Today Sony released details of its first DSLR camera, the Alpha 100 at press conferences in Japan, Alaska and Morocco.


June 6, 2006: Today Sony released details of its first DSLR camera, the Alpha 100 at press conferences in Japan, Alaska and Morocco.

The new Alpha 100 model combines the traditional aspects of camera construction that Sony inherited from Konica Minolta with Sony’s expertise in sensor development and image processing technology. It features a 10.8-megapixel, APS-C-sized CCD imager with an effective resolution of 10.2 megapixels plus Sony’s Super Steady Shot image stabilisation, which is built into the camera body so it is effective with even the oldest Minolta lenses. This new anti-shake function also helps to minimise the incidence of dust settling on the image sensor by vibrating the sensor whenever the camera is switched on. A second dust-minimisation feature is an anti-static coating on the optical low-pass filter that covers the CCD, which prevents dust from building up on its surface.

Powering image processing is Sony’s new Bionz image engine, which helps to minimise image noise in low-light shots, while resolving more details in the image. Coupled with this processor is a new D-Range Optimiser, which adjusts exposure and tone for a more natural and consistent appearance. Many controls and settings from Konica Minolta DSLR cameras have been retained, including the dual mode dials, menu system and button layout. Six digital subject program settings are provided, covering Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sunset, Night Portrait and Nightscape shooting modes.

The new camera’s polycarbonate is light but tough. Weighing only 545 grams, it measures 133.3 x 94.7 x 71.3 mm. The 2.5-inch LCD has a resolution of 230,000 pixels plus a multi-layer “AR Coating” that improves viewing in bright light. The camera is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and the viewfinder includes Eye-Start AF technology, which automatically focuses the lens on the subject the photographer looks at. The centre cross 9-area AF sensor allows wide-area autofocusing for moving subjects and dimly-lit scenes.

  • A list of the camera’s specifications that have been released so far is provided below:
  • 10.2 million photosites effective (10.8 megapixels in total)
  • APS-C size CCD Sensor
  • CompactFlash slot compatible with Type I/II and MicroDrive media; MemoryStick DUO adapter supplied
  • Dual dust minimisation system
  • Super SteadyShot stabilisation in camera body (on/off switchable)
  • BIONZ Image Processing Engine
  • Dynamic Range Optimiser
  • ISO settings up to 1600
  • 2.5-inch, high-resolution (230,000 pixels) Clear Photo LCD Plus Screen with AR coating and Clear
  • Processing for image review and function navigation
  • Compatibility with Sony Alpha-mount system lenses, including Carl Zeiss optics and new Sony G lenses
  • Bright Optical Viewfinder with Spherical Acute Matte screen, 20mm eye relief, 0.83x magnification and dioptre adjustment
  • EyeStart Autofocus.
  • High-speed AF system with four focus modes: Single-shot; AF Automatic; AF Continuous; Direct Manual Focus
  • Ultra wide AF area with central cross-hair sensor and nine focus points
  • Depth of Field preview
  • Centre-weighted, Spot and 40-segment honeycomb pattern metering modes
  • Mode Dial for one-touch selection of exposure shooting modes: AUTO; Program AE; Aperture Priority; Shutter Priority; Manual; plus six Scene Modes (Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Night View, Sunset, Sports/Action)
  • White Balance adjustment: Auto plus six manual presets. Colour correction and Kelvin settings provided with additional 19-step magenta/green compensation, Manual WB setting
  • High Speed Continuous Shooting up to 3 fps for JPEGs to available capacity or six frames RAW, three frames RAW+JPEG (dependent on memory card speed)
  • Advanced flash modes as high synchronization speed, rear flash, wireless functions and slow synch direct button access on camera
  • Ambiance and flash separate exposure compensation scales 1600 mAh Lithium ion battery (up to 750 shots per full charge with 50% use of flash)
    Built-in Flash plus hot-shoe support for external flash and Wireless, Slow Synchro, Rear Synchro modes
    Dimensions (l x w x d): 94.7 x 133.1 x 71.3
  • Weight: 545g (without battery)
  • Supplied software: Image Data Converter SR Ver.1.1 and Picture Motion Browser

Sony Australia expects to launch the Alpha 100 in Australia on 31 July in three configurations: as body only (RRP $1499), as body with 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 zoom lens (RRP $1749) and as body with 18-70mm and 75-300mm f4.5-5.6 zoom lens (RRP $1999).
With the introduction of the Alpha 100, Sony plans to release 21 Alpha-mount lenses, starting in late July. The new range will include three Carl Zeiss lenses (the 85mm f1.4 Planar T*, the 135mm f1.8 Sonnar T8 and the DT 16-80mm f3.5-4.5 Vario-Sonnar T*), along with three Sony G lenses, designed using technology inherited from Konica Minolta. It will also include 13 Sony Alpha lenses and two teleconverters. Sony will also introduce 40 additional accessories, such as batteries, flash units and cases, for the Alpha 100 in the next 12-18 months. For more information, visit

Photo Review expects to post a hands-on preview of the new camera shortly.


The new lens range announced at the official launch of Sony’s Alpha 100 DSLR.


Members of the press crowd in to photograph Sony executives with the new cameras and lens range.


A model demonstrates the Alpha 100 to the press at the official launch.