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Sony α

Sony α (the lower case to Greek letter alpha, often transliterated as Sony Alpha) is a digital camera system introduced on 5 June 2006. It uses and expands upon Konica Minolta camera technologies, including the Minolta AF SLR lens mount, whose assets were acquired by Sony after the end of Konica Minolta's photography operations in early 2006. Sony also has an 11.08% ownership stake in Japanese lens manufacturer Tamron, which is known to have partnered with Konica Minolta and Sony in the design and manufacture of many zoom lenses.

Sony α
TypeBrand name used by Sony for their line of DSLR/SLT/ILCA/NEX/ILCE cameras
FoundedTokyo, Japan (2006)
HeadquartersKonan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
ProductsLenses, camera bodies
The Sony A-mount on a Tamron SP 17-50mm F2.8.
The Sony A-mount on an α33 camera.

Prior to the acquisition by Sony, the α branding had already been used on the Japanese market by Minolta for their AF camera system (marketed as "Dynax" in Europe, and "Maxxum" in North America). Sony adopted the name "A-mount system" for the Minolta AF lens mount, which has been retained in their new SLR range.

Sony's entry into the DSLR market dates back to July 2005 where a joint venture with Konica Minolta would have resulted in both companies marketing an updated line of DSLRs to consumers. Between 2006 and 2008 Sony was the fastest growing company on the DSLR market, reaching 13% market share in 2008 to become the third largest DSLR company in the world.

In May 2010, Sony introduced two α NEX (New E-mount Experience) mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras equipped with the new proprietary Sony E-mount. A-mount lenses can be used in E-mount cameras with an adapter - four different adapters are available from Sony alone.

Sony announced plans to introduce a special camera service programme for professional photographers since the launch of the α900 in 2008. Sony Imaging PRO Support (a.k.a. SPS) was finally established starting between 2013 and 2015 depending on country.

Contents

The Sony α model system works on the principle that the next model up in the series has additional features to the one below; for example the α330 has the features of the base model α230 but with a tilt-angle LCD and Quick AF Live View, while the α380 has the settings and features of the α330 but increased resolution of 14.2 megapixels.

Only a few Sony APS-C DSLRs have Live View, except for the Sony α100, α200, α230, α290, α700, α850 and α900 series. Live View mode features a 1.4x or 2x Smart Teleconverter which digitally zooms in on the subject and reproduces pixels on a 1:1 basis, preventing degradation of picture quality.

In 2010 Sony replaced the legacy DSLR design with SLT cameras, where the "SLT" stands for "single-lens translucent" which refers to a fixed beam splitter in the image path. Sony SLT can shoot movie files at Full HD 1080p AVCHD with continuous phase detection autofocus.

Along with the α33 and α55 cameras, Sony also announced one of the last Sony DSLRs - the α560 which can also shoot movie files at full HD stereo 1080p AVCHD, but with limited manual controls and no continuous AF. These three cameras use the same technology Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor. The α33 and α55 are SLT based (fixed translucent mirrors) and can take movie files with continuous Auto Focus, whereas DSLRs using reflex mirrors typically cannot, at least not without limitations.

Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM (SAL-70300G) telephoto zoom lens

The A-mount, originally known as the A-type bayonet mount was introduced by Minolta in 1985 as the world's first fully integrated SLR autofocus system. As a result, all Minolta A-mount lenses can be used on Sony DSLRs (except for that some newer camera features cannot be used), and all Sony A-mount lenses work on Minolta's film and digital SLRs (except for that SSM/SAM lenses can be used only with manual focusing on cameras not supporting SSM and that APS-C format lenses cannot reasonably be used on film cameras due to their smaller image circle). During the initial introduction of the α system in 2006, Sony announced 19 lenses and 2 tele-converters, of which the majority were rebranded Konica Minolta lenses. At the 2007 PMA trade show, Sony unveiled several new lenses, but referred to them only in qualitative terms and did not provide specifications.

On 18 May 2009, Sony introduced the first A-mount lenses to feature their new SAM (Smooth Auto-focus Motor) in-lens auto-focus motor for more lens-specific AF speed improvements. This introduction was made with the new "+30" series camera bodies (α350 + 30 = α380). These new bodies retain an in-body focus motor for backward compatibility with the historic lens collection. In addition, the new bodies utilize HDMI output for display on HDTV sets and feature dual memory card slots for both Sony's proprietary Memory Stick Pro Duo chips as well as SDHC media format, while eliminating CompactFlash support.

