New Sony Releases: SLT-A58, NEX-3N, Cyber-shot Digital Cameras and Alpha Lenses

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Sony has just released several updates and new models in their lines of photographic equipment. Two interchangeable-lens cameras, new lenses and Cyber-shot point-and-shoots are available. These cameras build upon Sony’s extensive history of making cameras with high imaging performance that are enjoyable to use regularly. The incorporation of new imaging and focusing features in these cameras ultimately works to produce images that exhibit greater and more consistent sharpness in all conditions. The addition and refinement of many shooting modes also works to produce images that are well exposed, well detailed and feature an overall richness of color and clarity.

Sony Alpha SLT-A58

At the pinnacle of these releases is the newest Sony DSLR, the Alpha SLT-A58. The Alpha SLT-A58 features a compact DSLR form factor—calling it a true DSLR is a bit of a misnomer due to the fact that it incorporates Sony’s Translucent Mirror Technology. This technology is capable of simultaneously directing light to both the imaging and focus sensors at the same time in order to allow for constant, continuous autofocusing and live view monitoring. Since the mirror does not have to swing out of the way of the sensor for exposures, this technology also affords a wealth of speed when shooting, including the ability to shoot up to eight full-resolution frames per second while maintaining focus between exposures.

The camera employs both phase- and contrast-detection focusing systems to attain truly fast focusing and tracking capabilities that are equally precise under a wide spectrum of lighting conditions. The focus system itself utilizes 15 individual focus points, which include three cross-type sensors, to give overall frame coverage. This focusing system also works in collaboration with subject recognition technologies to provide Object Tracking AF, which will lock on to subjects and maintain sharp focus, even while they move within the frame.

In regard to imaging performance, the Alpha SLT-A58 houses an APS-C-sized, 20.1 megapixel Exmor HD APS CMOS sensor and a BIONZ image processor to provide high resolution, detailed imagery, with increased low-light sensitivity to ISO 16000, and advanced noise reduction technologies. SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization technology is incorporated into the body’s design to help reduce the effects of camera shake. By using an in-camera, sensor shift stabilization method, any Alpha-mount lens can be used with the SLT-A58, and will receive the same 2-4.5 shutter speed step-equivalent image stabilization benefits.

In addition to contributing to low-light performance, the BIONZ processor also provides additional speed throughout the camera system to enable the 8 fps continuous shooting rate, and will record full HD 1080i/p video at 60 or 24fps, respectively, in the AVCHD version 2.0 format. As with continuous shooting, HD video recording gains significant benefits from the Translucent Mirror Technology in the realm of continuous focusing while you monitor recording. Additionally, 1440 x 1080p video can also be recorded in the Internet-friendly MP4 format for a more streamlined workflow when shooting for Web applications.

For live view monitoring, image review and menu navigation, both an electronic viewfinder and rear LCD monitor are available. The SVGA Tru-Finder OLED EVF has 1,440k-dot resolution to provide immense detail when eye-level viewing. The EVF, with 100% frame coverage, offers adjustable magnification settings to suit eyeglass wearers and, additionally, the viewfinder can serve as a third point of contact between photographer and camera to lock down steady handling for longer lenses.

The 2.7” 460.8k-dot Clear Photo LCD monitor provides a larger means for viewing imagery and features a tilting design for greater ease of use when working from high or low angles. Both viewing mechanisms provide the ability to see the effects of different camera and exposure settings on the image prior to shooting, and both can be used interchangeably for still or movie recording.

Rounding out these improved imaging abilities is an array of shooting, scene and auto modes that serve to further refine the end results and help to create visually effective photographs and movies. Auto Object Framing and Auto Portrait Framing are two modes that will automatically create new, enhanced compositions by cropping images of people and still lifes, based on the Rule of Thirds. In the case of Auto Portrait Framing—Face Detection, Smile Shutter and Face Recognition features are all employed to strengthen the appearance of portraiture and produce well-composed, well-exposed imagery. Both shooting modes also use iAuto and By Pixel Super Resolution technologies to render cropped images intelligently with sufficient detail and a balanced overall exposure.

Auto HDR mode is also available to enable the creation of High Dynamic Range imagery in-camera. This mode records three separate exposures—one under, one neutral and one over—and combines them into a single frame to gain more shadow and highlight detail than is possible from a single exposure. Multi Frame NR and Handheld Twilight modes also employ the building-up of frames to produce a cleaner, more effective image than is possible if only using a single exposure. In this case, these modes record six images in succession and then combine into a single frame to enable higher low-light sensitivity, to an equivalent ISO 25600, and to further reduce noise that becomes more apparent when working with natively high ISO settings. These modes also record the six frames at a shutter speed that is fast enough for handheld use, and as such, images will exhibit more sharpness and are less likely to be affected by camera shake.

The Alpha SLT-A58 digital camera is also bundled with the new DT 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM II lens, which serves to be an all-around, everyday use lens that is well suited to photographing in a wide array of situations. Its portable design couples well to the form factor of the SLT-A58.

