Sony’s Beefs Up Its Newish DSLR Family

Sony alpha DSLR-A350Just three weeks after launching the alpha DSLR-A200, the follow up to its first-ever DSLR, the alpha DSLR-A100, Sony introduced two models for more advanced users: the alpha DSLR-A300 ($799, April) and the alpha DSLR-A350 ($899, March). The big news here is that these cameras are the first in Sony’s DSLR line to include Live View shooting, which allows users to frame photos on the LCD. For all you casual photogs curious about upgrading to a DSLR, this isn’t a standard feature, as it is on point-and-shoots. The downside of Live View mode is that, with many brands, it detracts from the camera’s ability to rapidly take and process photos. Both the 10.2-MP A300 and the 14.2-MP A350 have a dedicated live view image sensor, so as not to dig into the resources needed for actually taking pictures. To boot, both models have a variable angle 2.7-inch LCD screen to make framing shots easier. We loved the A100’s slim design, and both of these models are even svelter, and have a de-cluttered interface. Like older models, they have an anti-dust system, ISO levels up to 3200, support for JPEG and RAW files, and a slot for CompactFlash cards. If you have extra cash to blow, Sony also unveiled two high-end lenses that will ship in April: the SAL2470Z ($1,750) and the SAL70300G ($799). If not, both the A300 and the A350 will be sold as kits.

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