List of Sony A-mount lenses

In 2010 Sony added the E-mount system to their Sony α lineup. This includes mirrorless cameras as well as camcorders. First they were all called "NEX", but this name has been dropped for "ILCE" for the mirrorless stills cameras.

Further information: Sony E-mount

Flash system

Auto-lock Accessory Shoe (a.k.a. iISO hotshoe) used between 1988 and 2012

The 4-pin Auto-lock Accessory Shoe (a.k.a. iISO hotshoe) on all Sony DSLRs/SLTs and some NEX models up to 2012-08 was introduced by Minolta in 1988 for their Maxxum/Dynax/α series of A-mount AF SLRs and was also used on their digital DiMAGE A cameras series. It offers a slide-on auto-locking mechanism but is mechanically incompatible with hotshoes based on the ISO 518 standard as utilized by most other camera and accessory manufacturers. A compatible 7-pin variant existed as well, but was rarely used by Minolta, and not at all by Sony. The passive adapters Minolta FS-1100 and FS-PC allow to adapt Minolta AF and TTL flashes with ISO-based foot to cameras with Auto-lock Accessory Shoe, whereas the FS-1200 allows users to use AF TTL flashes with Auto-lock Accessory Foot on earlier Minolta SLRs. These adapters provide no voltage protection or galvanic isolation, but they maintain TTL support with Minolta film cameras. Digital cameras, however, require digital-ready flashes for TTL support. If no TTL support, but voltage protection and galvanic isolation is required, the Sony FA-HS1AM can be used instead to mount ISO-based equipment on Auto-lock Accessory Shoe cameras. If no electrical connection is required, the mechanical adapter Sony FA-SA1AM can be used as well.

In 2012-09 Sony introduced a new 21+3-pin ISO-518 compatible hotshoe called Multi Interface Shoe, replacing the Auto-lock Accessory Shoe, previously used with α equipment. The adapter ADP-MAA adapts existing 4-pin auto-lock foot flashes to cameras with the new Multi Interface Shoe, whereas the adapter ADP-AMA allows photographers to use some new equipment with Multi Interface shoe on older cameras with Auto-lock Accessory Shoe.

The first two flash models released by Sony (HVL-F36AM and HVL-F56AM) are, like the first generation of lenses, rebadged models of the Minolta Program Flash 3600HS(D) and the Minolta Program Flash 5600HS(D). Later on Sony expanded its flash system further, allowing advanced wireless flash control, including grouping of external flashes into groups with full ratio control.

The HVL-RLAM and HVL-RL1 are ring-shaped LED continuous lights for use with video. To a limited extent they can also be used for macro photos of static objects, although a true macro flash is much preferred. The Sony flash system does not include a ring flash, but the Minolta R-1200 and 1200 AF ring flash heads can be used with the Minolta Macro Flash Controller MFC-1000 on Sony DSLRs as well, whereas the older Minolta Control Unit 1200 AF is not compatible with digital cameras. The MFC-1000 also accepts the Minolta Twin Flash T-2400 as well as the flash head of the Sony HVL-MT24AM twin flash, but not vice versa.

Vertical control grips

Grip VG-C70AM for Sony α700

Vertical control grips were released for a number of α DSLRs and MILCs, with the exception of most recent entry-level DSLRs: α230, α330, α380, α290 and α390. The new α65 will also get no vertical grip. All the vertical grips are sold separately.

Model Compatible bodies Supported number of batteries Shutter release button Grip sensor Nearly fully duplicated controls, dials and stick Mounting requires removal of camera battery Compact design (no "smoke stack") Number of strap eyelets for hand strap Weather sealed
VG-B30AM α200, α300, α350 1-2× NP-FM500H Yes No No Yes No 1 No
VG-B50AM α450, α500, α550, α560, α580 1-2× NP-FM500H Yes No No Yes No 2 No
VG-C70AM α700 1-2× NP-FM500H Yes Only in US model variant Yes Yes No 1 Door
VG-C77AM α77, α77 II, α99 II 1-2× NP-FM500H Yes No Yes Yes No 2 Yes
VG-C90AM α850, α900 1-2× NP-FM500H Yes No Yes Yes No 2 Door
VG-C99AM α99 1-2× NP-FM500H (plus 1× in camera) Yes No Yes No Yes 2 Yes
VG-C1EM α7, α7R, α7S 1-2× NP-FW50 Yes No No Yes No Yes
VG-C2EM α7 II, α7R II, α7S II 1-2× NP-FW50 Yes No No Yes No Yes
VG-C3EM α7 III, α7R III, α9 1-2× NP-FZ100 Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
VG-C4EM α7S III, α7R IV, α9-II 1-2× NP-FZ100 Yes No Yes Yes No Yes

