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02-03-08, 12:38 AM
#1

Sony Announce A300 and A350

Bit late with this but, Sony have announced two new 'mid range' cameras with the A350 offering a 14.2 megapixel censor!



Weybridge, 31st January 2008 - The α digital SLR family grows with two new cameras from Sony that team responsive ‘freestyle’ Quick AF Live View for responsive shooting with class-leading image quality and powerful, easy-to-use creative features.

The α350 incorporates a brand new 14.2 effective megapixel APS-C type CCD sensor for amazingly detailed, lifelike imaging. It’s partnered by the α300 that offers near-identical features with a sensor resolution of 10.2 megapixels.

Both new cameras bring the α line-up to four feature-packed, easy to use models from the entry-level α200 to the tough, responsive α700 for enthusiasts and semi-professionals. There’s also a comprehensive α family of more than 24 compatible lenses plus lighting systems and other accessories.
  • Quick Auto Focus Live View for responsive shooting
  • Extremely high resolution 14.2 effective megapixel APS-C CCD sensor for unprecedented imaging performance
  • 2.7-inch variable angle LCD for ‘freestyle’ shooting
  • Enhanced Super SteadyShot™ inside offers 2.5-3.5 steps anti-shake performance with all α lenses
  • Sensitivity up to ISO3200 with high-ISO noise reduction for clearer low-light shooting

Quick AF Live View for high-speed, creative shooting

The α350 and α300 are the first digital SLR cameras to feature Quick AF Live View technology. Unique to Sony, this all-new system fuses the convenience of live image preview with the responsive TTL phase-detection system and rapid continuous shooting that’s prized by digital SLR users. For the first time ever, Quick AF Live View overcomes the technical limitations that have made ultra-fast shooting and viewing impossible in live view mode.

In addition, an advanced new centre-cross 9-point AF sensor assures faster, more accurate AF performance in live view as well as optical viewfinder shooting modes.

Photographers of all abilities can compose images with greater comfort and freedom using the 2.7-inch LCD screen. Tilting upwards by up to 130 degrees and down by up to 40 degrees, the variable-angle screen allows photographers to remain face-to-face with their subject. The effects of exposure compensation and white balance can be conveniently previewed in live view mode. There’s also a bright, clear optical viewfinder that offers an alternative to live view shooting.

Superb imaging quality

The α350 features the latest iteration of Sony’s advanced BIONZ image processing engine that optimises the extraordinary performance potential of the high-resolution CCD sensor.

Powered by the BIONZ processor, the enhanced D-Range Optimiser automatically ensures balanced exposures with rich shadow and highlight detail. Improved detection of backlit scenes now delivers even more beautiful results, even with problematic against-the-light subjects.

Sensitivity is boosted to a maximum ISO 3200, allowing successful handheld shooting in low-light conditions without flash. A special High ISO Noise Reduction mode improves picture quality still further at increased sensitivity settings.

Super SteadyShot™ inside now offers improved anti-shake performance when shooting handheld with all α lenses. A new control algorithm now boosts correction to between 2.5 and 3.5 steps, compared with the 2.0-3.5 step range of the α100.

Greater shooting and viewing convenience

The α350 and α300 have been designed for greater shooting comfort and wider creative options, even for entry-level photographers who haven’t handled a digital SLR camera before.

Available in Live View mode, a Smart Teleconverter function gives an instant digital zoom factor of 1.4x or 2x to increase the effective focal length range of your chosen α lens. Even with digital zoom activated, the extremely high resolution of the camera’s 14.2 megapixel sensor ensures flawless, detail packed enlargements.

Both cameras are brilliantly easy to use, thanks to the intuitive display that lists frequently used functions with a quick press of the Function button.

In common with other α models, the Anti-Dust drive and protective sensor coating minimise the harmful effects of dust entering the camera body during lens exchange.

