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A couple of days ago, Sony announced two new DSLR models: Alpha 500 (A500) and Alpha 550 (A550).

The Alpha 500 employs a new Exmor™ CMOS sensor (like Canon that always used CMOS sensor in DSLR) and enhances live view mode with Face Detection and the possibility of having a focus confirmation when in manual focus.

Other addition/improvements:

  • Auto HDR (high dynamic range): a very cool features that captures two shots and in just a couple of seconds it align them automatically to create a high range image. This is a unique feature so far: just Pentax K7 has an auto HDR function but without the auto-alignment so you have to shoot on a tripod.
  • sensitivity up to ISO 12800 - most probably quite useless for high noise, this extremely high ISO is a recent trend also from Canon, unfortunately;
  • improved noise reduction algorithm.
  • sensor: 12.3 megapixels and 230'000 pixels LCD.

Initial price around $ 800 with 18-55 mm kit lens;

The camera offers the useful tilte-angle LCD, a handy feature to shoot in awkward positions, taken from the compact cameras into DSLR world: Sony and Olympus wisely did that, while Nikon and Canon not yet (hopefully one day).

It should be available in stores from next October.

  • Referenced brands in this article: Sony