Sony announces Alpha 230, Alpha 330 and Alpha 380

As expected, Sony has announced the new SLR line. Nothing less than 3 SLR photo cameras in a single announcement (plus a four new lenses and a flash).

Sony Alpha A230
Sony Alpha A330
Sony Alpha A380
sony_alpha_230 sony_alpha_330 sony_alpha_380
Sensor resolution 10.2 MP 10.2 MP 14.2 MP
Sensitivity 100-3200 ISO 100-3200 ISO 100-3200 ISO
Shutter speed 30s -> 1/4000s 30s -> 1/4000s 30s -> 1/4000s
Continuous shooting 2.5 fps 2.5 fps with viewfinder 2.5 fps with viewfinder
AF system 9 points, with center-cross 9 points, with center-cross 9 points, with center-cross
Live View mode Yes Yes, with Quick AF Yes, with Quick AF
LCD 2.7″ (230,000 dots) 2.7″ with tilt screen (230,000 dots) 2.7″ with tilt screen (230,000 dots)
Scene selection 6 6 6
Creative style 7 settings 7 settings 7 settings
Image stabilisation In-body, by sensor shift In-body, by sensor shift In-body, by sensor shift
Anti-dust cleaning system Coating on low pass filter, plus image sensor shift Coating on low pass filter, plus image sensor shift Coating on low pass filter, plus image sensor shift
HDMI connector & Bravia Sync Yes (HDMI cable optional) Yes (HDMI cable optional) Yes (HDMI cable optional)
Dimensions 128 x 97 x 67.5 mm 128 x 97 x 71.4 mm 128 x 97 x 71.4 mm
Weight 450g 490g 490g

New Sony lenses announced at the same time:

  • Sony DT 18-55 mm f/3,5-5,6 SAM
  • Sony DT 55-200 mm f/4-5,6 SAM
  • Sony DT 50 mm f/1,8 SAM
  • Sony DT Macro 30 mm f/2,8 SAM (will be ready in Fall 2009)

Sony Europe Press Release

Sony Digital SLR photography gets friendly with three easy-to-use new Alpha cameras : Fully-featured shooting made fun for everyone

• Three new easy-to-use DSLR cameras:
– α230 (10.2 megapixels* and 2.7-inch LCD)
– α330 (10.2 megapixels* and 2.7-inch tilt LCD)
– α380 (14.2 megapixels* and 2.7-inch tilt LCD)
• Compact, stylish body for light, comfortable handling
• Quick AF Live View with tilt LCD for freestyle shooting with fast, accurate autofocus and live preview**
• On-screen Help Guide and Graphic Display simplifies operation
• SteadyShot™ INSIDE image stabilisation for crisper handheld shots with any α lens
• HDMI output and BRAVIA Sync for easy connection with BRAVIA™ TV

* effective megapixels
** excludes model α230

Incredible images are now within everyone’s reach – even if you’ve never picked up a digital SLR before. Sony expands the Alpha family with the α230, α330 and α380: three easy-to-use DSLR cameras that make serious picture quality and shooting options brilliantly accessible.

All three cameras have been styled for comfortable handling. The α230 is the world’s lightest DSLR featuring an APS-C sized image sensor and in-body image stabilisation. Its compact size makes it great for trips away when you want to grab superb pictures without taking up extra space in your luggage.

Control layout on all cameras has been revised with fewer buttons, so even first-time DSLR users needn’t feel intimidated by the creative options on offer.

Confused by photo jargon? Help is at hand with a friendly new interface on the camera’s clear, bright 2.7-inch LCD screen. Choose from any of six Scene Selection modes that adjust settings to suit any subject. The on-screen Help Guide explains your selection, complete with a sample image to demonstrate the results you’ll achieve.

It can also be tricky understanding the relationship between shutter speed and aperture. The unique new graphical display shows clearly how your chosen exposure settings will affect the final picture.

Despite their friendly styling and compact size, the latest additions to the Alpha line-up don’t compromise on the picture quality, responsive shooting and advanced creative options prized by DSLR enthusiasts.

