The two more expensive SLR-like cameras, the Sony's a77 and a65, look very similar to traditional SLRs but lack a through-the-lens viewfinder. Instead, Sony has continued developing translucent-mirror technology, which it introduced in the alpha a55 and a33 last summer, and gives these models very fast autofocus capabilities for both still photos and video.
Both new models include a 24-megapixel APS-C sized sensor, which has a lot more pixels than last year's models, and a new OLED viewfinder with XGA resolution (or 3 million dots), which should make it one of the sharpest electronic viewfinders available. This means you can also use the viewfinder to preview photos and enlarge them through the viewfinder. These new models are also the first advanced cameras with APS-C sized sensors (generally found in SLRs), which can capture full HD or 1080-resolution video at 60p.
Here are additional details on the a77:
- 19-point autofocus system
- The ability to fire off 12 frames-per-second bursts
- A specialized swiveling 3-inch LCD
- Stereo microphone
The a65 includes:
- A 15-point AF system
- The ability to fire off 10 frames-per-second bursts,
- A traditional swiveling 3-inch LCD
The Sony NEX-7 includes an XGA OLED viewfinder, which might be the clearest viewfinder on the market.
Sony also announced two new smaller NEX-series cameras, the NEX-5N and the NEX-7, which are successors to the NEX-3 and NEX-5 models from last year. Like the a77 and a65, both can shoot 1080-resolution at 60p and 10 fps burst mode for stills. Both also include additional picture and filter effects and a 3-inch swiveling touch-screen LCD.
The NEX-7 is a new model that’s a step up from the NEX-5 (and the new NEX-5N). It includes the same 24-megapixel sensor as the a-series cameras announced today, plus a built-in XGA OLED viewfinder. It also has a unique navigation system called Tri-Navi operation, which lets you interact with both real and virtual controls (on the touch screen) to set exposure, focus, white balance, and more. The 16-megapixel NEX-5N is a modest upgrade to the NEX-5, with more megapixels and other tweaks. Although it doesn't include the XGA OLED viewfinder, you can purchase one as a separate accessory.
The a77 will ship with a special 16-50mm f/2.8 lens, for $2000, or body-only, for $1400. The a65 will ship with an 18-55mm, for $1000, or body-only, for $900. The NEX-7 will cost $1350 with the 18-55mm lens or $1200 (body only) and the NEX-5N, will cost $700 with the 18-55mm lens.
Sony has also updated its hybrid NEX-VG-series camcorder with the introduction of the 16-megapixel NEX-VG20, which has many of the features and specs found on its predecessor, the NEX-VG10. The NEX-VG20 can capture video at both 1080 at 60p and at 24p (in addition to 60i) and can also capture RAW files. The model is available with the 18-200mm lens for $2200 and body only for $1600.