TEMPORARY Sony website pages on the afternoon (GMT) of September 5th managed to leak the entire specification sheet and several new PR images of the advanced amateur Alpha model, along with its name – the Alpha 700. You wouldn’t pick a wife or husband on the basis of their on-paper specification, so remember, the only way to partner up with a DSLR and be happy is to try it in your hands first.
THE Sony Alpha 700 follows in the heritage of the Konica Minolta Dynax 7D, sharing so many aspects of that camera’s design that it is identifiable as the so-called 7D-II with many updates. The overall body shape, though shortened on the left side, and the configuration of right-hand controls follows the 7D closely. Even the card door for the dual UDMA-enabled CF/MSPro memory slots is very 7D in shape and contour, though claimed to be dust and moisture sealed and to have a Canon-style ‘door open’ write interrupt function to prevent corrupted cards.
The websites state that the camera uses a pentaprism and distinguishes this from the mirror prism of the Alpha 100. I had some uncertainty, because they also said the prism has new ‘internal coatings’. I do not see how any coatings on a glass prism can be ‘internal’, but you can improve mirror prisms with better coatings. However other released spec data omits the word ‘internal’ and just says improved ‘anti-reflection coatings’ and there are released images of the prism itself, so my fears about that are groundless. It’s been suggested that the coating must be on the screen surface and the eyepiece/metercell surface (entry and exit planes of the prism). The focusing screen is interchangeable, much like the 7D, and the Type L grid option is one of the choices. It’s a return-to-workshop job, again like the 7D, and this probably means the metering is adjusted when the screen is changed.
The heart of the new Alpha is the 12-megapixel sensor, which may be similar to the sensor in the Nikon D300. Nikon uses 12 channel output to achieve a maximum of 8 frames with 12-bit conversion, or 2.5 frames per second with 14-bit. I do not yet know how many channels of output are used in the A700, but the 5 fps shooting speed at 12-bit implies 4 or 6 channel. These are not the same as CCD sensor channels, they divide the columns of the CMOS sensor up into chunks and extra channels also reduce noise levels (CMOS noise gets worse the larger you make the sensor, if a straightforward readout architecture is used). We can expect noise levels comparable to Canon, perhaps even better. It’s worth getting a copy of this week’s British Journal of Photography and reading Anders Uschold’s report on the Nikon cameras, which includes an explanation of the CMOS sensor multichannel readout.
The Alpha 700 also goes to town with bracketing. You can bracket exposure, you can bracket colour balance, and you can even bracket the DRO image contrast control effect. DRO processes sensor data to adjust levels in parts of the image to even out dark and light zones and reveal detail. Normally you need extra bit depth to get a smooth image with this type of adjustment. Yet DRO can now be used on RAW files, and DRO can be bracketed. What does this mean? It means that the Sony CMOS sensor may be using 12-bit conversion, but it’s doing more, because it can produce a 12-bit RAW file after applying DRO. Let’s just call it 12-bit Plus. 12-bit and a bit. I have no idea how they do it, but unless the image coming from the sensor is the cleanest, highest dynamic range, most perfect implementation of 12-bit there is no way they can stick DRO into the process and get away with it.
This probably means the A700 has about the cleanest, lowest noise 12 megapixel image we have seen.
Simon Joinson at dPreview has had a prototype camera for two weeks prior to the launch. He has not been permitted to show any images taken with it, or make comment on the images, as of this date, but has a preview report with product shots. My colleague Hans Wiesenhofer in Austria (director of Foto Club Austria, the former Minolta Club for that country) was also able to use a camera prior to launch. Hans told me, through a colleague, that he rated the viewfinder and LCD screen as the most obvious improvements over the A100.
