Sony a57 press release

This is the full press release for the new Sony a57 SLT camera. B&H is already taking pre-orders for the a57 body only for 699.99.

SAN DIEGO, March 12, 2012 — A wider palette of creative options is now accessible to more shooters with the α57 camera, the newest addition to Sony’s popular line of A-mount cameras employing Translucent Mirror Technology.

The innovative Translucent Mirror design directs incoming light to the CMOS image sensor and the AF sensor at the same time, allowing full-time continuous AF during both still and video shooting. Users can also frame, focus and preview shots in real-time on the high-resolution Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder, which offers a wide viewing angle and 100% field of view. This allows photographers to capture exactly what they see on the screen.

A natural successor to Sony’s acclaimed α55 camera, the α57 is positioned for a wide audience of DSLR users. It can shoot still images at up to 12 frames per second, full HD video at 60p, 60i or 24p frame rates and has a variety of creative modes including Auto Portrait Framing, a world’s first technology.

“Today’s DSLR consumer is looking for a higher level of control and flexibility in their camera,” said Mike Kahn, director of the Alpha camera business group for Sony Electronics. “With the introduction of the new α57, we’re bringing blazing fast response rates, enhanced artistic capabilities and other advanced features to the mainstream DSLR marketplace, offering professional-grade performance at affordable prices.”

With the α57 camera, shooting speeds of up to 12 frames per second are achieved in new Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode, maintaining continuous auto focus and auto exposure with fixed aperture. Magnifying the central portion of the sensor’s image by 1.4x, it’s perfect for capturing split-second action close-ups with a burst of sharply focused images, even when the subject is moving. In this shooting mode, aperture is fixed at either f/3.5 or the maximum aperture of lens in use (whichever is smaller) and image size of photos is about 8.4 megapixels.

Additionally, the α57 camera lets people create powerfully expressive Full HD movies. Responsive full-time continuous phase detection AF ensures that moving subjects stay sharply focused, just like with still shooting. Support for the AVCHD™ Ver. 2.0 (Progressive) format means that Full HD resolution movies can be captured with 60p frame rate: ideal for capturing smooth, blur-free action. Shooting in 24p is also available to give footage a rich, cinematic look. Movie-making options are enhanced further with full control over P/A/S/M shooting modes for virtually limitless creative expression.

The α57 model shares the α65’s 15-point AF system with three cross sensors delivering fast, accurate TTL phase detection autofocus. Newly enhanced Object Tracking AF keeps faces or other selected objects in sharp focus – even if a target is obscured momentarily by another passing object.

Even the novice photographers can now easily create pro-style portraits with the α57 thanks to new Auto Portrait Framing, a world’s first technology. Using face detection and the compositional ‘rule of thirds,’ the camera identifies a subject’s position, trimming the scene to create tightly framed, professional-looking pictures in portrait or landscape orientation while maintaining a copy of the original image. Saving both the original photo plus the adjusted version allows for easy comparison between the two images, offering photographers inspiration to refine their portrait skills.

To get closer to the subject, 2x Clear Image Zoom digital zoom technology doubles the effective magnification of your lens and is a highly practical alternative to travelling with a bigger, bulkier telephoto lens. The camera uses Sony’s “By Pixel Super Resolution Technology” to ensure that cropped and zoomed images retain full pixel resolution.

Additionally, the model’s range of popular in-camera Picture Effect modes includes 11 different effects and 15 total variations – offering a generous palette of ‘PC-free’ artistic treatments, including Pop Color, HDR Painting, Miniature Mode and much more. Results can be previewed directly in live view mode on the LCD screen or in the new Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder while shooting either Full HD video or stills.

Still and video shooting, framing, focusing and real-time preview of exposure adjustments are a pleasure with the new Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder. With ultra-detailed 1440k dot resolution and a 100% field of view, it rivals quality optical viewfinders. There’s a choice of selectable high-resolution information displays with a wide viewing-angle to help consumers shoot with confidence, including a digital level gauge and framing grid. Information can be displayed either directly in the viewfinder or on the angle-adjustable 7.5 cm (3.0-type) Xtra Fine LCD™ display.

Ensuring detail-packed images, the 16.1 effective megapixel Exmor® APS HD CMOS sensor is teamed with a latest-generation BIONZ® engine. Refined by Sony during the development of its flagship α77 and high-end α65 cameras, this powerful processor effortlessly handles large amounts of image data for flawless, low-noise images and Full HD video.

Thanks to the BIONZ processor, creative shooting opportunities are boosted by an outstanding sensitivity range of ISO 100-16,000. Users will experience consistently natural, low-noise images – whether shooting at fast shutter speeds to freeze dynamic action or handheld without flash in low light.

Pricing and Availability

The new α57 interchangeable lens camera will be available this April with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens for $800 (model SLT-A57K). It will also be offered as body-only for about $700 (model SLT-A57).

Sony will also be introducing a new battery-powered LED video light, model HVL-LE1, which broadens options for recording video indoors or in low light. This new accessory will be available this month for about $250.

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  • rich in tx

    it’s so small and cute! think I will get one for my wife and kids. they are always taking snapshots of stuff

  • Mike

    Yes they are different. And yes, the image may not be so bright.
    But I’d still like to keep watching how this improves with time – could certainly have a big impact once this gets better and is migrated to the big brother SLR’s.

    Mike

  • St.

    Sony can’t still produce enough nex-7 to fulful the preorders and what about just have some in-stock on the market too…
    They should concentrate in producing that one, instead of announcing new models….
    Shame Sony… such a big company and such lack of versatility in production….

  • http://www.omgsquirrel.com OMGSquirrel

    So admin with this now announced, does this have any impact on any thing you’ve heard about the Nikon D400?

    Do you think this would indicate the Nikon D400 will be announced soon and more likely to be 16MP instead of 24MP DX or 16MP FX camera?!?!

    Or would this sensor fit more with the D7100?

  • The_Raze

    How come this camera will do 1920 x 1080 video at 60p, when Nikon D4, D800, Canon 1D-X and 5D mkIII will only do 30p.. It’s a bit funny imo :-)

    • mk

      APS-C vs FF

  • Robert Falconer

    They could throw flux capacitors in these Sony DSLRs and I still wouldn’t buy one.

    • preston

      lol

      Helping me achieve the shot I want through faster more accurate autofocus, better metering, etc. is one thing, but telling me how to compose my portraits is way over the top. They may call it a “world’s first technology” but I call it insulting your customer base and attempting to remove the creativity from photography.

  • Toli

    Sony producing FF sensor for Nikon however, they are behind releasing FF or lenses…there is no more earthquake or Tsunami or flood to be inoperative production output…speeding up the process to make up for Corp financial vanished…:)

  • Ian Hillerud

    Sony does a great job with electronics. Translucent mirror technology just helps bypass some of the delicate mechanical stuff and let’s the 1’s & 0’s really fly. If they improve on the ergonomics and interface, they’ll have a winner. Might not be enough to steal much market share from CaNikon, but it doesn’t bode well for Olympus or Pentax. Perhaps, more important to Sony is their alliance with Nikon (which seems pretty good right now). If the IQ of the D800e is about as good as Sony/Nikon Bayer sensor technology is going to get, then there is always the risk that Nikon/Fuji could come up with something revolutionary. Neither Nikon nor Fuji seem afraid of really pushing the limits of what their excellent lenses can resolve.

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