Sony announced in April that it was discontinuing production of its a33 DSLR camera, citing no reason – though reports of an overheating sensor were rumoured to be the cause. However, Sony has wasted little time in producing a replacement, in the shape of the 16.2 megapixel a35.
The a35, or SLT-A35 to give it it’s unwieldy official name, continues to use the proprietary Translucent Mirror Technology we first saw in the a33 and a55. This technology, in case you didn’t know, divides the optical pathway between the image sensor and the phase-detection auto-focus sensor – which among other benefits helps reduce the size of the camera. Speaking of which, the a35 weighs in at 415g body-only which is a reduction on both previous models. The 16.2 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor is the same one we’ve seen in the new NEX-C3 but something we’ve not seen before is Tele-zoom High Speed Shooting. As well as simply sounding pretty cool, this feature magnifies a central portion of the image area to give an effective 1.4x magnification (approx.) while you shoot at up to 7 fps, making it ideal for sports or distant subjects with a high-speed burst of frames.
The a35 continues to use an electronic viewfinder which will again put some people off, but it also adds Sony’s Translucent Mirror live-view mode which displays a real-time output from the main image sensor during still or Full HD video shooting. Controls have also been tweaked and more advanced snappers will be happy to see the top panel-mounted customisable button that allows instant recall of any of 14 frequently used functions. Also added is Picture Effect mode we saw in the NEX-C3, as well as Partial Colour which allows you to instantly create those funky single-colour-on-monochrome-background shots. The a35 is compatible with all 32 A-mount lenses and the battery promises to keep going through 440 still images – a 30 percent improvement on its predecessor.
The new a35 will be available in the UK this August but no pricing have been confirmed yet. In the US, the a35 will ship with a 18-55mm kit lens for $700 or without the kit lens for around $600.