Inside the magnesium alloy body – which has an internal aluminium alloy chassis, external mag alloy shell and synthethic inner carriage which presumably damps vibration considerably – there is an entirely new set of mechanical components. These include a new carbon fibre laminar focal plane shutter speeded 30 seconds to 1/8,000th and rated for 100,000 actuations; a new mirror mechanism which is faster, quieter and transmits less vibration; and a new focus motor which is claimed to be faster and quieter simultaneously. The target performance was to match of exceed that of the 1999 Dynax 7 and achieve fastest AF benchmarks in comparative tests with other makes.
However, the performance of the motor will not be an issue for those buying the not-yet-ready new 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 (not f/4-5.6 sadly) full frame compatible zoom. This will be a G series lens, with SSM sonic motor focusing. No such details are yet abroad for the new standard lens, an exceptional range of 16-105mm f/3.5-5.6 (said to be bearing the magic Carl Zeiss badge*, but with an anticipated RRP of £399 undercutting the 16-80mm considerably). It is almost certainly mechanical drive. *This proved to be untrue.
Sony is also introducing the expected 18-250mm SAL version of the Tamron f/3.5-6.3 superzoom which retains the Tamron zoom lock feature. I’ve repeated suggested that this should be done, as KM and Sony have to date removed the zoom lock, and it is valuable. Now they have decided it’s worth keeping. In a surprise move to capture the very bottom end of the market, they have added to the range what appears to be a SAL variant of the Tamron f/4-5.6 55-200mm ultra-cheap lightweight kit tele. This lens points to the possibility of a model at entry level below the Alpha 100. I have used this lens and while it’s worth the £129 which Tamron charge it seems slightly redundant when there is an existing 75-300mm.
The Alpha 700 has a new AF module described as twin cross-hair design, 11-point and 11-strip. The arrangement on screen looks a sensible one, all the sensors falling carefully within the 16:9 crop area. This is because the A700 offers optional 16:9 cropped shooting to go with its HDMI digital interface for showing your images on HDTV. The important things about the module are that it retains full compatibility with f/6.3 lenses (half a stop less than Canon’s f5.6 restricted AF will manage) and has a high accuracy, high speed, low sensitivity optional centre horizontal line sensor (twice the rangebase) which comes into operation when you fit any lens of f/2.8 or faster. This sensor fits inside a double cross hair main central sensor (f/6.3 sensitivity) which resembles an unslanted hash sign in design – # with the upstrokes vertical. This sensor and the f/2.8 strip occupy the central focusing circle of the screen almost completely.
This betters the arrangement of the classic Dynax 7, and unlocks the potential of the expensive 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM zoom which is slightly crippled on the Alpha 100. Overall AF accuracy and speed are said to be improved anyway, but only testing can reveal whether that’s true. The Minolta mechanical focus drive is capable of blistering speed and has outperformed many sonic motor tests on other makes in the past, but it needs the right camera to drive it. Sony is careful to point out that the new focusing is fully compatible with all the past Minolta/KM lenses. One interesting point is that the Dynax 7 f/2.8 sensor was perfectly happy to keep focusing with macro f/2.8 lenses, which don’t actually deliver f/2.8 at close distances. It doesn’t stop working at 1:2 or whatever! What will happen with f/2.8-4 lenses? Will the centre sensor work just because the max aperture at the wide end is f/2.8? We will have to find out.
There is also an on-body IR type focus assist light. This red light is much less disturbing to subjects than the Nikon white-light assist which is not unlike a weak flash burst. Again, it returns to something successfully used in earlier models.
SSS anti-shake is improved, apparently made possible by the new mirror mechanism (it was always known that mirror vibration was a limiting factor with in-body sensors). They have been able to increase the sensitivity of the gyros without risking unwanted SSS activation. The new claim is 2.5-4 stops. Testing the camera in due course will show whether this has made a big difference.
With dust and moisture sealing all round, the A700 has most of the key button controls like AE and AF lock in much the same positions as the Dynax 7D. The new joypad has a central button more like Canon’s infamously-named ‘nipple’ controller (which would be sexist if it didn’t look more like a male nipple than a female one). The loss of dials and physical controls may be lamented, but if Sony has enabled the Function button menus to work intuitively without deep diving, users will soon be more than happy.
