DigitalCameraReview.com
Alpha A300, Alpha A350 join Sony DSLR lineup
by David Rasnake -  1/3/2008

The field of new upper entry-level DSLR offerings keeps growing by the day. At PMA today, Sony announced two additions to its mainstream digital SLR lineup, filling in the gap that has previously existed between the pure entry-level A100/A200 and the more advanced (and costly) A700.

Sony Alpha DSLRs

The 10.2 megapixel Sony Alpha DSLR-A300 and 14.2 megapixel DSLR-A350 introduce the manufacturer’s Live View system, allowing users to compose images on-screen rather than through the optical viewfinder alone. Sony’s system, which uses two separate sensors (one for LCD imaging and one for photo capture), promises faster autofocus times and negligible black-out during continuous shooting.

Sony Alpha DSLRs

Assuming that it works as well as advertised, Sony’s Live View technology should answer the two most common complaints surrounding current screen-view systems on the DSLR market. In dark, indoor focusing situations, Live View could potentially reduce focusing times by more than 1 second.

Both cameras also feature Sony’s Super SteadyShot sensor-shift image stabilization, a lithium-ion battery boasting 750 shots between charges, an anti-dust system, and a unique 2.7-inch, 230,000-pixel display that tilts out to allow easier shot composition when holding the camera above or below eye level.

Both cameras are expected in stores this spring. Estimated retail price for the A300 is $799 with Sony’s 18-70mm kit lens. The A350 will be available with kit lens for $899, or as a body only for $799.

We'll post detailed specs as soon as we have them, but here's what we know so far...

Sony Alpha DSLR-A300 specifications:

Sensor10.2 megapixel, 23.6x15.8mm CCD
Lens/ZoomMinolta A-type bayonet mount (Alpha mount)
LCD/Viewfinder2.7", 230K-pixel tiltable TFT LCD; Penta-mirror optical viewfinder
SensitivityISO 100-3200
Shutter Speed30-1/4000 seconds
Shooting ModesNot Specified
Scene PresetsNot Specified
White Balance SettingsAuto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Fluorescent, Tungsten, Flash, Color Temperature/Color Filter, Custom
Metering Modes40-Segment, Center-Weighted, Spot
Focus Modes9-point AF system, mode not specified
Drive ModesNormal, Burst
Flash ModesAuto, Fill, Rear Flash Sync, Slow Sync, High-Speed Sync
Self Timer Settings
10 seconds, 2 seconds, Off
Memory FormatsCompact Flash
Internal Memory
None
File FormatsJPEG, RAW
Max. Image SizeNot Specified
Max. Video Size
N/A
Zoom During Video N/A
BatterySTAMINA rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 740 shots
ConnectionsUSB 2.0
Additional FeaturesDynamic Range Optimizer, Super SteadyShot, Live View, Bionz Engine Processor

 

Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 specifications:

Sensor14.2 megapixel, 23.6x15.8mm CCD
Lens/ZoomMinolta A-type bayonet mount (Alpha mount)
LCD/Viewfinder2.7", 230K-pixel tiltable TFT LCD; Penta-mirror optical viewfinder
SensitivityISO 100-3200
Shutter Speed30-1/4000 seconds
Shooting ModesNot Specified
Scene PresetsNot Specified
White Balance SettingsAuto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Fluorescent, Tungsten, Flash, Color Temperature/Color Filter, Custom
Metering Modes40-Segment, Center-Weighted, Spot
Focus Modes9-point AF system, mode not specified
Drive ModesNormal, Burst
Flash ModesAuto, Fill, Rear Flash Sync, Slow Sync, High-Speed Sync
Self Timer Settings
10 seconds, 2 seconds, Off
Memory FormatsCompact Flash
Internal Memory
None
File FormatsJPEG, RAW
Max. Image SizeNot Specified
Max. Video Size
N/A
Zoom During Video N/A
BatterySTAMINA rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 730 shots
ConnectionsUSB 2.0
Additional FeaturesDynamic Range Optimizer, Super SteadyShot, Live View, Bionz Engine Processor