(Patent) Sony is playing with the idea to make a compact translucent camera! + new type of translucent mirror

Sony just filed a new patent which discloses a new translucent camera design. It looks like Sony wants to create a sort of [shoplink 3003]NEX[/shoplink]-Translucent hybrid camera ;)
UPDATE: The patent clearly shows a A-mount camera (not a NEX E-mount).
Sony wants to get rid of the electronic viewfinder to reduce the size of the new SLT camera. The new camera looks like a NEX camera although it will be certainly be much thicker because of the semitransparent mirror.

Let’s read the official patent description:

In recent single-lens reflex digital cameras, a display such as a liquid crystal display (LCD) panel is disposed on the back of a camera body such that an image inputted to an image pickup device can be viewed using the display. For example, there has been proposed a single-lens reflex digital camera, having no optical viewfinder, that allows a user to take photographs while the user checks an image using a display disposed on the back of a camera body. In such a structure, an autofocus detecting device is disposed at an upper position in the camera body and light reflected by a light-beam splitting mirror can be guided to the autofocus detecting device. However, when light-beam splitting mirrors disclosed in Patent Documents 1 to 4 are used, the light quantity of transmitted light guided to an image sensor is increased compared with that of reflected light to improve the quality of photographed images. As a result, the light quantity of photographing light guided to an autofocus detecting device becomes insufficient.“….”The present invention can provide a light-weight small-size digital camera.”

And there is one more interesting news. Depending on the light wavelength the mirror reflects more or less light: “A sufficient quantity of subject light can be guided to an autofocus detecting device by adjusting the reflectivity to light with a wavelength to which the autofocus detecting device has high sensitivity to 25% or more and 35% or less, which can solve a problem in that light quantity becomes insufficient for autofocus detecting“…”When autofocus auxiliary light is used to perform photographing on a subject having a low contrast or in a dark place, the returned light out of the autofocus auxiliary light can be reflected at a reflectivity higher than that of light having a different wavelength and guided to the autofocus detecting device“.

As usual keep in mind that patents are not real products (for now)!

(SR3) New rumors about full frame lenses and fullframe camera.

The following rumor is from an external source (Minolta-Forum.de). But I choose to post it on SonyAlphaRumors because the info posted by them is very close to the rumors we received from our sources. A German forum user talked with a Sony and a Zeiss representative at an event organized by Foto Sauter in Munich. Those are the five “news” he received from them:

1) Zeiss/Sony are already working on a few new full frame lenses. And the first lenses are going to be announced soon!
2) There will be new Sony-G full frame lenses. They will be produced in OSAKA (by Konica-Minolta)
3) There will be a new A900 successor with optical viewfinder.
4) The [shoplink 4617]A580[/shoplink] could one of the last (if not THE last) APS-C camera with optical viewfinder
5) The future for APS-C is NEX and SLT

Reminder (SR = Sonyrumor):
SR1=probably fake rumor
SR2=rumor from unknown sources
SR3=50% chance it is correct
SR4=rumor from known sources (60-80% the rumor is correct)
SR5=almost certainly correct!

(SR1) An impossible rumor (3 new FF lenses)

Sometimes I do receive almost unbelieveable rumors from unkown sources. I wanted to share one of those with you :)

I got this email on Saturday from an anonymous source:

new lenses will be released in Q3-Q4 2012: 1.4/200ZA, 100-400F/2.8G SSM and 4/200G macro SSM

Can the source confirm me that he really meant 200mmm f/1.4 ZA??? The fasted 200mm lens I know is the [shoplink 4821]Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM[/shoplink] and the [shoplink 4822]Nikon 200mm f/2G ED AF-S VR II Nikkor[/shoplink]!!!

With that example I wanted to show you why I usually take a lot of time before to post the rumors I do receive. I always try to double (and if possible triple) check rumors to give you reliable info about future Sony cameras and lenses. I promise you, one day I will write a long post with all the fake rumors I received :)

Just a reminder:
We know from trusted sources that at least 4-5 new Zeiss lenses will be announced during 2011. And as long as we know this should all be prime lenses (one of them is the 200m f/2.0 ZA).

(SR5) Exclusive on SonyAlphaRumors: the Sony A850/900 firmware upgrade press release and powerpoint presentation!!!

