PMA 08; Digital SLRs Page 3

Sony Alpha A350

Sony Quick Live View

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
Super-Pro 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.
Stay tuned.

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