It's not just Nikon
fighting for your DSLR
dollars, it's also Sony
. The company's Alpha line has been coming on strong in recent years, and the new a57 is certainly no slouch. It's the newest in the company's line of A-mount cameras, using the Translucent Mirror Technology that this range has become somewhat famous for in photography circles. It directs incoming light to the CMOS image sensor and the AF sensor at the same time, allowing full-time continuous AF during both still and video shooting. Users can also frame, focus and preview shots in real-time on the high-resolution Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder, which offers a wide viewing angle and 100% field of view. This allows photographers to capture exactly what they see on the screen.
The a57 takes the place of the a55, offering still shooting at 12 frames per second, Full HD video capture at 60p, 60i or 24p frame rates and has a variety of creative modes including Auto Portrait Framing, a world's first technology. The α57 model shares the α65's 15-point AF system with three cross sensors delivering fast, accurate TTL phase detection autofocus. Newly enhanced Object Tracking AF keeps faces or other selected objects in sharp focus – even if a target is obscured momentarily by another passing object.
To get closer to the subject, 2x Clear Image Zoom digital zoom technology doubles the effective magnification of your lens and is a highly practical alternative to travelling with a bigger, bulkier telephoto lens. The camera uses Sony's "By Pixel Super Resolution Technology" to ensure that cropped and zoomed images retain full pixel resolution.
Additionally, the model's range of popular in-camera Picture Effect modes includes 11 different effects and 15 total variations – offering a generous palette of 'PC-free' artistic treatments, including Pop Color, HDR Painting, Miniature Mode and much more. Results can be previewed directly in live view mode on the LCD screen or in the new Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder while shooting either Full HD video or stills.
The new α57 interchangeable lens camera will be available this April with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens for $800 (model SLT-A57K). It will also be offered as body-only for about $700 (model SLT-A57).
Sony will also be introducing a new battery-powered LED video light, model HVL-LE1, which broadens options for recording video indoors or in low light. This new accessory will be available this month for about $250.