Just when I was about to jump ship Sony has announced the upcoming release of three new cameras. The new Sony Alpha 850 is their next generation full-frame DLSR following the popular A900. At only around $2,000 you get the same 24.6-megapixel CMOS sensor that graces the A900, and most of the same features.
For those of us on a budget, the new Sony Alpha 500 and 550 sound like good choices if you haven’t already decided on the older Alpha 700. At 12.3-megapixels for the A500 and 14.2-megapixels for the A550 featuring a brand new Exmore CMOS sensor these models will provide quality for less than $1000. Each includes built-in SteadyShot stabilization, a 3-inch tilt-angle LCD, BIONZ image processing engine, ISO settings up to 12800, and an auto HDR mode to combine two frames. Other features include LiveView, and an ISO button for quick selection. Many online retailers are already offering pre-orders for these models that are due out within the next month or so.
Being a long-time Minolta shooter, and more recently Sony, I have been contemplating starting over and replacing my gear with Nikon. Obviously expense is the largest concern, but I just haven’t been feeling the love from Sony lately. With the addition of these new affordable choices, I am now seriously contemplating staying in the Sony camp. Realistically it’s the photographer and the lens that are the most important part of a good photo. The camera body just provides additional features and tools to improve the process of capturing images. Now the question is APS-C sensor or Full-Frame?