SOURCE: Sony Europe

September 09, 2008 09:29 ET

Sony Introduces Alpha A900 the World's First Full-Frame 24.6 Megapixel DSLR: A900 Delivers the Unmatched Image Quality, Creative Expression and Performance Demanded by Professional Photographers

WEYBRIDGE, UK--(Marketwire - September 9, 2008) -


-- Superlative, detail-packed images from full-frame 24.6 effective megapixel CMOS sensor Exmor™

-- Bright optical glass pentaprism viewfinder with 100% coverage

-- Enhanced SteadyShot INSIDE™ offers up to 4.0 steps anti-shake performance with Alpha lenses

-- Ultra-sharp shooting responses and flawless, low-noise images from dual BIONZ™ image processor

-- Review images on High Resolution 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD

-- Fast, high-accuracy 9-point AF with 10 focus assist points

-- 5fps continuous shooting at full resolution 24.6 megapixels

The A900 digital SLR from Sony sets a new benchmark for serious photo enthusiasts who demand the unrivalled quality and creative possibilities of full-frame imaging.

The flagship of the Alpha digital SLR camera range features the industry's first ever 24.6 effective megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. Developed by Sony, this groundbreaking sensor's ultra-high pixel count and large size -- equivalent to a 35mm film frame -- deliver extraordinary image detail and wide dynamic range.

The new-generation sensor captures flawless images with unprecedented fidelity, characterised by vibrant colours, ultra-real textures and subtle tonal gradations. Complementing the extremely high native resolution of the sensor, Exmor™ performs on-chip analogue/digital (A/D) signal conversion and two-stage noise reduction. This guarantees ultra-low noise image files that take advantage of the superb resolving power of high-precision Alpha lenses.

Realising the immense creative potential of the 24.6 megapixel full-frame sensor, the new advanced dual BIONZ™ processors handle massive amounts of image data at extremely high speed. Powerful noise reduction algorithms are applied prior to RAW data conversion and then again during image processing, yielding flawless, detail packed images with an absolute minimum of noise. The dual BIONZ™ processors also underpin the camera's razor-sharp shooting responses, allowing sustained 5fps continuous shooting at full 24.6 megapixel resolution.

Serious photo enthusiasts will appreciate the ground-glass optical pentaprism viewfinder that offers exceptional brightness and a field of view covering 100% of the full-frame sensor's imaging area (approx.).

The camera's uncompromising credentials are underlined by a fast, high-accuracy 9-point AF system to ensure fewer missed shots. It's supplemented by 10 focus assist points to assist subject detection, improved out-of-focus detection to reduce focus hunting and a dedicated F2.8 sensor for enhanced AF accuracy with wide aperture lenses.

The A900 digital SLR camera is also the world's first full-frame camera to feature SteadyShot INSIDE™. This enhanced in-body optical stabilisation system delivers up to 4 steps of anti-shake correction with all compatible lenses*, opening up even greater creative possibilities when shooting handheld.

Shots can be evaluated critically on the 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD with an exceptionally high resolution (921k dot) that offers sharp, clear viewing -- even outdoors or in bright ambient light. There's a wide choice of index view options to simplify best-shot selection, plus a full-featured RGB histogram and shooting information display.

At the touch of a button, the LCD display switches to Quick Navi mode, allowing rapid on-the-fly adjustment of camera settings without disturbing your creative workflow.

A new Intelligent Preview function simulates the effect of White Balance, D-Range Optimiser and exposure level on the LCD screen without actually taking a picture. By simple confirmation on the camera, all the new settings are applied to take the next picture. This simplifies precise control over the final image in complex setups.

Shots can also be viewed on a connected HD television. PhotoTV HD mode provides optimised still image viewing with breathtaking clarity and lifelike colours on compatible BRAVIA™ televisions. The HDMI terminal also give access to HD picture viewing on any compatible TV.

Built for years of unstinting service in challenging environments, the A900 digital SLR camera is ruggedly constructed from a high-tensile aluminium chassis with magnesium alloy body panels. Viewfinder, card slots, controls and other sensitive areas are protected from dust and moisture by rubber seals for worry-free shooting. The inside of the camera is also protected by an anti-dust system that safeguards the full-frame sensor from the effects of dust entering the body during lens exchange.

Allowing stable, comfortable handling in portrait or landscape orientations, the optional VG-C90AM Vertical Grip holds up to two high-capacity batteries for extended shooting time and all the major controls are available in vertical holding for easy operation. The grip has also been designed in the same high quality material as the A900 with magnesium alloy and rubber parts.

There's now a wide range of compatible alpha lenses to fully realise the incredible imaging potential of the camera's full-frame sensor.

