a77 a65 Sony adds two new SLT cameras to its lineup

If Sony's pocket friendly NEX cameras aren't up your street, then maybe its new SLT cameras will prove to be more interesting. Sony has announced two new models, the A65 and the A77 and both are higher-end offerings than any of its previous SLT models.

If Sony's pocket friendly NEX cameras aren't up your street, then maybe its new SLT cameras will prove to be more interesting. Sony has announced two new models, the A65 and the A77 and both are higher-end offerings than any of its previous SLT models.

a77 a65 Sony adds two new SLT cameras to its lineup

SLT stands for single lens translucent and Sony seems to believe its custom technology is the way forward for its range of DSLR's. The key advantage of using SLT technology over SLR technology is speed, as the translucent mirror doesn't have to flip up and down between shots as the mirror in an SRL camera. For many the downside is that instead of an optical viewfinder an EVF has to be used and to date EVF's haven't been able to compete with traditional optical viewfinders in terms of quality. With its new SLT models, Sony is aiming to correct this thanks to the inclusion of a new XGA (1,024×768) resolution OLED EVF.

a65 1 Sony adds two new SLT cameras to its lineup

The more affordable of the two new SLT models is the A65 which sports a 24.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor and Sony's new XGA (1024×768) resolution EVF. It also has a rear 3in LCD display that can be tilted and swiveled. It's also Sony's first SLT camera to support the AVCHD 2.0 standard, alongside its bigger brother, the A77. As such it has a built in stereo microphone, as well as a side input for an external mic.

On the photographic side of things we're looking at 15-point Auto Focus system, up to 10 fps in high-speed mode, face detection, sweep panorama (with a 3D option), an ISO range from 100-16000 and a wired range of picture effects for those interested in some creative photography beyond what you can do with a camera alone. The camera feels chunky in the hand; although in a good way as it feels like you're holding a solid piece of kit, despite being a relatively small camera.

a65 3 Sony adds two new SLT cameras to its lineup

The A65 is Sony's high-end consumer SLT model and it carries a reasonable price tag to match that target audience. In Taiwan the A65 is priced at NT26,980 (S$1,125), body only, while the 18-55mm kit lens brings the price up to NT$29,980 (S$1,249) and finally with the two lens kit (which adds the 55-200mm lens) you're looking at NT$35,980 (S$1,499).

Moving on to Sony's new flagship SLT camera, the A77 we're looking at a semi-pro camera built around a magnesium alloy body. The A77 sports a larger body than the A65 and an optional battery grip is also available for it as seen on early pictures that leaked of the camera. It too does of course feature the new XGA resolution EVF, although as you can see from the pictures, the A77 features quite a different hinge for the screen, a unique design by Sony that none of its competitors come even close to. Again, we're looking at AVCHD 2.0 support, a built in microphone and a socket for an external mic. Sony has also added a top mounted status LCD display, something the A65 lacks.

a77 1 Sony adds two new SLT cameras to its lineup

Sony has upped the game quite a bit when it comes to photographic features with a 19-point Auto Focus system that has no less than 11 cross type Auto Focus sensors. You can also manually fine tune the Auto Focus on the A77. Another interesting feature Sony added to the A77 is object tracking, which allows the camera to follow a moving target and keep it in focus. For those that like knobs and control dials, the A77 is littered with them and it also has a flash sync terminal for studio use. Sony has upgraded the continuous shooting mode to 12fps in high-speed mode and the A77 also has a faster shutter speed mode than the A65 at 1/8000th of a second compared to 1/4000th of a second.

a77 3 Sony adds two new SLT cameras to its lineup

Common features found on both models include a combined SD/Memory Stick card slot, a mini HDMI port, a USB port and a port for an external GPS unit. Price wise the A77 starts at NT$39,980 (S$1,666), body only in Taiwan, while you're looking at NT$42,980 (S$1,790) for a kit with the 18-55mm lens and finally NT$57,980 (S$2,415) with the new 16-50mm F2.8 SSM Sony DT lens which is also available on its own with a list price of US$700.