At the CES (Consumer Electronic Show) which just opened in Las Vegas, Sony has not announced any news for the SLR photo cameras. Instead, they launched a number of point-and-shoot compact cameras. We could have stopped here, but the presentation showcases also include a model of the future Sony Alpha 750 (or whatever name the successor to the Sony Alpha 700 will hold).
Several web sites are showing photos of the camera taken through the glass of the showcase. Here are those coming from PhotographyBlog.
The camera is not displaying any name tag, so the Alpha 750 moniker may not hold. However, it is presented with a battery grip and an unmarked lens.
The viewfinder size seems compatible with nearly any option (traditional optical VF or Electronic viewfinder / EVF). We find the usual AF mode rotating control now under the left hand.
We can observe that Sony is moving more and more toward a somewhat “rounded” shape (far from the Alpha 900 and Alpha 850 big shapes).
It is quite visible that HD video (AVCHD) will be available; No surprise here. But if there are less buttons than on the A700, there is a new top-side LCD display (an important improvement for many users).
If many controls are reproduced on the grip, it is clear that some A700 controls are gone:
- No White Balance
- No direct ISO control
- Image stabilization control only available through menus (most will not complain)
- Picture delete and play buttons are moved on the right of the LCD (the Menu and Display buttons have moved up) but this is clearly a consequence of the large size of the LCD display on the back
Obviously some new controls are appearing too:
- Movie capture mode
- The now-Sony-usual On-Off control around the shutter button
Most users of the Sony Alpha 700 will not be disturbed much by these changes which seems to be maintaining a very good man-machine interface. Controls for AF/MF focus mode and Exposure mode are still there. The two rotating controls are still there (one in the front and one in the back).
And the function selector is displaying exactly the same set as a current Alpha 700. The Sony Alpha 750 is not ready to add new functions here.
Since this is still a mockup and not a prototype, the fake top-side LCD is visible but no detail can be read and we will have to wait for a later presentation.
Sony did not disclose dates for an official launch or for availability, but the word is out that the Sony Alpha 750 will reach shelves in May 2011 (possibly late in April). The big questions still open are the final features to be available (sensor resolution, type of viewfinder, continuous shoot speed, maximum usable sensitivity). We will have to wait until some leak is found.