Sony offers 24.6-megapixel, full-frame DSLR camera

Peter Cohen and David Braue
11 September, 2008
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Sony this week introduced its first full-frame digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera, a 24.6-megapixel monster called the DSLR-α900 that will ship next month for $4,499 (body only).

The α900 features a 24.6-megapixel, 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor that Sony called ‘Exmor’. The larger sensor delivers a far more detailed image, with ISO sensitivity from 200 to 3200 (optional expanded range of ISO 100 to 6400) with less noise than the much-smaller sensors packed into most digital cameras.

The α900 uses Sony’s new dual BIONZ image processing engine, and is the first Sony alpha model to sport body-integrated image stabilisation, allowing shutter speed equivalent improvements of 2.5 to 4 stops even with wide, fixed-focus, large aperture lenses. Sony’s lens mount supports Sony α lenses as well as AF lenses from Minolta and Konica Minolta.

The viewfinder offers 100 percent field of view coverage and 0.74x magnification. The focusing screen is user-replaceable, so you can switch it with an L-type (grid pattern) and M-type (super spherical acute matte) if you prefer.

The camera can shoot continuously at 24.6 megapixels at five frames per second. You can fine-tune white balance, adjust exposure compensation and check histogram data using a raw preview image that’s discarded when the actual image is written to the camera’s memory card.

Other features include a dynamic range optimiser, EV bracketing with a +/-2EV range, thirteen ‘creative styles’, a 3-inch LCD display with 921,600 megapixels, HDMI output and Photo TV HD mode, which displays photos in full HD on Sony Bravia TVs. The α900′s battery is good for an estimated 880 images before it needs to be recharged, and the camera accepts both Memory Stick Duo and CompactFlash memory cards.

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