Both models also feature a class-leading shooting stamina of up to 730* images (410 images in Live View mode) from a single charge of the high capacity InfoLITHIUM™ battery (NP-FM500H). Accurate confirmation of remaining capacity is displayed in % increments on the 2.7-inch LCD for extended shooting without worrying about power levels.
*CIPA standard

Available as an option, the powerful new HVL-F42AM Flash unit is ideally suited to the needs of experienced digital photographers and newcomers alike. Alongside ADI metering and wireless remote operation, it offers automatic WB adjustment with colour temperature information plus an evolved Bounce System with vertical adjustment up to 90°, left to 90° and right to 180°.

Also optional, the VG-B30AM Vertical Grip allows comfortable handling in portrait or landscape shooting positions. The grip holds up to two NP-FM500H Rechargeable Battery Packs for an extended shooting stamina of up to 1460* images (820 images in Live View mode) from a single charge.
*CIPA standard

Both cameras can utilise the new GPS-CS1KASP GPS Unit. Compatible with all new Sony α, Cyber-shot and Handycam models, this ultra-portable unit records up to a month’s worth of global positioning data to help map your memories. Photos can be tagged with position information and shown in place as online maps, or displayed as a 'footprint' of your travel route.

Availability

The α350 Digital SLR camera will be available from the beginning of March in the following kits:
  • α350 body only
  • α350 with DT18-70mm F3.5-5.6 lens
  • α350 with DT18-70mm F3.5-5.6 and DT55-200 F4-5.6 lens

The α300 Digital SLR camera will be available from the beginning of April in the following kits:
  • α300 body only
  • α300 with DT18-70mm F3.5-5.6 lens
  • α300 with DT18-70mm F3.5-5.6 and DT55-200 F4-5.6 lens

No official pricing has been announced but some retailers are taking pre-orders at:

A350 body only for £499, £569 with the 18-70mm and £699 for the two-lens kit.

A300 body only for £369, £449 with the 18-70mm and £599 for the two-lens kit.
Kit 1
Nikon D300
Nikon 55-200mm VR
Kit 2
Nikon D40
Nikon 18-55mm
My Compact/P&S: Panasonic Lumix TZ7


     
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02-03-08, 12:41 AM
#2

Re: Sony Announce A300 and A350

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azz View Post
A350 body only for £499, £569 with the 18-70mm and £699 for the two-lens kit.
That looks like a super price for a 14.2 MP camera with image stablisation built in!

Could prove quite a thorn to Nikon and Canon with their D60s and 450Ds coming out at what will prob be a similar price range.
Kit 1
Nikon D300
Nikon 55-200mm VR
Kit 2
Nikon D40
Nikon 18-55mm
My Compact/P&S: Panasonic Lumix TZ7


     
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02-03-08, 08:36 AM
#3

Re: Sony Announce A300 and A350

I spotted that one too Azz

And what with their 24mp A900 due out later this year, it looks like Sony are definately looking to compete in what is clearly a very vibrant market place.


     
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02-03-08, 02:20 PM
#4

Re: Sony Announce A300 and A350

Wonder how much the a900 will cost - they really seem to be quite serious about the market! That's great news for everyone tho, as there will be a features vs price battle
Kit 1
Nikon D300
Nikon 55-200mm VR
Kit 2
Nikon D40
Nikon 18-55mm
My Compact/P&S: Panasonic Lumix TZ7


     
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17-03-08, 02:39 AM
#5

Re: Sony Announce A300 and A350

I noticed you can 'preview' the different white balance in the live view.

I like the idea of this but wondered if other cameras have this function.

I'd like to think that a 'live view' was exactly that and enabled you to preview every change you could make with the camera.
Kit 1
Canon 1D Mark 3
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
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17-03-08, 02:44 AM
#6

Re: Sony Announce A300 and A350

I have the A700, and it doesn't have Live View. My old Dimage Z2 had it, but I much prefer not having it.


     
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17-03-08, 02:48 AM
#7

Re: Sony Announce A300 and A350

Obviously I have it on my compact but not my D50. To be honest I never miss it. After all it's so easy with digital to take the picture then check / change / retake afterwards.

I've also heard that some live views differ vastly from the end result. If this is the case why have it ?
Kit 1
Canon 1D Mark 3
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Kit 2
1D2 & 40D


     
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