Some camera innovation is only possible when a company develops and produces their own CMOS sensors. For a good example, look no further than these three 'Cyber-shot', 'α (alpha)', and 'Handycam' models: the DSC-RX1, SLT-A99V, and NEX-VG900. The gleaming umber ring around the lens mount signals that these are full-frame cameras with α35 mm-equivalent CMOS sensor. It's a visual reminder of Sony's technical expertise and the breadth of Sony design.
Niitsu:CMOS sensor development is something we invest considerable effort in. Sony sensors offer the high image quality and sensitivity needed in digital cameras, which is why many other camera manufacturers use them. We have demonstrated this expertise in α35 mm-equivalent CMOS sensor for full-frame cameras. Our desire to show the expertise we've honed-and our commitment to raising the bar in imaging-led to this project, where we introduced the sensor across A-mount 'α(alpha)', 'Cyber-shot', and 'Handycam' lines all at once.
In each line, we decided that the premium sensor should go in our flagship cameras. This kind of cross-category development is rare for us. We were ready for a greater challenge than usual as we set to work in design.
We knew from the start that how camera functions are used varies depending on the type of camera. So instead of seeking similar shapes for each model, we considered other ways to establish a consistent image for our full-frame cameras. That's why each has an umber ring around the lens mount. We call this shade "grand umber." It's not too different from the cinnabar of A-mount 'α(alpha)', models, and it sets the perfect tone for Sony cameras.
Take the NEX-VG900 (hereinafter VG900), for example. We wanted to design the recording section of the VG900 to match that of the older VG10. Because this series is used in professional scenarios, changing the design in ways that affect usability or compatibility would have made no sense. With this as our premise, we examined the area where the sensor and shutter mechanism are. Although we refined the overall balance, it still didn't have enough impact as a premium, full-frame camcorder. Adding a dash of grand umber was all it took to spice it up and convey its premium performance. It's good example of how effective this color can be.
Obata:We first established the "Tensile Skin" aesthetic with the SLT-A77V (hereinafter 'α77'). It's a way to combine complex shapes in a coherent, organic whole. Edges that seem to jut out from the center are countered by a sense of contraction in "negative," inward-curving surfaces. In the new SLT-A99V (hereinafter 'α99'), we wanted to take this technique a step further.
Take off the lens for a better idea of our approach. On most SLRs, the area around the mount forms a flat oval surface with distinct edges. Here, screws are exposed, and you can see other evidence of how the designers have dealt with the internal layout or ensured rigidity. The 'α99' is different, though, and "Tensile Skin" styling even extends to this surface. Edge lines, where something seems to jut outward from within the camera, are limited to one area above the Sony logo. Other surfaces consist of natural, flowing curves.
"Tensile Skin" styling helps us deal with precisely these kinds of lines, so we were very careful about the edges. Pick up a camera, and you'll notice that the Sony logo is angled slightly downward. This part hangs over the mount surface a little, which makes the edges on top look quite taut.
Another goal of ours was enhancing control. For easier control even when you're looking through the viewfinder, we adjusted the height of controls, added subtle bumps and inward curves on buttons, so that you can find the buttons you need by touch.