Press Room


New Sony α DSLR cameras, technology and lenses give you faster speeds to capture important moments.

by Team Sony 08/23/2010

There is quite a bit of news to share from the Sony α (alpha) team today as three new cameras and three new lenses have just been unveiled. For you photographers who never want to miss a moment like a subtle smile or a sports action shot, our latest innovations will help you capture these perfect moments.

The first two, the α55 and α33, use a Phase Detection auto focus system for the highest level of focus speed and accuracy for both still and video images. The α55 can shoot and focus continuously at up to 10 frames per second, while the α33 can shoot seven frames per second, achieving shooting speeds that are the fastest in the industry for sub $1000 interchangeable lens cameras (as of Aug 2010).

These cameras use a fixed Translucent Mirror Technology, which allows them to continuously and quickly focus, helping you capture important moments with sharp images. The Translucent Mirror Technology also works while recording video in full HD.  It’s the kind of performance that has been impossible to get in any traditional video capture technology.

The α55 has a large 16.2 megapixel Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor and the α33 has 14.2.

“This is the most innovative Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera that Sony has ever created,” said Kristen Elder, director of the digital imaging business group. “Our Translucent Mirror Technology is one of the most significant SLR structural changes in more than a decade.”
The new Translucent Mirror Technology allows light passing through the lens to be directed to the image sensor and the auto focus sensor at the same time. The new structure eliminates a moving mirror mechanism, making the body size smaller and focus time faster since the mirror does not need to be raised and lowered allowing it to focus while it’s shooting instead of in between shots like traditional SLRs.

These cameras boast both constant live view through the 3-inch diagonal Xtra Fine articulated LCD™ with 921,600 dots with TruBlack™ technology and the Tru Finder™ electronic eye-level viewfinder. This  means what you see is what you get with 100%  framing accuracy and real time view of the creative adjustments you make.

Also announced was the α560 which is a traditional DSLR using an optical viewfinder that now captures full HD video and stills at up to seven frames per second using the 14.2 APS HD CMOS sensor.

All three cameras are compatible with all A-mount lenses so video and photography enthusiasts can choose from macro to telephoto lenses.
A newly developed Autofocus sensor assures ultra-fast, high precision focusing. All three cameras use this new 15-point Phase Detect sensor, which significantly increases the auto focus system to lock on to subjects which may not be centered in the frame.

The 55 and 33 use Phase Detection for high speed shooting and HD video capture which tracks rapidly moving subjects accurately. These cameras are the first in the world to have this feature work while recording in Full HD AVCHD™ movie shooting mode. This is the kind of feature that will be very useful for capturing fast action and for catching subjects that move quickly towards or away from the camera.

Other key features to note:
·         Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor, BIONZ® high-speed image processing engine and ultra-high ISO sensitivity (ISO 100-12,800) to get the best shot, even in difficult lighting situations.
·         Auto HDR shoots and combines three frames into a single high dynamic range photo with rich shadow and highlight detail.
·         Multi frame noise reduction. (shoots and combines six frames into a single photo)  for smooth low-light imaging at half the noise level and Hand-held Twilight which shoots and combines six frames into a single photo, suppressing blur to enable clear night-scene imaging without a tripod or flash.
·         3D Sweep Panorama™ technology for panoramic photos that can be viewed in 3D on compatible 3D systems and other devices that support 3D technology.

The α55 will be available in October and cost about $750 for the body and $850 for the body and 18-55mm zoom lens. The α33 camera, which will be available in September, will be $650 and $750 for body and 18-55mm zoom lens. Watch out for them at Sony Style® retail stores and at authorized dealers nationwide. The α560 model with the camera body and 18-55mm kit lens will cost about $750 and will be available in October. With the body only, it will cost about $650.

If the new cameras are not enough for the Sony photo enthusiast, we also have 3 new lenses that add to your repertoire and grow the already expansive A mount system of lenses. New today are a Carl Zeiss® Distagon T* 24mm F2 ZA SSM (model SAL24F20Z), a DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (model SAL35F18) and an 85mm F2.8 SAM (model SAL85F28).
“These new lenses and cameras show our commitment to the DSLR market and that we will never stop innovating.” said Kristen Elder.

You can find more info on the cameras and lenses from

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Add Comment

  1. Gaylord Bernne Ayawan wrote: August 24, 2010 8:25pm

    wish I could have this. lol

    1. Sukhjit wrote: September 10, 2010 2:11pm

      Thanks Gaylord!!! Great to see your comment and excitement!

  2. Anonymous wrote: August 25, 2010 8:02am


    1. Sukhjit wrote: September 10, 2010 2:10pm

      We have different options for body only and for body and lens. Here’s a link where you can configure and get cost info:

  3. Anonymous wrote: August 25, 2010 5:59pm

    Quite like the Sony Alpha camera.I suppose that’s why I have three of them(100,200,350). It’s a technically superior photographic device.And they take clear,sharp images.It may be a bit before I add the a55, but it’ll be worth the wait.

    1. Sukhjit wrote: September 10, 2010 2:08pm

      Thanks so much for the comment, Anon. Hope come back when you’re ready to upgrade. We’d love to stay in touch with you.

  4. Anonymous wrote: August 25, 2010 9:36pm

    Which one has better technology the Alpha 55 or 560?

    1. Sukhjit wrote: September 10, 2010 2:05pm

      Hi Anon. Thanks for stopping by. Here are some pros and cons for you:

      The a560 uses a traditional optical viewfinder, which has some limitations when using the video functions. This is due to the mirror, which has to move when recording blocking the opt viewfinder and disabling the the Phase Detection capability. That said, the 560 is a great traditional DSLR with added Sony features like sweep panorama, multi frame noise reduction, handheld twilight and auto HDR which enables the camera to combine multiple shots into a single image that would be impossible to capture with one shot.