Camera Type Interchangeable lens digital SLT camera
Lens Mount Sony Alpha (compatible with Minolta/Konica Minolta Maxxum lenses)
Image Sensor Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor (APS-C-size, 23.5 x 15.6mm)
Processor BIONZ image processor
Anti-Dust Mechanism Charge protection coating on low-pass filter and electromagnetic
vibration mechanism
Actual Pixels 20.4MP
Effective Pixels 20.1MP
Color Filter System RGB primary color filters
Color Spaces sRGB (with sYCC gamut) and Adobe RGB standard
(compatible with TRILUMINOS Color)
Media Type Memory Stick PRO Duo/Pro-HG Duo, SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card
Still Image Mode JPEG (standard and fine), RAW, RAW+JPEG
Still Image File Format JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver.2.3, MPF Baseline compliant), RAW
(Sony ARW 2.3 format)
Still Image Size 3:2
20MP: 5456 x 3632
10MP: 3872 x 2576
5MP: 2736 x 1824
16:9
17MP: 5456 x 3064
8.4MP: 3872 x 2176
4.2MP: 2736 x 1536
Panoramic
23MP: 12416 x 1856 (horizontal wide)
15MP: 8192 x 1856 (horizontal standard)
12MP: 2160 x 5536 (vertical wide)
8.4MP: 2160 x 3872 (vertical standard)
Video Format AVCHD / MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC (H.264))
Video Size AVCHD
FX: 1920 x 1080/60i or 24p at 24 Mbps
FH: 1920 x 1080/60i or 24p at 17 Mbps
MP4
HD: 1440 x 1080/30p at 12 Mbps
VGA: 640 x 480/30p at 3 Mbps
Video Signal NTSC color, EIA standards
Audio Format Dolby Digital (AC-3), MPEG-4 AAC-LC, 2ch
Microphone Built-in stereo microphone
Viewfinder Type 0.5" 1,440k-dot SVGA electronic viewfinder, 100% coverage
Diopter Adjustment -4.0 to +4.0m
LCD Monitor Type 2.7" 460.8k-dot TFT Clear Photo LCD, 100% coverage
LCD Angle Adjustment Tilt up 135°; tilt down 55°
LCD Brightness Control Auto, Manual (5 steps: +/- 2)
Focus System TTL phase-detection AF (CCD line sensors)
Focus Points 15 points including 3 cross-type points
AF Modes Single-shot AF(AF-S), Continuous AF(AF-C), Automatic AF(AF-A) selectable, Direct Manual Focus (DMF), Manual Focus
Focus Area Wide (Auto, 15 points), Zone, Spot, Local Selectable
Focus Sensitivity -1 to +18 EV (at ISO 100 with f/2.8 lens)
AF Illuminator Built-in LED, approx. 3-21' / 1-7 m range
Exposure Metering Advanced 1200-zone evaluative metering
Exposure Metering Modes Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Metering Sensitivity -2 to +17 EV (at ISO 100 with f/1.4 lens)
Exposure Compensation Still: +/- 3 EV in 1/3 steps
Movies: +/-2 EV in 1/3 steps
Exposure Settings iAUTO, Flash Off, Superior Auto, Scene Selection, Sweep Panorama, Continuous Advance Priority AE, Movie, Picture Effect, Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M)
Scene Modes Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night View, Handheld Twilight
Picture Effects Posterization (Color, B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R,G,B,Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature
Creative Style Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Black & White (Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness (all +/- 3 steps))
Exposure Bracketing 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 2, 3 EV increments for 3 or 5 frames (2 and 3 EV only for 3 frames)
Sensitivity Still: Auto, ISO 100-16000
Movies: Auto, ISO 100-3200
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm white, Cool white, Day white, Daylight) , Flash, Setting the color temperature (2500-9900K with 15-step magenta/green compensation), Color Filter, Custom
Burst Buffer Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE: Fine: 16 frames, Standard: 19 frames
Continuous shooting: Fine: 7 frames, Standard: 8 frames, RAW+JPEG: 5 frames, RAW: 6 frames
Continuous Shooting Speed Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE: Up to 8 fps
Hi: Up to 5 fps; Lo: Up to 2.5 fps
Drive Mode Single-shooting, Continuous shooting (Hi/Lo), Self-timer (10 or 2 sec. delay), Bracketing (Cont., Single, and White Balance)
Shutter Speed Range 30 to 1/4000 sec., bulb
Shutter Type Electronically controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter
Flash Type Built-in pop-up auto
Flash Guide Number 32.8' / 10 m at ISO 100
Flash Recycling Time Approx. 4 sec.
Flash Coverage Up to 16mm focal length lens
Flash Metering System ADI flash / Pre-flash TTL
Flash Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps
Flash Bracketing 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 2, 3 EV increments for 3 or 5 frames (2 and 3 EV only for 3 frames)
Flash Modes Auto, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Hi-speed sync., Red-eye reduction (on/off for Auto flash and fill-flash), Wireless, Off
Image Stabilization Still: SteadyShot INSIDE (sensor-shift type)
Movies: Electronic
Microphone Input 3.5mm stereo minijack
Accessory Shoe Type Multi-interface shoe
Interface USB 2.0, Micro USB type B, HDMI mini type D
Tripod Socket 1/4"-20
Power Source InfoLITHIUM NP-FM500H (7.2V, 1600mAh) rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Battery Life Approx. 690 images with viewfinder, 700 images with LCD monitor (CIPA standard)
Dimensions 5.1 x 3.75 x 3.1" / 128.6 x 95.5 x 77.7mm
Weight 1.3 lb / 573 g (with battery and memory card)