SonyAlphaRumors is pelased to inform you that Sony will release a new Sony A850/A900 firmware on December 2th. According to our sources Sonys goal is to contribute current users to stay in the Sony system, by showing Sony is supporting and caring them and to push the Christmas year-end sales. That’s why they are offering the $100.00 Instant Savings on the A850 (Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto) and the $200 Instant Savings on the A900 (Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto). An anonymous source sent us the full press release + powerpoint presentation (Click here to see the presentation at docshare.com). Here is the official press release with the new firmware enhancements:

Press Release (2nd December 2010)

Sony announces free DSLR-A900/A850 firmware upgrade
Creative shooting enhancements for full-frame α cameras

A free firmware upgrade refines shooting responses and creative options with the α900 and α850 35mm full-frame DSLR cameras by Sony.
All new and existing customers are advised to install the upgrade that’s available for download from the ‘Support’ area of the Sony web site.
Autofocus is quicker and more responsive than ever, thanks to improved AF motor control and smarter distance detection of out-of-focus objects.

Creative options are extended by a broadened range of exposure value (EV) compensation settings, now increased from ±3EV to ±5EV. Selected compensation value is displayed in the navigation display on the main LCD screen of both cameras. This boosted EV compensation range gives extra
headroom when composing extremely high- or low-key images.

Exposure bracketing range has also been increased from a maximum of 4.0EV (three shots at -2EV, 0EV, +2EV) to a maximum of 6.0EV (-3EV, 0EV, +3EV). This wider range gives added flexibility when capturing multiple frames at different exposure values – for example when acquiring images for the creation of powerful post-shooting HDR effects.

As a further refinement, a new menu option allows shutter release to be enabled, even when the camera body doesn’t detect an attached lens. It’s useful for specialist applications such as astrophotography when the camera is attached to a telescope.

The latest firmware upgrade by Sony for registered α900 and α850 DSLR customers is available free of charge from http://support.sony-europe.com/dime/DSLR/dslr.aspx.

– Ends –

Thanks to all our sources!

P.S.: Click here to see all Sony camera and lens Instante Rebates!

(SR5) UPDATED-> Chinese manual for the A850/A900 firmware upgrade leaked!

The new firmware features of the A850 and A900

There is no doubt anymore. The official Sony Hong Kong website already published the A850/A900 firmware upgrade manual! Take a look at the screenshots at Dchome.

UPDATE: There is an english manual here: http://support.sony-asia.com.edgesuite.net/consumer/IM/ADWB100111.pdf

P.S:: Finally some real nice deals from Sony! The Sony A850 price dropped by $100 and the A900 by $200!!! And there are many other Instante deals on Sony lenses. Use the links below to see all deals!!!

Click the direct shop links to buy the camera:

Sony A580 $100.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto.
Sony A33 $100.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto.
Sony A850 $100.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto.
Sony A900 $200.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto.

And here the detailed discount (Click on store name):

Sony 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 DT Lens $50.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Lens $50.00 Instant Savings at Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DT $50.00 Instant Savings at Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 $50.00 Instant Savings Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony Distagon T* 24mm f/2 SSM $100.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss $100.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 28-75mm f/2.8 SAM Lens $100.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 30mm f/2.8 DT Lens $25.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 35mm f/1.4G Lens $100.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 35mm f/1.8 SAM Lens $25.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 50mm f/1.8 DT AF Lens $25.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 APO SSM $150.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G SSM Lens $50.00 Instant Savings at Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 85mm f/2.8 SAM Lens $25.00 Instant Savings at Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 135mm f/2.8 Lens $100.00 Instant Savings at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
Sony 300mm f/2.8 SSM Lens $100.00 Instant Savings at Adorama and BHphoto.

(SR5) Sony A850/A900 firmware update to be announced on December 2th!

According to our sources (Thanks!) the new Sony A850/A900 firmware will be announced on December 2th. The main improvement will be the auto focus speed and performance. We have no reliable info about a possible image quality improvement.

Stay tuned on SonyAlphaRumors!

P.S.: In US you have tons of Instante Rebates on Sony cameras and lenses. I couldn’t find any deal in Europe  (I am one of those guys waiting for some nice european A850 deal).

Click here to see the full US deal list!