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.
Discoveries in a new approach to design (via sonyalpharumors)
Lost in the commotion of Sony’s awesome camera announcements was the official unveiling of the LA-EA2 A-mount adapter, which we reported on a couple weeks ago. This fancy lens adapter lets you use Sony’s Alpha line of DSLR lenses with NEX mirrorless bodies without the loss of autofocus functionality by having a translucent mirror and autofocus system baked into the adapter itself!
Adding a large lens and electronic viewfinder to a NEX body leaves you with one strange looking camera, but the ability to use your existing lens collection on a new mirrorless camera is definitely a big deal (hopefully Canon and Nikon offer something similar if they announce mirrorless cameras soon). The LA-EA2 will cost $400 when it arrives in November.
(via Foto Actualidad)
Here’s some interesting innovation on the tech-side of photography: on August 24, Sony will be unveiling a new lens adapter called the LA-EA2 that will let customers use large Sony Alpha DSLR lenses on their small NEX mirrorless cameras. Unlike most lens adapters, this one actually does a lot more than adapt lenses — it has its own translucent mirror and phase-detection autofocus sensor to aid the camera in providing snappy autofocus. It’s almost like an accessory that helps turn small NEX bodies into a DSLR-style camera (except there’s still no optical viewfinder).
(via Photo Rumors via Wired)
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.
Image credit: Alpha Cross-section by Global Hermit and used with permission
Sony and Olympus are headed in very different directions when it comes to DSLR cameras. While Olympus may be looking to step out of the DSLR market in favor of EVIL cameras, Sony is opting to stay put while transforming its line of DSLRs into translucent mirror cameras. During a Sony event in Zaragoza, Spain, company representatives confirmed to Quesabesde that all future Alpha DSLRs will have the translucent mirrors found in the A33 and A55.
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.
(via Photo Rumors)
Image credit: Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 and accessory by Jacky W
Owners of Sony’s NEX line of EVIL cameras can now autofocus A-mount lenses that are used with Alpha DSLRs. Previously A-mount lenses attached to NEX cameras via the $200 LA-EA1 adapter could only be manually focused, but with the firmware update Sony released today they can be autofocused for single shots at the blazing speed of 2 to 7 seconds per autofocus.
Yes, apparently users may have to wait up to seven seconds for your camera to lock onto a subject. You might want to stick with that manual focus after all. The new firmware can be download here.
The rumors that have been circulating in recent weeks were spot on: Sony has just announced four new DSLR cameras: the A33, A55, A560, and A580. As expected, the A33 and A55 are the world’s first pellicle mirror DSLRs, and have the features and specs we posted just yesterday: phase-detect autofocus while recording HD video or shooting 7fps or 10fps respectively.
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”.
A day after photos of the upcoming Sony A33 and A55 DSLR cameras (rumored to have pellicle mirrors) were leaked, photos and specs of what appear to be the upcoming A560 and A580 cameras have also sprung up. Like the photos leaked yesterday, the front view of the two cameras show exactly the same body with only the model number Photoshopped. Not sure why this is.
The two cameras will be 14 and 16 megapixels (respecitively), and will offer features similar to comparable cameras from the Canon and Nikon camps. These include an ISO range of 100-12800, 1080p HD video recording, 15 autofocus points, 5 frame per second shooting, and a swiveling LCD on the back.
Alleged photographs of the upcoming Sony Alpha A33 and A55 DSLR cameras have popped up in an overseas forum. The images look legitimate, though the A55 and A33 front views are identical images that had the model number Photoshopped. Not sure why that is.
These two cameras are rumored to be pellicle mirror cameras. Read this post that we wrote last week to learn more about what pellicle mirrors are.