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Old May 17, 2009, 2:01 AM   #1
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Default New Sony α380, α330 and α230 DSLR cameras, 4 new lens, new flash

According to the new press release, Sony has announced new α cameras (models DSLR-A380, DSLR-A330 and DSLR-A230), four new lenses, a flash and accessories.

The three new cameras are replacing A350, A300 and A200 featuring BRAVIA Sync, dedicated slots for Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and SD/SDHC media, new graphic user interface and on-screen help guide in lighter and smaller designs.

New lenses:
featuring a Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) that enables in-lens auto focus (AF) drive for smooth and quiet operation.
DT 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 (SAL-1855) (avail separately or part of kit)
DT 55-200mm F/4-5.6 (SAL-55200/2)
DT 50mm F/1.8 portrait lens (SAL-50F18)
DT 30mm F/2.8 macro lens (SAL-30M28)

Also a new cheaper compact external flash unit (HVL-F20AM): guide number 20.

RRPs:
α380L, α330L and α230L will cost US$850, US$650 and US$550 , respectively (comes with SAL-1855 lens)
α380Y, α330Y and α230Y will cost $1050, $850 and $750, respectively (comes with SAL-1855 and SAL-55200 lenses)
SAL-1855: US$200
SAL-55200: US$230
SAL-50F18: US$150
HVL-F20AM: US$130

Press Release: Sony Introduces Three Mainstream Alpha Cameras Designed for First-Time Digital SLR Buyers (17 May 2009)
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Old May 17, 2009, 10:50 AM   #2
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Thanks for keeping us up-to-date, Antony. I certainly welcome the change in memory format. I much prefer memory stick and/or SD cards over the compact flash. They are faster, smaller and most P&S cameras use one format or another so we don't have to have dedicated memory cards. As for other improvements, size is probably one of the most significant but until we get the full specs., it's hard to tell whether the upgrade is worth it or not.

The kit lens now matches most kit lenses from other manufactures in terms of focal length (18-55mm rather than the Sony old standard 18-70mm). Perhaps the change was necessary in order to improve optics (I find the old kit lens quite mediocre) or Sony is simply trying to save some money. It makes sense to reduce the FL to 55mm since the second kit lens is the 55-200mm, so no more overlap. However, the 18-70mm had a bit of an advantage over the competition by extending the FL an extra 15mm. What is really unfortunate is the fact that by the looks of it, Sony once again will not sell body only. I would much rather buy the body and invest on better lenses than the kit ones.

I think the MP war is coming to an end. Sure some manufacturers keep increasing the # of MP with every new model but I've read many articles from various camera manufacturers stating that 10-12 MP is plenty for most users. I like that as most high MP models (from Sony and other brands) tend to produce much softer images. There are now a large number of very good DSLR and P&S cameras out there with 10-12 MP.

I'm not a flash type of person so I can't comment on them. I can't remember when was the last time I bought a flash unit.
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Old May 17, 2009, 6:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tullio View Post
... Perhaps the change was necessary in order to improve optics (I find the old kit lens quite mediocre) or Sony is simply trying to save some money. ...
If Sony was trying to save money, they wouldn't have invested in a new lens design, and new manufacturing and assembly tooling.

I would prefer to think that Sony has finally admitted the failings of the 18-70, especially in light of the newer, better kit lenses from Canon and Nikon.
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Old May 17, 2009, 8:12 PM   #4
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TCav-

I always appreciate your well thought out opinions. I happen to agree with you that it is a good sign the Sony is replaceing their 18-70mm kit lens with hopefully a better 18-55mm lens.

It also appears that they are also downsizing the Sony A-200 body size, as well. Hopefully they will also improve the .jpeg file output of the A-200 DSLR camera as well. We will know in a few more days.

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Old May 17, 2009, 8:20 PM   #5
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It also appears that they are also downsizing the Sony A-200 body size, as well.
I think that is due mostly to the switch from the CF card to the SD card. The card itself is smaller, but so is the host circuitry. Asside from that and the support for HDMI and Sony BRAVIA TVs, there's not much that distinguishes them from their predecessors.
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Old May 17, 2009, 9:39 PM   #6
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Thanks a lot, TCav-

I guess I was hoping for a bit more.

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Old May 18, 2009, 6:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
I guess I was hoping for a bit more.
Same here.
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Old May 18, 2009, 9:52 AM   #8
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SonyStyle.com is accepting "pre-orders" for the A230, A330, and A380, though none of the new lenses appears on the website.

A disturbing trend, however, is that none of the new bodies is available without the new kit lens. And even the A350, which used to be available "body only" must now be bought with the 18-70 kit lens.

Another disturbing trend: When Sony replaced the A100 with the A200/A300/A350, they dropped the mirror lock-up and the DOF Preview. Instead of bringing back these 'Must Have' dSLR features, the new models also lack the AEL button. Alpha dSLRs are losing features. Is this the way things is supposed to go?

Last edited by TCav; May 18, 2009 at 10:51 AM.
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Old May 18, 2009, 10:14 AM   #9
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I am very happy to see the support of Memory Stick Duo and SD cards. The SD card support brings up the possibility of Eye Fi. Aside from that, SD card is friendly with Nintendo Wii and the new DSi, and Memory Stick Duo is friendly with Sony PSP, which I can use the PSP as a picture viewer on the road.
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Old May 18, 2009, 11:52 AM   #10
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I for one do NOT welcome the card format change. I have a lot of CF cards at the moment, Sure SDHC cards are getting cheaper, but as soon as I upgrade I have to sheell out for new memory cards on the spot....... Wish Sony would still support CF cards. Well we will just have to wait till they introduce a new higher/pro level camera to see what happens.

Some people won't agree with me but if you have several very high capacity CF cards and another on order getting that in SDHC cards can be expensive to take all at once.

I do like the fact they are working on getting better lenses.

Guess I'll keep using my A200. TCav I was hoping for a lot more. I was hoping for a 14.2MP with CF slot 5fps shooting mode till camera memory card was full.

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