Sony still tight-lipped on new flagship Alpha DSLR camera

Sony showed its upcoming flagship Alpha DSLR camera at a Tokyo event but there are still no more details on when the camera will be launched.

Sony's upcoming flagship digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera got its first outing in Tokyo Wednesday at the Photo Imaging Expo, but the company is remaining tight-lipped on details of the anticipated product.

The camera, which is due on the market this year, will sit at the top of Sony's Alpha DSLR range.

Single-lens reflex cameras use a mirror placed between the lens and the film or image sensor to project the image to the camera's viewfinder. The mirror moves out of the way when the picture is taken. They typically support interchangeable lenses and are faster and more capable than smaller point-and-shoot cameras.

Not much information is known about the camera beyond what Sony disclosed at the recent PMA show in the U.S. There it said the flagship model has a full-frame sensor -- an image sensor the same size as a 35mm film frame -- with a resolution of 24.6 megapixels and image stabilization to reduce the effects of camera shake.

No additional details were available in Tokyo although a Sony spokeswoman said the camera would get launched later this year at a major industry event. With CES and PMA already gone remaining events include IFA and Photokina in August and September respectively in Germany and Ceatec in October in Japan.

After several years of success with compact digital cameras Sony entered the SLR market in mid-2006. It entry and that of competitors like Panasonic helped increase competition and push down prices in a market that had been the almost exclusive domain of Canon and Nikon for several years. Now DSLR cameras can be found for well under US$1,000 and sales are rising fast.

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Martyn Williams

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