in a shot and then the focus will follow it until you tell it otherwise. It acts a bit like a more comprehensive version of standard DSLR continuous focus and we expect will be a big plus for sports snappers.
Full auto focus can also operate during video shooting, we can't however be sure if there is any lens motor noise recorded as we are yet to get any time to play with the new Alpha. Video itself shoots at an impressive 50p or 25p in Full HD using the AVCHD 2.0 codec.
The cameras also include an electronic viewfinder which, unlike conventional SLR-style finders, uses XGA OLED technology. The idea is that you can get much higher quality image reproduction through the finder and better colour contrast ratios.
The entire new Alpha system boasts a comprehensive dust and water resistant setup, which applies to accessories like flashes and battery grips attached to the camera.
There is relatively little difference between the A65 and A77 with only the FPS taking the major tech spec hit, dropping from 12 to 10. The Xtra 921k dot tiltable screen on the back also loses a tiny bit of functionality. On the A77 it acts as a three way tilt display allowing you to view the back of the camera from just about any angle, on the A65 it is only two way.
The build of the two cameras is also slightly different: the A65 is polycarbonate, the A75 magnesium alloy. There is also a 15-point auto focus system and front dial-only controls on the A65. Vertical grips can't be fitted to the A65.
A new 16-50mm F2.8 wide angle lens has also been announced to bolster the Alpha imaging range.
Expect an October release for both of the new Alpha cameras, no price details as of yet.
Update: The A77 is going to be priced in at £1100 for the body only or £1650 with 16-50mm F2.8 lens. The A65 is £800 body only and £900 for the 18-55mm kit.
Fan of Sony Alpha kit?