19 May 2009

Whats New on Sony Alpha a230, a330 & a380?

Been digging the web for new relating to new newly launched Sony Alpha DSLRs and these were some of the interesting changes that i found.

  • ●No video Recording .... not even regular video, HD video is totally out of the question. This might not be favorable to user who is looking for video recording feature which is already on some of the newly launched Nikon and Canon DSLRs.
  • ●New models is using a different smaller battery pack as compares to the older model. This is kinda subjective as to whether the batt pack can last as long as the previous model which are used in A200, A300 and A350. will this move makes the existing battery pack for a200, a300 and a350 redundant in the near future?
  • ●GUI (graphical user interface) changes ... new layout on how information is being displayed also comes with Built in Help Guide (kinda like f1 function in computers)

  • ●Dual memory card slots, CF card is out (they prolly change this to keep the size small) the new models utilizing SD card and MS ProHG Duo with a switch enable the user to choose which card to use. Using both simultaneously to transfer photos or as a mean to backup your photos is assumed to be impossible since only one card can be used at one time. While the move to move to smaller stroage medium is welcome but there is also a questions of reliability of SD card as a storage medium as compares to the ever reliable Cf card.
  • ●The new 2.7" LCD screen now comes with auto brightness adjustment to suit your enviroment (a330 & a380 only) it was also mentioned somewhere that the new LCD also consumes much lesser energy compares to the previous model.
  • ●Custom white Balance setting is removed, you cant set your own kelvins and filter options anymore in the new models. (assuming the website i read got this right) personally i think that is a wonderful feature in case you wanna learn about white balance and how kelvins is actually effecting how your photos turned out to be, wonering why is this feature removed? However, you still can use the white balance cap/white/gray cardboard option to get the correct white balance setting. Thankfully this feature is still being retained.
  • ●Internal flash seem to be a weaker one as compares to the older model. Its mentioned in their spec that in their new model the internal flash givent he number of 10 as compares to the previous one with the number of 12. Is this the direct effect of a smaller battery pack?
  • ●fps (frame per second) reduced from 3 fps (older model) to 2.5fps, this is totally unexpected most users will like to see an increase of fps instead of a slower fps in the newer models.
  • ●Smaller viewfinder (by approximately 1mm) my question is ... why 1mm? whats the differences?
  • ●Smart teleconverter .... it seems that this enables the user to zoom thru the viewfinder wtihout even needing a telezoom len attached to the body. How is this done? More details is not available a the moment.
  • ●All new models still using the same CCD sensor as per their older predecessor. No mention of improved version of ISO handling anywhere.

  • ●AEL button is gone, no more AE lock feature in the new line up. Alot of buttons were also moves to the four way navigational buttons as well. so if you moved from the older A200 to A230 you will need some time to get familiar with the new buttons as expected.
  • ●DC in socket for those who shoot lotsa indoor photos without the need to keep charging battery packs.
  • ●HDMI output which previously available on a700 & a900 but now its also made available in the entry lvl DSLR also.
Apparently the latest DSLRs is targetted at the female market as well, he is an exert taken from the UK press release:

Get even more for your α DSLR :
  • ●Four compact lenses, super-slim external flash and colour-coordinated lifestyle accessories
  • ●Portrait lens DT 50mm F1.8 SAM •Two versatile telephoto zooms: DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM and DT 55-200mm F4-5.6 SAM
  • ●Ultra slim, easy-to-use flash HVL-F20AM – ideal flash commander for α900
  • ‘●Handbag’-style carry case, wrap cloth, hand strap and lens cap holder in attractive co-ordinated colour finishes
  • ●1:1 macro lens DT 30mm F2.8 SAM (Autumn 2009)
It’s never been easier for keen amateurs and step-up photographers to explore the creative possibilities of their α digital SLR camera.

A choice of affordably-priced new accessories makes the perfect match for easy-to-use new α380, α330 and α230 models.

Four compact interchangeable lenses are joined by a beautifully slim, light external flash that’s ideal for everyday shooting, family gatherings and fun-filled trips away.

There’s also a wider choice of lifestyle-oriented accessories, beautifully styled to look great while they’re protecting your α digital SLR.
A DSLR for female? Its new idea but will it actually work? Too early to tell.

Its also too early to tell if all these radical changes in the new models will be properly accepted by the current users or not. A two tone dslr? color co-ordinated accessories? Whats wrong with black? A Metrosexual DSLR?

There is no news from Sony Malaysia as in when we will be able to see any new model being launch in Malaysia. According to a source which quote Malaysia as one of the big market for entry level DSLRs the pricing factor will most likely be alot more attractive compares to the USA and UK side.

How attractive will it be? Lets wait and see!

Image source


  1. Hmm.... These new models are for new DSLR users who wish to enter the DSLR world. I don't think this is an option for the existing owners of a200, a300 and a350 to migrate into these "down graded" models (so to put).

    The existing battery pack is still usable since there is quite a number of a100 to a900 users out there. How could you put on such conclusion that the existing battery pack will be redundant in near future? I bet the next coming models of a700 replacement and a900 replacement or upgraded models will still using the current battery pack as well.

    Not to forget sony digicam is using the same battery pack as alphas as well.

    Smart teleconverter is not new. It's a feature built in current model a300 and a350.

    Well, female market is a huge market out there. Why not targeting the female market and make hell lot of money from them ? ;)

    One comment I wish to add: why no Live view for a230 ?? LOL

    And the body is look so damn like a pro-sumer camera. It doesn't really look like a DSLR anymore.

    I wonder which one is smaller : Olympus E410 or this a230.....

  2. I notice that there is a 50mm f/1.8 lens. Hope it is as cheap as the Nikon or Canon counterparts.

    Yoon Lee


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