Other

Sony ECM-CG50 shotgun microphone dedicated for video-capable α cameras
Designation Description
ECM-ALST1 External stereo microphone
ECM-CG50 External shotgun microphone
CLM-V55 External LCD screen
HVL-LE1 LED video light
VCT-55LH Cold Shoe Mounting Bracket
XLR-K1M XLR adapter with ECM-XM1 microphone
  1. "Sony enters the DSLR camera market with innovative technologies to expand the creative possibilities" (Press release). Sony. 2006-06-05. Archived from the original on 2006-06-15. Retrieved2006-08-31.
  2. "Stock Information" (Press release). Tamron Co., Ltd. 2006-08-04. Archived from the original on 2006-07-05. Retrieved2006-08-11.
  3. "Sony decides α as new brand for digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras" (Press release). Sony. 2006-04-20. Retrieved2006-09-29.
  4. "Konica Minolta and Sony agree to jointly develop digital SLR cameras" (Press release). Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc. 2005-07-19. Retrieved2007-06-10. Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. and Sony Corporation have reached an agreement to jointly develop digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras.
  5. "dSLR Worldwide Market Share, 2006-2008". Retrieved2010-03-24.
  6. "Sony introduces world's smallest and lightest interchangeable lens digital cameras" (Press release). Sony. 2005-05-10.
  7. "Sony Lenses".
  8. Smart Teleconverter http://www.dynaxdigital.com/sony-alpha-300-330-350-380-discussion/smart-teleconverter/
  9. Sony SLT-A55 Review: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonyslta55/
  10. http://www.dcresource.com/news/newsitem.php?id=4175
  11. http://www.dpreview.com/news/1008/10082421sonyslta55a33.asp
  12. http://news.sel.sony.com/en/press_room/consumer/digital_imaging/digital_cameras/dslr/release/58159.html
  13. "Sony reveals new α380/α330/α230 camera bodies with lenses with 'SAM' AF technology" (Press release). dpreview.com. 2009-05-18. Retrieved2009-05-18.
  14. "New Sony α (Alpha) flagship flash unit expands creative possibilities with quick shift bounce" (Press release). Sony. 2008-06-19. Retrieved2010-07-17.
Wikimedia Commons has media related toSony α.

