Sony finally launched the all new Alpha A330 today and at this moment its only available at Sony lifestyle website @ the pricetag of RM2,199.00 and they throwing in freebies too for the first 33 customers!
Being one of Sony Alpha DSLR enthusiast I was given the chance to test drive the Sony Alpha A330 one week before it hits the market.
The first thing that i noticed the moment i pick up the new Alpha a330 is that how light it is now. At 490grams and up to 15% size reduction this is a great piece of new for those with petite arms and small wrist.
Upon further inspection, i found that the internal flash button is gone too, I tried lifting the internal flash with my fingers but it just refused to pop up. The new Alpha A330 only will pop up the internal flash thru the flash settings button now instead of having a dedicated pop up button like in the previous Alpha A300 model.
Tilt screen is now 90deg-abled as compared to the A300/A350 model that would tilt up to less than 90deg.
Most of the dedicated buttons that were available in the older A200/a300/a350 models had been removed and replaced by the 4 way navigational buttons which also doubled as full function buttons now.
Preset modes is still the same as the older models.
This is where they positioned the new dial, I do find it abit akward or I might got used to the way they position the dial on my Alpha A200?
Hinged CF card compartment from the older models is now being replaced by a sideway sliding compartment which reveals the SD card and HD Duo Card slots with a hardware switch as to whichever card the user wanna activate. also visible in this compartment is the HDMI out port and the USD cable port.
Internal flash is alot taller/longer now as compares to the older model, this is a pretty welcomed steps as the older model Alpha seems to be having problems with the short internal flash height thus creating shadow in your photos if you were to use a lens attached to a big hood.
GUI is totally revamped in the new Alpha A330, its alot user friendly now and if you are stucks at any point there is event brief explanations to guide you into it.
Colorful menu/options with icons vs black and white GUI options in the older models.
Alpha A330 is also compatible with the A700 and A900 remote control (I doubt if the remote control is actually included in the package) but nevertheless you can get one separately if you are a remote control freak lol!
Sony Alpha A330 with a 18-55mm f3.5-,56 SAM kitlens
New meet old .... Sony Alpha A330 with a Minolta 50mm f1.4 on it.
After nearly an hour fiddlings and playing with the A330 this is what I think :
- Very lightweight and small in size, too small for my liking but if you been wanting to go into DSLR cams but has been taken aback by the size of an DSLR then this is just the cam for you.
- I prefer black but to be fair... the A330 dual tone grey color is quite attractive too! Fashion junkies who thinks DSLR is too plain for their taste would now look twice at the new Alpha A330. For those who is actually looking forward to the Copper tone (bling bling brown) version of Alpha A330, i am sorry to inform you that according to Sony .... this model is exclusively made for USA market and they do not foresee the Copper tone model to be available in Mslaysia.
- I like the new hand grip material, it felt like rubber but the grip itself is too slim for my finger size. Someone with a smaller palm/fingers would probably felt more comfortable with the new grip system.
- The new GUI (Graphical User Interface) is COOL!!
- AEL button is completely gone! Honestly ... that button is not that useful anyway lol! The only time i am using it is to test my Alpha A200 built in Wireless flash function.
- ISO control seems to be better than its predecessor in the unit that i tested. This were not mentioned in any press released by Sony in regards to the improved ISO handling.
- Improved internal flash height but reduced internal flash power from GN12 to GN10.
- Improved Tilt 2.7" LCD.
- Very sharp, improved MFD (Minimum Focus Distance), Very lightweight, Great flare control (even without a hood), fast autofocus, great bokeh Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM lens. (I would dedicate another post about the performance of this new kit lens.)
- Beige colored camera strap.
- HDMI output for those who owns Sony HD TV ... now you can enjoy your photographs in High Def mode!
- Still do not have any kinda video recording, this has been argued over and over again. Some photographers actually against the idea of having a DSLR that records video at the same time but i beg to differs.
- Lowest fps (frame per second) 2.5 fps compared to its predecessor at 3fps. Not by alot but still lower.
- With the launching of A230, A330 and A380, we also could expect more new lenses to be roll out to accommodate the ever growing needs of Alpha DSLR users.
- The new models does not seems as replacement models for the Current A200, A300 and A350 despite being newer, many Alpha enthusiast view the new model as a new range more than as a replacement for the current entry level models. So if you are currently using either A200 (like myself) or A300 and A350, there will be very little reason for you guys to "upgrade" to the new A230, A330 or the A380. Despite being newer, there are some features that are not available in the newer models as opposed to the older ones. I am talking about the Camera body here, the lens is entirely a different story altogether.
However there is no news about the A230 and A380 release yet. I would assumed this all happening in the coming week.