Sony Lens Glossary

sony Logo

Minolta introduced Minolta AF mount (now called Sony alpha) in 1985 along with the Dynax / Maxxum 7000 camera. It was a radical step at that time since the mount was larger than the older MD mount making old manual lenses incompatible with the new system (we can still use special md /af converters but these are compromising image performance quite a bit) If you are interested to learn more about Minolta AF SLR camera and Minolta AF mount introduction please visit this excellent website.

After the introduction of Minolta AF mount, Minolta released several lens "series" or versions of their lens lineup. The first revision of the original lens design came in the late 80's and beginning of 90's. Some old designs were discontinued (like 100/f2), some were reintroduced again (RS versions) and a new "class" was launched; xi lenses along with xi cameras.

After more than 20 years, all Minolta AF cameras (digital SLR included) still use these lenses just fine.

ALL Minolta (Sony) AF lenses work on Digital DSLR (7D, 5D, a100)

Only some old Tamron, Tokina and Sigma lenses may fail when attached the new DSLR bodies.

Minolta Vectis lensesare not the same as Minolta AF mount (35mm) and these lenses will NOT work on Minolta AF (Sony alpha) cameras !


14.2 Megapixel Resolution
You get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements. Thanks to the 14.2 megapixel APS-C sensor size and Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS technology, the camera achieves high resolution with no penalty in low-light situations.


7 Frames Per Second Continuous
The translucent mirror makes it far easier to capture the decisive soccer kick or your baby at her absolute cutest. The Sony SLT-A33 camera shoots full, 14.2 MP resolution pictures at up to 7 fps while maintaining continuous auto focus and auto exposure.


Alpha NEX - Sony lens designed for use on Alpha NEX E Mount digital cameras

D – Minolta/Sony - other lens manufacturer D-Series lenses include distance-encoding device which enables improved calculation for flash exposure when used on cameras with ADI (Advanced Distance Integration) support. We know that even old lenses do provide subject distance info, but D lenses are very likely to do this more precisely. As far we know ADI support is found on most modern AF lenses for Minolta a mount and you can recognize them by 8 lens contacts on the mount ( while older lenses have only 5 contacts). Whether or not ADI is bringing any significant improvement to flash exposure is debatable and users opinion are different. A very common misunderstanding is that D mark means "Digital" which is absolutely wrong. D series lenses are in no way optimised better for digital cameras than non D lenses.


DT – Minolta/Sony DT - "digital technology" and is supposed to describe lenses particularly optimized for digital cameras. In practice there is only one important thing about DT lenses you should be aware of; unlike non DT lenses these are covering image circle smaller than conventional 35mm lenses and are made with APS-C sized sensors. While you can mount these lenses on FF (film) cameras you will get severe vignetting due to reduced image circle. It is worth saying that DT lenses are in no aspects better than newer full frame lenses (like KM 17-35/2.8-4 of or 28-75/2.8) when image quality is concerned and it's more a marketing buzz than anything else.


Full HD 1080/60i Movies
This is one of the very few DSLRs with 1080/60i Full HD, exactly the same resolution and frame rate as most broadcast and cable HDTV channels. Records in 1080/60i AVCHD format, 1080/30p high definition in PC-friendly MP4 format and standard definition 480/30p in MP4 format.


G – Minolta/Sony - Gold and is supposed to describe lenses of the highest quality. It's a marketing mark that Minolta introduced at the same time as RS lenses. Minolta is describing G-series lenses as: "G-series lenses are Minolta's high-performance class optics. They have the best specifications, feature special advanced technology, and offer the best image quality of all Minolta lenses. G-series lenses are designed to meet the high expectations of the most demanding professional. The quality of the image they produce is among the finest in the industry.

Each G-series lens incorporates one or more of the following features:

circular aperture, double floating and floating-focusing systems, Internal focus, Anomalous Dispersion (AD) glass, aspheric elements, focus-hold buttons."