The choice of premium G series optics by Sony is joined by the high-power 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM telephoto, featuring a High-torque Super Sonic wave Motor for fast, silent AF operation.

Also from Carl Zeiss, the Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM is a fast, high-performance wide angle zoom that's ideal for interiors, landscapes and challenging photo-reportage applications.


The complete alpha system is further strengthened by the new HVL-F58AM -- a high-power flash (GN 58) featuring Sony's innovative 'Quick Shift Bounce' system that offers even more creative control over lighting, flash and bounce angles. It's unique 'Quick Shift Bounce' design make the flash head able to rotate instantly in portrait mode to keep the bounce direction for much more natural and beautiful subject lightning. For those using studio setups, Wireless Auto Flash Control also computes power ratios for up to three groups of flashes, simplifiying the management of complex lighting set-ups.

* Automatic crop factor is applied when DSLR-A900 is used with DT format lenses. Exposure accuracy is not guaranteed with DT lenses in certain shooting situations.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Model                   DSLR-A900
Camera type             Digital SLR camera with interchangeable lenses
Lens mount              Sony alpha mount compatible with Minolta A-type
                         bayonet mount (without DT le
Lens Compatibility      Sony alpha Lens*1 and Konica Minolta
                         alpha/MAXXUM/DYNAX Lens*1
Image Sensor Type       "Exmor" CMOS Image Sensor
Image Sensor Size       35.9 X 24.0mm
Effective Pixel Number  24,610K pixels
Anti-Dust               Charge protection coating on Low-Pass Filter and
                         Image Sensor-Shift mechanism
Recording media         Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory
                         Stick PRO-HG Duo
                        Compact Flash Type I, Type II (Microdrive),
                         UDMA (Mode5) compliant
Media slot              Memory Stick Duo/Compact Flash Dual slot
Image format            JPEG, RAW (ARW2.1 Format), RAW+JPEG
D-RangeOptimizer        off, Standard/ Advanced: Auto/Advanced: Level
Image stabislisation    On system image Sensor-Shift mechanism
Noise reduction         On/Off, available at shutter speeds longer than
                         1 second
                        High/Normal/Low/Off, available at the ISO set to
                         1600 or above
Auto Focus system       TTL) phase-detection system
                        CCD line sensors
                        9 points + 10 assist focus points
ISO sensivity           ISO 200 - 3200 equivalent, ISO numbers up from
                         ISO100 to ISO6400 can be set as expanded ISO
                         range.
Flash system            External Wireless control with HVL-F58AMADI
                         flash / Pre-flash TTL metering
Shutter                 Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse,
                         focal-plane type
                        1/8000 second - 30 seconds speed range, bulb
Continuous-advance rate Hi: Approx. 5 frames per second at maximum,
                         Lo: Approx. 3 frames per second
LCD Monitor             7.5 cm (3.0"), TFT Xtra Fine,
                         921 600 (640x3(RGB)x480) dots
Battery type            InfoLitium NP-FM500H, 7.2V
Battery life            Approx. 88 0 shots (CIPA measurement)
Dimensions              Approx.156x117x82mm (6 1/8 x 4 5/8 x 3 1/4 inches)
Weight  Approx.         850g (1 lb 14 oz)

Environmental Info

Sony is engaged in a constant review of its manufacturing, operational and business practices to ensure that its products are developed in an environmentally responsible way. This approach can broadly be divided into three areas:

Environmental Information: 3Ps

--  Halogenated flame retardants are not used in cabinets and certain
    printed wiring boards.
    
--  Corrugated cardboard and paper is used for the packaging cushions.
--  The body cap of a900 uses polyamide 11 vegetable-based plastic derived
    from caster oil.
    

Sony is determined to lead the way as a responsible manufacturer, and as a result we are focussing on three key areas of investment:

1. Reducing CO2 gas emissions

2. Increasing the percentage of renewable energy used in manufacturing facilities

3. Minimising the resources used by our factories in manufacturing

About Sony:

Sony manufactures audio, video, communications and information technology products for the global consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, game and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be one of the world's leading digital entertainment brands. Sony recorded consolidated global annual sales of EUR 55.44 billion (yen 8,871 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008, based on an average market exchange rate for the same period of yen 160.0 to the EUR. It employs approximately 180,500 people worldwide.

In Europe, the Sony Group recorded consolidated annual sales of EUR 12.73 billion (yen 2,328 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008. Sony Europe, headquartered at the Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, is responsible for the company's European electronics business and registered consolidated sales of EUR 9.55 billion for the same period.

For more information on Sony Europe, please visit http://www.sony-europe.com and http://www.sony.eu/presscentre