By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Sony has released its fourth Alpha digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera, the 14.2 megapixel Alpha a350 also featuring Live View on the 2.7-inch LCD screen.

Available in March, the Sony a350 (RRP $1,399 body-only) joins the a200 and a700 in the company’s expanding DSLR lineup, which was first launched in July 2006 following Sony’s acquisition of Konica Minolta’s camera business.

The a350 has a 14.2 megapixel APS-C size CCD sensor – not a CMOS sensor like many of its competitors – combined with the Bionz image processing engine.

The a350 is Sony’s first DSLR to feature Live View allowing the user to frame photos through-the-lens via the LCD screen, rather than in the traditional SLR manner of using the optical viewfinder.

“With new Auto Focus Live View, the a350 is the ideal camera to capture that high quality shot as it happens without interruption from mirror operation. The latest addition to the a system of D-SLR cameras will suit those with a passion for photography, who appreciate easy to use functionality,” said Sony Australia business development manager – digital SLR John Wallace.

Sony quotes battery life at up to 730 shots on a single charge and says continuous shooting speed in optical viewfinder mode is 2.5 frames per second.

Other features include up to 3200 ISO sensitivity, in-body Super SteadyShot and 1200-zone metering for accurate auto exposure.

A kit with the a350 and a DT 18-70mm (f/3.5-5.6) zoom lens will be available for RRP $1,549 and two-lens kit featuring an additional DT 55-200mm telephoto (f/ will be available for RRP $1,699.

Sony also announced the availability of two new DSLR lenses, a Carl Ziess 24-70mm (f/2.8) Vario Sonnar T portrait/landscape lens (RRP $2,699) and a G-series 70-300mm (f/4.5-5.6) telephoto lens (RRP $1,399).