Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 AM
"Sony's latest interchangeable lens cameras, the SLT Alpha A33 and A55 represent a significant technological milestone - not just for Sony but for the enthusiast camera market as a whole. The company has rejected the traditional DSLR design and instead created a hybrid that, like a compact camera, is from the ground up built around live view, but one that is also capable of offering full-time DSLR-style phase-detection autofocus. The combination means they can offer features such as phase-detection AF during movie recording and extremely fast continuous shooting rates (10 frames per second on the A55), previously unthinkable at this price."
Sony's finally done something interesting and different with the SLT cameras with their pellicle mirrors; instead of having the mirror reflect a minor portion of the light to a optical viewfinder, it instead uses the light for a phase detection autofocus system. This allows Sony to implement a viewfinder that is larger and brightter than that of their previous live view attempts, allows for AF with all lenses in the Alpha lineup, while using the more time-tested phase detect AF system. DPReview liked the camera plenty much, and the new 16.2 megapixel sensor looks good.
We now have three systems on the market for live view AF; Sony's implementation, Panasonic's improvements on the traditional contrast detection system, and Fujifilm's hybrid AF system. It should be interesting to see which method is the more successful one, both technically and commercially.