Sony Camera Announcements – Photokina 2012

With Photokina just around the corner we can expect a whole host of new product announcements to coincide with Europe's largest photographic trade show. This morning we see Sony launch their much-anticipated flagship Alpha DSLT model, the A99 as well as three other exciting products: the Sony RX1 full frame compact (yes, you read that right!), the Sony VG900 Camcorder (also with a  full frame sensor) and the NEX-6 compact system camera.

The Sony Alpha A99 Digital SLT

The Sony Alpha A99 SLT Digital Camera


Slotting firmly in to the top of the Alpha SLT range above the A77, the A99 is Sony's flagship offering. To read more about Sony's Translucent Mirror Technology, check out this post on the system.

Sony Alpha A99 Key Specs

  • 24.3 megapixel 35mm Exmor CMOS sensor
  • Latest BIONZ™ image processor
  • World's first Dual Autofocus System with 19 + 102 AF points
  • Up to 10 frames per second
  • Standard ISO range of 100-25600
  • XGA OLED Tru-Finder
  • 3-way tilt-able 921kdot resolution LCD screen
  • Full 1080p HD video recording with uncompressed HDMI output in 24p/60p/60i
  • 147 x 111.2 x 78.4mm dimensions
  • Body only weighs approx 812g (incl battery & memory card)

The tiltable rear LCD screen on the A99


The Alpha A99 is the successor to the flagship A900 DSLR and the first to include the revolutionary SLT technology into a full-frame body, which Sony claims is now the lightest full frame sensor camera on the market today. It's packed with a 24.3 megapixel 35mm sensor with an auto ISO range of 100-3200, which can be pushed up to 25600 in low-light shooting situations. An extra bonus for shooting in low-light is the A99's Multi-frame NR technology, which shoots 6 rapid frames and combines the data to create a single noise-reduced image.

The A99 also boats the world's first Dual Phase AF system with 19 AF points (with 11 cross sensors), complemented by a multi-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor with 102 auto focus points, ensuring super fast, accurate focusing.

Pro-style video features are another win for Sony in the A99, which offers full-frame 1080p HD video recording at a range of professional frame rates (60p/60i/24p). Following in the steps of the D800 & 5D MK III, the A99 will also output uncompressed, clean video (at 60p/60i /24p) via HDMI to an external recording device.

The Sony A99 with the new 300mm f2.8 Lens


Comparison table: A99 vs A77

  A99 A77
Megapixels 24.3 24.3
Sensor Full frame CMOS APS-C CMOS
ISO range 100-6400 100-12800
Max extendable ISO 100-25600 50-16000
Image Processor BIONZ BIONZ
HD Video 1080p 1080p
Autofocus 19-point + 102 point 19-point
FPS 10 12
Screen (dot resolution) 3.0" LCD (921k) 3.0" LCD(921K)
Weight* 733g 653g

Sony Cyber-shot RX1

The Sony RX1 with pop-up flash


As Sony have said themselves, they've "made the impossible possible" with the Cyber-shot RX1 with the world's first fixed lens digital camera to proudly boast a full-frame sensor. Let's have a quick glance over the key specifications:

Sony RX1 Key Specs

  • 24.3 megapixel full-frame sensor
  • f/2.0 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* Lens
  • BIONZ™ image processor
  • Up to 5 frames per second
  • High speed AF as fast as 0.13 seconds
  • Standard ISO range of 100-25600
  • 3.0? 1,229k dot resolution LCD screen
  • Full 1080p HD movie capability (at 24p/60i/60p) with manual control
  • 113.3 x 65.4 x 69.6mm dimensions
  • Weighs approx 782g

Top view of the new Sony RX1


The big news here is that we now have a digital compact camera that fits in the palm of your hand (and your pocket) that's equipped with the same 24.3 megapixel full-frame sensor as Sony's flagship SLT camera. The RX1 is a very impressive surprise from Sony! The camera is fixed with an equally impressive 35mm f/2.0 Carl Zeiss lens with 9 aperture blades for dreamy background blur and premium T* coating to reduce light reflection that causes ghost and flare.

With specs like these, this top-of-the-line Sony compact won't be going cheap - be prepared to shell out £2,799* to get your hands on the premium RX1 digital camera. You'll be the proud owner of a pocket-sized compact packed with advanced SLR technology - a bright Carl Zeiss lens for excellent low light shooting, class-leading image processing and noise reduction, full manual control, a wide 100-25600 ISO range and a multi-interface hotshoe to expand the camera's compatibility with external flash, electronic or optical viewfinders, thumb grip and LCD monitor.

