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Sensor Comparison

Photokina 2008: Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Full Frame Unveiled

September 9, 2008

Sony SAL70-400G: Tripod Collar
Full Frame

Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM Confirmed?

Sony has an upgrade for their 70-300mm F4-5.6 G SSM, a 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM (SAL70400G). On a APS-C sized image sensor, the focal length is 105-600mm. A specification sheet for the lens is found. The softcopy of the specification is looks genuine. There is no official announcement from Sony about the new lens, Sony may be making an announcement before or during the coming Photokina.

The SAL70400G has three focus-hold buttons and when either is pressed the auto focus function is suspended and the focus is fixed for shooting. Teleconvertors are usable for this lens, both 1.4x and 2.0x. However, auto focus will not work on this combination, only manual focus available. SAL70400G is almost two times as heavy as SAL70300G and uses 77mm filter, similar to 70-200mm F2.8. SAL70400G is almost two times as heavy as SAL70300G and uses 77mm filter, similar to 70-200mm F2.8.

Sony SAL70-400G: Tripod Collar
Sony SAL70400G: Tripod Collar


Sony SAL70-400G: Focus Hold Button
Sony SAL70400G: Focus Hold Button


Sony SAL70-400G: Specification
Sony SAL70-400G: Specification


Further Information:

Download a copy of the SAL70400G Specification Sheet

SONY SAL 70-400 G SSM PDF Specs

Sony Alpha DSLR Ads Page
Full Frame

Sony Alpha a900 Full Frame Confirmed on 10 September 2008


The long awaited Sony Alpha a900, the company’s highest range digital full frame which boosts 24.6 Megapixels with built in image stabilization, is due to made public next week on 10 September 2008. The company initially showcased the prototype of a900 in various events including the PIE2008 earlier this year.

During March 2008 there is already confirmation that the a900 shall be announced in either August or September during Photokina. It is reported that Sony will be making an announcement of a new member of their Alpha camera next week. There are also sources that some parties have received invites for a Sony event in Toronto.

Sony Alpha DSLR Ads Page

Several updated information are floating around the internet these few days with one news detailed than the other about the Sony’s pioneer full frame beast. However, there is nothing much spectacular than what is anticipated.

Sony Alpha DSLR Ads

A Denmark magazine revealed the Sony DSLR-A900 advertisement showing the front body. The a900 features dual BIONIZ image processer, similar to Canon’s top range camera with dual DIGIC image processor. As expected, it has is able to shoot at the speed of five frame per seconds (5fps), 9 point dual cross autofocus (F2.8) with wide area 10 point assist.

Sony Alpha DSLR Ads Button

Sources stated advertisement from National Geographic revealed some specification as follow:

  •     24.6 Megapixel Specification
  •     100% viewfinder @ 0.74x magnification
  •     3.0″  VGA LCD
  •     5.0 Frame per Second
  •     100% coverage viewfinder @ 0.74x magnification
  •     9 point dual cross AF (with f2.8 sensor and wide area 10 point assist)
  •     Super Steady Shot
  •     Weather Sealed Body

There is no pop up flash for the a900 like the Nikon D700 and battery grip is available for additional needs.  The a900 is said to be price at the sub usd$3000 and shall be a direct competitor of the just released Nikon D700 full frame and the upcoming Canon 5D replacement.

Detailed specification and a900 sample photos will be published once received, stay tuned.

Sony Announces HVL-F58AM Flash Unit

Sony Announces HVL-F58AM Flash Unit


SAN DIEGO, Jun. 19, 2008 – Sony is expanding its a (alpha) system of accessories to include the new HVL-F58AM flash unit with exceptional features for versatile and flexible external lighting control.

Sony Announces HVL-F58AM Flash Unit
Sony Announces HVL-F58AM Flash Unit

Sony HVL-F58AM Flash Unit

Quick Shift Bounce and Expanded Versatility

This new flash features a new and innovative Quick Shift Bounce system. It offers more creative ways to achieve lighting, flash and bounce angles you may not have been able to experience before.

The flash head can pivot 90 degrees left and right on a horizontal axis in addition to the conventional up and down vertical adjustment. With this system, the camera and flash unit can keep the same orientation regardless of portrait or landscape shooting. This gives a higher degree of flexibility when arranging the direction of light.

For example, you can take full advantage of the flash unit’s built-in bounce card even during portrait shots since the flash head can maintain the same orientation as it would in the landscape position.

Enhanced Operability and Ease-of-Use

A powerful performer, the HVL-F58AM flash unit features a maximum guide number of 58 at 105mm and ISO 100. It recycles (or recharges) in as little as five seconds, approximately 55% faster than the predecessor HVL-F56AM model, so you are ready to capture the next shot. And because it features a quiet recycle charge, there’s no whine to distract you from your subject.

