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Sony Unveils Trio Of Alpha Digital SLRs

Sony has confirmed the release of three new Digital SLRs, the A230, A330 and A380 in the UK as from mid June with the cheapest carrying a suggested retail price of £530.

The Alpha 230, which is the cheapest of the lot, carries a 10.2 megapixel resolution and is hailed by Sony as the "world’s lightest DSLR featuring an APS-C sized image sensor and in-body image stabilisation", not necessarily a good thing in a market where a heavier body is often synonymous with quality.

All three cameras will have APS-C size CCD sensors, Bionz image processors, lens mounts for the most popular lenses on the market, pop up flash and a 2.7-inch LCD monitor which can be pulled out on the two more expensive version.

The a380 comes with a 14.7 megapixel resolution, teh ability to display 2 frames per second in Sony's "live view" mode as well as HDMI socket, 2.5fps continuous shooting mode and more.

They will also be carrying two memory card slots in what could be a significant change for Sony's stance regarding competing technology; on top of the Memory Stick one is a universally accepted SD/SDHC card slot.

The A230 will replace the A200 at the lower end, while the A330 replaces the A300. Customers on the other side of the Atlantic will be able to purchase the camera at a cheaper price as Sony lists the three cameras at $550, $650 and $850 respectively.

Also going on sale will be a new 50mm f/1.8 lens and HVL-F20AM flash unit which will cost £160 and £150 respectively. Prices though are expected to go down significantly as the 14.2-megapixel A350 for example costs less than £429.

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Our Comments

Although all three have an HDMI port, it looks as if they won't be able to record HD content, which is a shame, given the fact that others have already done that. The A230 also has a very high SRP, especially given the competition on the market. For example, the Olympus E-620 costs £549 and boosts some pretty impressive credentials. Ditto for the E-420 which can be purchased at £299.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.