Sony's new Alphas eliminate shutter lag

The problem with using a digital camera's LCD to compose your shots is shutter lag, the time taken for the autofocus to kick in after you've pressed t

The problem with using a digital camera's LCD to compose your shots is shutter lag, the time taken for the autofocus to kick in after you've pressed the button. Unless you've pre-focused or resorted to memory-consuming burst mode, taking pictures of sport, children – hell, anything that's not nailed down – turns into a lottery.

But not if you're using Sony's new entry-level DSLRs, the Alpha 300 and 350. Their Quick AF Live View technology uses a mirror to send light to both the LCD and the CCD simultaneously, just as if you were using an optical viewfinder. The result? Autofocus is already achieved, so what you see is what you shoot.

The new Alphas are no slouches in other departments either, with 14.2-megapixel images for the 350, 10.2mp for the 300; swing-out 2.7in LCDs; low light-loving ISO 3200 sensitivity; and anti-dust hardware.

But, if it works, it's the Live View breakthrough that'll have shutterbugs partying on the streets. UK pricing and availability has still to emerge, but we reckon on setting aside around £500 for the 350.

Essentials

Sony Alpha 300, 350

Price: $800, $900 (US)

On sale: TBA

Contact: Sony