Alpha 900 launch: Press Conference Part 3

Part 3 of the conference presentations, transcribed from a recording by Shirley Kilpatrick. This section deals with the revolutionary new adjustable focusing screen and viewfinder which enables error-free 100 per cent viewing, and the reasons Sony chose to make a 24.6 megapixel full frame sensor. To start reading with the first Part, go to Part 1.

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Alpha 900 launch: Press Conference Part 2

Transcribed by Shirley Kilpatrick from audio record of the conference. For the opening speeches, see our Part 1 of this report.

Nick Sharples: Thank you Fujio-san. I hope that leaves you in no doubt about our commitment at Sony to excellence in digital imaging, and how importantly we consider the launch of our flagship Alpha digital SLR; so it gives me great pleasure to invite Toru Katsumoto, senior general manager of our digital imaging business group, to introduce our new flagship Alpha digital SLR.

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Alpha 900 launch: gala dinner Edinburgh

Here, for some light relief, is an Alpha 700 + 24-105mm Minolta D documentary on the press dinner thrown for journalists from all the countries of the European region when they gathered in Edinburgh for the Alpha 900 launch!

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Nikon D90 – 4.5fps, HD video, 12 megapixels CMOS

Nikon has introduced some of the technologies we might expect to see from Sony, apparently using the IMX021 sensor (the pixel count on the long edge is 4288, rather than 4272 as normally processed from a Sony Alpha 700 file, but this is within the usual limits of different raw conversions). The D90 is an A700-class camera for £699 but includes Live View with face detection contrast-detect focusing, 720p HD movie recording up to 5 minutes, 4.5fps continuous shooting, ISO to 3200 (6400 HI), and Auto Distortion Correction when fitted with current Nikon lenses.

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Nikon D90 12.3Mp DSLR announced – a new market for Nikon?

August 26th, London, UK: report from Richard Kilpatrick

Today saw the launch of the newest member of Nikon’s growing range of successful DSLRs, with an ongoing increase in market share clearly resulting in growing confidence for the camera brand. Prefacing the D90’s announcement, Nikon revealed that 50% of professional photographers at the Olympics were using Nikon, and their market share reached 44% of the pro DSLR market in February (this is despite the range still having a 12Mp upper limit).

D90 at launch

D90 at launch

Having introduced the D3, D300, D60 and D700 within the last 12 months, the D80 was really looking like the last man standing; today’s announcement shows that the mid-range “enthusiast” market is going to be exceptionally well catered for with a ground-breaking new model, and leaves me as a recent D3 adopter wondering if it’s possible to justify a spare F-mount body.

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Photokina – a look back, and forward

At the end of September 2006, I set off for a quick visit to photokina in Cologne, having parted company with Icon’s am-pro magazine ƒ2 and not really needing to report on the whole show in detail. Here’s the report I wrote then, with photos, and some thoughts for the 2008 show. Continue reading »

Sony announcement August 14th

SONY UK has notified us of a press conference to announce an ‘exciting digital camera’ on August 14th.

They have also said that full details will be provided soon. It is possible this will be embargoed – we may attend a meeting on the 14th, but have to agree not to publish until a date later on, perhaps in September.

Update: it seems there is an international Sony Alpha press trip on Sept 9/10th to Edinburgh. Members of the Euro technical press have been invited, as a two-dayer with a stack of nightlife (the Festival and Fringe have just kicked into action today) it is an ideal location for putting the Alpha 900 and new 16-35mm and 70-400mm into the hands of journos. But it’s one week after the Sept 2nd close of the Festival itself, with the fireworks display. The Fringe is still running.

It seems very unlikely that the Aug 14th conference would be the long-awaited Alpha 900 launch since it is only a single day, or part of a day, and would not take place so long before an apparent pre-photokina pan-European press event. Judging by previous launches – Alpha 100, 2-day event in Morocco June 5-7th 2006; Alpha 700 2-day event on Lake Como Italy end of 1st week in September 2007; my guess is that the Edinburgh event is the big hands-on opportunity for the flagship full frame DSLR almost one year to the day after the launch of the 700. A very busy year, too, during which Sony has launched three other DSLR bodies and several important lenses.

Well, Edinburgh’s 45 minutes from my door and even if I am surplus to the tightly controlled A-list of such events I may be able to drop in and join them for a drink, as there’s one or two folk going I would like to say hello to. But then, Edinburgh is an airport! Just because the press gets to land there does not mean the city is where they are headed. I’ve been to big press events at Gleneagles (Kodak) and even in the middle of the Berwickshire countryside (Canon) in the past. It could be anywhere in Scotland – and some places in Scotland are not on our doorstep!

It costs me over one working day and around £200 to get to a London event (I’d rather by invited to almost anywhere in Europe than London in summer…) but whatever goes, the September date is an essential launch I am sure, and not just another Cybershot across the bows of the enemy!

– DK


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