Sony Alpha Lenses

Three new Alpha-mount lenses have also been released to further expand Sony’s lens lineup and also to refine the designs of several existing lenses.

DT 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM II

The DT 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM II lens is an updated version of the past 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and features a redeveloped focus motor and a newly designed rear lens element shade. This lens is specifically designed for use with APS-C-sized sensors and provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 27-82.5mm to cover wide-angle to portrait-length perspectives. The lens construction integrates two aspherical elements and one ED (extra-low dispersion) glass element to help reduce chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range while also improving overall image sharpness, color fidelity and contrast. The rear lens element shade also contributes to improved image quality by helping to minimize internal reflections and eliminate flare and ghosting.

The SAM (Smooth Autofocus Motor) system provides quick, quiet and accurate focusing that is well-suited to video work and continuous shooting applications. The focus motor is located within the lens itself, versus the camera body, for greater performance and precision. The improved zoom mechanism is designed to function as smoothly as the focusing, to enhance functionality for motion-intensive shooting styles.

50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA

The long-anticipated 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA lens is a normal length prime lens that is compatible with both full-frame and APS-C-sized image sensors. This lens’s purpose is to produce high image sharpness and quality while still remaining fast and functional. Its construction comprises eight elements within five groups, which includes two glass-molded aspherical lens elements. These aspherical elements help to enhance image quality by minimizing aberrations and improving image sharpness and contrast.

The Planar design also contributes to improving image sharpness due to its flat reproduction characteristics and minimal field curvature. The combination of the Planar design, aspherical elements and rear-focusing system all contribute to even edge-to-edge illumination and contrast that can be seen even when working with the wide-open f/1.4 aperture. For specifically minimizing chromatic aberrations, ED glass is also used in the construction to provide accurate color rendition and even sharpness. Furthermore, the Carl Zeiss optics also feature a T* coating to help reduce lens flare and surface reflections on individual elements.

This lens utilizes an SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) to produce quiet and smooth focusing that is ideal when working with video applications. A focus hold button and DMF (Direct Manual Focus) functions aid this lens’s manual-focusing abilities, while the rear-focusing design and a focus ring that does not rotate in AF mode are specifically engineered for more efficient AF usage.

Complementing the exceptional optical design of this lens is an equally high quality metal lens barrel that affords durability, rigidity and general aesthetic appeal. Its construction is well suited to several Sony Alpha DSLRs in that it features dust  and drip resistance for additional protection when working in inclement conditions.

70-400mm f/4-5.6 G2 Telephoto Zoom Lens

The longest of the new lenses is the 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G2 Telephoto Zoom lens, which like the 50mm f/1.4, covers both full-frame and APS-C-sized image sensors. Its long zoom reach benefits by the incorporation of an SSM focus system that utilizes piezoelectric elements that change shape and provide lens functions that include a large rotational distance at low speeds and quick start and stop response times. These features contribute to overall smooth focusing movement with enhanced subject tracking capabilities and quiet performance. Three focus hold buttons are available to lock in focus positions, and a focus range limiter can also be employed for greater focus response and subject-tracking efficiency. If working with manual focus, an easy-grip focus ring provides increased tactility for more control, and an auto clutch mechanism disables the manual focusing ring when working in AF modes.

The optical structure of this lens incorporates 18 elements within 12 groups and includes two ED glass elements to help diminish chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range. The Sony G-series lenses are designed to provide optimal image sharpness and clarity as well as even peripheral illumination from edge to edge. Supplementing the optical structure of this the lens is a Nano AR Coating, which works to reduce lens flare, ghosting and surface reflections to produce images with improved contrast and light transmitting properties.