Since G mark has started to be used after original version lenses have been produced no original lens model is labelled as G lens. However, there are original version lenses that with no doubt are deserving the same status as later G lenses (original 85/1.4, 200/2.8, 100/2 …)

Minolta has created a lot of confusion with naming and labelling their lenses. G-series lenses have never had G letter on the lens itself (there was rather a tinny "gold" ring on the lens). Sony, as a company of far superior marketing experiences has finally started labelling lenses properly and G mark is engraved on the lens.


HS – Minolta - "high speed".

In 1998 Minolta introduced new HS versions of 200/2.8 (Minolta 200 F2.8 G APO HS), 300/2.8 (Minolta AF 300 F2.8 G APO HS) and 600/4 (MInolta AF 600 F4 APO G HS) lenses (followed by Minolta AF 80-200 F2.8 G APO HS (1993), Minolta AF 300 F4 G APO HS (1994) and Minolta AF 400 F4.5 G APO HS (1995) ) with a new high speed focusing gearing. This effort has resulted in faster AF performance compared to original design and while isn't so silent as with SSM technology many do agree that HS lenses are (near) as fast as new SSM lenses.


RS – Minolta - re-styled. Most lenses in Minola AF lineup are divided in two "categories"; original and RS (or new). Original lens versions are made mostly before 1990. At that time Minolta has started releasing restyled (RS) version of many original designs (like 50/1.7, 501.4). Mostly, new RS versions have introduced rubber focusing grip, circular blades etc. Original design isn't changed. Our lens database do describe all modifications of RS version over an older one as stated by Minolta.

As the case with most Minolta lens marking RS mark wasn't present on the lens itself. Even original lens boxes did missing this label stating "New" rather than RS label. Aside rubber grips RS (new) lenses can be distinguished by their older version by the lacking "AF lens" mark on the lens. So for example original 20/2.8 lens is marked as "AF lens 28" while the new RS version has written "AF 28"

Comparison between 28/2 original and 35/2 RS. Notice different way of labelling them with lacking "lens" word on RS version. Rubber focus ring on RS lens (right)


SAM - short for Smooth Autofocus Motor.

SSM – Minolta/Sony - Supersonic-wave Motor. At PMA 2003 Minolta has announced two new lenses; a new lenses AF 300 F2.8 APO G D SSM (has replaced Minolta AF 300 F2.8 G APO HS) and a completely new design AF 70-200 F2.8 APO G (D) SSM (replacement for the Minolta AF 80-200 F2.8 G APO HS ).

"SSM lenses uses the nature of piezo-electric element, which changes shape when voltage is applied. Compared to conventional DC motors, the supersonic-wave motor has characteristics that fit the lens drive, such as producing high torque from slow rotation and providing quick start and stop responses. By employing this motor, the SSM lenses provide ultra-quiet, ultra-smooth and superior AF operation".

SSM technology is providing fast, accurate and silent operation and it's Minolta equivalent to Canon USM technology.

Sony has kept these lenses and introduced Sony variants; Sony AF 70-200 F2.8 G SSM and Sony AF 300 F2.8 G SSM


Translucent Mirror Technology
Other DSLRs can shoot. Or they can focus with the speed and precision of Phase Detection AF. They cannot do both at once. The SLT-A33 is the world's first DSLR with Translucent Mirror Technology that directs light to both the image sensor and the Phase Detection AF sensor simultaneously.


Xi– Minolta - With the introduction of Minolta Dynax 7xi camera, Minolta released new xi lenses. Xi lenses use electronic motors for both zooming and focusing and both are controlled by the camera. While xi are working on our digital cameras image quality and overall usability was never embraced by most Minolta users which has made them more of an unsuccessful Minolta experiment than any improvement over original designs.

Quick AF for Full HD Movie Capture
When most DSLRs shoot video, their Contrast AF is slow and visibly "hunts" for focus. The Quick AF Full HD Movie retains the same fast, precise Phase Detection you enjoy for still images. It's a decisive advantage for tracking fast-moving subjects and a major benefit of Translucent Mirror Technology.

APS-C Size HD CMOS Image Sensor
With 19.5 times the area of the typical camcorder image sensor, APS-C makes the difference between amateur and professional-looking video, delivering an exceptional combination of high resolution, high sensitivity and gorgeous, blurred backgrounds.

