A term coined for Sony's new technology, the Translucent Mirror Technology, came up several times during the media-only workshop held recently. What is it all about? It refers to the replacement of the mirror box used in conventional DSLR with a new patented mirror box that contains translucent mirrors. Prominently, this makes the new 16.2-megapixel SLT-A55V and 14.2-megapixel SLT-A33 cameras, the first two to incorporate this technology in the Alpha series, 23% smaller than their older cousin, the A550; they are also more than 100g lighter and smaller than the newly-announced A580 and A560 cousins using a conventional mirror box.
Improvements discussed at length include: full-time and quick 15-point TTL phase-detection autofocusing during live view and while using the viewfinder. Because of the removal of the movable mirror and subsequent replacement of the former with the fixed translucent mirror, the cameras are able to react faster. Similarly, the mirror allows light passing through the lens to be received by both the image and auto focus sensor.
While prices for the A55 have not been officially released, we had first-hand information about the A33: the camera will make its first retail appearance during the upcoming COMEX event, priced at S$1099 with 18-35mm kit lens. Do note, quantity is limited.