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Low-end, high-spec DSLR from Sony

June 15, 2011: Sony has announced a new sub-$1000, 16-megapixel DSLR, the SLT-A35 for July release.

The new model uses the same 16.2 megapixel sensor as the SLT-A55 (also used in the Nikon D5100, D7000 and Pentax K-5). It also features Translucent Mirror Technology (TMT) technology, first introduced with the model it replaces, the A33.

Body styling is similar to the A55, although it lacks the latter’s adjustable LCD monitor and built-in GPS receiver. It’s also roughly 30 grams lighter.

Sony has replaced the 10 frames/second burst mode on the A55 with a new Tele-zoom Continuous priority AE mode, which allows a burst of images to be recorded at the top rate of seven frames/second. The edges of each frame are cropped to produce 8.4MP (3568 x 2368 pixels) images. It has also replaced the Creative Style settings with 10 special effects, which are included in the Scene sub-menu. They include Toy Camera, Pop Colour, Posterisation (Colour), Posterisation (B/W), Retro Photo, High-key and Partial Colour, the latter with Red, Green, Blue and Yellow options.

Movie recording options are the same as in the A55 and include Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), captured with the AVCHD format plus 1440 x 1080 pixels, and 640 x 480 pixels recorded with MP4. As in the A55, the A35’s TMT viewing system enables phase-detection AF in movie mode, with focus readjustment while clips are recorded – provided the lens is set at maximum aperture.

Due to go on sale next month, the A35 will be offered as body only for an RRP of $749 or in kit form with a single 18-55mm lens for $949 or twin 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses for $1199. A First Look at a pre-production camera has been posted on the Photo Review website.

A new (Version 2.00) firmware update for SLT-A33 and SLT-A55 cameras will be available free to registered owners of these cameras from June 20. It adds support for the ‘Picture Effect’ function featured on the new A35 plus several additional enhancements for the A55. Ergonomics are further improved with revised menus and a new mode that lets users switch off shooting parameters overlaid on screen for clear, uncluttered composition.

The camera’s Digital Level Gauge can also be displayed when shooting via the optional CLM-V55 external LCD monitor. Frequently used features can now be custom-assigned to the D-RANGE button for rapid, menu-free access.

– Margaret Brown,
Photo Review

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