Multi-Frame NR
Experience incredible low-light shooting without a flash. The camera captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data from all six, it creates a single image with a reduction in noise equivalent to two additional steps of ISO sensitivity. Sensitivity selectable up to ISO 25600. (Recommended for still subjects.)

Sony Exmor Technology
Conventional image sensors use only a handful of analog-to-digital (A/D) converters, which can slow you down. The Exmor sensor provides more than 4,000 column-parallel A/D converters. This helps enable continuous shooting at up to 7 frames per second.

Hand-Held Night Shot
Getcleaner and sharper nighttime pictures-beyond the capability of traditional cameras-without using flash or a tripod. The camera captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data with separate algorithms for still and moving parts of the picture reduces blur, minimizes noise and enables extraordinary detail.

Auto HDR Built Into Camera
Captures more scene dynamic range than a single exposure can handle-and more range than photo film. Combines the best highlight detail from one shot, the best mid-tones from a second and the best shadow detail from a third for one incredible shot. Captures in a split second. (Recommended for still subjects.)

3D Sweep Panorama Mode
Capture vast scenic vistas and 16:9 shots in spectacular 3D. As you sweep across the panorama, the camera records separate right-eye and left-eye images that make landscapes come alive on your 3D television3. Records both JPEG and MPO file formats.

Eye-Level Electronic Viewfinder
The Tru-finder Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) is super bright, easy to see with 1.1x magnification, ultra-sharp with 1.44 million dots (1.15 effective) and provides 100% frame coverage. Exposure preview and informative overlays make operation easy.

15-Point Auto Focus
To maximize the value of Translucent Mirror Technology, Sony incorporates Phase Detection AF of great sophistication. Three cross sensors maximize precision.

Tilt/swivel 3" LCD Screen
Tilt it up or down to frame high- and low-angle shots that would otherwise be hit-or-miss. Tilt and swivel under the camera for self-portraits. Fold it flush to the camera with the LCD exposed for shooting or protected for travel.

Main Sensor Quick AF Live View
This the world's first DSLR to combine the optimum focus of Phase Detection with high quality Live View images right from the main sensor. This is made possible by Sony Translucent Mirror Technology. You get accurate images and 100% framing on the LCD monitor or eye-level viewfinder.

Eye-Level Finder for HD Mov
The eye-level finder is one of the reasons people love DSLRs. But that finder goes dark whenever you shoot HD Movies. Until now. The Sony SLT-A33 enables you to shoot movies with the added stability you get holding the camera up to your face and using the eye-level finder for framing a scene and focus.

921K Dot TruBlack LCD Screen
Sony's Xtra Fine LCD monitor has 921K dots for superb resolution. The TruBlack screen includes a special resin layer to suppress internal reflections, increasing contrast compared to conventional LCDs. Sunny Weather mode boosts visibility even further in bright sunlight.

Phase Detection Auto Focus
While Contrast Detection AF often hunts for correct focus, Phase Detection AF knows exactly where correct focus is, and goes straight for it. The Sony SLT-A33 is the world's first consumer camera to provide Phase Detection AF when capturing HD movies as well as during still image capture, either using the viewfinder or Live View on the LCD.

Sweep Panorama Mode
Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter and sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together. Up to 23 MP image size.

Main Sensor Quick AF Live View
This the world's first DSLR to combine the optimum focus of Phase Detection with high quality Live View images right from the main sensor. This is made possible by Sony Translucent Mirror Technology. You get accurate images and 100% framing on the LCD monitor or eye-level viewfinder.

ISO 12800 Sensitivity
Incredibly clear low-light pictures without sacrificing detail, made possible by the low-noise Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor and refined BIONZ image processor.

Live View in LCD or EVF
You can use both the LCD monitor and Electronic Viewfinder for composing shots. Both provide a what-you-see-is-what-you-get preview of white balance, focus, depth of field, exposure and 100% framing accuracy, plus informative on-screen displays.

AUTO+ (Advanced Auto) Mode
Get cleaner, more dynamic pictures and fewer missed shots. Unifies and simplifies Sony intelligent technologies, the camera automatically recognizes the correct scene mode, then quickly shoots and combines up to six shots to produce images with greater clarity, optimum dynamic range using Auto HDR technology and lower image noise using 6 shots layering technology.

