Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sony's Translucent Mirror Technology Makes an Appearance (30/08/2010)

Sony Alpha SLT-A55V & Sony Alpha SLT-A33

A term coined for Sony's new technology, the Translucent Mirror Technology, came up several times during the media-only workshop held recently. What is it all about? It refers to the replacement of the mirror box used in conventional DSLR with a new patented mirror box that contains translucent mirrors. Prominently, this makes the new 16.2-megapixel SLT-A55V and 14.2-megapixel SLT-A33 cameras, the first two to incorporate this technology in the Alpha series, 23% smaller than their older cousin, the A550; they are also more than 100g lighter and smaller than the newly-announced A580 and A560 cousins using a conventional mirror box. 

 We had a closer look at the mirror that's in the cameras. 


Improvements discussed at length include: full-time and quick 15-point TTL phase-detection autofocusing during live view and while using the viewfinder. Because of the removal of the movable mirror and subsequent replacement of the former with the fixed translucent mirror, the cameras are able to react faster. Similarly, the mirror allows light passing through the lens to be received by both the image and auto focus sensor. 

 A summary of three main benefits that users can get from the SLT-A55V, and the SLT-A33 - most notably the continuous 15-point phase-detection AF system during Full HD recording. Other features include a built-in GPS that allows users to geotag their photos (only available on the A55), as well as the 3D Sweep Panorama mode which allows photographers to capture photos in 3D and play them on any 3D-compatible LCD TV.

 Here, we tried shooting a moving train set with the A33, which shoots up to 7 fps on continuous shooting. The A55 can shoot up to 10 fps.


While prices for the A55 have not been officially released, we had first-hand information about the A33: the camera will make its first retail appearance during the upcoming COMEX event, priced at S$1099 with 18-35mm kit lens. Do note, quantity is limited.

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