  Sony DT 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM II Lens Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar
T* ZA Lens
Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G2 Telephoto Zoom Lens
Mount Type Sony Alpha Sony Alpha Sony Alpha
Compatible Format APS-C-sized sensors Full-frame and
APS-C sensors
Full-frame and
APS-C sensors
Focal Length 18-55mm (35mm equivalent: 27-82.5mm) 50mm (75mm with APS-C sensor) 70-400mm (105-600mm with APS-C sensor)
Maximum Aperture f/3.5-5.6 f/1.4 f/4-5.6
Minimum Aperture f/22-36 f/22 f/22-32
Lens Construction 8 elements in 7 groups (with 1 ED and 3
aspherical elements)
8 elements in 5 groups (with 2 aspherical elements) 18 elements in 12 groups (with 2 ED and 3 aspherical elements)
Minimum Focus Distance 9.8" / 25 cm 17.7" / 45 cm 4.9' / 1.5 m
Magnification 0.34x 0.14x 0.27x
Diaphragm Blades 7 9 9
Filter Diameter 55mm 72mm 77mm
Dimensions 2.8 x 2.7" /
71.6 x 69mm
3.2 x 2.8" / 81 x 71.5mm 3.7 x 7.7" / 94.5 x 196mm
Weight 7.8 oz / 222 g 18.3 oz / 518 g 3.3 lb / 1.5 kg

Sony Alpha NEX-3N Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Lens

As part of Sony’s other line of interchangeable-lens cameras, the newest NEX camera has also been released: the Alpha NEX-3N Mirrorless Digital Camera, which is available in white or black. This compact mirrorless camera features a 16.1 megapixel APS-C-sized Exmor HD APS CMOS sensor to provide richly detailed imagery and video. The sensor features the same advanced adaptive noise reduction technology as the Alpha SLT-A58, which is also the same as their flagship Alpha SLT-A99 DSLR camera.

This technology, combined with a high maximum sensitivity of ISO 16000, works to produce cleaner, clearer images when working in difficult lighting conditions. In addition to still imagery, full HD 1080i/p video recording is supported in both 60 and 24 fps, respectively, in the AVCHD format. 1440 x 1080p video at 30 fps is also available in the MP4 format for easier transitioning from shooting, to uploading to video sites online. Additionally, a full resolution continuous shooting rate of 4 fps helps to capture still images of moving subjects in rapid fashion.

To aid in the production of imagery, several imaging features and effects are available to enhance the look and feel of images in-camera. Superior Auto mode is an all-encompassing mode that intelligently applies a range of camera and exposure settings to best suit the scene in which you are photographing. Beside general optimizing of exposure, Superior Auto mode can make use of extended imaging features such as Auto HDR, Anti-Motion Blur and Handheld Twilight to assist in especially difficult lighting conditions. As with the SLT-A58, the NEX-3N features Auto Object Framing and Auto Portrait Framing modes to help achieve the ideal portrait or still life.

Auto Portrait Framing makes use of Face Detection and Smile Shutter, which additionally can be used independently for their ability to recognize faces and smiles within scenes, and optimize focus and exposure settings to render them clearly. For more creative effects, Picture Effect modes are available for applying one of 15 different aesthetic modifications to your images, which are viewable in real time for previsualizing the end result. The Photo Creativity feature provides access to most Picture Effects, too, and also gives control for applying other enhancements such as Background Defocus, and alterations to the image’s Brightness, Color and Vividness values.

For image monitoring, playback and menu navigation, a large 3.0” 460.8k-dot LCD monitor is available and features a full 180° tilting mechanism to aid in shooting from low angles and for composing self-portraits. The monitor can also tilt downward 13° to benefit shooting from high angles. The ergonomic grip design and inclusion of an on-camera zoom lever also suits one-handed shooting from difficult angles, and self-portraiture, due to its textured anti-slip design and pronounced profile. Also featured in the design of the NEX-3N is a built-in pop-up flash that has a guide no. of 13.1’ at ISO 100. The flash features a manipulable, spring-loaded design that allows you to pull it back from its popped-up position to enable bouncing the light for more control of your image.

The NEX-3N digital camera comes with the recently announced 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 Retractable Zoom Lens, which provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 24-75mm to cover a perspective range from wide angle to telephoto. This lens has a compact design that works especially well with the equally small camera body. It features integrated Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to help reduce the appearance of camera shake, up to the equivalent of four shutter-speed steps. One ED and four aspherical lens elements work to reduce chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range while contributing to an overall sharper and clearer image.

