The Sony Alpha A900 has been knocking about in prototype form for a while, but now the official announcement has been made we can take a look at the camera Sony is placing its (Alpha) bets on.
The A900 is the first full-frame model from our proprietary-loving friends and is the alpha dog of the Alpha range. Full frame refers to the size of the light-detecting CMOS sensor in the back of the camera, which is the same size as a frame of 35mm film. The larger sensor allows for higher resolution, with the A900 packing in a gobsmacking 24.6 megapixels.
The CMOS benefits from sensor-shift image stabilisation -- the first full-frame chip to do so -- which adjusts the sensor to compensate for minute movements from camera shake. Sony claims this will save you 2.5 to 4 stops of exposure.
Another big claim from Sony is that the A900 will shoot full-resolution shots at 5 frames per second, which is pretty blistering for such weighty resolution. This is probably down to the dual Bionz processors, replacing the single processor in the A700, the A900's predecessor.
Aimed at professionals, the camera doesn't include a built-in flash. It does boast both a backlit LCD panel displaying key settings and a 76mm (3-inch) LCD screen with 921,000-pixel resolution. There's an HDMI output -- although it won't shoot video like the Nikon D90 -- and all the connections are protected by weatherproof seals.
The Sony Alpha A900 will be available from the end of October, with the body going for about $3,000 (£1,700) to our stateside cousins. UK prices are yet to be confirmed. -Rich Trenholm