PetaPixel

Sony May Introduce World’s First Pellicle Mirror DSLR on August 24th

Here’s what the next couple weeks are going to look like in terms of press events possibly related to DSLR announcements: Nikon goes first on August 19th, Sony does theirs on August 24th, and Canon has one scheduled August 26th. Nikon will likely be announcing the D3100, while Canon drops the 60D during theirs.

A big rumor regarding Sony’s upcoming unveiling is that they’re going to be showing us the world’s first pellicle mirror system on a DSLR camera. This means instead of a traditional bulky mirror that swings out of the way — as found in current DSLRs — the Sony DSLR will have an ultra-thin and ultra-lightweight semitransparent mirror that allows photos to be shot without the mirror swinging out the way.

Here’s a photograph of the pellicle mirror found on the Canon EOS RT:

One benefit is a higher number of frames per second and a shorter shutter lag — rumored to be 10fps — since the action of swinging the lens is eliminated from the equation. Another benefit is that the camera would be able to use phase detection autofocus while recording, since light can simultaneously be bounced to the autofocus sensors. Finally, no swinging mirror equals no viewfinder blackout when shooting, less vibration, and less noise — benefits also shared by rangefinder cameras.

sonyalpharumors reported in June that Sony is rumored to be releasing four new DSLRs to replace the A550: the A55 and A33 with pellicle mirrors, and the A560 and A580. Excited yet?


Update: Whoops. This is a private event where everyone will be signing non-disclosure agreements, so even if those attending are introduced to the camera, we might not hear about it for a while. The Nikon and Canon events should yield public announcements though. Sony might be planning to announce these things publicly at Photokina in late September.


 
  • http://twitter.com/Crestopher Brett

    That sounds brilliant. Video shooting would be much nicer. You need for the Z-finder, while it’s nice, it’s a savings for most of us. I’m using a Rebel XS at the moment, and have for awhile. The 60D, if it’s as some of the rumors suggest, will be even more of a value than the 550D. Exciting news for me.

  • http://twitter.com/zak Zak Henry

    For high speed shooting in bright light this is great, but in low light situations this system would increase noise (as higher ISO would need to be selected to counter the blocked light) I can imagine a hybrid type system emerge that leaves the mirror in place in bright situations, but flips out of the way in low light.

  • http://ranger9.net Ranger9

    Fascinating idea, particularly for a video-centric DSLR, as you’d no longer have to put up with the limitations of live view and contrast-detect AF. However, Zak’s point is very well-taken that since the light coming through the lens has to get shared among the sensor, the finder, and the AF system, you have to pay for the convenience through a combination of lower finder brightness, less-sensitive AF, or reduced ISO sensitivity.

    Another issue: during shooting, the aperture would be stopped down, so the finder would become quite dim, and follow-focus would get difficult (either AF or MF.)

    Still, it’s great to see someone trying new ideas, and I’ll look forward to seeing how Sony has implemented it.

  • http://twitter.com/wizrares Wiz Rares

    Yeah. I bet the iPhone 4 had a non-disclosure agreement too…

  • Pingback: Photos of the Upcoming Sony A55 and A33 DSLRs Leaked()

  • D. E.

    Doesn’t Canon have a patent on pellicle mirrors?

    ~David

  • D. E.

    Doesn’t Canon have a patent on pellicle mirrors?

    ~David

  • D. E.

    Doesn’t Canon have a patent on pellicle mirrors?

    ~David