Sony HDR-CX350V Full HD Flash Memory Camcorder
Text and Images by Tony Gomez
Earlier this year Sony introduced an entirely new line of High Definition HandyCam camcorders. Depending on the model, these new camcorders use hard disk, internal memory, or removable flash memory—or a combination thereof. I recently tested one of the best of these new models, the HDR-CX350V, which is a 32GB internal/removable flash memory model that shoots 1920 x 1080 Full HD video and sells for $799.99 (MSRP).
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Tags: camcorder, Camcorder Reviews, Camera Reviews, flashmemory, Full HD, HandyCam, HD, High Definition, low-light, Sony, Sony HDR-CX350V, video | 2 Comments »
Sony has announced two new a(Alpha) D-SLRs: the a290 and the a390. Both 14.2MP cameras are regarded as entry-level or first-time D-SLRs because of affordability (Sony is calling the a290 “the most affordable new DSLR from Sony”—though they have not released official pricing. However, CNET.com reports that the a290 18-55mm kit will cost $499.99 and the a390 will be a hundred dollars more)—and because of the intuitive interface and features that they offer. Sony says, “Both cameras offer the speedy shooting responses that are prized by DSLR users. The α390 adds the extra benefit of Quick AF Live View.” The a290 and a390 will be available this summer. See the press release below.
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At PMA in February, we brought you the news that Sony had plans to unveil a compact interchangeable lens camera this year. Well, that time has come. Sony has just announced two new mirrorless a (alpha) compact interchangeable lens digital cameras—the NEX-3 and the NEX-5. Both offer the image quality of a D-SLR with the portability of a compact camera. According to Sony, “these models are the world’s first interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C sensor to continuously adjust focus and exposure while recording video.” They will be compatible with three new E-Mount lenses. An optional LA-EA1 Mount Adaptor extends compatibility to the α family of 30 lenses, plus a huge range of other legacy A-mount lenses (Manual Focus only). The cameras and lenses will be available in July. Find additional images and the full press release from Sony below for specs and pricing.
SAN DIEGO, May 10, 2010 – Sony today introduced two innovative α (alpha) compact interchangeable lens digital cameras (models NEX-5 and NEX-3) that provide the quality of a digital SLR in a compact body that is easy to slip into a small purse or jacket pocket for ultimate portability.
“Consumers want better picture quality in a smaller form factor. Sony has made that a reality with these cameras. The NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras truly embody Sony’s make.believe spirit,” said Kristen Elder, director of Sony’s alpha digital imaging business. “These new cameras are the game-changers everyone has been waiting for and will revolutionize the consumer experience by offering outstanding picture quality with a totally pocketable size.”
With breakthrough video performance, these models are the world’s first interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C sensor to continuously adjust focus and exposure while recording video. The NEX-5 camera offers Full HD movie capture (1080i AVCHD and 720p MP4) with Full HD 60i recording.
These cameras are perfect for point-and-shoot users looking to advance from snapshots to creative photography as well as existing DSLR users searching for a no-compromise compact alternative.
Unlike conventional DSLR models, the “mirrorless” construction of the new models reduces the thickness of both camera bodies to just about an inch at their slimmest point (excluding grip and mount portions). The NEX-5, constructed from magnesium alloy, and the NEX-3, with a polycarbonate casing, offer a newly developed 14.2 megapixel Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor. About 60 percent larger than the sensor in micro four-thirds cameras, this sensor is key to the exceptional image quality, extremely low image noise and creative defocus background effects that are familiar to DSLR users.
HD Movie Recording and Fast, Silent Autofocus
The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are the first α cameras to offer the extra convenience of high definition video recording. In addition to 720p HD recording, the NEX-5 also captures
Full HD (1920 x 1080i) video in high-quality AVCHD files that can be easily enjoyed on a compatible HD television via the cameras built-in HDMI™ terminal (cable not included). The NEX-3 shoots 720p HD video as compact MP4 files. Both Sony cameras include built-in stereo microphones for high-quality audio recording.
Still and video image quality is further refined by Sony’s powerful BIONZ® processor that ensures quick DSLR-style shooting response with fast, precise autofocus and minimal shutter lag. Both cameras can also capture fast-moving action with a high-speed burst of full-resolution images at up to 7fps (AF/AE fixed from first frame).
