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Sony Alpha SLT-A35 is like a digital SLR but faster

The new Sony Alpha SLT-A35 looks, smells, feels, tastes and sounds like a digital SLR, but it's much faster.

Sony's new Alpha camera looks like a digital SLR and behaves like a dSLR, but it isn't one. The Alpha SLT-A35 boasts a 16.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and dSLR features, but it's much faster.

The SLT part of the name refers to the fact that, despite looking, smelling and working like a dSLR, the A35 isn't technically a dSLR at all. The mirror inside the A35 is translucent so light passes through it as it stays fixed in place, unlike the mirror in a dSLR, which flips quickly out of the way when you take a photo. The fixed mirror means the cameras in Sony's SLT range focus and take photographs faster than a traditional dSLR.

The A35 joins the Sony Alpha SLT-A33 and Alpha SLT-A55, the first Alpha snappers to pack translucent fixed mirrors. The A35's special effects and other new features will come to the two older cameras in a firmware update.

The A35 shoots 1080i high-definition video, with HDMI connectivity enabling you to watch your video on a hi-def television. It captures up to 7 frames per second during high-speed shooting, and goes up to ISO 12,800 for low-light snapping.

There's an electronic viewfinder atop the 3-inch screen. Sadly, that screen isn't the flip-out twisty screen seen on other recent Sony cameras.

A custom button on the top lets you save up to 14 of your favourite functions for easy access. Assorted new special effects include 'retro photo', 'high-key', and 'toy camera'.

Sony also unveiled the NEX-C3 yesterday, the latest in its line of lens-swapping compact cameras for beginners. The C3 also boasts a 16-megapixel APS-C sensor.

UK pricing and availability for the A35 haven't been revealed yet, but we'll keep you posted.