Sony is hoping there is some truth to the old expression speed thrills and for a DSLR camera market that is experiencing sharp declines in sales figures -- any hook that aims to pump life into the category is welcomed news.
Sony's latest addition to its Alpha line of DSLRs is the Alpha 77A II, a 24.3-megapixel beauty that was is the long awaited successor to their 2011 released A77.
While the feature set includes the aforementioned 24MP resolution, along with and Exmor APS-C sensor; Bionz X image chip; OLED electronic viewfinder; a 3-inch LCD and NFC, enabling the sharing of pictures wirelessly (a must -feature in this category today), it is the camera's speed that will take center stage as it launches.
Targeting what has become a very important segment within the DSLR category, prosumer cameras that shoot action, Sony's focus on speed here is key and we're talking both in terms of shooting and processing. A brandnew focusing system is led by a remarkable 79 AF points with 15 crossing sensors. This allows the shooter to handle a continuous burst of up to 60 full-res photos at a maximum of 12fps. There's the big hook for the action-shooting prosumer Sony hopes to entice.
Additional improvements include an ISO range of 16,000 to 25,600 at its highest level (or 52,000 when expanded). In other words, if you enjoy shooting in extremely low-light situations you're in excellent shape here.
The new Alpha A77 II will be available in June for $1,200, body-only and a kit with a 16-50mm f/2.8 lens will be sold for $1,800.
The DSLR category needs some good news after a rough 2013 that saw revenue decline 17 percent. What's worse is the decline the category showed within its bread-and-butter demographic as 18-34 years are losing interest. NPD's Consumer Tracking Service shows that DSLR purchases are now trending to older (55+) and more affluent consumers.
All digital camera segments are suffering as the smartphone market continues to peck away at the market. NPD adds that mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras saw a 13 percent decline in revenue while the venerable point-and-shoot camera segment suffered a whopping 32 percent decline.