Interviewing Michael Tusch of Apical in 2006, I asked why DRO+ was only implemented on JPEGs and disabled when shooting RAW. Michael replied that DRO could be used on RAW data and it was entirely Sony’s decision to make it JPEG-only on the Alpha 100. He also said that the Alpha 100 BIONZ processor was performing small miracles with DRO+ on a file size as large as 10 megapixels.
Well, now we have 12 megapixels, and DRO (whether plus or not we do not yet know) can be applied in five strengths and applied to RAW files as well. This is probably the surprise which Michael told me to watch out for! It is more than welcome as it makes DRO of some value. If you are paying for it, you might as well be able to use it. (2008 Note: after later tests, it proved that DRO was not being applied to raw, it could merely be used with RAW shooting and tag the file for Sony IDC processing, or with RAW+JPEG and have DRO applied to the JPEG).
Noise-reduction will be something of a concern with the A700. I predict that some users will complain the camera is not as sharp as their A100. The new CMOS sensor has NR enabled at source – on the chip, at pixel level – before we start. This does not generally change detail resolution. We are told the new AA filter is three-layer coated. That is slightly more worrying, as it may mean a more thorough diffraction blur to ensure a lower high-frequency cutoff. The Alpha 100 has a very mild AA filter, and can show the occasional moiré rainbow on very fine detail in perfect focus. Sony say the A700 cures moiré. This is not the best omen.
Furthermore, the new BIONZ processor is said to have RAW image NR processing. While high ISO NR can be varied in via the menu setup – and the camera has a good working 3200 true ISO plus a 6400 gain-boosted top speed – it’s not certain that this RAW file noise reduction will be switchable or controllable. Any NR applied at RAW stage will carry a penalty of slightly softened fine detail.
Moreover, the language Sony uses to describe the appearance of the images is a bit worrying (you will see this below). It reads like PR-marketing speak to make a rather smoothed-and-sharpened image, once the hallmark of Canon digital files, sound like a good thing. Let’s hope this is not the case.
It is encouraging to find ISO 100 as a true minimum, rather than a saturated exposure fix relative to ISO 200. This could mean that the Alpha 700 uses Konica Minolta type RGB filtering, a little stronger in density and with better colour separation ability than the typical RGB used on most sensors. The colours might indeed be a return to 7D colours. That alone would make thousands of hesitation upgrades happy, down to credit card level.
There are two RAW formats – RAW and cRAW. cRAW allows more files to be stored, but not to the extent that Canon’s ‘binned matrix’ sRAW manages. We never thought Canon would vindicate Sigma’s marketing for Foveon by actually reverse engineering their full-size files to create a Foveon XF3 type raw file equivalent. Sony does not seem to have done this, or there would be more detailed info. To be confirmed, it’s probably compressed RAW but might be cropped RAW in 16:9 mode.
Of course the biggest single upgrade visible from the outside is the 3 inch, VGA resolution screen. This puts the camera in the same class as the Nikon D300. It should be possible to review images with great confidence – but not to preview them, as Live View is the one feature not listed for this particular model. Roll on the Alpha 800 or the Alpha 700LV.
The dual card slot is welcome, but we’ll have to see whether Sony has included card to card copying. With UDMA access and fast cards this could be a very fast and convenient process. It was included in the little Konica Minolta G600 compact which has twin SD and MS slots. Sony has not incorporated card mirroring, or split JPEG and RAW between two cards, the most common professional uses of dual slots. At the moment it’s one card at a time. So card to card copying would be welcome. (Note: it was not included).
The computer connection is, as before, USB 2.0 High Speed and details of the potential for PC/Mac tethered shooting or control will no doubt emerge soon. The lack of Live View would hinder this.
