Sony To Take On Micro Four Thirds With New Hybrid Camera

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Sony who are witnessing a bounce back in the Australian digital camera market with select models, is set to launch two new hybrid cameras that they claim delivers better performance and functionality than Micro Four Thirds technology which is sold by Olympus and Panasonic with their Lumix range.

Sony claim that the camera’s which are planned for Australia in the second half of 2010 are designed to offer the creative flexibility of an interchangeable lens d-SLR and the compact form factor of a point-and-shoot camera.

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According to TWICE he new NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras which come in silver are the world’s smallest interchangeable lens cameras. Both hybrids are Sony’s first mirrorless interchangeable lens models. They use large-area Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensors with 14.2 megapixel still image resolution and HD video resolution.
The release comes 24 hours after Panasonic released an upgrade for their Lumix GI which improves shutter and focus speeds.
Sony claims that their sensors have been optimized for both picture quality and speed of readout – important for both still image capture and HD movie taking.
The cameras also have HD video recording functionality. 
The NEX-5 records in HD 1080i in AVCHD with continuous Auto Focus. The NEX-3 records in 720p HD resolution. Both models also include HDMI outputs.
The large-area APS HD CMOS sensors permit images with professional looking de-focused backgrounds in both stills and videos. The effect is difficult to achieve with most point-and-shoot digital cameras, Sony said.
Sony bragged that their new sensors are 60 percent larger than sensors used in competitive hybrid cameras based on Micro Four Thirds technology, Sony said.
Both cameras will accept Sony’s E-mount lenses when used with a special optional adapter, making them compatible with a full range of the company’s Alpha D-SLR lenses. The new models will ship with compact E-mount lenses that incorporate built-in optical image stabilisation. That capability is not supported by the NEX cameras using Alpha camera lenses.
The new lenses also use Sony optics, instead of the Carl Zeiss optics used by the other Alpha family lenses.
The cameras are said to have about half the size and weight of Sony’s smallest d-SLR model. 
The NEX-5 will shoot at 7 frames per second in speed priority mode and 2.3 frames per second with continue AF tracking data.
Both cameras include 3-inch wide format tilting LCD viewscreen with True Black technology.
No pricing for Australia have been announced yet.
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