Goods For The Original "A" Mount
February 2013, Carl Garrard
Well it looks like the original Sony A-Mount also gets some attention this year, with two new full frame lenses (one completely new, one is version II), and a new version of the kit lens in APS-C only. Not only that, but a new Alpha SLT body comes too, also a refresh, in the shape of the A57 now dubbed the A58 SLT from Sony. Only one of the three lenses is actually all new in the lineup, but one that could very well become the most popular lens in the Alpha Mount lens lineup yet- the new Sony Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 SSM. SONY DSLRS AT B&H
SONY DSLR BARGAINS
So what is coming out very soon? Thanks to the reliably leaky internet it is- take a look and see. First we have the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 SSM lens, for about $1,500 dollars. Pro Sony shooters no doubt will gobble it up, and those with full wallets might find them a bit lighter soon as well. Looks great.
Next at bat we have the new Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DT SAM II kit lens. Word on the street is it's faster and quiter to focus and supports new features found in the newest SLT bodies. Fit and finish are also upgraded although the lens mount is still industry common plastic. Front element is said to rotate as well when focusing too, but that's not confirmed yet. SONY DSLRS AT B&H
And now we have the new white colored Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM II telephoto lens, which is said to also support the new focusing features and upcoming features on future SLT models as well. The white finish undoubtedly changed due to demand from those that prefer familiarity to new colors. I like it this way, but also liked the platinum color on the previous version. Optics are upgraded yet again and this will probably be the best performing zoom of its kind by any manufacturer. Quite lovely. SONY DSLRS AT B&H
Lastly, the new Alpha A58 SLT. It has both upgrades and downgrades compared to its predecessor but comes with a very nice price tag of $599 with the new kit lens. The sensor is said to be updated in dynamic range and noise control over the already stellar 16mp unit in the A57 model it replaces. The processor is likely the same and can only handle 5FPS with full resolution raw + Jpeg files, but does allow 8FPS for reduced resolution "crop" Jpegs in a special high speed shooting mode. SONY DSLRS AT B&H
Sony for A-Mounters there's a lot to take in here. And the year isn't over yet, because there are already leaks about the A78 coming later in the summer or fall. It is highly likely the A78 will have a different sensor and new OLED EVF than the A58 has (which is using the A77 and A99's OLED EVF now). But it could also use the same new 20mp unit as well, achieving higher burst rates with a much deeper buffer than the A58 can muster. But we'll just have to wait and see on that. SONY DSLRS AT B&H
SONY DSLR BARGAINS
SPECIFICATIONS (PRESS RELEASE) FOR A58
Sony A58 Digital SLT camera with Translucent Mirror Technology
- Capture fine
detail with new 20.1 effective megapixels Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor
- Grab fast-moving
action with speedy 8fps* shooting and new Lock-on Autofocus
- Shoot and view
with confidence through new OLED Tru-Finder
- Compose like a pro
with new Auto Object Framing
For life’s spontaneous moments – catch all the split-second
excitement with the new α58 interchangeable lens camera from Sony. With
Translucent Mirror technology for speedy shooting with fast, accurate
autofocus, it’s the must-have choice for grabbing those once-in-a-lifetime
picture opportunities. Even if you’re new to interchangeable lens photography,
you’ll enjoy image quality that effortlessly exceeds your point-and-shoot
compact camera, plus features you’d expect from a far higher-priced DSLR.
At the heart of the α58 is a brand new Exmor APS HD CMOS
sensor with an extremely high resolution of (approx.) 20.1 effective
megapixels. It’s teamed with an improved BIONZ image processing engine for
exceptionally detailed, low-noise stills and Full HD video, plus an extra-wide
sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 16000.
Pick from the choice of 35 interchangeable A-mount lenses
(including two tele-converters) and experience flawless images in virtually any
lighting conditions, from dimly-lit interiors to atmospheric twilight scenes.
Even if you’re shooting handheld, SteadyShot INSIDE keeps pictures crisp and
stable, letting you shoot with confidence at slower shutter speeds or higher
zoom settings where wobbles are often a worry.
Unlike ordinary DSLR cameras, SLT cameras by Sony use
Translucent Mirror technology that directs light onto the main image sensor as
well as a separate autofocus sensor. This means that subjects stay sharply
focused at all times as you compose scenes with the tilt-angle LCD or through
the high-resolution, high-contrast OLED Tru-Finder. And with no moving mirror
to slow you down, you’ll enjoy non-stop live image preview during speedy burst
shooting or while you’re recording Full HD video.
The α58 is your ideal partner for grabbing the action as it
happens – like sports, wildlife or spur-of-the-moment fun with friends and
family. Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode brings that decisive
moment closer with a high-speed burst of sharp images at 8 frames per second.
The high-performance 15-point AF system now features Lock-on Autofocus with
speedier, more accurate subject tracking. So now you can capture the athletic
grace of a gymnast or animals in the wild with a burst of crisply-focused
images, even if your subject’s moving.
Featured on previous models, Auto Portrait Framing has now
evolved into even more versatile Auto Object Framing – helping you get
better-looking, more professional results without effort. The α58 judges what’s
in the scene – one person, two people, even moving objects or macro subjects –
tracking, framing and cropping the shot to create powerful, professionally-framed
compositions. Thanks to Pixel Super Resolution Technology by Sony, cropped
images preserve the same resolution as the original exposure.
Instantly selectable from the mode dial, Picture Effect lets
you pick from a palette of 15 artistic ‘in-camera’ treatments, like Toy Camera,
Mono and Partial Colour.
Framing, focusing and viewing your shots is a pleasure
through the new OLED Tru-Finder. This bright, high resolution electronic
viewfinder accurately shows the results of adjusting camera settings in real
time. Instantly see the result of adjusting exposure compensation, aperture,
ISO, white balance, Picture Effect and other parameters before you shoot… not
after. It’s a great way to compose the perfect shot with confidence.
The α58 is the first-ever A-mount interchangeable lens
camera from Sony that offers support for new ‘TRILUMINOS Colour’. You’ll
experience a dramatically expanded palette of vivid, ultra-realistic colours
when videos and still images are played back on any BRAVIA TV with support for
The new α58 interchangeable lens camera from Sony with
Translucent Mirror technology is available from April 2013.
* In Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode
Exmor APS HD CMOS
20.1 megapixels (approx.)
ISO 100 – 16000 (25600 with Multi Frame NR)
15-point phase detection Live View AF with 3 cross sensors;
with AF tracking in Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode
Continuous burst shooting (max.)
5 fps (8 fps in Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE
Quick AF Full HD Movie (AVCHD 1920×1080, 50i/25p)
OLED Tru-Finder with 100% field coverage
460k-dot 6.7 cm (2.7-type) with adjustable angle
Image compositing functions
Auto HDR; Hand-held Twilight; Sweep Panorama; Anti Motion
Blur; Multi Frame Noise Reduction
Image stabilisation system
HDMI; Multi Interface Shoe; Multi Terminal; Memory Stick Duo
/ SD card slots
11 modes, 15 effects
128.6 x 95.5 x 77.7 mm (approx.)
Weight (body only)
Using Tru-Finder: 690 shots
Using LCD: 700 shots