The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are the first α cameras featuring Sweep Panorama. Capturing large group shots is as easy as press-and-sweep. Sweep Panorama mode lets consumers capture breathtaking shots up to 226-degree horizontal or 151-degree vertical shots.
Both models will be ready for 3D Sweep Panorama this July (with firmware update). With 3D Sweep Panorama mode, these cameras can shoot 3D panoramic still images with a single lens. The high-speed burst of frames is stitched together using innovative processing techniques to automatically create detail-packed 3D panoramas. These files can be enjoyed in stunning 3D on compatible 3D televisions (other accessories may be required).
These cameras provide the advantages of multi-frame capture featured in Cyber-shot® cameras, including Hand-Held Twilight and Anti-motion Blur modes, which offer extraordinary low-light performance.
Simple To Use
Overcoming the complexity and intimidation that often come along with DSLR use, the NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras have a new easy-to-use interface. It makes their performance advantages and features—including the techniques of creative photography—simple to master for consumers stepping up from compact digital still cameras and simultaneously offers easy access to the important camera controls that DSLR users demand.
Images and camera settings are displayed on the 3-inch (diagonal) wide-type Xtra Fine LCD™ display with TruBlack™ technology and 921k dot high resolution LCD that tilts up or down for comfortable viewing in any shooting position. The screen features an auto-brightness control function for excellent visibility, even outdoors. TruBlack screen technology enables an even more vivid, high-contrast view of images and camera settings.
Three new E-mount lenses are being introduced, including a 16mm F2.8 wide angle prime lens (model number SEL16F28), an 18mm-55mm F3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens (model number SEL1855) and an 18mm-200mm F3.5-6.3 (model number SEL18200) high magnification zoom lens.
The E-mount lenses provide the cameras with extreme compactness as well as the performance required for quiet continuous auto focus and auto exposure during HD video capture. These all new lenses are of premium construction, with brushed aluminum barrels and steel mounts. An optional LA-EA1 Mount Adaptor extends compatibility to the α family of 30 lenses, plus a huge range of other legacy A-mount lenses (Manual Focus only).
Ideal for everyday shooting, the low-profile E 16mm F2.8 lens minimizes bulk, allowing the camera to easily be carried in a coat, pants pocket, or purse. This lens’ creative possibilities can be expanded even further by the VCL-ECU1 Ultra Wide Converter which provides a 12mm view, and VCL-ECF1 Fisheye Converter that delivers impressive curvi-linear distortion.
Featuring in-lens Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization for clearer handheld images, the E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS zoom is a perfect travel partner. The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are available in kit form with either the 16mm prime or the 18mm-55mm lens. The E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS zoom lens offers a powerful 11x magnification range plus Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active mode that is used in the most advanced Handycam® camcorders.
Both cameras are supplied with a super-compact clip-on flash that attaches via the smart accessory terminal when needed. Other optional accessories include the FDA-SV1 Optical Viewfinder plus stylish cases and shoulder straps.
As an option, the accessory shoe on both cameras accepts a compact ECM-SST1 Stereo Microphone that captures even more high-quality sound for HD video recordings than the cameras’ built-in stereo recording.
The new cameras accept both Memory Stick PRO Duo™ (including Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™) and SD (including both SDHC and SDXC formats) media (all sold separately). Sony’s new Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX offers 30MB per second transfer rates that save you time when downloading images.
Pricing and Availability
The NEX-5A and NEX-3A cameras, which are supplied with SEL16F28 lens, will cost about $650 and $550 respectively. NEX-5K and NEX-3K cameras, supplied with SEL1855 lens will cost about $700 and $600 respectively. The NEX-3 will be available in silver, black and red, and the NEX-5 in silver and black.
The SEL16F28 and SEL1855 lenses will be available for about $250 and $300. (The SEL18200 zoom lens will be available this fall for about $800.)
The cameras, lenses and a range of accessories will be available in July at Sony Style® retail stores (www.Sonystyle.com/retail) and at authorized dealers nationwide.
© Paolo Pellegrin, Arts & Entertainment winner- Sony World Photography Awards 2010 / Magnum Photos for New York Times Magazine
Sony has announced the winners of the 2010 World Photography Awards. The gallery of winning images is full of stunning work and well worth checking out. Congrats to all the winners!