Sony Alpha NEX-6

The Sony Alpha NEX-6 Compact System Camera


The NEX-6 is the latest model to join Sony’s ever-popular NEX range of compact system cameras, sitting in between the current NEX-5R and NEX-7 models. Here are the key specifications at a glance:

Sony Alpha NEX-6 Key Specs

  • 16.1 megapixel APS-C size HD image sensor
  • Fast Hybrid AF
  • Up to 10 frames per second
  • Standard ISO range of 100-25600
  • XGA Tru-Finder OLED electronic viewfinder (2,359k dot resolution)
  • 3.0? tilting, 921k dot resolution LCD screen
  • Full 1080p HD movie capability (60p/60i/24p)
  • 119.9 x 66.9 x 42.6 mm dimensions
  • Body only weighs approx 345g (incl battery &memory card)

Top view of the Sony NEX-6 with the new 16-50mm Lens


The NEX-6 has many of the same features as its younger sibling, the NEX-5R - it has the same 16.1 megapixel APS-C sized HD sensor, expandable ISO range from 100 up to 25600, Fast Hybrid AF, shooting capability up to a speedy 10 fps and full 1080p video recording. The latest NEX also boasts the same clever built-in WiFi capability as the NEX-5R, making it easy to transfer images directly to a smartphone or tablet for instant sharing. Many people will be happy to see the addition of an XGA Tru-Finder™ OLED electronic viewfinder, which displays in bright 2,359k dot resolution for high contrast and incredible depth.

3 New Lenses from Sony: 16-50mm f3.5-5.6, 10-18mm f4 and 35mm f1.8 (not to scale)


Along with the new NEX comes the announcement of 3 new Sony E-Mount lenses: the 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OSS Lens is a lightweight, retractable zoom lens that measures in at just 29.9mm when fully closed; the 10-18mm f4 OSS Lens with a Super Sonic Wave motor for quite autofocus also comes with a detachable tripod mount; and the 35mm f1.8 OSS Lens, which is perfect for portraits and general photography, especially in low light.

In Comparison: NEX-5R vs NEX-6 vs NEX-7

  NEX-5R NEX-6 NEX-7
Megapixels 16.1 16.1 24.3
ISO range 100-3200 100-3200 100-16000
Max extendable ISO 100-25600 100-25600 n/a
HD Video 1080p 1080p 1080p
Wi-Fi Built-in Built-in No
FPS 10 10 10
Screen (dot resolution) 3.0" LCD (921k) 3.0" LCD (921k) 3.0" LCD(921K)
Weight** 218g 287g 291g


**Approximate weight excluding battery & memory card

Other products announced today

The Sony 300mm f2.8 G SSM II Lens

The Sony 300mm f2.8 G SSM II Lens on the new Sony A99


Sony-shooting wildlife and sports photographers will be happy to see the announcement of the new 300mm f2.8 G SSM II Lens this morning as well. The high-performance optical design is complemented by a SSM (Super Sonic Wave Motor) AF system for improved tracking and anti-glare Nano AR coating.

The Sony NEX-VG900 Interchangeable Lens HD Camcorder


The NEX-VG900 boasts the same 24.3 megapixel full-frame sensor as the A99 & RX1 and is compatible with Sony’s full range of E-mount and A-mount lenses, via the supplied adapter (LA-EA3). The VG900 assures effortless reproduction of the finest tonal gradations, helping the most demanding videographer reach their full creative potential. Beautiful, film-like results can be achieved by shooting video in 25p/24p progressive mode and AVCHD version 2.0 standard 50p recording is additionally supported. Other features of the VG-900 include a large 3.0” XtraFine touch panel LCD, a bright XGA OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder, Picture Effect modes and extensive manual controls.

Coming Soon

The Sony Alpha A99 is now available to pre-order at Wex Photographic for £2,499* (body only), along with the chance to Win Your Dream Lens worth up to £2,000 to use with your new camera!

The Sony RX1 is now available to pre-order at Wex Photographic for £2,599*

The Sony NEX-6 is also available to pre-order at Wex Photographic from £709* (body only) and is available in the following kits: NEX-6 with 16-50mm Lens & NEX-6 with 16-50mm and 55-210mm Lenses.

The Sony 300mm f2.8 G SSM II Lens is available to pre-order at Wex Photographic for £6,699*

The Sony NEX-VG900 HD Camcorder is available to pre-order at Wex Photographic for £2,999*

*Price as at 12 September 2012, subject to change