Battery and grip
In one respect, the A700 goes backwards from the A100. It will take 15 per cent fewer shots on a battery charge, presumably because the files are larger and the CMOS and beefed up mechanicals are using more power. But there is an optional vertical battery grip, which adds a second cell of the standard Sony type used and doubles the stamina to 1300 shots. This grip is not a cheap plastic extension, but made of the same mag alloy as the body, so it will match it in weight and feel.
The internal flash of the Alpha 700 can be set to manual, fractional power just like the Dynax 7D (a feature missing from the Dynax 5D and the Alpha 100). There is no indication that any new flash circuitry is used, but HSS is enabled up to 1/8,000th and flash sync increases from 1/125th to 1/200th (SSS on), 1/160th to 1/250th (SSS off) relative to the A100/5D/7D.
There is an external flash sync socket, and normally this would be usable at the full non-SSS sync speed plus 1/3rd. The Dynax 7D will synchronise at 1/200th with studio flash, no problem shadows of shutter blinds, despite being officially rated for 1/160th. The Alpha 700 may therefore sync with manual, cord connected flash at 1/300th. This will have to be tested. (It proved OK to 1/250th).
Only trials will show whether all the inaccuracies, blink-causing preflash issues and other frustrating aspects of the digital wireless flash system have been cured. We do not know for example whether the A700 will allow a 36/56 external flash to act as a wireless commander when used on the body; this was a function on the film Dynax models which was lost with the digital change. It could be restored. (2008 note: It was not – only the internal flash, or the HVL-F58AM introduced in 2008, proved able to act as wireless commanders).
A speculative price of 2400 Euros for a kit (presumed to be the body, grip and 16-105mm lens) would be not less than £1,700 UK and the Euro price of the body only – 1400 – would translate to £999 UK. This would position the Alpha 700 at £100 more than the Canon 40D, body only, and about the same price for a kit as the body-only cost of a Nikon D300. The dollar market in the USA may well get away with pricings of one dollar for one Euro but I can see some glum faces if the Alpha 700 body is pitched at $1,499 or something like that.
That may be what the 7D cost when launched, but is it what we expect now? The lack of Live View and the slower frames per second shooting rate – a ‘mere’ 5 fps – might be seen as placing the camera in a bracket below the Canon 40D, and therefore needing a body price of £795 UK or lower.
But, as I write, the lack of Live View is not a watertight specification omission. And – who knows? – it is a function that it might be possible to enable through a firmware update.
That’s my ramble over. Start demanding your first firmware update now! Sony owners have to match Canon and Nikon owners in this respect. What better way to greet the Alpha 700 in style than by insisting the first firmware fix is released BEFORE the camera goes on sale?
– David Kilpatrick
My thanks to Mole, Ratty and all their friends for nicking this information off Mr Toad’s website
Functions and features appear in no particular order 🙂
Front Control Dial:
Conveniently placed next to Shutter button, the Front Control Dial allows adjustment of parameters selected in Quick Navi mode using multi-selector.
Drive, WB and ISO buttons:
Buttons for selection of Drive Mode (Single-frame, Continuous advance speed high/low, self timer); White Balance Mode and ISO sensitivity.
Focus Mode Switch:
Provides instant access to selection from four focus modes: manual focus (MF), single AF (AF-S), continuous AF (AF-C), and auto AF (AF-A) mode.
Built-in flash with guide number of 12 (same as Alpha 100). New manual control mode (same as 7D) allows flash brightness to be adjusted independently of metered exposure values.
Dial provides instant access to basic exposure modes (Program Auto, Aperture priority, Shutter-speed priority and Manual) plus Scene Selection modes.
Left Side Connectors:
Terminals for Flash Sync, remote control, DC power in, USB 2.0 and HDMI output for connection to BRAVIA television or HD display
Left Side of Screen Buttons:
Buttons for Menu, Display, Delete and Playback.
Every time the camera is powered off, the CCD vibration function briefly shakes the sensor to dislodge dust particles.
Eyepiece sensor activates Eye-Start Autofocus as soon as camera viewfinder is raised to your eye.