Pro-Style "Rack Focus" Movie Effect
A hallmark of today's movies is the "rack focus" effect, when the cinematographer changes focus between background and foreground subjects. This usually involves careful planning, a tape measure and dedicated a crew member for "pulling" focus. With the SLT-A33, you can perform this pro-style effect simply by changing the selected AF Area within the frame.

Help Guide
Provides ready reference to advanced camera functions, helping to develop your confidence and skills as a photographer.

SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
Image stabilization reduces blur by compensating for camera shake. Typical DSLR systems build image stabilization into selected lenses only. SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization is built into the camera body itself. You'll reduce blur with every a-mount lens, including macro and wide-aperture standard zoom lenses.

BIONZ Image Processor
The brains of the camera is a refined version of Sony's BIONZ image processor. Its chroma noise reduction delivers high-resolution, low-noise photos even at ISO 12800 sensitivity. Also enables 7 fps continuous shooting at full resolution, Sweep Panorama mode and more.

1200-Zone Exposure Metering
Reads exposure directly from the main image sensor. Choice of Multi, Center and Spot metering accommodates a full range of shooting situations

RAW Image Capture
Saves your pictures as compact JPEG files or ultra-high quality RAW files or both. RAW files save images prior to de-mosaicing, white balance, sharpness and color enhancement. This retains maximum latitude for enhancing the image on your PC.

Smile Shutter Technology
Captures a smile the moment it happens. Simply select the Smile Shutter mode and the camera takes the picture automatically. You can prioritize children or adults and adjust the smile sensitivity.

Face Detection Technology
The camera can automatically detect up to eight individual faces and adjust focus, exposure, white balance and flash to help deliver crisp, properly lit images of family and friends. Can prioritize children or adults.

Six Creative Style Settings
Control how the camera processes your images with six finishing styles: Standard, Vivid, B&W, Sunset, Portrait and Landscape. You can even fine-tune contrast, saturation, and sharpness to your personal taste.

Eight Scene Selection Modes
These help you get the shot by optimizing the camera for specific shooting situations. Select from Portrait, Sports Action, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night View, Night Portrait and Handheld Twilight Shot modes.

Anti-Dust Technology
Anti-Dust Technology helps keep the CMOS sensor clean, resulting in consistently clear pictures. First a static-free coating on the sensor's low-pass filter helps repel dust. Then vibration automatically dislodges dust from the sensor.

HDMI Output for HD Viewing
Enjoy HD movies and stunning still images on a compatible HDTV. The camera includes an HDMI output9. In addition, the BRAVIA Sync system works with compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTVs enabling you to control camera playback using the television's remote4.

Built-In Auto Pop-Up Flash
To help you shoot more effectively, the built-in flash automatically pops up and fires as needed when the camera is set to certain scene selection modes. The built-in flash can also trigger a wireless accessory flash (sold separately). The integrated hot shoe enables you to expand your lighting options with a range of accessory flashes (sold separately).

P/A/S/M Exposure Modes
The camera offers a full range of controls from the beginner's AUTO+ mode to P/A/S/M: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual. On-screen prompts help you refine your skills, build your confidence and exercise greater creative control.

Up to 270 Shots of Battery Life
Take up to 270 shots on a single charge with Sony Stamina battery power.5 Sony's InfoLITHIUM battery system enables you to see the percent of power remaining, so you can keep shooting in confidence.

Slot for Two Media Types
For cost-effective, convenient storage and sharing of your images, the camera accepts Memory Stick PRO Duo/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC media (Class 4 or higher recommended). (Memory card is required

Remote Capability
Works with the RMT-DSLR1 Remote Commander wireless remote control, sold separately.

Versatile On-Screen Displays
Informative displays in the LCD monitor and electronic viewfinder include digital level gauge, graphic display of exposure settings.

PhotoTV HD Compatibility
Optimizes compatible BRAVIA televisions for gorgeous display of digital pictures.

Index and Slide Show Display
Quickly review your photos using 6- or 12-frame index views, or as an automatic slide show with fade-in/fade-out effect.

Facebook Comments