Sony removes complexity in three new DSLRs

Sony announced a trio of new DSLR cameras this week that are designed for the first time DSLR buyer looking to step up from appoint-and-shoot cameras. One of the most common problems for first time DSLR owners is learning how to work the glut of options that DSLRs offer.

Sony says that it spent lots of time working on the controls and reducing the learning curve that goes with a DSLR for new users. The three new cameras include the DSLR-A230 DSLR-A330 and DSLR-A380. The A230 and A330 are both 10.1 megapixel snappers with the A230 laying claim to the title of most compact alpha DSLR camera body ever. The higher-end A380 offers 14.2 megapixels.

Above: New Sony Alpha DSLR Cameras

All three of the cameras offer Sony’s SteadyShot INSIDE in-camera image stabilization system. The system works with any lens attached to the camera to reduce image blur. The A380 and A330 also use the Sony Quick Autofocus system and Live View LCDs. The low end A230 lacks the Live View feature but all three cameras share the same 2.7-inch Clear Photo LCD.

Many of the new DSLR cameras being introduced are able to record HD video; Sony doesn’t offer this feature on any of the three cameras. However an integrated HDMI out is offered to allow for images to be viewed easily on a big screen TV. Images are stored to Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo or SD/SDHC cards.

The cameras can be pre-ordered in the US now but Sony Australia hasn’t yet announced pricing here only saying that the cameras will be available in July. Pricing in the US for the cameras depends on the bundle chosen. The lowest price bundle includes the camera body and an SAL-1855 zoom lens priced at $US850 ($AU1092) for the A380L $US650 ($AU835) for the A330L and $US550 ($706) for the A230L. Add another $US200 ($AU257) per kit and you can get an additional SAL-55200 telephoto lens along with the SAL1855 lens. Unfortunately Sony has a history of large price markups for Australian customers so the $AU pricing above which is a direct currency conversion is likely to be substantially higher.