      The a55 has introduced game changing technology with groundbreaking engineering (translucent mirror) which allow the camera to maintain phase detection auto focus continuously. Since the mirror doesn’t move, the camera is always focusing… unlike cameras that need to focus in between frames or loose phase detection altogether. This is how the a55 is able to shoot up to 10 fps and capture full HD video.

      Hope this helps.

  5. Anonymous wrote: August 25, 2010 9:43pm

    We presently own and use three Sony Alpha cameras, the a100, a300 and the a700. The Sony Alpha lineup provides much better features and higher quality DSLR cameras at every given price point. Sony’s purchase of Minolta’s camera division has provided a synergistic result. Great value from entry-level to professional DSLR. Quality optics and industry leading electronics are hard to top. By adding these three innovative new DSLR’s a33, a55, a560 and more soon to be announced, Sony has become a leader in the DSLR camera field. Unless you already own a bunch of expensive lenses form “C” or “N”, we highly recommend the purchase of Sony Alpha DSLR’s. PCE Photo, Tempe, AZ

    1. Sukhjit wrote: September 10, 2010 1:51pm

      Wow! Thanks for the props. I’m sure I don’t have to tell, but we feel the same way! Looking forward to hearing your comments on the NEX-5 and the a55.

      Send us some photos, too! Arizona is beautiful!

  6. Anonymous wrote: August 27, 2010 12:01am

    When a new firmware version for A200????

    1. Sukhjit wrote: September 10, 2010 1:49pm

      Hi Anon, thanks for time to comments. Right now, I don’t have any info on this.

  7. Anonymous wrote: August 30, 2010 11:42am

    Where can one go to see the new cameras, as in holding them and getting a feel for them. I live in Bellingham, Washington.

    1. Sukhjit wrote: September 10, 2010 1:48pm

      The a33 has started shipping and you should be able to find it in the Sony Style Stores near you. Also you should check out any photo specialty retailers in your area.

      The a55 will ship in October. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

  8. Anonymous wrote: August 31, 2010 6:29am

    Regarding the web site: did it it ever occur to you that you may want to put the anticipated date the an item may be replenished when it is “out of stock?” Accessories for the Sony NEX cameras seem perpetually out of stock.

    1. Sukhjit wrote: September 10, 2010 1:46pm

      Hi Anon, thanks for the comment and for pointing out the issue. We’ll make sure to pass your note on to the Sony Style team. Which accessories are you looking for?

      So, guessing you have an NEX? If so, would really love to see any work you have online and hear how you like it.

  9. Anonymous wrote: August 31, 2010 7:14pm

    Fantastic stuff. Now, how about the new A7XX and A7X models incorporating some of these features for the semi pro and pro photographer and moving image people?

    1. Sukhjit wrote: September 10, 2010 1:42pm

      Hi Anon! Thanks for the comment. We understand your need for a rugged/professional body cam, but the new cameras we released are more accessible for a wider audience. What particular features do you want to see in an a700-like model?

  10. Anonymous wrote: September 18, 2010 3:10pm


    i wish i have one.!

  11. Anonymous wrote: October 21, 2010 4:33pm


    Went to the url to check out configurations, couldn’t find anything.

    Help me out here.

  12. Anonymous wrote: October 21, 2010 4:34pm

    Sorry about that. Config for the a33.

  13. Anonymous wrote: October 22, 2010 4:42am

    I will be buying a sony A33 or a 55 soon. I want to buy it with a lens other than the kit lens. Is this possible?


  14. Anonymous wrote: November 12, 2010 11:19pm

    Are sony going to put out a full frame DSLR soon

    1. Anonymous wrote: November 14, 2010 1:33pm

      Sony has the a900 for 2 years now, which is FF

  15. Anonymous wrote: December 16, 2010 2:59pm

    If I buy one of these two DSLR cameras, what do I need to feed video into an IMac 10.6.5 ? I use final cut express4
    and I want to start shooting HD and edit it on my Imovie
    HD or. IE: is there a firewire coonection or do I use USB
    direct from camera to IMac? Thanks Dave

    1. Sukhjit wrote: December 16, 2010 4:49pm

      Hello there,
      Thank you for the question. You can use your MAC, no problem. Just connect the camera using the USB or if you have a card reader attached to your MAC you can get your footage that way. The latest versions of most editing software accept AVCHD, since most cameras are using that file format for video now. Which one of the cameras are you considering?

  16. Anonymous wrote: January 24, 2011 8:00am

    how do i tether my a900 to my imac laptop?

    1. Sukhjit wrote: February 9, 2011 2:59pm

      Hey there Anonymous! I’ve posed your question to the Alpha team. I’ll report back what I find out. Also, the Sony Camera Club might be a good place to get some insight

  17. Anonymous wrote: February 8, 2011 11:30am

    What will I encounter if I use Sony Alpha cameras, my MD lenses and your AF adapter?

    1. Sukhjit wrote: February 9, 2011 2:57pm

      Hi there. I took your question to the Alpha team and they say that the MD lens is not compatible with alpha cameras, and we don’t make an “AF adapter” that will make them work. There may be a 3rd party adapter that can mate the MD mount to A-mount, but don’t know if that solution would work.

      Are you familiar with the Sony Camera Club on Flickr? That might be a good place for you to find other users who have had similar questions and can tell you about their solutions and experiences.

  18. Anonymous wrote: July 8, 2011 5:25pm

    Will these new bodies take a Minolta lense?

    1. Anonymous wrote: August 9, 2011 3:41am

      Yes, provided they were made after 1985 and are Maxxum’s. I am going through the same thing and just found this out,

  19. Umhlanga wrote: August 24, 2011 6:55am

    My sentiments exactly, I am going to blog about this too.


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