Sony yesterday formally announced three new models for its Alpha digital SLR camera range, as well as a handful of new lenses and other accessories.
The three new APS-C cameras will comprise the bottom end of Sony's DSLR range, replacing existing models the Alpha α200, A300 and A350. All three new cameras share the same newly revised body design as well as most of their main features, differing primarily in sensor resolution and monitor type.
The entry-level model is the A230, featuring a 10.2-megapixel sensor and 2.7-inch fixed monitor. The A330 is in the middle with a 10.2MP sensor and 2.7-inch tilting monitor, while the A380 features a 14.2MP sensor and 2.7-inch tilting monitor. Both the A330 and A380 feature Quick AF Live View.
All three cameras feature a newly simplified control layout, with fewer buttons but more scene modes and graphical menu interfaces, including a rather neat-looking screen that helps users understand and visualise the relationship between shutter speed and aperture, which sounds like a pretty good idea for an entry-level camera as long as it doesn't handicap more experienced users.
Other common features include Sony's SteadyShot sensor-shift image stabilisation system, 2.5fps continuous shooting, improved D-Range Optimiser and HDMI connection with Sony Bravia TV synchronisation, so you can plug the camera into a Sony Bravia HDTV and control a slideshow of images using the TV remote control, which is probably pretty nifty if you happen to have a Sony Bravia TV.
The body-only pricing for the new models reportedly has the A230 going for £530, the A330 at £610 and the A380 at an unconfirmed £720. Kit prices are yet to be confirmed, and knowing Sony you can probably expect some retailers to have some heavy discounts on those prices.