Sony's Alpha DSLR-A900 SLR Digital Camera (Body Only), their first "full frame" model, has alerted the industry and consumers in the DSLR world that they're in the digital SLR camera business for the long haul.
The DSLR-A900 starts with a 24 x 35.9mm size CMOS sensor developed especially for this camera. Though that imaging canvas is utterly packed with pixels, the pixels themselves dominate the landscape of the image receiving area, instead of the elements of image sensors which are necessary but not actually collecting the image. Indeed, the A900's pixels are larger than the fine consumer-grade Alpha 700, despite having twice as many pixels.
On the physical side of things, the Alpha's designed for professional use: all operations are weather-sealed, its high-performance shutter's tested to 100,000 cycles, and its viewfinder (the forgotten critical SLR element in the age of squinty APS-C size viewfinder dominance) is as good as they come. Despite these claims, together with batteries and a memory card it tips the scales at ~2 lbs (900g), a good competitive number especially considering the enjoyable view.
Beyond physical elements, the DSLR-A900's got plenty of brains. To speed up throughput for pro sports and action use, Sony's employed dual "Bionz" image processors. Its two analog-to-digital engines swallow large chunks of information, shoving up to ~5 frames per second into a fast memory card-quite bold capacity considering those big RAW files.
With its image quality, handling ease, robust construction, and brilliant viewfinder, the DSLR-A900 should prove a serious tool for professionals and advanced consumers. The benefits of 'full frame' are plentiful; better dynamic range, more natural skin rendition, a cushy viewing experience and superior capacity to blur backgrounds. Super wide angle zooms start at focal lengths more befitting professional instruments, and are awash upon the secondhand market.