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Sony introduces SLT-a35 and NEX-C3 advanced cameras

Consumer Reports News: June 08, 2011 08:08 AM

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Continuing its commitment to SLR-like cameras, Sony announced two new 16-megapixel models. The SLT-a35 looks very much like an SLR and includes the same translucent mirror technology as Sony’s a33 and a55. And the NEX-C3 is a smaller rangefinder-type camera, similar to the NEX3 and the NEX5. Both new models will be available in August.

Besides the many features it shares with the a33 and a55, the a35 includes a special cropped burst mode, tele-zoom high-speed shooting, which lets you fire 7 frames per second (instead of 5.5) with continuous autofocus, though it drops the resolution to 8 megapixels. The a35 can capture 1080i HD video but uses what Sony considers a more advanced AF system (phase detection) than what most SLRs use when capturing video. The camera also features a high-quality electronic viewfinder, 15-point AF, an Auto HDR (high-dynamic range) mode, additional picture effect filters, and 3D panorama sweep. It will come with an 18-55mm lens and cost $700.

The Sony SLT-a35; Photo: Sony

The NEX-C3 is smaller and lighter than the two previous NEX models. It doesn’t have a viewfinder but includes an Auto HDR mode, additional picture-effect filters, and 3D panorama sweep. The NEX-C3 can capture HD-resolution video at 720p and can also shoot 5.5 frames per second.

Sony enhanced the “photo creative” user interface, which attempts to simplify exposure and feature settings such as depth of field. And you still have access to the shooting tips and help guide that were on the first two NEX models. Sony also added a slightly more powerful battery (up to 400 shots per charge and up to 140 minutes for movies). The NEX-C3 comes with an 18-55mm lens for $650 or a 16mm lens for $600.

Sony has also announced two new accessories for the NEX system cameras: a 30mm f/3.5 macro lens, for $250, and a new external flash, which will cost $150.

Terry Sullivan

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