Sony announces Sony Alpha 57 with Full Time Autofocus

Today, Sony announces Sony Alpha 57 that has 12 fps shooting and get this, full time continuous autofocus. It has a 16.1 effective megapixels Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor plus BIONZ processor. More information and specs after the break.

Never Miss the Action with 12fps Continuous Shooting[1], Full HD 60p recording on the New 57 from Sony

New Auto Portrait Framing uses face detection and the ‘rule of thirds’ to create professional looking pictures in both portrait and horizontal orientation

  • High speed 12 fps shooting with full-time continuous autofocus (in Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode)
  • Full HD 50p video with full P/A/S/M control
  • World’s first[1] Auto Portrait Framing
  • New high-resolution TruFinder™ with 100% coverage
  • 15-point AF system with 3 cross sensors
  • Clear Image Zoom for detail-packed close-ups
  • 16.1 effective megapixels Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor plus BIONZ processor
  • Extended sensitivity range ISO 100 – 16000

(SINGAPORE, 13 MARCH 2012) – Sony’s new 57 (SLT-A57) adopts the Translucent Mirror Technology, which directs incoming light to the CMOS image sensor and the AF sensor at the same time, allowing full-time continuous AF during both still and video shooting. Framing, focusing and real-time preview can be achieved on the high-resolution Tru-Finder™ that offers a wide viewing angle and 100% field of view. This allows photographers to capture exactly what they see on the screen.

Utilising the Translucent Mirror Technology, the 57 features 12fps Tele-zoom High Speed Shooting, high quality, high-sensitivity image performance, as well as full HD video recording (60p). The 57 also features various unique features such as Auto Portrait Framing, enabling anyone passionate about photography the opportunity to take amazingly sharp, vibrant images with every snap.

Cutting-Edge Functions Make it Easier to Capture Beautiful Professional Images

Sony’s revolutionary Translucent Mirror Technology™ offers even greater performance in the 57 thanks to Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode, which gives a 1.4x magnification boost by cropping to a “close-up” in the centre of the image area, enabling continuous shooting of dynamic, impressive images at up to 12fps. This shooting mode also features sophisticated tracking technology that ensures subjects stay in focus whether they are at rest or moving about, delivering high-speed, class-above response, which makes the 57 perfect for sports and kids photography.

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The 57 also lets you create powerfully expressive Full HD movies. Responsive full-time continuous phase detection AF ensures that moving subjects stay sharply focused, just like with still shooting. AVCHD (Ver. 2.0) Progressive compatibility means that Full HD resolution movies can be captured at up to high 50p (progressive) frame rate: ideal for capturing silk-smooth, blur-free action. 25p shooting is also selectable for giving your footage that rich, cinematic look. Movie-making options are enhanced further with full control over P/A/S/M shooting modes for virtually limitless creative expression.

Helping Beginners Shoot like Professionals

Portrait photographers will especially love Auto Portrait Framing; another world’s first from Sony that helps users effectively compose scenes like a professional photographer by proposing alternative compositions, in addition to the original photo. The feature identifies the subject’s face via face detection technology and automatically trims parts of the scene to create a well-balanced composition based on the time-tested rule of thirds. The Auto Portrait Framing also helps users effectively compose scenes by proposing alternative compositions.

(Left-Right): Photo with Auto Portrait Framing turned off; Photo with Auto Portrait Framing turned on

Cropped images will also maintain virtually all of their resolution thanks to Sony’s proprietary By Pixel Super Resolution Technology, and copies of the cropped and original photos are saved giving users total freedom to edit their images later.

Get closer with Clear Image Zoom

The 57’s Clear Image Zoom also enables users who are not quite ready to invest in expensive telephoto lenses to explore zoom photography with impressive results. Clear Image Zoom analyses every pixel in an image and optimally processes them in accordance with Sony’s unique database, allowing users to achieve up to 2.0x zoom on a standard single focus lens with image quality that remains almost indistinguishable from an optical zoom lens.

Unparalleled Features, Performance and Design

Sony has also brought its acclaimed Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder technology to the 57 with an upgraded 1440k dot EVF that provides 100 percent field of view, exceptional clarity even in low light situations and -4.0 to +3.0 dioptre adjustment – rivalling quality optical viewfinders. Other professional features include Shot Result Preview and shading and aberration compensation to minimise vignetting, lateral chromatic aberrations, and lens distortion.

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In addition, there is a choice of selectable high-resolution information displays with a wide viewing-angle to help you shoot with confidence, including a digital level gauge and framing grid. Information can be displayed either in the Tru-Finder™ or on the angle-adjustable 7.5 cm (3.0-type) Xtra Fine LCD.

Showcasing a sophisticated design based on the recent 77 and 65, the 57 shares their sharply defined accents, gentler curves, and improved grip that firmly supports one’s thumb for easier operation, creating a sense of luxurious quality and durability seldom found in a camera of this class. This ingenious design also simplifies operation, allowing all features to be controlled with ease.

Superior Technology Produces High Image Quality and Sensitivity

The 57 brings together a 16.1 mega pixel Exmor® APS HD CMOS sensor and the latest generation BIONZ™ engine by Sony to reproduce remarkably accurate images with extremely quick speed and stunningly low noise across a wide ISO 100–16,000 range. Meanwhile SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilisation delivers astonishingly blur-free images at shutter speeds approximately 2.5 to 4.5 stops lower than otherwise possible, enabling photographers to shoot excellent images when shooting indoors or in other low-light situations.

First time users will appreciate the Intelligent Auto mode on the 57, which automatically distinguishes shooting conditions, and the type of scene and subject, and adjusts settings accordingly including aperture, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity and white balance to deliver optimal results. Superior Auto mode goes a step further, automatically activating advanced functions such as Continuous Shooting, Auto HDR, or Handheld Twilight based on the scene and subject. Indicators tell the user what functions are being used, helping beginners learn what functions and settings are appropriate for different types of scenes.

“Sony continues to lead the way in developing new products that meet the needs of aspiring photographers who are passionate about their work, and the 57 is doing just that by bringing professional-class features and design elements to this fast growing group of users,” said Mr Taisuke Nakanishi, Managing Director, Sony South East Asia. “Advanced features such as Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE and Clear Image Zoom let users explore their creative potential like never before at a price point that’s tough to match.”

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A successor to the highly popular 55, the 57 is a new addition to Sony’s  series that combines the sophisticated design of the 65 with new shooting advances, making professional specifications affordable to price-conscious consumers who see price as a major obstacle to owning a good camera.

A range of optional accessories makes an ideal match for the 57. The battery-powered HVL-LE1 LED video light broadens options for recording video indoors or in low light. Ideal for active shooters, the ACC-FM1A accessory kit bundles a spare NP-FM500H rechargeable battery with the versatile LCS-AMB travel case that can be carried on a belt, over a shoulder or by hand.

Sony and the Environment

Sony is consistently engaged in a review of our manufacturing operations and business practices to ensure products are developed in an environmentally responsible manner. The 57 uses recycled plastic in its chassis (recycled material rate: 10%).

The 57 will be available in Asia Pacific at all Sony stores and authorised outlets from April 2012.

[1] As of March 2012. Among interchangeable lens digital cameras.


[1] In Tele-zoom High Speed Shooting, aperture is fixed at F3.5 or the maximum aperture of the lens in use, whichever

is smaller. The image size of the photo will be 8.4 megapixels.