AEL (AE Lock) / Slow Sync Button:
Auto Exposure Lock – freezes metered exposure settings. Useful when re-framing or taking a sequence of shots without changing shutter speed and aperture values that have already been set.
Functions as Index button in Playback mode.
Also includes 3-way Metering Mode switch collar for convenient selection of 40-segment honeycomb-pattern, centre weighted or spot metering.
Controller allows quick, simple adjustment of camera parameters with thumb and forefinger.
Press Function (Fn) button to switch LCD screen to Quick Navi information display, then operate the multi-selector to select a shooting parameter, press once and then choose the desired setting.
3 inch Xtra fine LCD:
Superb photo-quality LCD display with extremely high 921k dot resolution (640 x 480 RGB) for critical evaluation of focus and exposure.
Anti-reflective layer allows clear viewing under bright ambient lighting conditions.
Accepts new high-capacity InfoLITHIUM Rechargeable Battery NP-FM500H. Provides power for approximately 650 shots (CIPA measurement).
Super Steady Shot:
Turn switch on to active Super SteadyShot optical image stabilisation inside camera body. Provides up to four stops of anti-shake performance with all # mount lenses.
Rear Right controls:
The A700 features a focus drive clutch mechanism that allows rapid switching between focus modes simply by pressing the new AF/MF button on the back of the camera (note: this should also allow DMF).
Compact Flash/Memory Stick Slot:
Dual card slots provide compatibility with CompactFlash and Memory Stick removable media. Offers greater flexibility for choice of memory card. The memory card door is equipped with seals against moisture and dust and the camera automatically detects if the door is open to secure data (note: if this means temporarily halting buffer transfer, fine; if it means write abort and buffer flush, terrible). Accepts Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo; CompactFlash card Type I, Type II (UDMA / Microdrive).
Clear, logically placed controls make operation easy and fuss-free – even when you’re shooting under pressure.
Three memories allow storage of all camera settings for instant recall. A dedicated Custom button can be assigned to frequently-needed functions like file size and auto focus area select.
For even greater creative control there’s a dedicated AF/MF button for instant switchover between auto and manual focus modes.
The A700 is engineered to meet the needs of discerning photo enthusiasts who demand unfaltering performance. Tough, durable magnesium alloy body panels are complemented by a reinforced aluminium alloy chassis.
Weather-resistant silicon seals protect buttons and media card slots against dust and moisture.
The precision high-speed shutter unit offers outstanding durability. Proven to approximately 100 000 cycles, it’s tough enough to cope with the challenging demands of serious photographers (note: the slower running shutter of the earlier models was said to be rated at 140,000 cycles during the photokina launch of the 7D).
The all-new”Quick Navi” interface gives fast, intuitive access to camera settings.
Camera settings can be accessed instantly via the easy-to-use joystick and icons on the 3-inch photo-quality screen. Selected parameters can be adjusted directly without the need to drill down into fiddly sub-menus.
Operation is beautifully simple – assuring quick, positive operation in high-pressure shooting situations when there’s no time to fumble with function menus.
The optional portrait grip gives relaxed, comfortable access to the ergonomically-positioned shutter release button in any shooting orientation- portrait or landscape.
The grip also adds capacity for a second battery, extending shooting stamina to a generous 1300 exposures (CIPA rating). Charge levels for both batteries are displayed separately on the camera’s LCD screen for unambiguous indication of remaining power.
Exmor CMOS Sensor:
The all-new Sony-developed 12.2 effective megapixel Exmor (TM) CMOS sensor delivers extraordinary levels of detailing with clear, lifelike colours.
A 3-layer optical low-pass filter on the sensor’s surface reduces moiré effects for even higher picture quality with smooth, natural textures.
For the first time, A/D conversion and initial noise reduction is performed on the sensor itself. This ensures that digitised signals are passed to the new-generation BIONZ processing engine with immunity from external noise.
It’s the key to the superb responsiveness of the A700 – and the extraordinary levels of detailing revealed in every image.
