More creative options are now accessible to more shooters with the α57 camera, the newest addition to Sony's line of A-mount cameras employing Translucent Mirror Technology.
The Translucent Mirror design directs incoming light to the CMOS image sensor and the AF sensor at the same time, allowing full-time continuous AF during both still and video shooting. Users can also frame, focus and preview shots in real-time on the high-resolution Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder, which offers a wide viewing angle and 100% field of view.
A successor to Sony's α55 camera, the α57 is positioned for a wide audience of DSLR users. It can shoot still images at up to 12 frames per second, capture full HD video at 60p, 60i or 24p frame rates and has a variety of modes including Auto Portrait Framing, a world's first technology.
With the α57 camera, shooting speeds of up to 12 frames per second are achieved in new Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode, maintaining continuous auto focus and auto exposure with fixed aperture. Magnifying the central portion of the sensor's image by 1.4x, it's perfect for capturing split-second action close-ups with a burst of sharply focused images, even when the subject is moving. In this shooting mode, aperture is fixed at either f/3.5 or the maximum aperture of lens in use (whichever is smaller) and image size of photos is about 8.4 megapixels.
Support for the AVCHD Ver. 2.0 (Progressive) format means that Full HD resolution movies can be captured with 60p frame rate. Shooting in 24p is also available to give footage a cinematic look. Movie-making options are enhanced further with full control over P/A/S/M shooting modes.
The α57 model shares the α65's 15-point AF system with three cross sensors. Newly enhanced Object Tracking AF keeps faces or other selected objects in sharp focus ? even if a target is obscured momentarily by another passing object.
Using face detection and the compositional 'rule of thirds,' the camera identifies a subject's position, trimming the scene to create framed pictures in portrait or landscape orientation while maintaining a copy of the original image. Saving both the original photo plus the adjusted version allows for easy comparison between the two images, offering photographers inspiration to refine their portrait skills.
To get closer to the subject, 2x Clear Image Zoom digital zoom technology doubles the effective magnification of your lens and is a practical alternative to traveling with a bigger, bulkier telephoto lens. The camera uses Sony's "By Pixel Super Resolution Technology" to ensure that cropped and zoomed images retain full pixel resolution.
Additionally, the model's range of popular in-camera Picture Effect modes includes 11 different effects and 15 total variations - offering a generous palette of 'PC-free' artistic treatments, including Pop Color, HDR Painting, Miniature Mode and much more. Results can be previewed directly in live view mode on the LCD screen or in the new Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder while shooting either Full HD video or stills.
Still and video shooting, framing, focusing and real-time preview of exposure adjustments are handled through the Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder. With 1440k dot resolution and a 100% field of view, it rivals quality optical viewfinders. There's a choice of selectable high-resolution information displays with a wide viewing-angle. Information can be displayed either directly in the viewfinder or on the angle-adjustable 7.5 cm (3.0-type) Xtra Fine LCD display.
The 16.1 effective megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor is teamed with a latest-generation BIONZ engine. Thanks to the BIONZ processor, shooting opportunities are boosted by a sensitivity range of ISO 100-16,000.
The new α57 interchangeable lens camera will be available this April with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens for $800 (model SLT-A57K). It will also be offered as body-only for about $700 (model SLT-A57).
Sony will also be introducing a new battery-powered LED video light, model HVL-LE1, which broadens options for recording video indoors or in low light. This new accessory will be available this month for about $250.