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Monday, February 4, 2008

Sweet Spot D-SLRs

Between the pro and entry-level models lies a paradise of high-performance features, ease of use and excellent value

Labels: CamerasDSLRs

sony Sony DSLR-A700
The new Alpha 700 provides lots of features and performance in a rugged magnesium-alloy body. Like Sony's first D-SLR, the A100 introduced in 2006, the A700 accepts a wide range of Sony and Konica Minolta Maxxum lenses, as well as Carl Zeiss T* lenses specifically designed for the Alpha cameras.

A new 12.24-megapixel CMOS Exmor image sensor provides on-chip noise canceling before and after on-sensor A/D conversion for enhanced image quality. Noise is screened out before RAW conversion, and multiple-level Dynamic Range Optimization recovers details in bright or dark areas of an image. The sensor's 23.5x15.6mm size produces a focal-length factor of 1.5x. Another plus is Super SteadyShot image stabilization, which moves the sensor to counter camera shake and works with all lenses.

The 3.0-inch high-resolution XtraFine LCD monitor features 921,000 pixels-four times as many as most D-SLRs. The bright, wide-viewing-angle monitor views easily outdoors. Eye-Start automatically activates the AF system when you bring the camera up to your eye for quicker shooting.

A static-free anti-dust coating on the sensor filter combines with a feature that vibrates dust off the sensor assembly each time you switch the camera off to keep the sensor dust-free-a great boon for the photographer who frequently changes lenses. Images can be stored on Sony Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick PRO media, or on CompactFlash cards, thanks to dual card slots.

Camera: Sony DSLR-A700
Image Sensor: 12.2-megapixel (effective) MOS
Resolution: 4288 x 2856 pixels
Sensor Size: 23.5x15.6mm, 1.5x focal-length factor
LCD Monitor: 3.0-inch
AF System: 11-point
Shutter Speeds: 1⁄8000 to 30 sec., X-sync up to 1⁄250 sec.
ISO Settings: 100-3200 (1⁄3-increments), plus 6400
Continuous Firing Mode: 5 fps
Recording Format: JPEG, RAW, cRAW
Metering: 40-segment honeycomb, spot, center-weighted
Storage Media: CompactFlash and Memory Stick Pro
Dimensions: 5.6x4.2x3.1 inches
Weight: 24.3 ounces
Power Source: NP-FM500H rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Estimated Street Price: $1,400

Canon  |  (800) OK-CANON
Nikon  |  (800) NIKON-US
Olympus  |  (888) 553-4448
Panasonic  |  (800) 211-PANA
Pentax  |  (800) 877-0155
Samsung  |  (800) SAMSUNG
Sigma  |  (800) 896-6858
Sony  |  (877) 865-SONY


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