Camera Type Interchangeable lens mirrorless digital camera
Lens Mount Sony E-mount
Image Sensor Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor (APS-C size, 23.5 x 15.6mm)
Processor BIONZ image processor
Anti-Dust Mechanism Charge protection coating on Low-Pass Filter and electromagnetic
vibration mechanism
Actual Pixels 16.5MP
Effective Pixels 16.1MP
Color Filter System RGB primary color filters
Color Spaces sRGB standard (with sYCC gamut) and Adobe RGB standard
(compatible with TRILUMINOS Color)
Media Type Memory Stick PRO Duo, Pro-HG Duo, SD, SDHC, SDXC memory cards
Still Image Mode JPEG (Standard, Fine, Extra Fine), RAW, RAW+JPEG
Still Image File Format JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver.2.3, MPF Baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format), 3D MPO (MPF Extended compliant)
Still Image Size 3:2
16MP: 4912 x 3264
8.4MP: 3568 x 2368
4MP: 2448 x 1624
16:9
14MP: 4912 x 2760
7.1MP: 3568 x 2000
3.4MP: 2448 x 1376
Panoramic
23MP: 12416 x 1856 (horizontal wide)
15MP: 8192 x 1856 (horizontal standard)
12MP: 2160 x 5536 (vertical wide)
8.4MP: 2160 x 3872 (vertical standard)
Video Format AVCHD / MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC (H.264))
Video Size AVCHD
FX: 1920 x 1080/60i or 24p at 24 Mbps
FH: 1920 x 1080/60i or 24p at 17 Mbps
MP4
HD: 1440 x 1080/30p at 12 Mbps
VGA: 640 x 480/30p at 3 Mbps
Video Signal NTSC color, EIA standards
Audio Format Dolby Digital (AC-3), MPEG-4 AAC-LC, 2ch
Microphone Built-in stereo microphone
LCD Monitor Type 3.0" 460.8k-dot TFT LCD, 100% coverage
LCD Angle Adjustment Tilt up 180°; tilt down 13°
LCD Brightness Control Auto, Manual (5 steps: +/- 2)
Focus System Contrast-detection AF
Focus Points 25 points
AF Modes Single-shot AF(AF-S), Continuous AF(AF-C), Autofocus, Direct Manual Focus (DMF), Manual Focus
Focus Area Multi point (25 points), Center-weighted, Flexible spot
Focus Sensitivity 0 to +20 EV (at ISO 100 with f/2.8 lens)
AF Illuminator Built-in LED, approx. 1-9.8' / 0.3-3 m range
Exposure Metering Advanced 1200-zone evaluative metering
Exposure Metering Modes Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Metering Sensitivity 0 to +20 EV (at ISO 100 with f/2.8 lens)
Exposure Compensation Still: +/- 3 EV in 1/3 steps
Movies: +/-2 EV in 1/3 steps
Exposure Settings iAUTO, Superior Auto, Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M), Sweep Panorama, Scene Selection
Scene Modes Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night View, Handheld Twilight, Anti Motion Blur
Picture Effects Posterization (Color, B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R,G,B,Y), High Contrast Mono, Toy Camera, Soft High-key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Mono, Miniature
Creative Style Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Black & White (Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness (all +/- 3 steps))
Exposure Bracketing 1/3 or 1/2  EV increments for 3 frames
Sensitivity Still: Auto, ISO 100-16000
Movies: Auto, ISO 100-3200
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Color temperature range (2500-9900K with 15-step magenta/green compensation), Custom
Burst Buffer JPEG (Standard, Fine): 9 shots
RAW: 5 shots
RAW+JPEG: 4 shots
Continuous Shooting Speed Continuous mode: 2.5 fps
Speed Priority Continuous mode: 4 fps
Drive Mode Single-shot, Continuous, Speed Priority Continuous, Self-timer (10 or 2 sec. delay), Self-timer (Cont.), Bracketing
Shutter Speed Range 30 to 1/4000 sec., bulb
Shutter Type Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter
Flash Type Built-in pop-up auto
Flash Guide Number 13.1' / 4 m at ISO 100
Flash Recycling Time Approx. 3 sec.
Flash Coverage Up to 16mm focal length lens
Flash Metering System Pre-flash TTL
Flash Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 steps
Flash Bracketing +/- 2 EV
Flash Modes Flash off, Auto flash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction
Interface USB 2.0, HDMI mini type C
Tripod Socket 1/4"-20
Power Source InfoLITHIUM NP-FW50 (7.2V, 1020mAh) rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Battery Life Approx. 480 images with LCD monitor (CIPA standard)
Dimensions 4.3 x 2.4 x 1.4" / 109.9 x 62 x 34.6mm
Weight 7.4 oz / 210 g

Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses

Complementing the new NEX-3N are a couple of newly released Alpha E-mount lenses, including a normal-length prime lens and a wide-angle-to-telephoto zoom lens.

20mm f/2.8 Wide-Angle Lens

The 20mm f/2.8 Wide-Angle Lens is a prime, wide-angle lens that provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 30mm when working with an NEX camera. This lens features a highly compact, pancake-like design that is well suited to the compact form factor of the NEX cameras themselves. Three aspherical elements are integrated into the lens construction to provide a reduction in chromatic aberration while also contributing to overall image sharpness and clarity. The lens barrel is constructed from aluminum alloy, which is inlaid into a molded-plastic component, to provide a camera body that is durable and rigid while still remaining lightweight.

18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens

Significantly larger than the 20mm f/2.8 wide-angle lens, the 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens is an expansive wide-angle-to-telephoto zoom that possesses a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 27-300mm. Built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization benefits this extended focal length range by compensating for the equivalent of four shutter speed steps of camera shake and reducing the appearance of blur in imagery. Also helping to improve overall image quality is the inclusion of five aspherical surfaces to help minimize chromatic aberrations and distortions through the zoom range, which also work to improve image contrast and clarity. The optical design is housed in an aluminum alloy lens barrel for durability and enhanced tactility.

