Sony finally flaunts new Alpha 700

Picking up where the Sony Alpha 100 left off the new solidly built 700 fills a nice semi-pro shaped hole in the line-up, though still leaving a gaping

Picking up where the Sony Alpha 100 left off the new solidly built 700 fills a nice semi-pro shaped hole in the line-up, though still leaving a gaping 'pro' section yet to be bricked up.Taking on the newly announced Canon EOS 40D and Nikon D300 it gets a 12.2MP CMOS sensor, an 11-point auto focus system and a 5fps burst rate.That puts it ahead of the 40D and near equal to the Nikon in megapixel terms but a shot or so behind in burst rate speed. Sony's also chosen not to add a Live View feature to the lush 3in VGA screen, which seems a surprise. It does get extra brownie points, though, for its Super Steady Shot OIS, missing from both its rivals.As well as a body-only version, Sony's sensibly offering two kit lens versions; one with the standard 18-70mm lens and, for those who already have that staple glass in their collection, an alternative one with the brand new DT 16-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (pictured).Other touches include a smattering of scene modes and, more usefully, HDMI output for hooking up to an HD-ready TV to admire your snaps. We're still waiting on a UK launch date but with the US and Japan earmarked for October/November time, we can't be far behind.EssentialsSony Alpha 700Price: £TBA ($1400, $1500, $1900)On sale: TBA (October in US) Contact: SonyRelated stories:Leica lenses? You'll love Panny's L10Nikon wheels out the DSLR big gunsCanon debuts octuplet of new cams