Sony has launched two new digital SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses, that let you see right through them. 

The new models, the A55 and the A33, will come with something Sony calls translucent mirror technology, that basically means a new optical system that opens up "dramatic" shooting possibilities.

The new system, instead of using mirrors and a shutter as found in conventional DSLR cameras, will use a translucent mirror that "splits" the optical pathway between the main image sensor and a separate phase-detection autofocus sensor.

The end result is a digital SLR camera that will be able to offer autofocus at all times in Live view, and therefore video via the adjustable swivel 3-inch LCD screen on the back or the electronic viewfinder.

The cameras, due out in September, will feature a 16.2-megapixel sensor for the A55 and a 14.2-megapixel sensor for the A33 model.

The translucent mirror also allows, says Sony, for a shrinking of the camera size allowing it to compete with the Micro Four Thirds models from the likes of Olympus, Panasonic and Samsung.

But wait there are more claims Sony.

The new design and technology also allows for 10fps shooting with the A55, and 7 frames per second with the A33 in continuous priority AE mode, meaning it's the fastest burst continuous AF shooting mode the world has ever seen for any interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C size sensor.

Other gems to write home about include AVCHD 1080i video shooting, Quick AD Live View and 100 per cent frame coverage from the electronic view finder.

You'll also get 3D Sweep Panorama, anti-shake, an ISO setting up to a mind boggling 25600, and the ability to use either Memory Stick Duo and SD cards.

The new A33 with kit lens will cost between £600 - £700, while the A55 with kit lens will cost £700 - £800

Yours from September 2010.