There were high hopes that Sony might share more details about the long anticipated A700 replacement at the Focus on Imaging Expo in England this week. Sony was there, and they produced a clear transparent mockup of the new A-mount camera, but apparently no new details emerged.
This much is known, or at least thought to be factual based on things Sony has said in various interviews.
- The A700 replacement will be a translucent-mirror camera a la the A33 and A55
- It will have an electronic viewfinder with far higher-performance than the A55
- It will use an APS-C sensor, most likely of a backlit Exmor type
- It will offer HD-Video capability
- Sony has indicated it will ship this year
Beyond that, everything is still rumor and speculation. Various people have started referring to the camera as the A77 or the A800, but AFAIK, Sony has not committed to a model designation as yet.
Sony hasn’t even promised that the clear mockup represents the final body shell for the camera. Obviously, the actual camera will not be transparent, but Sony could still tweak the final configuration of the body shell. The mockup continues the latest Sony fashion of placing the on/off switch in a ring around the shutter release button. There appears to be a PC sync port, although unlike the current A700, the port is nearly at the bottom of the camera. The grip looks promising, and includes the sense-switch functionality. The rear LCD looks large, and it appears it may be hinged to swing like other recent Sony dSLRs..
So when we we see more on this new wonder camera? No guarantees, but the CliQ trade show (formerly known a the PMA show) is scheduled for September 6-11 this year. Since that is probably the latest Sony could introduce a new camera and hope to get on dealer shelves in time for Christmas, my guess is all our questions will be answered at CliQ.
In the meantime, if you want to see photos of the mockup, the following sites have photos from the show:
ePhotoZine: Hands on with the Sony Alpha A700 Replacement
Pocket-Lint: Sony see-through SLT alpha camera concept hands-on