A powered zoom function provides refined control over the zoom performance; constant, controllable zoom speeds are possible, and a built-in zoom lever on the lens is available if the camera does not feature built-in zoom control. An internal linear focusing motor is also incorporated into the lens’s design to provide quick, quiet and smooth focusing that is well suited to video applications.

Sony Cyber-shot Digital Cameras

In addition to the two interchangeable-lens cameras Sony has announced, they are also introducing three new models to their Cyber-shot point-and-shoot series.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

The Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 is a bridge-style point-and-shoot camera that features an incredibly long 50x optical zoom Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens to provide a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-1200mm. This reach can be effectively doubled to 100x magnification through the use of Clear Image Digital Zoom, which uses an intelligent interpolation process to provide high quality up-sampling of imagery for clear results. Optical SteadyShot image stabilization is integrated into the design and features Active 3-Way stabilization to aid in reducing the effects of camera shake when shooting at great magnifications and in low-light conditions.

The 20.4 megapixel 1/2.3” Exmor R CMOS image sensor works in connection with the BIONZ image processor to produce high resolution, well-detailed imagery with a high expandable sensitivity to ISO 12800. Together, the sensor and processor increase speed throughout the system, giving way to a full-resolution continuous shooting rate of 10 fps and full HD 1080p video capabilities at 60 fps in the AVCHD version 2.0 format. Direct playback output to an HDTV via HDMI is possible, as is recording still imagery during movie recording. Additionally, a large 3.0” 921k-dot Xtra Fine LCD monitor is available for reviewing images as well as live view monitoring. The monitor also features a tiltable design to aid in working from high and low angles.

In addition to standard shooting modes, the HX300 also features an array of shooting modes to enhance the visual quality of both stills and movies. Enhanced Superior Auto intelligently analyzes visual conditions and applies exposure settings to render subject matter clearly and accurately, even when working with moving subjects. As with the aforementioned cameras, Anti-Motion Blur and Handheld Twilight modes are available to effectively increase the usable sensitivity range and create images that exhibit minimal noise and maximum sharpness. Advanced Flash Mode helps to make more effective use of the built-in pop-up flash by balancing the ambient exposure with the flash exposure to produce more even illumination across the entire scene.

For creative enhancement of imagery, nine different Picture Effects are available, including partial color modes and a watercolor effect. Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode is available to produce wide-spanning 360° panoramas in-camera. When working in this mode you simply hold down the shutter button and pan across the scene; the camera automatically stitches individual images together into a single seamless panoramic composite.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX30

Designed to be a companion throughout any adventure, the Cyber-shot DSC-TX30, available in black, orange and pink, features a compact, rugged design that can withstand most conditions while still taking great pictures. The 18.2 megapixel 1/2.3” Exmor R CMOS produces both high quality still images and full HD 1080i video at 60 fps in the AVCHD version 2.0 format. Dual recording of videos and stills is possible, as is the ability to directly connect the TX30 to an HDTV for playback via the HDMI connection. When working in low-light conditions, an expandable sensitivity to ISO 12800 is available, as well as Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to help reduce the effects of camera shake and produce sharper imagery with reduced noise levels.

The built-in 5x optical zoom Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 26-130mm and Clear Image digital zoom technology can be employed to double this range to 10x with minimal image degradation. For close-up shooting, the Magnifying Glass Plus mode enables focusing as close as just 1 cm away, and built-in LED light provides additional illumination to nearby subjects to help balance harsh shadows.

The design of the TX30 incorporates a large, bright 3.3” 1,229k-dot OLED touch screen for image monitoring, playback, review and intuitive menu navigation. Additionally, the overall build of the camera incorporates water, dust, shock, and freeze-proofing reinforcements to help protect it during use in harsh elements.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX300

The Cyber-shot DSC-WX300, which is available in black, red and white, is a highly compact point-and-shoot camera that contains an expansive 20x optical zoom Sony G lens to provide a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 25-500mm. As with the other two Cyber-shots, this zoom range can be doubled through the use of Clear Image digital zoom to provide an effective maximum focal length of 1,000mm for a great deal of reach when photographing distant subjects.

The 18.2 megapixel 1/2.3” Exmor R CMOS sensor produces rich, sharp photographs, and also works to deliver an expandable sensitivity to ISO 12800 for working in low light. Integrated Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode also helps in dimly lit situations, as well as when using longer zoom magnifications, by minimizing the appearance of camera shake for sharper-looking photos. Full HD 1080i video recording is supported at 60 fps in the AVCHD version 2.0 format.

The DSC-WX300 excels in its ability to instantly share images and video through the aid of built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. In collaboration with Sony’s PlayMemories app, you can transfer images directly from the camera to an iOS or Android mobile device for sharing to social networking and image hosting sites. This connectivity also allows you to back up images and videos wirelessly to a PC, or display them on a compatible wireless television.

  Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX300 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX30
Image Sensor 1/2.3" Exmor R
CMOS sensor
1/2.3" Exmor R
CMOS sensor
1/2.3" Exmor R
CMOS sensor
Total Pixels 21.1MP 21.1MP 18.9MP
Effective Pixels 20.4MP 18.2MP 18.2MP
Color Filter System RGB primary color filters RGB primary color filters RGB primary color filters
Media Type Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, SD, SDHC Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, SD, SDHC Memory Stick Micro, Memory Stick Micro Mark 2, microSD, microSDHC
Still Image Sizes 4:3
20MP: 5184 x 3888
10MP: 3648 x 2736
5MP: 2592 x 1944
VGA: 640 x 480
16:9
15MP: 5184 x 2920
2MP: 1920 x 1080
Panoramic
360: 11520 x 1080
HR: 10480 x 4096
Wide Horizontal: 7152 x 1080
Wide Vertical: 4912 x 1920
Standard Horizontal: 4912 x 1080
Standard Vertical:
3424 x 1920
4:3
18MP: 4896 x 3672
10MP: 3648 x 2736
5MP: 2592 x 1944
VGA: 640 x 480
16:9
13MP: 4896 x 2752
2MP: 1920 x 1080
Panoramic
360: 11520 x 1080
HR: 10480 x 4096
Wide Horizontal: 7152 x 1080
Wide Vertical: 4912 x 1920
Standard Horizontal: 4912 x 1080
Standard Vertical:
3424 x 1920
4:3
18MP: 4896 x 3672
10MP: 3648 x 2736
5MP: 2592 x 1944
VGA: 640 x 480
16:9
13MP: 4896 x 2752
2MP: 1920 x 1080
Panoramic
360: 11520 x 1080
HR: 10480 x 4096
Wide Horizontal: 7152 x 1080
Wide Vertical: 4912 x 1920
Standard Horizontal: 4912 x 1080
Standard Vertical:
3424 x 1920
Video Format AVCHD v2.0/MP4 AVCHD v2.0/MP4 AVCHD v2.0/MP4
Video Mode AVCHD
FX: 1920 x 1080/60p (28, 24Mbps)
FH: 1920 x 1080/60p (17Mbps)
HQ: 1440 x 1080/60i (9Mbps)
MP4
1440 x 1080/30p (12Mbps)
1280 x 720/30p (6Mbps)
640 x 480/30p (3Mbps)
AVCHD
FX: 1920 x 1080/60i (24Mbps)
FH: 1920 x 1080/60i (17Mbps)
HQ: 1440 x 1080/60i (9Mbps)
MP4
1440 x 1080/30p (12Mbps)
1280 x 720/30p (6Mbps)
640 x 480/30p (3Mbps)
AVCHD
FX: 1920 x 1080/60i (24Mbps)
FH: 1920 x 1080/60i (17Mbps)
HQ: 1440 x 1080/60i (9Mbps)
MP4
1440 x 1080/30p (12Mbps)
1280 x 720/30p (6Mbps)
640 x 480/30p (3Mbps)
Audio Format AC3 (stereo) AC3 (stereo) AC3 (stereo)
Microphone/Speaker Stereo/mono Stereo/mono Stereo/mono
Lens Type Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T*, 50x optical
zoom lens
Sony G 20x optical zoom lens Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar 5x optical zoom lens
Focal Length (35mm Equivalent) 4.3-215mm (24-1200mm) 4.3-86mm (25-500mm) 4.7-23.5mm (26-130mm)
Maximum Aperture f/2.8-6.3 f/3.5-6.5 f/3.5-4.8
Lens Construction 15 elements in 10 groups (with 1 superED, 2 ED, and 3 aspherical elements) 11 elements in 10 groups (with 5 aspherical elements) 12 elements in 10 groups (with 1 prism and 6 aspherical elements)
Minimum Focus Distance W: 0.4” / 1cm to infinity; T: 7.9’ / 2.4m to infinity W: 2” / 5cm to infinity; T: 6.6’ / 2m to infinity iAuto
W: 1.2” / 3cm to infinity; T: 2’ / 60cm to infinity
Program Auto
W: 3.1” / 8cm to infinity; T: 2’ / 60cm to infinity
Magnifying Glass Plus AF
0.4-7.9” / 1-20cm
Monitor Type 3.0" 921k-dot tilting XtraFine LCD 3.0" 460k-dot ClearPhoto LCD 3.3" 1,229k-dot XtraFine OLED
AF Modes Multi Point AF, Center-Weighted AF, Spot AF, Flexible Spot AF, Manual, Face Tracking Multi Point AF, Center-Weighted AF, Spot AF, Tracking Focus, Face Tracking Multi Point AF, Center-Weighted AF, SpotAF, Flexible Spot AF, Flexible Spot AF
(Tracking Focus), Flexible Spot AF (Face Tracking Focus)
Metering Modes Multi Pattern, Center-Weighted, Spot Multi Pattern, Center-Weighted, Spot Multi Pattern, Center-Weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 steps +/- 2 EV in 1/3 steps +/- 2 EV in 1/3 steps
Scene Modes High Sensitivity, Soft snap, Soft Skin, Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Scene,
Handheld Twilight, Gourmet, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Pet mode, Anti-motion
blur/Backlight Correction HDR, Advanced Sports Shooting
High Sensitivity, Soft snap, Soft Skin, Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Handheld Twilight, Gourmet, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Pet mode, Anti-motion blur/Backlight Correction HDR High Sensitivity, Soft snap, Soft Skin, Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Scene,