The α330 and α380 feature Quick AF Live View for responsive ‘freestyle’ shooting that keeps pace with what’s happening around you. This unique Sony system combines the benefits of live image preview with speedy and accurate autofocus, even with moving subjects. Now even brighter for a clear view when you’re framing shots in daylight, the 2.7-inch LCD screen tilts up or down (not α230) over an extended angle range, increasing options for comfortable shooting in any position.

Imaging quality is superb, thanks to the APS-C sized CCD sensor working in harmony with the BIONZ image processing engine found on other α cameras. You’ll enjoy flawless, detail-packed pictures with low noise, even when you’re shooting handheld. The powerful BIONZ processor is also key to the new cameras’ speedy responses, allowing continuous shooting at up to 2.5 fps (2 fps in Live View mode – α330 and α380 only). A new self-timer drive mode grabs a quick burst of 3 or 5 frames, cutting the chances of spoiled portraits and groups shots when someone blinks at the wrong moment.

Like every other Alpha camera, all new models feature SteadyShot™ INSIDE for clearer pictures when you’re shooting handheld. Sony’s in-body image stabilisation corrects for camera shake whenever you don’t have a tripod handy. Best of all, it works with with the complete family of α interchangeable lenses – so there’s no need to invest in bulky, image-stabilised optics.

For even better looking pictures, a newly-enhanced D-Range Optimiser intelligently adjusts exposure values in scenes containing very bright image areas and deep contrasting shadows. You’ll see the difference with beautifully-exposed results, even in tricky against-the-light shooting situations.

All models connect to any HD Ready TV for a detail-packed big-screen view of your photos. PhotoTV HD support ensures even better-looking still image reproduction on compatible BRAVIA™ models. In an Alpha first, BRAVIA™ Sync compatibility now allows control of slideshow and other camera playback functions in comfort using your TV remote. Alternatively, slip out the camera’s optional Memory Stick™ to share and enjoy your images with a growing range of other HD viewing possibilities – from VAIO® and PLAYSTATION®3 to digital photo frames and photo printers by Sony. For maximum convenience, all new models accept Memory Stick PRO Duo and Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo media as well as SD / SDHC format memory cards. (NB: miniSD, miniSDHC, microSD, microSDHC media require optional adaptor).

There’s a growing range of beautifully designed α system accessories to help you get more from your DSLR camera. These include a choice of affordable, compact new lenses, including two telephoto zooms plus macro and portrait models. They’re joined by the HVL-F20AM, a slim and light external flash that supplements your Alpha camera’s built-in pop-up flash.

Sony USA Press Release

Sony Introduces Three Mainstream Alpha Cameras Designed For First-Time Digital SLR Buyers

SAN DIEGO, May 18 /PRNewswire/—Sony is making it easy for first-time digital SLR buyers to step up from point-and-shoot digital still cameras with the introduction today of three new easy-to-use a (alpha) cameras (models DSLR-A380, DSLR-A330 and DSLR-A230), four new lenses, a flash and accessories.

Uniquely Matched to Customers’ Needs
The new cameras are designed to overcome challenges faced by many customers taking their first steps in DSLR photography. Without compromising performance and versatility, the new models are smaller, lighter, easier to use and offer innovative expansion options not found in other systems.

“Our new alpha cameras, lenses and accessories make it easier for new users to get the great photos they expect without the steep learning curve that DSLRs have traditionally required,” said Kristen Elder, senior manager for the alpha business at Sony Electronics Inc. “By overcoming the obstacles, we’ve made it much easier for newcomers to take great pictures with DSLRs.”

Light and Compact
The 10.2 megapixel a230 camera is the lightest, most compact alpha DSLR camera body ever at 15.9 ounces. The 10.2 megapixel a330 and the 14.2 megapixel a380 cameras are also smaller and lighter than their predecessor models (the DSLR-A300 and DSLR-A350, respectively). These cameras are also more compact and feature an intuitive control layout that allows for easy single-handed operation.

SteadyShot INSIDE(TM) in-camera image stabilization is built into each camera body, so every a-mount lens benefits from the ability to minimize blur due to camera shake.

