Sony announces five new cameras and two lenses in Europe


posted Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 3:50 PM EDT

Sony announced a raft of new cameras and lenses in Europe yesterday including a new entry level DSLR -- the 20-megapixel Sony A58 that will replace both the A37 and A57 -- as well as the new entry level NEX-3N compact system camera. Sony also unveiled three new Cyber-shot compact cameras and two DSLR lenses. None of these products have been announced for the U.S. market.

Here's a breakdown of what was announced in Europe yesterday.


Sony Alpha SLT-A58
The Sony Alpha SLT-A58 uses a new 20-megapixel, APS-C-sized, CMOS sensor and can shoot up to eight frames per second with a 15-point autofocus system which features a new "Lock-on" AF feature for better subject tracking. As with Sony's other SLT cameras, the Sony A58 uses Translucent Mirror Technology, which simultaneously directs light to both the image sensor and the Phase Detection AF sensor for faster speeds. The technology prevents placing an actual optical viewfinder in the camera but the A58 does have an electronic "Tru-Finder" which uses OLED technology, for framing shots. You can also use the 2.7-inch, 460,000-dot screen on back. Other new features in the Sony A58 include a revamped BIONZ image processor; a wide ISO range of 100-16,000; and full 1080p HD video. The A58 also has a new Auto Object Framing feature, designed to give you more professional looking portraits. The Sony A58 is being sold in Europe as a kit with a redesigned DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II lens, which reputedly has quieter autofocus.


Sony NEX-3N
The 16MP Sony NEX-3N is an entry-level CSC that replaces the Sony NEX-F3. The NEX-3N uses an APS-C-sized CMOS sensor and can shoot full 1080p HD video. The Sony NEX-3N has a compact body that's smaller and lighter than its predecessor but still has room for a built-in, pop-up flash. Weighing just 7.4 ounces (210 grams) without the battery, Sony calls the NEX-3N, "the world's smallest, lightest interchangeable-lens camera with a large APS-C sized sensor." The 3N is designed to make self-portraits easier thanks to its 180-degree, tiltable, 3-inch LCD screen. There's also a new zoom lever on the camera, giving you "fingertip control" over the focal length. Like the A58, the NEX-3N also features a revamped BIONZ processor and can shoot at up to ISO 16000.


Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II and Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM A-mount lenses
The new 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II and Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM lenses are designed to be used with Sony’s full-frame SLT-A99 camera. The 70-400mm lens has a new LSI drive circuit, making the autofocus speed of the SSM (Super Sonic Wave Motor) approximately four times quicker than before. The long zoom also has Nano AR Coating to reduce flare and ghosting in high-contrast shots. The Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm features eight glass elements in five groups with two aspherical elements and a new optical design to improve image quality. It features "smooth, quiet autofocusing and a rear-focus system that maintains the same lens body length during AF. It's also dust- and moisture-resistant. In addition to the full-frame A-mount lenses, Sony also unveiled the redesigned DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM II, which is a light and compact 3x zoom "kit" lens made for A-mount cameras with APS-C sensors.


Sony Cyber-shot WX300, HX300 and TX30
And finally, Sony also unveiled the Cyber-shot DSC-WX300, DSC-HX300 and DSC-TX30 compact cameras in Europe yesterday. The 18-megapixel WX300 is a super slim camera that boasts a 20x zoom lens. Meanwhile, the 20-megapixel HX300 has a 50x (24-1200mm) superzoom lens in a slightly chunkier camera body. The 18-megapixel, 5x zooming TX30 is "the world's slimmest digital compact camera with waterproof to 10m, freeze- and shock-proof" capability.

Stay tuned for more detailed previews shortly; at this time there is no information as to whether these cameras will be announced in the U.S. market.