Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Get a grip on the complete offerings from the major camera makers when selecting your new D-SLR
Sony has been making an extensive and popular line of all-in-one digital cameras for quite some time, but didn't enter the D-SLR market until 2006, when it acquired Konica Minolta's camera technologies and introduced the DSLR-A100 (or "Alpha 100," as it's generally known).
Cameras. Sony's current top model is the new DSLR-A700 (or Alpha 700), a mid-level model aimed at the photo enthusiast. Features include a new 12.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor with on-chip noise canceling before and after A/D conversion, five-level Dynamic Range Optimizer, a high-speed Bionz processing engine, 5 fps shooting, a rugged magnesium-alloy body, anti-dust technology, including sensor cleaning, Super SteadyShot sensor-shift image stabilization that works with all lenses, a high-res 3-inch LCD monitor, 11-point AF with Eye-Start, ISOs to 6400 and more.
The original DSLR-A100 offers a lot for a little price: 10.2 megapixels, sensor-shift image stabilization that works with all lenses, sensor-dust removal, Eye-Start AF, 2.5-inch LCD monitor, 3 fps shooting and more. Like the A700, the A100 has slots for both CompactFlash and Sony Memory Stick media.
Lenses. Sony D-SLRs use the Minolta Maxxum lens mount, so will accept all Maxxum lenses as well as Sony lenses. This gives the user access to a wide range of focal lengths. Sony has introduced a number of new lenses for its D-SLRs and rebranded some of the Maxxum lenses as well. There are also three Carl Zeiss T* lenses for the cameras. Sony's DT series was designed specifically for use with the D-SLRs and can't be used on 35mm SLRs due to vignetting. Sony D-SLRs have APS-C-sized image sensors with a 1.5x focal-length factor.
Fixed focal lengths range from 16mm fish-eye and 20mm wide-angle to 300mm supertelephoto and the 500mm ƒ/8 mirror lens. Zooms range from 11-18mm to 75-300mm. There are also 50mm and 100mm macro lenses, a 135mm ƒ/2.8-4.5 Smooth Transition Focus telephoto and a 1.4x teleconverter.
Flash. Sony offers four flash units for its D-SLRs: the top-of-the-line HVL-F56AM, with modeling, wireless, high-speed sync, strobe and tilt/rotate bounce capability, and an ISO 100/GN of 182/56 (in feet/meters) at the 85mm zoom setting; the HVL-F36AM with wireless, high-speed sync and tilt bounce capability, and an ISO 100/GN of 117/36; and the HVL-RLAM ring light and Macro Twin Flash kit. Flash accessories include the Alpha Triple Connector (connects three additional flash units to the camera), off-camera flash cords and a hot-shoe adapter with a PC terminal.
Accessories. The Alpha 700 accepts the optional Vertical Grip VG-C70AM, which holds two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for extended shooting time and provides handy controls for vertical-format shooting. There are also two remote controls, one with a 19-inch cord and one with a 190-inch cord.
Software. Both Sony D-SLRs come with a CD containing RAW-conversion and image-management software.
|24 Lenses, including:|
DT 11-18mm ƒ/4.5-5.6
SAL 16-80mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 Zeiss T*
DT 16-105mm ƒ/3.5-5.6
DT 18-250mm ƒ/3.5-6.3
SAL 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 G
SAL 75-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6
SAL 16mm ƒ/2.8 Fisheye
SAL 85mm ƒ/1.4 Zeiss T*
SAL 135mm ƒ/2.8-4.5 Smooth Transition Focus
SAL 300mm ƒ/2.8 G
SAL 500mm ƒ/8 Reflex
SAL 100mm ƒ/2.8 Macro
|4 Flash Units:|
HVL-RLAM Ring Light
Macro Twin Flash kit
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