For Sony’s new Alpha A57, it’s not about competing with a higher megapixel count – though it comes with a respectable 16-megapixel CMOS sensor. Instead, the company is focusing on implementing its innovative Translucent Mirror Technology to give consumers – sports fans in particular – a versatile, budget-friendly DSLR option.
The camera’s video capabilities will likely be a strong suit, as it can capture full HD video at 60p, 60i and 24p frame rates with full exposure controls and continues phase detection auto focus. If the action is moving too fast – say at a basketball game – this will ensure objects will always look their sharpest.
The A57 is no slouch in the still picture department, either. Its 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, coupled with a Bionz imaging engine and maximum ISO sensitivity of 16,000, will allow users to continuously shoot at 12 fps at an 8-megapixel resolution, or 10fps at full 16-megapixel resolution with the aperture locked at it’s widest setting. Both burst modes, like video, offer continuous AF and auto-exposure controls. In addition, the A57 comes equipped with 2x Clear Image Zoom digital zoom technology and Sony’s “By Pixel Super Resolution Technology,” doubling the effective magnification of your lens without losing pixel resolution.
Both still and video can be previewed in real-time on the a57’s high-res Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder, offering a wide viewing angle and 100% field of view.
Sony is also including a number of popular Instagram-esque Picture Effect modes, including 11 different effects and 15 total variations. There’s also an Auto Portrait Framing tool which brings automatic photo composition, meaning even the most amateur of photographers can produce a “professional-looking” portrait.
The options all come together nicely to make for an enticing option over offerings like the Canon T3i or Nikon D5100. You’ll be able to pick up the Sony Alpha A57 in April with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens for $800, or you can go the body-only route for $700.