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Sony leaves DSLR cameras in the rear-view mirror

Sony is no longer making traditional DSLR cameras and will focus exclusively on ‘mirrorless’ designs from now on.

The firm has phased out the last-remaining full-frame Alpha-series cameras, including the A68, A99 II and A77 II, removing them from the official website. Retailers are also listing the models as ‘no longer available’ (via SonyAlphaRumors). Trusted Reviews has contacted the company seeking comment on the matter.

Although Sony hasn’t officially stated it is leaving A-Mount DSLRs behind, it doesn’t really have to. It hasn’t released one in five years – since the A99 II arrived in 2016. That £3,000 42.4-megapixel full-frame sensor offered 4K video and earned a four-star review from our testers, but it won’t get a sequel now.

Back in 2017, Sony had pledged to develop more A-Mount cameras and lenses, but that hasn’t played out in practice, save for an adaptor that enabled A-Mount lenses to be used with E-Mount bodies.

Sony of course played a big role in bringing mirrorless cameras into the mainstream, which promised full resolution lenses without the need for a giant body to house the sensor. Sony’s NEX range was hugely instrumental in the transition to mirrorless cameras, alongside the Olympus PEN range and the Panasonic Lumix mirrorless devices. Today the Sony A1 leads the way for Sony in the post-DSLR era.

The new A1 announced in January promises 50-megapixel images in 30fps bursts. The new £6,500 flagship camera arrived in Europe in March and bringing some breakthrough features that could shake-up the digital camera world and could merit a spot among the best cameras of 2021.

For example, the new Sony A1 can shoot 50.1-megapixel images with continuous shooting at 30-frames-per-second. That’s pretty nifty. If you’ve enabled auto-focus and auto exposure and you’re using the “silent and vibration free” electronic shutter, this beast can capture 155 full-frame compressed RAW images, blackout free, before the buffer kicks in.

Sony says the camera is powered by a new back-illuminated Exmoor RS image sensor that also supports 8K video, as well as 4K video at up to 120-frames-per-second. Users will be limited to 30-minutes of filming in 8K or 4K (60fps) though.

Whether you want a DSLR, a mirrorless or a compact snapper, here’s our roundup of the best cameras for photography in 2021.

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