Sony α
Sony a Language Watch Edit Sony a the lower case to Greek letter alpha often transliterated as Sony Alpha is a digital camera system introduced on 5 June 2006 1 It uses and expands upon Konica Minolta camera technologies including the Minolta AF SLR lens mount whose assets were acquired by Sony after the end of Konica Minolta s photography operations in early 2006 Sony also has an 11 08 ownership stake in Japanese lens manufacturer Tamron 2 which is known to have partnered with Konica Minolta and Sony in the design and manufacture of many zoom lenses Sony aTypeBrand name used by Sony for their line of DSLR SLT ILCA NEX ILCE camerasFoundedTokyo Japan 2006 HeadquartersKonan Minato ku Tokyo JapanProductsLenses camera bodiesThe Sony A mount on a Tamron SP 17 50mm F2 8 The Sony A mount on an a33 camera Prior to the acquisition by Sony the a branding had already been used on the Japanese market by Minolta for their AF camera system marketed as Dynax in Europe and Maxxum in North America Sony adopted the name A mount system for the Minolta AF lens mount which has been retained in their new SLR range 3 Sony s entry into the DSLR market dates back to July 2005 where a joint venture with Konica Minolta would have resulted in both companies marketing an updated line of DSLRs to consumers 4 Between 2006 and 2008 Sony was the fastest growing company on the DSLR market reaching 13 market share in 2008 to become the third largest DSLR company in the world 5 In May 2010 Sony introduced two a NEX New E mount Experience mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras equipped with the new proprietary Sony E mount 6 A mount lenses can be used in E mount cameras with an adapter four different adapters are available from Sony alone 7 Sony announced plans to introduce a special camera service programme for professional photographers since the launch of the a900 in 2008 Sony Imaging PRO Support a k a SPS was finally established starting between 2013 and 2015 depending on country Contents 1 Camera bodies 2 A mount lenses 3 E mount lenses 4 Other accessories 4 1 Flash system 4 2 Vertical control grips 4 3 Other 5 References 6 External linksCamera bodies EditMain article List of Sony a cameras The Sony a model system works on the principle that the next model up in the series has additional features to the one below for example the a330 has the features of the base model a230 but with a tilt angle LCD and Quick AF Live View while the a380 has the settings and features of the a330 but increased resolution of 14 2 megapixels Only a few Sony APS C DSLRs have Live View except for the Sony a100 a200 a230 a290 a700 a850 and a900 series Live View mode features a 1 4x or 2x Smart Teleconverter which digitally zooms in on the subject and reproduces pixels on a 1 1 basis preventing degradation of picture quality 8 In 2010 Sony replaced the legacy DSLR design with SLT cameras where the SLT stands for single lens translucent which refers to a fixed beam splitter in the image path Sony SLT can shoot movie files at Full HD 1080p AVCHD with continuous phase detection autofocus 9 Along with the a33 and a55 cameras Sony also announced one of the last Sony DSLRs the a560 which can also shoot movie files at full HD stereo 1080p AVCHD but with limited manual controls and no continuous AF 10 These three cameras use the same technology Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor The a33 and a55 are SLT based fixed translucent mirrors and can take movie files with continuous Auto Focus whereas DSLRs using reflex mirrors typically cannot at least not without limitations 11 12 Sony a900 with Sony SAL 135F18Z Sony a55 with SAL 1680Z Sony a58 with SAL 1855 2 Sony a77 flagship APS C cameraA mount lenses Edit Sony 70 300mm f 4 5 5 6 G SSM SAL 70300G telephoto zoom lens The A mount originally known as the A type bayonet mount was introduced by Minolta in 1985 as the world s first fully integrated SLR autofocus system As a result all Minolta A mount lenses can be used on Sony DSLRs except for that some newer camera features cannot be used and all Sony A mount lenses work on Minolta s film and digital SLRs except for that SSM SAM lenses can be used only with manual focusing on cameras not supporting SSM and that APS C format lenses cannot reasonably be used on film cameras due to their smaller image circle During the initial introduction of the a system in 2006 Sony announced 19 lenses and 2 tele converters of which the majority were rebranded Konica Minolta lenses At the 2007 PMA trade show Sony unveiled several new lenses but referred to them only in qualitative terms and did not provide specifications On 18 May 2009 Sony introduced the first A mount lenses to feature their new SAM Smooth Auto focus Motor in lens auto focus motor for more lens specific AF speed improvements This introduction was made with the new 30 series camera bodies a350 30 a380 These new bodies retain an in body focus motor for backward compatibility with the historic lens collection In addition the new bodies utilize HDMI output for display on HDTV sets and feature dual memory card slots for both Sony s proprietary Memory Stick Pro Duo chips as well as SDHC media format while eliminating CompactFlash support 13 List of Sony A mount lensesE mount lenses EditMain article List of Sony E mount lenses In 2010 Sony added the E mount system to their Sony a lineup This includes mirrorless cameras as well as camcorders First they were all called NEX but this name has been dropped for ILCE for the mirrorless stills cameras Further information Sony E mountOther accessories EditFlash system Edit Main articles Auto lock Accessory Shoe and Multi Interface Shoe Auto lock Accessory Shoe a k a iISO hotshoe used between 1988 and 2012 The 4 pin Auto lock Accessory Shoe a k a iISO hotshoe on all Sony DSLRs SLTs and some NEX models up to 2012 08 was introduced by Minolta