Specially customised for optimum performance with the 12.2 effective megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor, the high-speed BIONZ processor features a RAW NR stage. This reduces image noise even further prior to compression and encoding.
The result – superlative images with vivid colours and exquisitely natural textures.
Super Steady Shot:
Super SteadyShot delivers sharper, clearer pictures when you’re shooting handheld, in low light or with macro and telephoto lenses where there’s an increased risk of camera shake.
Tiny gyro sensors shift the CMOS sensor module to compensate for movements of the camera body. The result? Better pictures under a wide range of shooting conditions.
And best of all, Super SteadyShot works with the full range of Alpha-mount lenses. So you can enjoy the benefits of optical image stabilisation with your entire lens collection.
The A700 features a new main mirror/shutter mechanism that reduces vibration at the moment of exposure. This improves anti-shake performance by up to half a stop for total correction from 2.5 to 4 steps of shutter speed, especially important over the critical 200-300mm focal length range.
With a maximum sensitivity of ISO 3200, the A700 can grab compelling sports/action shots, atmospheric interiors or relaxed portraits in any available light.
A new expanded mode boosts sensitivity further to ISO 6400. High, medium or low levels of additional noise reduction are selectable at high ISO settings for enhanced image clarity.
The enhanced D-range Optimiser (DRO) automatically adjusts exposure compensation and contrast settings for beautifully-exposed results with backlit portraits and other tricky high-contrast scenes.
Optimisation can be adjusted in five increments, offering precise control over the amount of compensation to suit your creative preferences with any scene.
There’s also a new bracketing mode that captures the same scene at three different DRO settings to ensure the best possible results.
Optimisation can be applied to RAW as well as JPEG files.
Xtra Fine LCD 921K dots:
The superb new 3-inch photo-quality LCD screen adds an extra dimension to the viewing and evaluation of shots captured with the A700.
Featuring a striped pixel array, the 921k dot Xtra Fine hybrid LCD reveals the finest details with exquisitely natural texturing and colour gradations.
On-screen text is sharp and finely contoured for crystal-clear function navigation.
Progressive scanning minimises flicker that’s often a problem with larger screens.
A special anti-reflective coating ensures high contrast and excellent visibility when viewing outdoors.
Pressing the rear-mounted Display button selects a choice of new screen viewing modes. Image thumbnails can be tiled as 4-, 9- or 25-up.
Alternatively, the last five images can be ‘stripped’ above the currently selected shot – ideal for checking bracketed exposures or continuous advance shooting.
There’s also a new RGB histogram mode for confirmation of separate red/green/blue channel levels. (talk about hiding light under bushel!)
Bright Clear Viewfinder:
The bright, high-magnification optical viewfinder assists excellent framing with any scene.
A new pentaprism system with internal anti-reflective coating provides a large, bright image that aids positive, accurate manual focusing.
Exclusive to Sony, the Spherical Acute Matte focusing screen ensures high viewfinder brightness: it also aids manual focusing by making it easy to identify the correct focus point.
There’s a choice of 2 interchangeable focus screens for architectural (L Type) composition and manual focusing (M type). Focus screen replacement is only possible through authorized Sony service and depending local availability.
Itâ€™s easy to enjoy the finest quality High Definition images captured with the A700 while you’re at home or assessing shots in the studio.
The A700 is the world’s first SLR with an HDMI output for connection to any HD-ready TV or display.
Images are optimised for subtler, more natural colour and textures on the latest generation of Full HD BRAVIA televisions that support PhotoTV HD picture mode.
This offers a significant improvement over viewing still images on conventional TV sets that are optimised for moving video.
HD slideshows can be controlled with the supplied remote commander that doubles as a remote shutter release.
The supplied infrared remote commander can be used as a wireless shutter release which is ideal for minimising vibration when you’re shooting with a tripod mount.
The dual-purpose remote can also control HD slideshows allowing you to enjoy big, beautiful images on your HD television set from the comfort of your favourite chair.