Handheld Twilight, Gourmet, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Pet mode, Anti-motion
blur/Backlight Correction HDR, Underwater, High speed shutter
Sensitivity Auto, ISO 80-3200 (expandable to ISO 12800) Auto, ISO 80-3200 (expandable to ISO 12800) Auto, ISO 80-3200 (expandable to ISO 12800)
White Balance Modes Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent 1 (White Fluorescent Lighting), Fluorescent
2 (Natural White Fluorescent Lighting), Fluorescent 3 (Day White Fluorescent
Lighting), Incandescent, Flash, One Push/One Push Set, White Balance Shift
Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent 1 (White Fluorescent Lighting), Fluorescent
2 (Natural White Fluorescent Lighting), Fluorescent 3 (Day White Fluorescent
Lighting), Incandescent, Flash, One Push/One Push Set
Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent 1 (White Fluorescent Lighting), Fluorescent
2 (Natural White Fluorescent Lighting), Fluorescent 3 (Day White Fluorescent
Lighting), Incandescent, Flash, One Push/One Push Set
Self-Timer 10 or 2 sec. delay 10 or 2 sec. delay 10 or 2 sec. delay
Shutter Speed Range 30 to 1/4000 sec.  4 to 1/1600 sec. 4 to 1/1600 sec.
Burst Mode Up to 10fps at 20.4MP for 10 frames Up to 10fps at 18.2MP for 10 frames Up to 10fps at 18.2MP for 10 frames
Flash Modes Auto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Rear Slow Synchro, Flash Off, Advanced Flash, Red-Eye Reduction Auto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Flash Off, Advanced Flash, Red-Eye Reduction Auto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Flash Off, Advanced Flash, Red-Eye Reduction
Flash Coverage ISO Auto:
W: 1.6-27.9’ / 0.5-8.5m; T: 7.9-11.5’ / 2.4-3.5m
ISO 3200:
W: Up to 39.4’ / 12m; T: Up to 16.7’ / 5.1m
ISO Auto:
W: 0.7-14.1’ / 0.2-4.3m; T: 6.6-7.9’ / 2-2.4m
ISO 3200:
W: Up to 20’ / 6.1m; T: Up to 11.2’ / 3.4m
ISO Auto:
W: 3.1"-10.8’ / 0.08-3.3m; T: 2-7.9’ / 0.6-2.4m
ISO 3200:
W: Up to 15.4’ / 4.7m; T: Up to 11.2’ / 3.4m
Image Stabilization Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with 3-way Active Mode Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode
Interface Micro HDMI, USB 2.0 Micro HDMI, USB 2.0 Micro HDMI, USB 2.0
Power Source NP-BX1 rechargeable lithium-ion battery (3.6V, 1240mAh) NP-BX1 rechargeable lithium-ion battery (3.6V, 1240mAh) NP-BN rechargeable lithium-ion battery (3.6V, 630mAh)
Power Consumption Approx. 1.3W Approx. 1.0W Approx. 1.0W
Power Requirements AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz, 70mA AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz, 70mA AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz, 70mA
Dimensions 5.1 x 3.7 x 4.1" / 129.6 x 93.2 x 103.2mm 3.8 x 2.2 x 1" / 96 x 54.9 x 25mm 3.8 x 2.3 x 0.6" / 96.4 x 59.3 x 15.4mm
Weight 1.4lb / 650g 5.9oz / 166g 4.9oz / 140g

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Sony releases a new 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS Alpha E-mount Lens at the hefty price of $1, 198.00 and it does not even include a shade hood...How cheap and greedy can you get!?

What's the point of releasing a nice camera like the NEX-3N with a dog-slow 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens? All the camera makers are doing the same thing with their kit lenses, but that doesn't make it any less absurd. It's a good thing that the low-light performance of sensors is increasing! Otherwise, these ridiculous kit lenses would be completely worthless for low-light shooting. A 28-85 f/3.5-5.6 lens might have been acceptable 30-40 years ago, but today it's a dinosaur that—unbelievably—we're still stuck with. And this is the lens that the vast majority of low-end DSLR and mirrorless camera buyers are getting with their state-of-the-art cameras. It's really a shame that camera makers are emasculating these amazing photographic tools by bundling them with such inadequate lenses. Yes, buyers are free to equip their cameras with a wide array of faster lenses, but then the cameras are far less affordable—in fact, out of reach for many buyers.