April 22, 2021

Alphatracks

Sony and Minolta SLR Weblog

The Sony Alpha A450: Where does it fit in Sony's line up?

The new A450 takes the highly regarded A550, ditches the Quick Live View and the tilt-out LCD but maintains the fast 7fps burst mode. In addition, Sony claims the NPH500 battery should give users over a 1000 pictures on a single charge.
New Sony A450 will join the Alpha fleet in February.
New Sony A450 will join the Alpha fleet in February.

Remember the time when some people said Sony wasn’t serious about the dSLR market because it took the company 18 months to release another camera after the initial A100 came on scene? Now we know what the Sony Engineers were doing during those 18 months; they were busy creating cameras to fit every conceivable dSLR niche. Not content with the six (or was it seven?) new Alpha models introduced in 2009, Sony is starting off 2010 with another entry in the crowded low-end of the market.

Introducing the new A450

The new entry, dubbed the A450, takes the highly regarded A550, ditches the Quick Live View and the tilt-out LCD but maintains the fast 7fps burst mode. In addition, Sony claims the NPH500 battery should give users over a 1000 pictures on a single charge.

The is also an auto HDR mode, and naturally the camera includes the popular Stay Shot image stabilization feature. Another new feature is the Manual Focus Check Live View, which can preview the image at 7x or 14x image previews.

A significant new dSLR

Some people have already started dismissing the new entry, since it lacks some of the more compelling features of the A550 and does not offer video. If Sony prices this A450 right, however, I think it will be a very significant entry in Sony’s dSLR arsenal.

Control layout of the A450 is similar to the A500 and A550.
Control layout of the A450 is similar to the A500 and A550.

Fist, as I already said, Sony’s selection of lower end dSLRs is getting quite crowded. I think Sony might start weeding out some of the A230, A330 and A30 models once the A450 is on the scene. The A450 can’t replace all of those models by itself, obviously. But since it is less full featured than the A550, Sony will have price the A450 much lower to make it attractive.

The 12mp A500 lists for $749, while the 14mp A550 is priced at $949. So where will the A450 come in?

There isn’t much room between the A380 and the A500 for the A450 to play in. If the A450 drops below the price of the A380, then buyers will have an interesting decision to make. Grab the A380 with the tilt-out Live View or go for the A450 with its 7fps shooting speed and nearly twice the battery life.

If Sony prices the A450  higher than the A500, the new camera might be hurt by the A500. Price the A450 under the A500 and you might just kill sales of the A500.

Sony hasn’t officially announced the A450 at this point, but the Sony press release is all over the internet. It is expected that the official announcement will come at the CES show this week. While the release doesn’t indicate a price, it does say the camera will be available in February, 2010.

You’ll find the Sony Global Alpha A450 presentation here. Sony has also made available a detailed A450 Spec Sheet in PDF format.

I’ll have more on the A450 as details emerge.