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Alpha 900 launch: Press Conference Part 2

Transcribed by Shirley Kilpatrick from audio record of the conference. For the opening speeches, see our Part 1 of this report.

Nick Sharples: Thank you Fujio-san. I hope that leaves you in no doubt about our commitment at Sony to excellence in digital imaging, and how importantly we consider the launch of our flagship Alpha digital SLR; so it gives me great pleasure to invite Toru Katsumoto, senior general manager of our digital imaging business group, to introduce our new flagship Alpha digital SLR.

Thank you, Nick. kon-nichiwa – good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for coming today and I am very glad to be here together with you again. My name is Toru Katsumoto, senior general manager of Alpha mount camera division. Today the outside is very wet unfortunately, so before my presentation, because I am Japanese, I would like to teach you one Japanese word which is hare. hare is the word for weather which means sunny but if you say hare-nohi it means a sunny day – actually, it then means a day someone does a very special, honourable event in front of many people. And also, we can say hare-butai which means “sunny stage” or “bright stage” as this is, for that very important event. So today is hare-nohi or sunny day and this is hare-butai or bright stage for myself and Alpha. So even if outside is wet and dark, where we cannot say sunny in English, but we Japanese can say hare or sunny and bright, even this kind of day… so it is very bright!

So I will start the presentation. Having entered the digital SLR business in 2006 with Alpha 100, Sony has been making continuous effort to fulfill a self-imposed mission of respecting the tradition of this style of SLR camera, while making an aggressive challenge for new avenues of enjoying photography. Following the launch of the Alpha 100, which took over the Alpha mount system, we introduced the middle range Alpha 700 camera in Spring 2007.

In Spring 2008 we have launched the entry class Alpha 200. Coming on the heels of the Alpha 200 to expand our offerings were the Alpha 350 and Alpha 300. Both products are for freestyle shooting, thanks to the Quick AF Live View feature, which resolved two mutually conflicting requirements – easy shooting by live-view of the subject and quick shutter response, while retaining the digital SLR picture fully. I am very happy to remind you that the Alpha 200 has been awarded the Best Entry Level DSLR of TIPA, and the Alpha 350 has been recognised as the Camera of the Year 2008/2009 of EISA together with the 70-300 G interchangeable lens. I believe these are the proof that Sony’s DSLR system has been gaining widespread acceptance.

As you know we informed you in PMA 2007 that Sony was developing the Alpha flagship camera, and we gave you the information in PMA 2008 that the flagship camera will come to the market by the end of this year. Ever since we entered this market it has been our pledge to offer a broad product portfolio that accommodates varying requirements from entry level customers to high end camera enthusiasts. The flagship model is an inevitable addition to current DSLR offerings, to fulfill that pledge.

Today I am happy to introduce the new Alpha flagship camera! (Video with Music). (Wow! from audience).

And – this is the Alpha 900, it’s very light! (he lifts the camera to show it off). This is the Alpha 900, the high end product of Sony DSLR cameras. We hope this product will be used by enthusiasts who enjoy the art of photography where memorable scenes and moments are expressed.

The moment the photographer looks into the viewfinder of the camera, he or she will view the potential of super high resolution picture quality deriving from the sheer performance of the camera, and is bound to be inspired to capture the greatest pictures than ever before.

Another focus was to make the camera’s body light, whilst achieving all these features to facilitate frequent and spontaneous use in various photo opportunities. Thanks to its world’s highest 24.6 megapixel resolution of the 35mm full-frame size CMOS sensor, named EXMOR, and the fastest imaging processing powered by dual BIONZ image processors, the Alpha 900 is capable of creating superb images with stunning reality and naturalness.

The Alpha 900 is also equipped with the built in image stabilisation unit to handle the world’s first full-frame size image sensor offering a wide degree of photo expression. The camera is also armed with the 100 coverage large bright viewfinder with enhanced optical characteristics. Once you look into it you find yourself being pulled into the world on the opposite side of the lens. Our engineers have done a fantastic job of packing these high performance features into the easy-to-handle 850 gramme lightweight body, making it possible for customers to always carry it around and capture every great scene they may encounter.

In addition, today I would like to introduce two brand new lenses, one is the 70-400mm ƒ4-5.6 G SSM, an addition to the G lens line. Another is the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T-Star 16-35mm ƒ2.8 SSM, an addition to the Carl Zeiss lens line. Both lenses boost high standard depiction performance which lives up to the reputation of G and Carl Zeiss lenses, while ensuring a smooth operation thanks to supersonic motor. Combined with the existing lens portfolio which includes Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T-Star 24-70mm ƒ2.8 SSM launched this Spring, and also the award winning 70-300mm ƒ4.5-5.6 G SSM, we can offer diversified lens products which extract the full potential of the Alpha 900.

We are very excited to inform you that our digital SLR cameras body portfolio has come of age with the addition of the Alpha 900. With these five camera bodies we are going to address ever-growing demands from every spectrum of our customer base, ranging from entry customer to professional enthusiasts. Needless to say we will keep reinforcing our interchangeable lens system and accessories including flashes and others.

Sony is committed to satisfying increasing demands from our customers with the steady-growing Alpha system. Well I wish you can enjoy the rest of the event today and Edinburgh experience tomorrow, so I hope tomorrow will be the Scottish version of sunny day.

And finally I found out the very good souvenir this morning from breakfast at the restaurant… which is this one, Alpha colour camera table napkin! So don’t forget to pick up tomorrow morning. So let me invite the other engineer Tsusue-san, he’s the head of design group of Alpha 900 and he will speak  about the other engineers question to complete this Alpha 900 presentation. So please give him a warm welcome – Tsusue-san, please!

To view the next section, go to Part 3


3 comments to Alpha 900 launch: Press Conference Part 2

  • admin

    That will come in about 2 or 3 installments’ time! Paul Genge is asked by me about the 24-105mm. He basically says it’s not on the schedule and can’t comment on any lens they do not have info for. It may or may not exist.

    And sondermann, well spotted – it could have been a slip by the Japanese speech writer. He did say Spring, but of course, it arrived in September. And the A100 was not exactly Spring 2006 either, it was June, with late summer availability.

    David

  • TallPaul

    Thanks for the effort to compile this, as sad as it may seem, it does make really interesting reading.

    Was there any news of the rumoured 24-105/4 kit lens for the A900? I am not sure either the 16-35 or the 24-70Z could really be considered kit!

  • sondermann

    Thanks a lot for that valuable (and time-consuming) service. One thing – did he really say they released the A700 in spring 2007? I seem to remember that there were some rumors at that time by usually reliable sources that a camera was about to released in April 2007. Maybe that was the original plan and something forced them to delay the launch until September, which in effect pitted the camera against the D300 and the 40D.