The digital photography revolution has given rise to a whole new generation of shutterbugs; now electronics giant Sony wants to make it easy for these folks to make the jump from consumer-friendly point-and-shoot cameras to digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras—which offer much more control, advanced features, broad lens and filter capabilities, and the sorts of tools used by pro photographers. The new DSLR-A380, DSLR-A330 and DSLR-A230 are each designed to help digital photographers overcome the hurdles traditionally associated with DSLR cameras, and get right into taking better pictures.
“Our new alpha cameras, lenses and accessories make it easier for new users to get the great photos they expect without the steep learning curve that DSLRs have traditionally required,” said Sony Electronics’ senior manager for alpha cameras Kristen Elder, in a statement. “By overcoming the obstacles, we’ve made it much easier for newcomers to take great pictures with DSLRs.”
The new alphas are the first to feature an on-screen GUI with a build-in help guide offering concise descriptions of the cameras’ modes and settings. All three new cameras feature a 2.7-inch LCD display; on the a380 and a330 models also feature a live preview on the the display, and the screen can be tilted up and down to more easily frame shots. The cameras also feature HDMI output, Sony’s SteadyShot image stabilization system, and support Memory Stick Pro Duo, Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo, and SD/SDHC storage media.
The a230 sports a 10.2 megapixel resolution and ranks as the more compact alph DSLR at just 15.9 ounces. The a330 also comes in at 10.2 megapixels, which the a380 offers a 14.2 megapixel resolution.
The new cameras won’t be available in body-only kits, instead, Sony plans to offer them to first-time buyers in camera-and-lens packages: offerings will include two new standard and telephoto zoom lenses, along with new portrait and macro lenses.
The new alphas should be available today from Sony’s online store and selected retailers; with a SAL-1855 standard zoom lens the a230, a330, and a380 will carry suggested prices of $450, $650, and $850, respectively. Additional lenses range from $150 to $230, and an external flash is available for $130.