Sony has recently announced that it will be replacing its mid-range Alpha a55 with the new a57 model, that will hit stores in April.
Sony seeks to compete more effectively with other mid-range level DSLR's, including the Nikon D5100 and the Canon EOS Rebel T3i.
The new a57 uses a 16.1MP CMOS sensor, and shoots 10 frames-per-second at full resolution and 12 frames-per-second at 8-megapixel resolution, which is ideal for sports photography. The camera incorporates the AVCHD video codec, and captures full 1080p HD at 60fps or 24fps, using an object-tracking function to keep subjects in focus.
Sony has also included a new effect called "Auto Portrait Framing." This function is designed to help photography enthusiasts to compose better shots, by using the rule of thirds and face-detection to balance out the frame. Sony states that its 2x Clear Image Zoom technology will also “double the effective magnification of the lens," without affecting image quality.
The body-only model will retail for approximately $700. Sony will also be offering the SLT-A57K, a version of the camera with a 18-55mm zoom lens for $800.
In related news, Nikon was recently caught using Canon footage to demo its new D800.