Recently I had the chance to go to an event hosted by Sony to try out some new and upcoming products before they hit the stores. I had the chance to also discuss some other upcoming products and give some feedback on what I thought about the direction of Sony, in particularly their NEX and Alpha lineup. After talking to the tech people who were very informative and helpful with my questions I can say that the second half of this year is going to be very exciting for photo enthusiasts.
After trying the NEX-C3, it is a great update to the predecessor, the NEX-3 with a better grip and better performance. I quite like seeing the alpha logo when turning off the camera but that's me. Unfortunately the 30mm f3.5 macro lens was not available at the time but I did get the opportunity to try out the new flash for the NEX system, the HVL-F20S which provides a stronger flash output than the flash supplied with the NEX 3 and NEX 5, has the ability to bounce flash for shadowless portraits and has an built-in diffuser.
NEX-C3 with HVL-F20S flash, LA-EA1 adapter with Carl Zeiss 24mm f2.0 lens attached
The newly announced a35 was available at this event and it replaces the a33 camera that was available last year. This camera is a modest update to its predecessor and noticeably comes with a fixed LCD screen instead of a tilting screen on the a33. The camera feels the same than its predecessor, I'm guessing its made out of the same material. A new mode called tele-zoom high speed shooting is a new feature on this camera where the camera captures 7fps at a cropped resolution. The introduction of filters also makes it debut on this alpha camera as well as the NEX series where you can apply filters such as retro, high key, selective color and more to your stills or videos. You also have the ability to apply more than one filter which is pretty cool.
The CLM-V55 which is an external monitor mainly for video was also on display which was great to see because I'm actually considering buying this along with the a77 when its announced. I understand a bit more of what it can do and how to use it since it was attached to the a35 on the VCT-55LH bracket. I also tried out some other lenses that were available to try out such as the 70-400mm f4-5.6 G series lens (most likely my next lens purchase) and the Carl Zeiss 135mm f1.8 (exceptionally sharp and well made lens).
Sony a35 with 70-400mm f4.0-5.6 G series lens and CLM-V55 monitor mounted on a VCT-55LH bracket
I'm very excited to see what Sony brings out in the second half of this year. The replacement for the a55 and NEX-5 are expected as well as the a77 and NEX-7 (not sure about the name) and a bunch of new lenses and accessories. Thank you Sony for hosting this great and informative event.
Display of photos showing a few filters that can be used on the NEX and alpha cameras
Carl Zeiss 135mm f1.8 lens with 24-70mm f2.8 in the background
Carl Zeiss 24mm f2.0 lens
A few Sony lenses available to try at the event.