Earlier this week, Sony announced the new Sony Alpha A57, an update to its original A55 Single Lens Translucent (SLT) camera, which utilizes a special semi-transparent stationary mirror rather than the flip-up mirrors in conventional SLRs. The technology allows SLT cameras to quickly and continuously autofocus while shooting stills and videos without having to wait for the raising and lowering of the mirror in a traditional SLR.
The new A57 has been redesigned with a larger body that's similar to last year's higher end models, the SLT-A77 and SLT-A65, but retains the same resolution and pricing as the A55. The sensor has been updated to a 16.1 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS model and combined with the new processing engine. The camera is capable of 10 fps continuous shooting at full resolution and 12 fps in a cropped 8.4-megapixel mode.
Unlike the A55, the A57 no longer has built-in GPS, but has picked up better video capabilities (full 1080p HD at 60 or 24 fps) and more creative features. In addition to a slew of creative art filters such as Pop Color, HDR Painting, and Miniature Mode, the A57 also offers a new Auto Portrait Framing feature, which uses face detection and rule of thirds compositional framing to create portrait-studio-like crops of your people shots (saving the original full-resolution/uncropped photo as well).
Other new features include:
1.4 million-dot EVF with 100% field of view
ISO 100 to 16,000 sensitivity range
11 picture effects and 15 variations
3-inch, 921,000-dot articulating LCD
The Sony Alpha A57 will ship in April for $700 (body only) or $800 with an 18-55mm kit lens.