Photokina Report: Sony Press Conference

Sony-Masashi-Imamura-Senior-Vice-PresidentWe have just stepped out of a very interesting Sony Press Conference here at Photokina 2010. We were given information on the future and a little more insight into the A700 replacement. We were also shown a road map for NEX lenses. For all this and more, click on ‘Continue Reading’

Now that we have wet your appetite here is what we learnt.

Translucent Mirror Technology

This has been a real game changer for Sony and Masashi Imamura, Senior Vice President said as much. In essence he summarized its benefits in these two points.

  1. Revamp Structure of DSLR
  2. Phase-detect AF Always works.

Indeed this technology has allowed the Alpha A55 to be the only camera in its class offering 10fps with continuous autofocus. To quote Mr Imamura-san “The Translucent Mirror Technology has significantly improved Sony’s Alpha cameras”

Alpha A700 Replacement

Sony-A700-Replacements-FeaturesThis brings us to the next point. We received confirmation that the new ‘Advanced Model’ camera – of which there is a mock up we will try show you later on the Sony stand – will use Translucent Mirror Technology. This is an interesting statement as currently the technology only deploys an electronic viewfinder which has not gone down well with the ‘Advanced’ shooters we have shown the A55 to.

We also know that the new Advanced model – which is to be released ‘soon’ (and we hope that is real soon) will utilize a new battery grip. There is also a new flash in the pipeline and the 500mm f/4 G lens.

NEX Updates

In case you are not aware, we are a big fan of the NEX-5 here at PhotoComment and some of the news we got today is very exciting. First of all, there is a new firmware due mid October (mid November for the NEX-VG10) that will allow for Auto Focus with the Alpha Mount adapter when using any Alpha A-Mount lens that has a SSM or SAM motor in it.

The firmware will also allow customization of buttons on the NEX-3/5 allowing quick access to the features in the menu that you may want to change often like ISO, Auto HDR, White Balance. Even more exciting if you shoot video is that Background Defocus (Aperture control in other words) will be available in Video mode as well.

E-Mount Road Map

Sony-NEX-Lens-Road-MapNow for the bigger news, there is an E-Mount Road map out which will see a total of 10 lenses for the NEX system by 2012. I have included a picture I took of that slide in the presentation for you to get an idea. In essence 2011 will see a Macro, Telephoto Zoom, Portrait and Zeiss wide-angle fixed focal length lenses being launched. 2012 will bring us mid range telephoto, wide-angle zoom and a G-series High-performance standard zoom. There is also a new flash coming at some point.

Sony have been blown away by the acceptance of the NEX system which they say is evident in the fact that so many companies are making adapters to fit third party – older lenses (like Leica M lenses). Sony have confirmed that they are in talks with other companies to make more of these adapters though they cannot confirm names yet. They explained that the reason why this is more popular for NEX than the Micro Four Thirds system is because the camera is thinner allowing the adapters to be larger without sacrificing infinity focus.
It was interesting to hear that mirrorless cameras account for 8% of Interchangable Lens camera sales in Europe and that in a very short space of time Sony’s NEX makes up 50% of those units sold.
Well that is about it for today. Due to the travel delays we only got here in time for the press conference. We will play with the new stuff over the next few days and keep you posted.

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