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09-09-08, 03:30 PM
#1

Sony a900 Launched

Sony introduces the α900 - The world’s first full-frame 24.6 megapixel DSLR.

Sony say the α900 delivers the unmatched image quality, creative expression and performance demanded by professional photographers.


Here's a quick look at the specs:
  • Superlative, detail-packed images from full-frame 24.6 effective megapixel CMOS sensor Exmor™
  • Bright optical glass pentaprism viewfinder with 100% coverage
  • Enhanced SteadyShot INSIDE™ offers up to 4.0 steps anti-shake performance with α lenses
  • Ultra-sharp shooting responses and flawless, low-noise images from dual BIONZ™ image processor
  • Review images on High Resolution 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD
  • Fast, high-accuracy 9-point AF with 10 focus assist points
  • 5fps continuous shooting at full resolution 24.6 megapixels

Here's their press release:

Quote:
9th September 2008 - The α900 digital SLR from Sony sets a new benchmark for serious photo enthusiasts who demand the unrivalled quality and creative possibilities of full-frame imaging.

The flagship of the α DSLR range features the industry’s first ever 24.6 effective megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. Developed by Sony, this groundbreaking sensor’s ultra-high pixel count and large size – equivalent to a 35mm film frame – deliver extraordinary image detail and wide dynamic range.

The new-generation sensor captures flawless images with unprecedented fidelity, characterised by vibrant colours, ultra-real textures and subtle tonal gradations. Complementing the extremely high native resolution of the sensor, Exmor™ performs on-chip analogue/digital (A/D) signal conversion and two-stage noise reduction. This guarantees ultra-low noise image files that take advantage of the superb resolving power of high-precision α lenses.

Realising the immense creative potential of the 24.6 megapixel full-frame sensor, the new advanced dual BIONZ™ processors handle massive amounts of image data at extremely high speed. Powerful noise reduction algorithms are applied prior to RAW data conversion and then again during image processing, yielding flawless, detail packed images with an absolute minimum of noise. The dual BIONZ™ processors also underpin the camera’s razor-sharp shooting responses, allowing sustained 5fps continuous shooting at full 24.6 megapixel resolution.

Serious photo enthuasiasts will appreciate the ground-glass optical pentaprism viewfinder that offers exceptional brightness and a field of view covering 100% of the full-frame sensor's imaging area (approx.).

The camera’s uncompromising credentials are underlined by a fast, high-accuracy 9-point AF system to ensure fewer missed shots. It’s supplemented by 10 focus assist points to assist subject detection, improved out-of-focus detection to reduce focus hunting and a dedicated F2.8 sensor for enhanced AF accuracy with wide aperture lenses.

The a900 is also the world’s first full-frame camera to feature SteadyShot INSIDE™. This enhanced in-body optical stabilisation system delivers up to 4 steps of anti-shake correction with all compatible lenses*, opening up even greater creative possibilities when shooting handheld.

Shots can be evaluated critically on the 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD with an exceptionally high resolution (921k dot) that offers sharp, clear viewing – even outdoors or in bright ambient light. There’s a wide choice of index view options to simplify best-shot selection, plus a full-featured RGB histogram and shooting information display.

At the touch of a button, the LCD display switches to Quick Navi mode, allowing rapid on-the-fly adjustment of camera settings without disturbing your creative workflow.

A new Intelligent Preview function simulates the effect of White Balance, D Range Optimiser and exposure level on the LCD screen without actually taking a picture. By simple confirmation on the camera, all the new settings are applied to take the next picture. This simplifies precise control over the final image in complex setups.

Shots can also be viewed on a connected HD television. PhotoTV HD mode provides optimised still image viewing with breathtaking clarity and lifelike colours on compatible BRAVIA™ televisions. The HDMI terminal also give acces to HD picture viewing on any compatible TV.

Built for years of unstinting service in challenging environments, the α900 is ruggedly constructed from a high-tensile aluminium chassis with magnesium alloy body panels. Viewfinder, card slots, controls and other sensitive areas are protected from dust and moisture by rubber seals for worry-free shooting. The inside of the camera is also protected by an anti-dust system that safeguards the full-frame sensor from the effects of dust entering the body during lens exchange.

