Want to focus your camera simply by looking at a particular area of the viewfinder? If you’re a Sony shooter, you might be enjoying that feature as early as next year. The company is reportedly working on building Eye Tracking autofocus into its cameras, with the initial version arriving in a flagship camera sometime in 2014. Read more…
It has only been a month since Sony announced its latest flagship full-frame camera, the A99, but rumors are already beginning to emerge regarding the company’s next top-of-the-line offering. sonyalpharumors writes that Sony has reportedly marked sometime between May and June 2013 as a tentative release date for its next high-end full-frame:
The camera will be more “photographer” oriented. There are currently a couple of different prototypes. One we heard of has a 36 Megapixel sensor (same as Nikon D800) and built-in vertical grip. Priced well above the current Sony A99. A second prototype has a new 50 Megapixel sensor which goal is to go as close as possible to a “medium format” quality.
The new camera wouldn’t be intended to replace the A99, but would instead become the flag-bearer by creating an entirely new tier in the Sony lineup. If the latest rumors pan out, then 50 megapixels may soon become the new standard resolution for flagship DSLRs; Canon is reportedly working on its own high-res (46MP) camera.
Update: Reader Scott Hutchison reminds us that back in May, there was a rumor that working on a “A1S” camera with a full-frame 36x36mm square sensor. Hmm…
Check out this blast from the past: it’s a 1986 commercial for the Minolta Maxxum 7000.
The Minolta 7000 was the first successful auto focus SLR using a motor integrated in the camera body. It was released in 1985 together with 11 lenses, 2 flashguns and a complete lineup of accessories. The 7000 featured one AF-sensor, shutter speeds of 1/2000 to 30 seconds, flashsync speed of 1/100s, exposure compensation of +-4EV in 0.5 exposure steps, center-weighted lightmetering and two frames per second film advance. [#]
The AF system was marketed as Maxxum in North America and Alpha (α) in Asia. When Sony acquired Konica Minolta in 2006, it kept the Alpha brand name for its new DSLR system, which used the old Minolta lens mount. Hence, Sony Alpha DSLRs.
A month after announcing massive losses of $2.9 billion, Sony is taking evasive action to rediscover itself and right its ship. The company announced a new corporate strategy today, devised by its new CEO Kazuo Hirai. Called “One Sony”, the initiative identifies digital imaging as one of the three core pillars of the company going forward:
Sony is positioning digital imaging, game and mobile as the three core pillars of its electronics business, and going forward aims to concentrate its resources in these areas to further reinforce the businesses. Sony also plans to accelerate its efforts to drive innovation and new business creation. [#]
In interviews published on Sony’s website, the company’s designers talk about how its latest DSLRs are based on a styling technique called “Tensile Skin”, in which sharp lines and curved surfaces giving a “natural sense of tension”. What’s interesting is the tool they used to explore this idea: an ordinary sock. Art director Takuya Niitsu says,
What helped me explore this idea was an ordinary sock. As soon as I stretched the sock over our structural mock-up, it transformed the jumble of blocks into a coherent, sculptural unit. It looked fresh, and the jutting edges resonated nicely with the gentle contours. Although this unified whole could be called “monoform,” it was hardly monotonous, and there was a pleasant sense of tension. I knew that following this approach would lead us to the new shape for Alpha SLRs.
Camera innards are often shown in cross section diagrams, but here’s a Sony Alpha camera and lens that were actually sliced cleanly down the middle (we’re guessing a lightsaber was involved). The build quality of the lens definitely looks cheaper than the sliced Leica lenses we shared last week (as it should). Brownie points if you can identify both the camera model and the lens.
If Sony succeeds in this technology shift, it will be quite a change from the 1960s, when Canon introduced their version of the translucent mirror for film cameras but ended up going back to normal mirrors before long.
We’re having a hard time deciding whether to laugh or cry. Sony has been on top of the innovation game lately, but today’s announcement is a bit silly — they held a special press event to announce a pink version of the NEX-3 mirrorless camera. Earlier in October rumor sites were already reporting the October 12th press event scheduled to “announce a new mirrorless SLR”. Other websites began speculating as to whether or not it would be a new EVIL model to compliment the NEX-3 and NEX-5. Turns out the answer is no. It’s just a pink NEX-3.
The camera will be available in Japan starting November 19th.
PMA is off to a hot start down in Anaheim, Calif., with Sony announcing a new line of bodies and lenses, aiming to assert itself in the DSLR + video market thus far dominated by Nikon and Canon.
In a brief press conference this morning before the doors to PMA’s massive exhibit floors opened to the public, Sony announced prototype DSLR bodies and lenses that they aim to release this year.
Emphasizing the user-friendly presets on Sony cameras such as its auto HDR mode, Sony showed off a concept model of the compact α (alpha) Micro Four Thirds-DSLR hybrid that they hope will make the DSLR more accessible to a larger audience. Additionally, the new compact camera bodies (pictured below) are about the size of point-and-shoots, but have interchangeable lenses.
Additionally, a new Alpha A700 replacement body employs their Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, which provides full AVCHD video capability:
Sony also showed off a few prototype lens models, including the Super Telephoto Superzoom 500mm f4 and the Distagon T 24mm f2 ZA SSM, new Carl Zeiss wide angle lens.