Translucent Mirrors Advance DSLR Breakthrough
Sony today introduced two new DSLR cameras in its alpha line with the ability to auto focus while shooting both still images and full HD video.
The a55 and a33 cameras achieve shooting speeds that are the fastest in the industry for an APS-C size sensor-equipped interchangeable lens cameras under $1,000, according to the company.
The breakthrough was made with Sony's proprietary translucent mirror technology. The cameras are equipped with a stationary translucent mirror, which enables light passing through the lens to be simultaneously received by the image sensor and the auto focus sensor, allowing continuous shooting and continuous focusing at speeds, marking a first for HD video capture.
The new stationary mirror replaces the old mechanism to lower and raise the mirror found in previous models, making for a much more compact camera compared to traditional DSLR cameras.
The a55 has a 16.2 megapixel sensor and the a33 has a 14.2 megapixel sensor. The sensors are nearly 20 times larger than traditional compact camcorders' sensors, providing more creative control.
With the new design, the cameras are the first to allow movie recording in the familiar eye-level shooting style, which Sony touts as an advantage in fast moving and extreme lighting conditions.
The cameras are compatible with all A-mount lenses, ranging from macro lenses for extreme close-ups to the farthest view telephoto lenses.
The cameras also include Sony's 3D Sweep Panorama technology that can capture panoramic shots with a 3-D effect when viewed on a 3-D television or monitor, built-in GPS for photo identification and HDMI connectivity for viewing photos and video on compatible Sony HD TVs.
The a33 camera will be available in September for $650 (body only) and $750 for the camera and a 18-55 millimeter zoom lens. The a55 will be available in October for $750 (body only) and $850 for the camera plus lens.
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