Allowing stable, comfortable handling in portrait or landscape orientations, the optional VG-C90AM Vertical Grip holds up to two high-capacity batteries for extended shooting time and all the major controls are available in vertical holding for easy operation. The grip has also been designed in same high quality material as the a900 with magnesium alloy and rubber parts.

There’s now wide range of compatible α lenses to fully realise the incredible imaging potential of the camera’s full-frame sensor.

The choice of premium G series optics by Sony is joined by the high-power 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM telephoto, featuring a High-torque Super Sonic wave Motor for fast, silent AF operation.

Also from Carl Zeiss, the Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM is a fast, high-performance wide angle zoom that’s ideal for interiors, landscapes and challenging photo-reportage applications.

The complete α system is further strengthened by the new HVL-F58AM – a high-power flash (GN 58) featuring Sony’s innovative ‘Quick Shift Bounce’ system that offers even more creative control over lighting, flash and bounce angles. It’s unique ‘Quick Shift Bounce’ design make the flash head able to rotate instantly in portrait mode to keep the bounce direction for much more natural and beautiful subject lightning. For those using studio setups, Wireless Auto Flash Control also computes power ratios for up to three groups of flashes, simplifiying the management of complex lighting set-ups.

The α900 full-frame digital SLR will be available from October 2008.
Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM and 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM lenses will be available from early 2009.

* Automatic crop factor is applied when DSLR-A900 is used with DT format lenses. Exposure accuracy is not guaranteed with DT lenses in certain shooting situations.
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09-09-08, 03:41 PM
#2

Re: Sony a900 Launched

Great! The full frame war has well and truly started

The A900 looks like a really nice camera from Sony
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09-09-08, 07:22 PM
#3

Re: Sony a900 Launched






Come on Sony!!!!



You know my views on the Sony (being a Sony a700 user ) and I've no doubt this new camera will be awesome.




If Sony are aiming it at the professional market though, I think they might have a hard time converting existing pros away from Canon and Nikon.






It's all very well capturing a corner of the newbie market, with the likes of the A200, A300 A350 and A700 all performing exceedingly well against their Canon and Nikon counterparts, but Sony may have to wait for those newbies to grow into professionals, and then in turn, grow alongside them and release high end products through time.

On the other hand, I suppose by bringing out the A900 now, it shows a level of intent, and commitment from Sony, that if you are an aspiring photographer, then you CAN INDEED grow and develope your skills with the Sony brand, ultimately culminating in what is one of the best cameras on the market.





     
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09-09-08, 08:57 PM
#4

Re: Sony a900 Launched

I think it all depends on quality and performance - if the A900 has awesome high ISO performance, and a super range of lens... that could clinch the deal for many.

They must have done research into this market and should know how tough it will be, so I'd guess they've done some homework and worked out where they're strengths are. Well let's hope so
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Azz's Avatar
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10-09-08, 12:35 AM
#6

Re: Sony a900 Launched

I haven't seen an official price yet - I'd say at least £1200 tho..
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10-09-08, 01:12 AM
#7

Re: Sony a900 Launched

It will be good to see how this model does.

With so many people getting their first DSLR over the last year or so I can understand how Sony compete against the likes of Canon & Nikon as first time buyers can consider any brand of entry level models.

When it comes to the 'enthusiast' market...I guess a lot of people may have a couple of lenses so might need a bit of persuasion to change brands.

When you get to 'Pro' spec market - I suspect people will have invested a considerable amount of money on expensive lenses so would be more likely to be looking at body upgrades within their chosen brand.
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Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
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1D2 & 40D


     
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10-09-08, 01:33 PM
#8

Re: Sony a900 Launched

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manguish View Post
Whats the sting for one though?
It's selling in China for US$2900, so that's roughly £1400-£1500 at the current exchange rate.
( I think that's body only )


     
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10-09-08, 02:34 PM
#9

Re: Sony a900 Launched

Pre order price £1995. You could almost get a Nikon D300 + 70-200mm lens for that. Bazza


     
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10-09-08, 03:52 PM
#10

Re: Sony a900 Launched

Looks a really good piece of kit this one does. Mande, will you buy one, Id like to see some images from it please.
Dawn.
Kit 1
Canon EOS 7D
Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
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