Entry-level segmentation? Not really
The phrase entry level is often used about the A100 - and I think this is not quite accurate.
Rather, the design is potent with features and therefore appeals as well to entry-level buyers (who want all new features) as to more advanced buyers, who wants the high performance of the A100 for a much lower price than Nikon D200 or Canon 30D - and who thinks that the Sony might be just rugged enough for their use (before they intend to trad-up for a new model in 2-3 years anyway).
A true entry-level Sony Alpha is most likely in the wings and will be here in 6-8 months or so - - - Sony A50?
A more broad appeal of the A100 is a perspective confirmed by Mark Weir, Senior Product Manager for Digital-SLR Cameras at Sony Electronics (US).
In an interview with Digital Camera Infor he says:
I would say that there’s a lot of, how
should I put it, segmentation of the
customer market that is not necessarily
accurate all of the time.
I find that there are plenty of advanced
amateurs that are using mainstream
SLRs and I think that there are plenty
of entry or novice users who are using
advanced or even in some cases higher
I think that the people who are learning
what an aperture and shutter speed are
often are carrying six or seven thousand
dollars around their necks.
And that’s not unusual. There is a lot of
segmentation going on that makes logical
sense when you think about it, but it isn’t
always the case. There are plenty of
well-heeled amateurs who are buying very
expensive cameras and it’s not as cut and
dry as it might seem.
Our camera, we feel, will provide everything
that a mainstream user would want and
we also believe that it will have characteristics
that will be greatly valued by those who
go well beyond mainstream users.
I mean, there are things that it does that
cameras in its class simply don’t do and there
are things that it does that go beyond that
which cameras that are even beyond its
class can do.