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Sony A900


LIST PRICE: $2,699 (DSLR A900)

FEATURES: The A900 is the only full-frame camera with in-body SteadyShot image stabilization for 2.5 to 4 stops of shake reduction with compatible lenses. Most other companies use more costly image stabilization technology in the lenses themselves, which contributes to the long-term expense of buying into a system.

By boosting exposure sensitivity to the sensor, the Dynamic Range Optimizer is able to achieve details in highlights and shadows, even in extreme contrast scenes. The A900 offers up to five levels of sensitivity, with a Standard mode, an Advanced Auto mode and DRO Advanced Bracketing.

There's no Live View and hence no video in the A900. Instead, Sony provided an Intelligent Preview function for checking and setting optimum exposure, aperture, shutter speed and white balance.
The Quick Navi interface gives fast access to most popular settings, and the body itself is weather-resistant, with anti-dust sensor vibration and a static-free anti-dust coating on the filter.
In terms of new camera announcements, Sony has led the pack in 2010 with a slew of new sub-$2,000 models. Sony has made no announcement in regard to its full-frame models, on the other hand; in fact, Sony recently discontinued the DSLR A850, one of only two full-frame DSLRs previously offered. Now more than three years later, the Sony DSLR-A900 is the last full-frame standing, but this doesn't mean that new full-frame models aren't expected from Sony. The company has developed interesting technologies like its Translucent Mirror design, and it's expected that these new innovations may be trickling up into an updated full-frame design as it has with the SLT-A77, the successor to the sub-full-frame A700 DSLR. Nevertheless, the A900 is still a powerful full-frame camera, with a 24.6-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor that's the very same chip that Sony manufactures for the far more expensive Nikon D3X. In addition to 12-bit A/D conversion, the A900 performs analog A/D conversion prior to image processing for dual-noise reduction that translates to a minimal loss in image sharpness. That also means a faster Dual Bionz processing pipeline with 5 fps continuous shooting for up to 13 full-resolution, 6048x4032, 24-megabyte RAW captures. The A900 is compatible with Alpha-mount lenses and Minolta Maxxum lenses, and it adjusts to APS-C image circles automatically.


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