Sony World Photography Awards 2010 winners announced
• Professional category winners revealed
• Italian photographer Tommaso Ausili wins L’Iris d’Or
• Vitali Seitz wins Sony World Photography Awards Amateur Photographer of the Year
The L’Iris d’Or and professional category winners of the 2010 Sony World Photography Awards were announced today, Thursday 22 April, at the Sony World Photography Awards Ceremony at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France.
The 12 professional winners spanned categories as diverse as fashion, architecture, current affairs and sport and were revealed alongside the Sony World Photography Awards Amateur Photographer of the Year as part of the World Photography Festival.
Chosen by the 2010 Honorary Judging Committee, comprising 12 World Photographic Academy members, the professional category winners are:
Photojournalism and Documentary
• Walter Astrada (Argentina) for Current Affairs
• Scott Barbour (New Zealand) for Sport
• Tommaso Ausili (Italy) for Contemporary Issues
• Paolo Pellegrin (Italy) for Arts and Entertainment
• Martin Brent (United Kingdom) for Advertising
• David Handley (United Kingdom) for Fashion
• Mohammad Golchin (Iran) for Music
• Philipp Lohöefener (Germany)for Architecture
• Tommaso Bonaventura (Italy) for Portraiture
• Renhui Zhao (Singapore) for Conceptual and Constructed
• Pere Pascual (Spain) for Natural History
• Peter Franck (Germany) for Landscape
On behalf of the Honorary Judging Committee Aidan Sullivan commented, “It has been an honour to be part of the judging of this years awards. Being able to view the remarkable work and spend time with such eminent colleagues was a real delight. The judging process was one of both pleasure, in seeing such a high calibre of work, and of pain in that the standard made reaching our decisions difficult and I would like to congratulate all of the winners across all of the categories.”
The prestigious L’Iris d’Or/Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year award was awarded to Tommaso Ausili. The Italian photographer’s evocative series of photographs in the Cotemporary Issues category, entitled “The Hidden Death”, is an insightful depiction of an assembly line at an abattoir. Ausili was awarded a $25,000 cash prize plus Sony digital SLR camera equipment and he joins previous L’Iris d’Or winners David Zimmerman and Vanessa Winship as a member of the World Photographic Academy.
Tommaso Ausili said at the ceremony: “I’m very glad to receive this award. Since I started this series on the death of animals, I have felt an enormous sense of guilt, and this prize goes some way to repay that debt. Thanks to the Sony World Photography Awards for honouring my work with this prize.”
Photographer Vitali Seitz was announced as the 2010 Sony World Amateur Photographer of the Year at the ceremony. Based in Munich, but originally from Siberia, Vitali’s image entitled “Hauskonzert: Home concert” was taken at an informal concert as part of a family birthday and also won the amateur Music category. In addition to his title Vitali picked up a $5,000 cash prize and Sony digital SLR camera equipment.
All the winning and shortlisted images of the 2010 awards are on display until 27 April as part of the World Photography Festival in Cannes. The images will then be showcased in the Sony World Photography Awards Global Tour exhibition which will tour around the world throughout 2010 and 2011.
The final presentation of the evening went to celebrated American photojournalist Eve Arnold. Presented the day after her 98th birthday, the Lifetime Achievement Award was collected by her grandson Michael Arnold. Eve’s 50 year career has captured some of history’s most memorable figures from Malcolm X to Marilyn Monroe and was the first female photographer to be taken on by Magnum. A retrospective of Eve’s work, curated by Zelda Cheatle, is currently on display in Cannes as part of the World Photography Festival.
Astrid Merget, Creative Director of the World Photography Organisation, said: “The quality of work submitted by this year’s professional photographers was remarkable. Narrowing down so many impressive selections to just 36 finalists was a feat worthy of a very distinguished jury like ours to undertake. We are all thrilled with the results and honoured to have such talented photographers participate in our awards programme.”
Yoshiyuki Nogami, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Europe, said: “We are once again honoured to support this unique competition which celebrates the power of photography. This year’s contest has produced an inspired showcase of phenomenal photographic talent and we congratulate all these deserving winners.”
All the winning professional and amateur images can be viewed at www.worldphotographyawards.org
At Sony‘s press conference, minutes ago at PMA here in Anaheim, they introduced a mock-up model of a new camera concept—an ultra compact a (Alpha) D-SLR model with interchangeable lenses. We also got to see the newly announced Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 and H55 in person.