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α SLRs and Bravia projectors

New α series models

Sony’s first digital SLR was announced nearly a year ago and by all accounts it was quite a successful first foray into the arena. So you may be miffed to learn that there is no new model for us to give you any details about. However, Sony did announce two as yet unnamed additions to the α range. The first was described as an improved version of the current A100 model aimed at providing a simple upgrade path for those looking for a bit more performance. The second is a completely new design and is aimed squarely at the upper echelons of photography. The upgrade model is likely to be released towards the end of this year while the brand new model probably won’t see the light of day until next year. I have no more details on either model but I was able to grab a photo of the current works in progress as they sat in their display cabinet.

Bravia AW-series projectors

Two new projectors were announced and briefly demonstrated to us. The VPL-AW10 is the entry-level model and the VPL-AW15 is the slightly bolstered version. Both feature 720p resolution, HDMI connectivity, whisper quiet 20dB operational noise, and 24p True Cinema – great for the home cinema enthusiast. From a distance of 2.3 metres both projectors will give you a screen size of 80in.

The VPL-AW15 includes a high contrast plate which stops light leaking through when the LCD is blacked out so your blacks no longer look grey. It's also helped along by a massive contrast ratio of 12,000:1 (the AW10 is only 6000:1) courtesy of its Advanced Iris 2 technology. Finally, it has a lens shift function that lets you move the picture up to a quarter of its width from side to side and over half its height up or down, giving you improved versatility in placement.

We didn’t get much opportunity to have a look at the two projectors and no specific demonstrations were made to show off their technologies, so we’ll just have to get them in for review. What we were shown that was very interesting, though, was the new projector screen that Sony has developed called DynaClear. It uses a technology that is highly reflective from straight on but absorbs light from other directions. This means any ambient light isn’t reflected by the screen, making it appear black even in a well lit room. However, when light is shone perpendicular to the screen it is highly reflective so your movie is still nice and bright. I think it’s fair to say everyone was more than a bit impressed by this. Just see for yourself.

Sony assured us the screen's pricing would be “competitive”, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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