PetaPixel

Alleged Photo of the First DSLR Pellicle Mirror on the Sony A33

The above is supposedly a leaked photo of the not-yet-announced Sony A33 and its pellicle mirror, the first of its kind on a DSLR. Rumor has it that the camera will officially be announced early tomorrow morning.

SonyAlphaRumors received a tip that Sony will be using the following arguments promoting the new pellicle system:

  • Minimal shutter lag: Mirror does not move, and therefore results in shutter lag of less than 0.1 seconds
  • Auto focus: First DSLR to offer phase detection autofocus during HD video recording
  • Frames per second: No moving mirror allows camera to reach 10 FPS
  • No mirror blackouts: Optical view and Live view will remain uninterrupted during shooting
  • Compact design: Eliminating the moving mirror system reduces weight by 25% and size by 20%

Stay tuned. Official news about the A33 and A55 should arrive shortly.


Update: Amateur Photographer just published a post titled, “New Sony Alpha 55 and Alpha 33 EVF DSLRs to feature fixed Translucent Mirror“. Almost as soon as it was published it was taken down (darn those easy-to-click “Publish” buttons!). Here’s a quote from the now-removed article:

Sony is set to introduce shooting speeds of up to 10fps, as well as video, in its latest Alpha DSLR cameras, the Alpha 55 and Alpha 33, by using a new non-moving ‘translucent’ mirror. Echoing the technology of the pellicle mirror in Canon’s EOS RT of 1989, Sony’s new semi-transparent mirror allows light to be fed simultaneously to a camera’s imaging sensor and AF system, removing the need for a moving mirror and providing the potential for much improved focus tracking as well as active AF in Live View and video modes.

Looks like this is no longer a “rumor”.

(via SonyAlphaRumors)


 
  • Tyler

    Would this still have a “rolling shutter” effect? Does a pellicle mean a flash could shoot at a higher rate than 1/200?

  • http://eugenesysoev.tumblr.com Eugene Sysoev

    Yes. No.

  • D. E.

    Doesn’t Canon have a patent on this technology?

    ~David~

  • D. E.

    Doesn’t Canon have a patent on this technology?

    ~David~

  • http://ranger9.net Ranger9

    #1 — No to both of Tyler’s questions. “Rolling shutter” is caused by the rate that data is scanned off the sensor; even on conventional DSLRs, the mirror is up (naturally) during video recording, so has no effect at all; so, changing to a pellicle mirror wouldn’t matter. Top flash sync speed is determined by the speed at which the shutter curtains travel, which always is much faster than the mirror anyway.

    #2 — Didn’t that now-vanished AP article also say the new pellicle-mirror cameras would have EVFs instead of conventional through-lens viewfinders? That surprised me so much that I went back and read it twice to make sure I hadn’t misread it. If there’s no SLR viewfinder, then what’s the point of having a pellicle mirror at all?… unless it’s to allow phase-detect autofocus, which would be worthwhile. But this seems to contradict some of the talking points listed in this post.

  • http://ranger9.net Ranger9

    #1 — No to both of Tyler’s questions. “Rolling shutter” is caused by the rate that data is scanned off the sensor; even on conventional DSLRs, the mirror is up (naturally) during video recording, so has no effect at all; so, changing to a pellicle mirror wouldn’t matter. Top flash sync speed is determined by the speed at which the shutter curtains travel, which always is much faster than the mirror anyway.

    #2 — Didn’t that now-vanished AP article also say the new pellicle-mirror cameras would have EVFs instead of conventional through-lens viewfinders? That surprised me so much that I went back and read it twice to make sure I hadn’t misread it. If there’s no SLR viewfinder, then what’s the point of having a pellicle mirror at all?… unless it’s to allow phase-detect autofocus, which would be worthwhile. But this seems to contradict some of the talking points listed in this post.

  • http://ranger9.net Ranger9

    A more general observation: Does anybody else note that Sony seems to be one of the few companies applying real innovation to DSLR design? (Olympus might be the only other.) Canon and Nikon seem to be battling it out mostly by adding modes and features, not by changing the basic design template.

    Sony has been doing this, while (it seems) keeping the no-nonsense control layout that I always liked on Minolta cameras. If their high-ISO performance weren’t so, shall we say, lackluster, I’d be taking a really hard look at Sony’s product line.

  • http://ranger9.net Ranger9

    Oops, Eugene was right and I mistyped — yes, it would still have a rolling shutter if it would have had a rolling shutter without the pellicle mirror.

  • f2point8

    And Panasonic’s Lumix line-up. Finding a filling a void in the competition is what it’s all about.

  • jimK

    Doesn’t reflecting light mean a lot less light to the sensor (or a very dark view finder)?

  • Stephen Campbell

    Ranger9

    You begin by stating how Sony are utilising an idea first introduced by Canon in 1989, then go on to criticise Canon for lack of basic design innovation! I’m a Nikon user myself, and couldn’t care less about other brands’ gimmicks to be honest. My cameras do the job I need them for, and quirky features like this are simply overkill. Who, apart from F1 photographers, seriously needs 10fps? Perhaps Sony *should* be looking at their high ISO performance (like Canon and Nikon..) instead of special mirrors, if that’s what’s stopping you from buying into their system! I’m assuming there’s a reason Canon didn’t continue with it after 1989.

  • Scurry4

    it seem like it would be easily possibel to seal of the sensor with the fixed mirror, why wouldnt they pursue this? like the nikon patent for the evil. I also having trouble figuring out how light is doubled, as in split too two places. wouldnt a lot be lost?

    all the upsides of this design sound awesome though, i like the push for something different, atleast bringing up the level of competition

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  • Dbindle

    If Sony is trailing in the category of “shooting in low light” – (as mentioned above…) why would they want to further reduce the amount of light hitting the sensor? As well, if most of the light is going to the sensor, is their enough light going to the focusing array to accurately focus fast in “less that optimal” conditions. How well does is focus in dim light?
    Fast continual focus and shooting 10 fps in bright light is one thing, but how does it fair in most real world conditions. I hope it fairs well… competition is a good thing… but I will be surprised if it does. As well… I’m not sure about the whole evf eyepiece. In dim light, I’ll bet it is pretty bad. My bad if I’m wrong….