Other features of the Sony A300 and A350 include: Super SteadyShot in body,
sensor-based Image Stabilization said to provide a 2.5-3.5-step advantage in
hand holding at slower shutter speeds; Bionz image processing; faster AF with
improved predictive control; ISO 1600 and 3200 settings with "low noise";
Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) for improved highlight and shadow detail; and
a new creative style function that allows users to choose finishing color, saturation,
and sharpness and recall these settings when one of eight preset modes is selected.
Both new Sony D-SLRs have a CompactFlash Type I/II slot; an adapter for Memory
Stick Duo is sold separately. Street prices: Sony A300 with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6
lens, $699; Sony A350 with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, $899.
Full-Frame Super-Pro Sony Alpha D-SLR Slated
By Year's End
Sony Alpha D-SLR
It has no name as of yet, but Sony's unexpected announcement of a forthcoming
top-of-the-line super-pro model incorporating a new Sony-made full-frame (24x36mm)
24.6MP Exmor CMOS sensor generated considerable buzz at the show. Sony's
succinct statement, made at a well-attended press conference, confirmed for
any remaining doubters that Sony is dead serious about capturing a piece of
the pro D-SLR action as well as going after mainstream shooters with the new
A300 and A350. Contrary to speculation by some experts, the pro Sony will have
an in body, sensor-based Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization system. An optional
vertical grip, as well as a range of dedicated flash accessories, will be available
for the new model.
With Canon, Nikon, and now Sony squarely in the professional D-SLR full-frame
arena, and the popular prosumer Canon EOS 5D (now selling at about $2200 street
price) overdue for an upgrade, it will be fascinating to see if Canon, Nikon,
or both will bring out competitive models in the prosumer full-frame category.
Certainly the prospect of having half a dozen full-frame D-SLRs on the market
by year's end should have serious enthusiasts salivating.