It also has a large, easy-to-read LCD screen that is about 13% larger than its predecessor’s. Its intuitive control layout makes it easy to control flash functions and configure the settings based on your shooting needs.

Wireless Auto Flash Control

This new flash has wireless auto flash control so you can remove the flash unit from the camera and easily light subjects from different angles. Photographers can create soft shadows to add depth to their images and avoid the strong shadows and hot spots that can occur with front lighting. The HVL-F58AM flash unit can also control the ratio of lighting from several off-camera flash units.

Up to three groups of flashes can be set up for optimal, complete control of lighting via a wireless connection. Flash output ratios can be adjusted automatically without having to do tedious exposure calculations. Additionally, you can fire a modeling flash to preview flash effects before taking the picture. Even with multiple units, the modeling flash fires according to the flash ratio you have set.

Advanced Features for Optimal DSLR Performance

One of the flash’s most advanced features is its sophisticated zoom control that automatically optimizes illumination angles that are suitable for either APS-C size or 35mm full frame sensors. This control reduces light “fall-off” at the periphery of images.

It also has an advanced white balance compensation system that gathers color temperature information, complimenting the white balance information reading of the camera. This achieves more accurate results when the main unit is in auto white balance mode.

Other features include: high-speed synchronization at shutter speeds of up to 1/4000 of a second, ADI flash metering, manual flash and zoom (six levels), multiple-flash, and a supplied mini-stand for greater wireless freedom.

Price and Availability

The HVL-F58AM flash unit will ship in September for about $500 at, Sony Style? retail stores (, military base exchanges, and authorized dealers nationwide. Pre-orders begin online on Jun. 20 at


Sample Photo

Sony SAL70300G Lens Review and Sample Photos

Sony announced the SAL70300G SSM lens during PMA 08 together with Carl Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8 SSM earlier this year. It is now up for delivery at the retail price tag of USD799.99. As compared with Sony’s competitor, Canon has EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM selling at USD538 while Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR is selling at USD479. For a lower priced alternative to this lens, Sony has 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Compact Super Telephoto Zoom Lens, Tamron AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Lens and Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Telephoto Zoom.


Sony SAL70300G 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 SSM
Sony SAL70300G 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 SSM Packaging (Credit:HonhKongHooey)
At 800g, the SAL70-700G looks long when added with the supplied petal hood. The lens hood supplied is deep and shall be able to do the job. Along with the lens, Sony generously bundles a pouch for the lens so that you can store it in your backpack without the need to buy a lens case. This lens uses 62mm filter and has a distance scale on it.The Sony G-Series 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 Telephoto Zoom Lens is a brilliant performer for a wide range of medium-distance and long shots, with SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) design for fast, silent auto-focus, ED glass to virtually eliminate chromatic aberration, focus hold button and more. Minimum focusing distance of about 4 feet (1.2m) lets you move in close to your subject—and even at full zoom extension it captures sharp, clear images thanks to the benefit of Super SteadyShot image stabilization built into every Sony Alpha system DSLR. (35mm equivalent: 105-450mm).

Because the aperture blades form a near circle at the wide openings used for low-light shots, spot-light sources have a pleasing circular defocused effect.

Sample Photos

Here are some sample photos taken at various settings. The contrast and sharpness of this lens is good. With SSS on, Sony’s Image Stabilization
Technology, photos taken handheld are sharp. Photos are taken using Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 in JPEG format.
Full Frame

Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar F2.8 24-70mm ISO100-ISO 3200 Sample

The new SAL-2470Z Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar® f2.8 24-70mm Zoom Lens is a brilliant all-around performer—with SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) design for fast, silent auto-focus, pro-quality Carl Zeiss® T* coated optics to reduce lens flare, and 17-element design with two aspherical and two ED glass lens elements to minimize distortion and virtually eliminate chromatic aberration. Here we see how this lens performs when coupled with Sony latest DSLR the Alpha A350. Sample images taken are from ISO 100 to ISO 3200 with 100% cropped.

Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar F2.8 24-70mm

Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar F2.8 24-70mm ISO100-ISO3200 Sample: ISO 3200

Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar F2.8 24-70mm ISO100-ISO 3200 Sample: ISO 3200

Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar F2.8 24-70mm ISO100-ISO 3200 Sample: ISO 1600

Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar F2.8 24-70mm ISO100-ISO 3200 Sample: ISO 800

Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar F2.8 24-70mm ISO100-ISO 3200 Sample: ISO 400

Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar F2.8 24-70mm ISO100-ISO 3200 Sample: ISO 200

Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar F2.8 24-70mm ISO100-ISO 3200 Sample: ISO 100