Thursday, August 25, 2011

{CameraGear} Sony announce the long awaited a77 and a bunch of new products and accessories

Sony NEX and Alpha range
Hi everyone!

What a day! Sony announced a plethora of cameras and accessories for the A-mount and E-mount systems. There were a total of four cameras announced today, the a77 and a65 for the A-mount and the NEX-5N (NEX-5 replacement) and the NEX-7. Let's not forget, the NEX-VG20 which is a camcorder style video camera was also announced too. Since Sony announced a lot of products today, this is going to be a long post but I'll begin with the a77.

Sony a77 with Carl Zeiss 85mm 1.4 lens attached

The a77 is Sony's much anticipated successor to the a700 that was discontinued a couple of years ago. It takes the crown as being the world's fastest camera with an APS-C sized sensor that shoots at 12 frames per second at full resolution, that is at 24.3 megapixels. The camera is mainly aimed at both professionals and enthusiasts as well as videographers. I won't repeat all the specs of this camera as I'm sure many readers have already done so from other sites but if you haven't click here for the specs with the press release. I'll instead write a little about using this camera from my short time with it.

- The camera is lighter than I originally expected and very well built.
- The magnesium alloy body and weather sealing make this camera great for shooting in a variety of environments.
- It is very quick and responsive
- The XGA OLED viewfinder is a major upgrade compared to the a55. The EVF provides a sharper and more accurate picture of the scene which is great because what you see in the viewfinder is essentially exactly what you are going to get. The camera settings are perfectly laid out in my opinion and though the viewfinder doesn't perform as well as the a900 and a850's OVF it is still the best EVF on the market.

- Lastly, the articulated screen allows for a more easier way of composing your shot. The screen can be tilted up and down for self portraits and can twist and turn all in line with the lens axis. I personally like how Sony implemented the three way articulating screen, because the LCD turning out from the side throws the camera a bit off balance and I much prefer the LCD turned in line with the lens axis.

Sony a77 with new kit lens 16-50mm 2.8 SSM 

A new kit lens was also announced with the a77, that is the 16-50mm 2.8 SuperSonicMotor (SSM) lens. This lens is the first lens to be advertised as weather sealed and with SSM and a constant 2.8 aperture, this is quite amazing for a kit lens. 

The following is a video ad for the Sony a77. Enjoy!

Sony a65 with 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 lens

The Sony a65 announced along with the a77 is a camera aimed towards enthusiast and family class photographers who want high level performance in a light and compact body. This camera sits between the a77 and the a55 in Sony's line of Alpha cameras. I didn't play around with this camera as I was mainly using up my time with the a77 but with the short time I got to play around with it I can say that the build quality is better than the a55 and it feels a lot nicer in the hand. The specs and press release of this camera can be viewed here.

 Sony a65 with kit lens 18-55mm 3.5-5.6

The following is a video ad for the Sony a65. Enjoy!

NEX-7 with 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 lens 

Now we move on to a new class of NEX cameras, the NEX-7. This camera is aimed towards enthusiast photographers that don't want the bulk of carrying around a DSLR/DSLT sized camera. Its headline features include a 24.3 megapixel sensor, world's fastest shutter release time, built in XGA OLED viewfinder (same as the a77) and a customisable and intuitive interface. It has a built in flash and a hot shoe for Alpha flashes which is great news. Now I didn't get to play with this camera as it was in a glass case and I was told it was the only one in Australia so I can't really comment on how it handles but i must say it looks like a great camera and with the Carl Zeiss 24mm 1.8 lens it will surely be a great combo. Press release and specs of the camera can be viewed here.

Sony NEX-7 with 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 lens attached and Carl Zeiss 24mm 1.8
Sorry for the reflection in the photo

The following is a video of the Sony NEX-7. Enjoy!

NEX-5N black and silver with 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 and 16mm 2.8 lenses

The NEX-5N are minor updates to their predecessors, the NEX-5. These new updated cameras now feature a touch screen, a newly improved sensor, ultra fast focusing and more. I actually forgot to take photos of this model at the presentation but I'll do that next week. For more information of these cameras click here.
The following is a video ad for the NEX-5N. Enjoy!

NEX-VG20 with 18-200mm 3.5-5.6

Last but not least we have the Sony NEX-VG20 camcorder. Seeing as this was not as the Sony presentation I can't really say much about it but the headline features include a 16.1 megapixel sensor, AVCHD full HD video with 50p and 24p, improved ergonomics and handling as well as a touch screen which are all welcome additions over its predecessor, the NEX-VG10. For more information about this camera, click here.

The following is a foreign ad for the NEX-VG20. Enjoy!

Sony also released new lenses and accessories for both the NEX and A-mount cameras. These include:

- The new 16-50mm f2.8 SSM kit lens for A-mount
- Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 24mm f1.8 lens for NEX E-mount
- 50mm f1.8 OSS lens for NEX E-mount
- Telephoto 55-210mm f4.5-6.3 lens for NEX E-mount
-  Adapter which allows A-mount lenses to be mounted on NEX cameras with phase detection auto-focus (LA-EA2)
-  Electronic viewfinder that can only be mounted on the NEX-5N (FDA-EV1S)
- NEX body case (LCS-EB50)
- Lens jacket (LCS-EL50)
- Should strap (STP-XS3) 
- Soft carrying case (LCS-EMF)

LA-EA2 lens adapter

 Sony a77 with flash accessories and lenses

 16mm 2.8 fish-eye lens

 300mm 2.8 telephoto lens

Sony a55 and a35

 Sony a77 taken apart

Now I will finish this post with a summary video of the latest interchangeable lens cameras. Enjoy!

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