High Speed AF:
Responsive, high speed autofocus is a ‘must have’ for anyone who’s serious about their photography.
With 11 focus points and 11 lines, the new double-cross sensor enhances AF performance under a wide range of real-world shooting conditions.
There’s also a powerful new AF drive motor that reduces noise and vibration while focusing, enhancing the ‘pro’ feel of the A700.
For macro shooting and other critical applications there’s an F2.8 AF sensor that doubles AF accuracy when used with wide-aperture lenses as bright as f2.8 or brighter while improving distance metering accuracy.
The AF illuminator assists with fast, accurate autofocus in low light or with low contrast subjects.
The handy AF/MF button allows instant switchover between auto and manual focus modes.
High Speed Shutter:
The newly-developed high performance shutter unit is proven to withstand approximately 100 000 cycles.
Maximum shutter speed is 1/8000 sec (1/250 flash sync speed or 1/200 with Super SteadyShot on) to freeze fast moving action.
The new high-power coreless motor and double-stopper anti-bounce mirror mechanism allows continuous shooting at up to 5 fps.
The quiet shutter release makes picture-taking less intrusive when you’re shooting young children, wildlife or intimate subjects.
Expand your creative palette with precise control over white balance and colour temperature settings.
Auto White Balance is complemented by a range of preset and custom modes.
Colour temperature can be adjusted manually for even more precise control, and there’s a choice of user-configurable custom white balance settings.
Bracketing captures three frames at different white balance settings, allowing you to select the best-looking shot with ease.
Create exactly the right lighting effects for any scene with a choice of flash modes. ADI distance metering technology assures accurately-exposed flash pictures, even with ‘difficult’ low-reflectivity subjects.
Wireless mode triggers one or more optional off-camera flash units with no cables or fiddly settings. There’s also a rear sync mode that fires the flash just before the shutter closes for natural-looking motion and light trail effects.
The built-in flash allows manual adjustment of flash brightness independently of metered exposure values. A flash sync terminal enhances compatibility with third party studio flash systems.
The newly-developed M-Series InfoLITHIUM battery pack delivers up to 650 shots per charge (CIPA rating).
Remaining battery power is displayed as a percentage on the display for an accurate indication of remaining power.
The optional VG-C70AM grip adds a second battery to provide a generous shooting stamina of up to 1300 exposures (CIPA rating).
Charge levels of both batteries (when fitted) are displayed separately on screen for unambiguous indication of remaining power.
Exmor(TM) CMOS APS-C size
1.5x form factor
3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratio
ISO 100-3200 & Expanded mode ISO 6400
Anti-static coating + sensor vibration
2.5-4 stop correction
With all Konica Minolta and Sony a lenses
Dual-cross and f2.8 central sensors
0-18 EV (at f1.4)
40-segment honeycomb-pattern, centre-weighted and spot metering modes
30 – 1/8000 sec
JPEG STD or FINE: Unlimited
RAW: 17 – cRAW: 24 (performance depends on memory card type)
5.0 fps or 3.0 fps
25 mm (viewfinder eyerelief)
Ultra bright Spherical Acute Matte
-3.0 to +1.0 dioptre eyesight correction
3-inch Xtra Fine LCD
Auto, Fill-in, Red-Eye Reduction, Rear curtain, High Speed Synchro*, Wireless,* Slow sync direct access button, PC sync terminal (* with optional accessory flash)
ADI + Multisegment Pre-flash
With Super SteadyShot :1/200
HSS: 1/8000 sec
USB 2.0 High Speed
650 shots battery life
Dual Slot for CF I / CF II / Microdrive and MS Duo / MS Pro Duo / MS Pro HG – UDMA enabled
Portrait Grip – Full vertical control
Body – Magnesium alloy
Portrait Grip – Magnesium alloy
Dust / Moisture resistance = Yes
100,000 (approx) shutter cycle endurance
(E&OE – entered eight hours before European launch announcement)