Sony today announced three new models in their Alpha DSLR line-up. The lowest spec (if that's a fair term) is the Alpha 500 and we were on-hand to grab some shots of the new model at a launch event in London.

Residing in a body almost identical to it's sister model the 550, the hardware specs differ a little between the two and represent what Sony call "step-up models".

The Sony Alpha 500 features an Exmor CMOS 12-megapixel sensor, backed by Sony's BIONZ processor, which Sony claim adds several advantages to their new models.

First up there is an ISO range running up to 12,800, which Sony boasted only carries the sort of noise seen previously at ISO 3200, and a 4fps continuous shooting.

Then there is the HDR shooting option, that snaps off two images at different exposures and merges them in the camera for an image with greater dynamic range.

A great trick and in our play, it seemed to work pretty well. You can do it without a tripod too, but we'll wait till we see full-resolution images before we get too excited about it.

The back features a 230k-dot articulating display and there is an HDMI output, although Sony hasn't yet offered movie capture on their SLRs.

Yours from the end of October, until then, feast your eyes on these 'ere snaps.