in 1988 for their Maxxum Dynax a series of A mount AF SLRs and was also used on their digital DiMAGE A cameras series It offers a slide on auto locking mechanism but is mechanically incompatible with hotshoes based on the ISO 518 standard as utilized by most other camera and accessory manufacturers A compatible 7 pin variant existed as well but was rarely used by Minolta and not at all by Sony The passive adapters Minolta FS 1100 and FS PC allow to adapt Minolta AF and TTL flashes with ISO based foot to cameras with Auto lock Accessory Shoe whereas the FS 1200 allows users to use AF TTL flashes with Auto lock Accessory Foot on earlier Minolta SLRs These adapters provide no voltage protection or galvanic isolation but they maintain TTL support with Minolta film cameras Digital cameras however require digital ready flashes for TTL support If no TTL support but voltage protection and galvanic isolation is required the Sony FA HS1AM can be used instead to mount ISO based equipment on Auto lock Accessory Shoe cameras If no electrical connection is required the mechanical adapter Sony FA SA1AM can be used as well In 2012 09 Sony introduced a new 21 3 pin ISO 518 compatible hotshoe called Multi Interface Shoe replacing the Auto lock Accessory Shoe previously used with a equipment The adapter ADP MAA adapts existing 4 pin auto lock foot flashes to cameras with the new Multi Interface Shoe whereas the adapter ADP AMA allows photographers to use some new equipment with Multi Interface shoe on older cameras with Auto lock Accessory Shoe The first two flash models released by Sony HVL F36AM and HVL F56AM are like the first generation of lenses rebadged models of the Minolta Program Flash 3600HS D and the Minolta Program Flash 5600HS D Later on Sony expanded its flash system further allowing advanced wireless flash control including grouping of external flashes into groups with full ratio control 14 The HVL RLAM and HVL RL1 are ring shaped LED continuous lights for use with video To a limited extent they can also be used for macro photos of static objects although a true macro flash is much preferred The Sony flash system does not include a ring flash but the Minolta R 1200 and 1200 AF ring flash heads can be used with the Minolta Macro Flash Controller MFC 1000 on Sony DSLRs as well whereas the older Minolta Control Unit 1200 AF is not compatible with digital cameras The MFC 1000 also accepts the Minolta Twin Flash T 2400 as well as the flash head of the Sony HVL MT24AM twin flash but not vice versa Vertical control grips Edit Grip VG C70AM for Sony a700 Vertical control grips were released for a number of a DSLRs and MILCs with the exception of most recent entry level DSLRs a230 a330 a380 a290 and a390 The new a65 will also get no vertical grip All the vertical grips are sold separately Model Compatible bodies Supported number of batteries Shutter release button Grip sensor Nearly fully duplicated controls dials and stick Mounting requires removal of camera battery Compact design no smoke stack Number of strap eyelets for hand strap Weather sealedVG B30AM a200 a300 a350 1 2 NP FM500H Yes No No Yes No 1 NoVG B50AM a450 a500 a550 a560 a580 1 2 NP FM500H Yes No No Yes No 2 NoVG C70AM a700 1 2 NP FM500H Yes Only in US model variant Yes Yes No 1 DoorVG C77AM a77 a77 II a99 II 1 2 NP FM500H Yes No Yes Yes No 2 YesVG C90AM a850 a900 1 2 NP FM500H Yes No Yes Yes No 2 DoorVG C99AM a99 1 2 NP FM500H plus 1 in camera Yes No Yes No Yes 2 YesVG C1EM a7 a7R a7S 1 2 NP FW50 Yes No No Yes No YesVG C2EM a7 II a7R II a7S II 1 2 NP FW50 Yes No No Yes No YesVG C3EM a7 III a7R III a9 1 2 NP FZ100 Yes No Yes Yes No YesVG C4EM a7S III a7R IV a9 II 1 2 NP FZ100 Yes No Yes Yes No YesOther Edit Sony ECM CG50 shotgun microphone dedicated for video capable a cameras Designation DescriptionECM ALST1 External stereo microphoneECM CG50 External shotgun microphoneCLM V55 External LCD screenHVL LE1 LED video lightVCT 55LH Cold Shoe Mounting BracketXLR K1M XLR adapter with ECM XM1 microphoneReferences Edit Sony enters the DSLR camera market with innovative technologies to expand the creative possibilities Press release Sony 2006 06 05 Archived from the original on 2006 06 15 Retrieved 2006 08 31 Stock Information Press release Tamron Co Ltd 2006 08 04 Archived from the original on 2006 07 05 Retrieved 2006 08 11 Sony decides a as new brand for digital Single Lens Reflex SLR cameras Press release Sony 2006 04 20 Retrieved 2006 09 29 Konica Minolta and Sony agree to jointly develop digital SLR cameras Press release Konica Minolta Holdings Inc 2005 07 19 Retrieved 2007 06 10 Konica Minolta Photo Imaging Inc and Sony Corporation have reached an agreement to jointly develop digital Single Lens Reflex SLR cameras dSLR Worldwide Market Share 2006 2008 Retrieved 2010 03 24 Sony introduces world s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens digital cameras Press release Sony 2005 05 10 Sony Lenses Smart Teleconverter http www dynaxdigital com sony alpha 300 330 350 380 discussion smart teleconverter Sony SLT A55 Review http www dpreview com reviews sonyslta55 http www dcresource com news newsitem php id 4175 http www dpreview com news 1008 10082421sonyslta55a33 asp http news sel sony com en press room consumer digital imaging digital cameras dslr release 58159 html Sony reveals new a380 a330 a230 camera bodies with lenses with SAM AF technology Press release dpreview com 2009 05 18 Retrieved 2009 05 18 New Sony a Alpha flagship flash unit expands creative possibilities with quick shift bounce Press release Sony 2008 06 19 Retrieved 2010 07 17 External links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Sony a Dyxum com a website for a photographers Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Sony a amp oldid 1050868402, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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