Quick AF Live View System
Both the a380 and a330 cameras offer Sony’s Quick Autofocus (AF) Live View technology, so you can frame photos on the camera’s LCD screen as well as in the optical viewfinder. Through the use of a dedicated image sensor, Quick AF Live View maintains the rapid response of a DSLR, while avoiding the focus delay common to other live view systems.

The new cameras feature a 2.7-inch (diagonally) Clear Photo LCD(TM) screen that is easy to view even in bright sunlight. Additionally, the LCD on the a380 and a330 models can be tilted up or down, making it easy to frame your subject from high or low positions, otherwise difficult to see using an eye-level viewfinder. The range of adjustment has been increased from their predecessors, making it even easier to get shots from difficult angles.

By combining Quick AF Live View and an adjustable LCD, users can frame the scene without holding the camera in front of their face, allowing parents, for example, to maintain eye-contact when photographing their children for more natural expressions.

An HDMI(TM) terminal gives you the option of connecting your camera to a compatible HDTV and playing back your images in high definition quality (HDMI cable required, sold separately). Additionally, BRAVIA(R) Sync(TM) works with compatible Sony(R) BRAVIA HDTVs to let you control camera playback using the television’s remote (HDMI cable and BRAVIA Sync capable HDTV required, sold separately).

The new cameras include dedicated slots for high-capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo(TM), Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo(TM) and SD/SDHC media (sold separately).

Built-in Help Guide
The a380, a330 and a230 models are Sony’s first DSLR cameras to feature a graphical user interface (GUI) with built-in on-screen Help Guide.

The Help Guide offers clear, concise explanations of various modes and settings, while the Graphic Display helps you understand the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, as well as the effect each has on photographic results.

Systems, Lenses and Flash
Making it easier for first-time DSLR users to get started, the new Sony cameras come in camera-and-lens packages. In addition to the two new standard zoom and telephoto lenses that are offered with the camera bodies, the company introduced new portrait and macro lenses. These purpose-built lenses make it much easier to obtain professional-looking, creative results.

Optimized for use with APS-C sized image sensors, these lenses feature a Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) that enables in-lens auto focus (AF) drive for smooth, quiet operation, and high optical performance in a compact size.

The DT 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens (model SAL-1855) incorporates aspherical and Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements to provide an all purpose lens with outstanding image quality. The DT 55-200mm F/4-5.6 telephoto zoom lens (model SAL-55200/2) features an ED glass element and helps bring distant subjects closer, ideal for capturing sports. Both the SAL-1855 and SAL-55200 lenses are available separately, or packaged as kits with the new cameras.

To make the benefits of portrait and macro photography easier and more accessible, Sony is introducing a DT 50mm F/1.8 portrait lens (model SAL-50F18) and DT 30mm F/2.8 (model SAL-30M28) macro lens. The wide aperture SAL-50F18 lens helps users capture beautiful portraits with gently defocused backgrounds while the SAL-30M28 macro lens captures intricate close-ups. Both techniques are difficult to achieve with standard lenses.

To help users take better shots with flash, Sony offers an affordable, compact external flash unit (model HVL-F20AM) that is simple to operate. Unlike a camera’s built-in flash, this external flash provides higher output (Guide Number 20), and enables users to bounce light off the ceiling to eliminate harsh shadows and achieve more even illumination when shooting indoors.

Pricing and Availability
Pre-orders will begin on May 18, 2009 at and at selected retailers nationwide. The cameras and a range of accessories will be available in July at Sony Style(R) retail stores (), at military base exchanges and at authorized dealers nationwide.

The a380L, a330L and a230L will cost about $850, $650 and $550, respectively. The L series one-lens kit comes with the SAL-1855 standard zoom lens.

The a380Y, a330Y and a230Y will cost about $1050, $850 and $750, respectively. The Y series two-lens kit comes with both the SAL-1855 standard zoom and SAL-55200 telephoto zoom lenses.

— The SAL-1855 standard zoom lens will cost about $200.
— The SAL-55200 telephoto zoom lens will cost about $230.
— The SAL-50F18 portrait lens will cost about $150.
— The HVL-F20AM flash will cost about $130.

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