Unveiled: New Sony Alpha, Point-and-Shoot Digital Cameras, and a New Lens


Sony has announced the next member of their impressive lineup of Alpha E-mount APS-C format mirrorless cameras: the Alpha A5000 Mirrorless Digital Camera. Additionally, they have brought forth a new zoom lens for E-mount APS-C mount cameras, the Sony E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS Lens and a new, slim compact zoom, the DSC-W830 Digital Camera.

The Alpha A5000 is Sony’s smallest and lightest mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera to date, and houses a 20.1MP Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and the BIONZ X processing engine for richly detailed images and fast autofocus and performance speeds. In Speed Priority mode, continuous full-resolution RAW shots can be made at up to 3.5 fps. The A5000 also supports full HD 1080i/p video recording in both AVCHD and MP4 formats. In AVCHD, the camera can produce Blu-ray-quality movies in either 60 or 24 fps. In the MP4 format, it records movies at 30 fps and a built-in stereo microphone records audio.

For live view monitoring and playback, the camera features a 3.0” TFT LCD monitor that can tilt up to 180° for low-angle shooting and front-facing self-portraits. Auto and manual brightness control on the LCD keep your image visible in both dim light and direct sunlight and focus peaking, histogram, and grid display are supported. The camera body also provides a convenient zoom lever for smooth zooming and easy one-handed camera operation. A built-in pop-up flash is available when extra light is needed, but with an ISO range of 100-16000, low-light scenarios will normally result in clear, blur-free shots. In addition, Anti-Motion Blur mode and Hand-held Twilight mode both enable the combination of 6 continuous shots into one image that minimizes blur and retains details in low-light situations.

The A5000 provides full manual and auto exposure based on an advanced 1,200-zone evaluative metering system; shutter speeds range from 1/4000 to 30 seconds and bulb exposure is supported as well. Numerous assistive features, such as Face Detection, Smile Shutter, and Superior Auto mode make it easy to capture difficult shots and creative modes let you add artistic touches to your shots, including Picture Effects mode, which enables real-time viewing of your images with the creative effect applied. Intelligent Auto Object Framing with Tracking Focus not only keeps your image in focus as it crosses the frame, but can automatically crop your images for the most pleasing composition, based upon your subjects.

Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity allows for instant transfer of photos and videos to your compatible computer and smart devices and NFC (Near Field Communication) works with Android devices for simple touch connection. With the free download of the Sony PlayMemories App, transfer to smartphones, tablets, and directly to select social media sites is easy. You can also use your smart device as a remote control for the A5000. For in-camera image storage, the A5000 is compatible with Memory Stick PRO Duo and Pro-HG Duo media as well as SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards.

To provide a complete system, Sony has produced three kits with the A5000 and the 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount lens. The kit is available in black, silver, or white, with the white body including a silver lens. The 16-50mm lens is retractable, so when the camera is powered down it measures just 1.2” and combined with the very compact A5000, you have a high-resolution interchangeable-lens camera that can fit in your pocket. The 35mm focal length equivalent of this lens is 24-75mm, which provides a versatile focal range from wide-angle to telephoto portrait length. A power zoom and stepping motor provide smooth and quiet autofocus action and built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) image stabilization with 4-stop compensation enables blur-free imaging, even in low light.

Made specifically for the A5000, the handsome Sony LCS-EBB Body Case fits snugly under and around the body of the A5000 and provides protection from impacts and scratches. The case attaches to the camera via a screw into the tripod socket and remains on the camera even when shooting. It utilizes the camera’s shoulder strap. The bottom interior of the case is padded for extra protection and it enables free movement of the camera’s tiltable LCD as well as access to the battery door.

E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS Lens

Sony has also a released another new lens for their E-mount APS-C-format mirrorless cameras, the 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS Lens. It’s a powerful zoom lens with the 35mm focal length equivalence of 82.5-315mm and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to provide four stops of compensation against camera shake. With its long focal lengths, image stabilization, aluminum-alloy barrel, and slim, light design, it is ideal for nature, wildlife, and even sports photography. However, at the short end of its telephoto range it is a perfect portrait lens and the overall slim profile is designed to not create shadows when used with the built-in flash on E-mount cameras. An internal focus system provides responsive and smooth autofocus action, which is quiet enough for HD video recording. Aperture is controlled by an internal stepping motor, which is also smooth and virtually silent. Two extra-low dispersion lens elements and one aspherical element suppress chromatic aberrations and contribute to overall sharp, high-resolution imaging.

DSC-W830 Digital Camera

The Sony DSC-W830 is a stylish, lightweight, easy-to-use point-and-shoot camera that offers some of the same features as its bigger mirrorless and DSLR cousins. Available in black, silver, or pink, the W830 weighs just 4.3 ounces and is less than one inch deep. With a 20.1MP 1/2.3” Super HAD CCD sensor and the BIONZ image processor sharp, high-contrast images are produced with fast response time. Its Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 8x optical zoom lens provides the 35mm focal length equivalence of 25-200mm for wide-angle to telephoto coverage. Optical SteadyShot image stabilization compensates for camera shake to minimize blur and with 2-way Active Mode stabilization, this applies to video as well. Correcting for both horizontal and vertical motion means that movies shot while walking or running are less likely to be shaky. Video is supported in 720p in the MP4 format at 30 fps and optical zoom is available during recording. Audio is recorded with a built-in mono microphone in the convenient MP3 format.

A built-in flash adds light when needed and a 2.7” 230k-dot Clear Photo LCD enhances image monitoring and playback viewing. Numerous assistive features make the W830 a camera with which anyone can take a great photo. Intelligent Auto Mode recognizes scenes, lighting conditions, and faces, and automatically adjusts settings to result in clear images with less blur and faces with natural skin tones. Smile Shutter technology can recognize when your subject smiles and instantly releases the shutter, and Sweep Panorama mode makes it one-push-simple to take a glorious panorama shot. With high-resolution imaging, an easy-to-use interface and an ultra-slim form factor, the W830 is an ideal camera to have with you all the time.