July 21, 2022


Sony and Minolta SLR Weblog

A300 and A350: Sony Alpha line gains two more dSLRs

Another week, a couple more new Sony Alpha dSLRs…

Sony has officially announced two new dSLRs, both featuring Sony’s new Quick AF Live View system. This brings the Sony dSLR model lineup to five, provided you include the original A100, which is no longer in production but still available in many outlets.

Only about four months ago, the A100 was Sony’s only dSLR and had been for eighteen months. To many observers, it seemed Sony had lost their direction and might even abandon the dSLR market.

New tilt live view

Tilting live view LCD appears on new Alpha dSLRs.

Sony has effectively shut down the naysayers by releasing the A700 in September of 2007, then unleashing the A200, A300 and A350 in January 2008.

The A200 was announced at the CES show, and only a few weeks later, Sony sends word that the A300 and A350 will ship in March and April.

The A300 specs seem similar to the A200 with the same 10.2mp sensor. The A350 ups the ante with a new 14.2mp CCD sensor.

The feature that sets the two “main-stream” dSLRs apart is the Live View system. The tilt out 2.7” LCD panel allows the user to compose and shoot from a variety of angles. The Quick View system uses a second sensor to continuously monitor the scene:

Here is what the Sony press release has to say:

Sony’s innovative Pentamirror Tilt mechanism directs light to a dedicated live view image sensor, enabling fast and responsive TTL phase-detection auto-focusing, even during live view.

Eliminating the focus delay of other systems, the new models are equally responsive whether using live view or optical viewfinder.

With its two sensor design, Quick AF Live View can even continuously focus-track the subject and provide live view during burst shooting, helping you capture that special moment.

Although I am not particularly interested in Live View, on paper it appears the Sony system is one of the best implementations of Live View yet.

14.2mp logo on new Alpha A350

Alpha 350 boasts 14.2mp (CCD).

The DSLR-A300 kit with a DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens will ship in April for about $800. The DSLR-A350 camera body will be available in March for about $800, and the DSLR-A350 kit with a DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 3.9x zoom lens will be available for about $900 at the same time.

After an incredible drought, A-mount shooters suddenly have wide selection of dSLRs to choose from. And yesterday’s huge announcement of the 24mp full-frame sensor is a reminder that the A900/flagship model is yet to come.

All of a sudden, it is a great time to be an Alpha Mount shooter!