Sony has announced the latest additions to its DSLR and mirrorless camera line-ups.


June 8, 2011: Sony has announced the latest additions to its DSLR and mirrorless camera line-ups.
Both the SLT-A35 and NEX-C3 models use the same 16.2-megapixel sensor as the SLT-A55 (and also the Nikon D5100, D7000 and Pentax K-5). The SLT-A35 features the Translucent Mirror Technology (TMT) technology introduced with the SLT-A33 (which it replaces) and the SLT-A55, which continues in Sony’s line-up. Its body styling is similar to the A55, although it lacks the latter’s adjustable LCD monitor and built-in GPS receiver. It’s also roughly 30 grams lighter.
Sony has replaced the 10 frames/second burst mode on the A55 with a new Tele-zoom Continuous priority AE mode, which allows a burst of images to be recorded at the top rate of seven frames/second. The edges of each frame are cropped to produce 8.4MP (3568 x 2368 pixels) images. It has also replaced the Creative Style settings with 10 special effects, which are included in the Scene sub-menu. They include Toy Camera, Pop Colour, Posterisation (Colour), Posterisation (B/W), Retro Photo, High-key and Partial Colour, the latter with Red, Green, Blue and Yellow options.
Movie recording options are the same as in the A55 and include Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), captured with the AVCHD format plus 1440 x 1080 pixels and 640 x 480 pixels recorded with MP4. As in the A55, the A35’s TMT viewing system enables phase-detection AF in movie mode, with focus readjustment while clips are recorded – provided the lens is set at maximum aperture.

Due to go on sale next month, the SLT-A35 will be offered as body only for an RRP of $749 or in kit form with a single 18-55mm lens for $949 or twin 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses for $1199. A First Look at a pre-production camera has been posted on the Photo Review website.
A new (Version 2.00) firmware update for SLT-A33 and SLT-A55 cameras will be available free to registered owners of these cameras from 20 June. It adds support for the ‘Picture Effect’ function featured on the new SLT-A35 plus several additional enhancements for the SLT-A55. Ergonomics are further improved with revised menus and a new mode that lets users switch off shooting parameters overlaid on screen for clear, uncluttered composition. The camera’s Digital Level Gauge can also be displayed when shooting via the optional CLM-V55 external LCD monitor. Frequently used features can now be custom-assigned to the D-RANGE button for rapid, menu-free access.
The NEX-C3 replaces the NEX-3, which was discontinued earlier in the year. It comes with the same 16.2-megapixel sensor as the SLT-A35 and has a tilting LCD monitor with 921,600 dot resolution. Claimed as the lightest interchangeable-lens camera in its class, it weighs only 218 grams yet comes with an improved grip and new Photo Creativity interface that makes it quicker and easier to change camera settings. It also replaces technical terms like ‘aperture’, ‘exposure value’ and ‘white balance’ with the friendlier and more intuitive ‘background defocus’, ‘brightness’ and ‘colour’ to make it easier for novice users to change camera settings.


Front view of the NEX-C3 with the 18-55mm kit lens. (Source: Sony.)


Rear view of the NEX-C3, showing the tilting LCD monitor. (Source: Sony.)


Top view of the NEX-C3. (Source: Sony.)
A new in-camera ‘Picture Effect’ setting lets users add extra impact to stills or HD video during shooting. Options include Partial Colour, Retro Photo, Pop Colour, High Contrast Monochrome, Posterisation, High-key and Toy Camera. There’s also a ‘Soft Skin’ effect that removes wrinkles and blemishes from portrait subjects. Other additions include Auto HDR (high dynamic range) recording, Handheld Twilight mode and 3D Sweep shooting plus on-demand peaking indicators to show which areas in shots are in focus.
The battery is CIPA rated for approximately 400 shots/charge. The NEX-C3 will sell for $849 for a single-lens kit or $999 for the twin lens kit (with the same lens options as the NEX-5, which continues in Sony’s line-up).

Sony has also announced a new E-mount macro lens for NEX-series cameras. The SEL30M55 30mm f/3.5 macro lens (RRP $399) features a 1:1 magnification ratio and minimum working distance of just 2.4 cm and is the lightest true macro lens on the market. Equipped with one ED glass and three aspherical lens elements, it delivers excellent optical performance for shooting stills and video clips.


The NEX-C3 with the new HVLF20S flash gun. (Source: Sony.)

A new HVLF20S flash gun with a GN of 20 and bounce head has also been announced along with the new camera bodies. Priced at $199 (RRP) it draws power from the camera and covers lenses as wide as 24mm. Full details can be found at

A free firmware update for existing NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras will be available in late June. It adds the new ‘Picture Effect’ function as introduced on the new NEX-C3, along with a Peaking function to assist with more precise manual focusing. The Version 04 firmware update for NEX-5/NEX-3 will be available from Sony Australia’s website.