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Sony Alpha A700 Preview

Dennis Hissink
PMA 2010 Report
Tuesday 11th, September 2007
Posted by: Dennis Hissink

The new Sony Alpha A700 was launched during a Sony press conference in Italy. Unfortunately, the surprise element was lost because one day earlier the Alpha introduction was disturbed by a leak caused by Sony. The Sony Alpha 700 is Sony’s second digital SLR camera that has to contribute to a continuously compiling series of SLR cameras, with which Sony manifests itself as renowned DSLR manufacturer. The Sony DSLR A700 is a digital SLR camera which is positioned in the middle segment, and with that, has to compete (heavily) with the new collection of Canon and Nikon D-SLR cameras, among others. During my stay in Italy, I had the chance to work with the Sony A700 for a short period.

Sony Alpha A700

Sony Alpha A700
During the press conference in Italy, the Sony Alpha A700 was introduced extensively. The presentation was supported by, among others, Richard Kalvar, professional Magnum photographer, by sharing his experience with the Sony A700 with the international press. According to Richard Kalvar: “The body of the Sony Alpha A700 is light in weight, but because of the clear hand grip it lies in the hand excellently. I am especially impressed by the LCD display on the Sony DSLR-A700. Because of the high resolution, evaluating the recordings is simple and efficient.”

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Sony Alpha A700 Digital SLR
Richard continues: “Sony clearly cooperated with professional photographers. This has lead to an improvement of the ergonomic and control of the camera’s operation. The operation has a clear setup, so you hardly ever have to take your eye off the viewfinder. The ergonomic of a camera is very important for a pro; the attention has to go 100% towards the composition. The wireless shutter-release is a convenient accessory; no more hassle with wires, very effective! The setting dial on the back of the camera needs a little getting used to, but he who has problems with it can even adjust the dial’s features through the camera’s menu. The Sony Alpha A700 really adapts to the photographer completely; a relief to me personally. After my experience in practice, I am completely convinced of the Sony Alpha A700 and I anticipate that the professional market will embrace the Sony Alpha.”

Sony Alpha Body
The housing of the Sony A700 is light in weight and consists of aluminium. The buttons, memory card slot and flaps in the body are dust- and waterproof. A handy feature is the indication of the battery life in percentage, which is made possible through the use of an InfoLithium battery; also with the use of an optional grip, this information remains visible.

Sony Alpha A700

Sony Alpha A700 double flash memory card slot
The Sony Alpha 700 has a double card slot supporting Memory Stick PRO Duo and CompactFlash type I & II flash memory cards. It’s a pity that Sony does not fully utilize the presence of a double card slot; you have to set the card slot manually, via the camera’s menu. It would be handier, and above all faster, if the camera itself would recognize and activate the card slot. Perhaps a future firmware solution can offer such possibility. New is also the built-in studio- flash connection, so a direct connection to a studio flash-installation becomes possible. Read the full Sony Alpha A700 preview including sample images at LetsGoDigital.

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The PMA show, or Photo Marketing Association, continues its yearly tradition of maintaining a network of photo imaging as well as the experience and know-how of the industry. The PMA represents 20,000 members from over 100 countries, who are all active within the imaging industry. As a reflection of the changes in the market, the PMA organization has also changed and has become more diverse. Nowadays, the member group consists of representatives coming from photo retail, manufacturers, commercial photo labs, professional sports and news photography, in addition to small album print suppliers and photo processing centers. The PMA 2012 Trade show focuses on an industry which is heavily affected by the unstable situation of the global financial economy. However, whether the latter will also stand in the way of the innovation and product introductions, remains to be revealed by the PMA International Convention & Trade Show in Anaheim Convention Center (California, US).