Me thinks - Sony are doing a bit of Pulling and Pruning......

Started Aug 28, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Steve FStop
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Me thinks - Sony are doing a bit of Pulling and Pruning......
Aug 28, 2009

Let’s start with a JPG LOL!

1) Let’s talk about how Sony is doing some 'Pulling' ;

So what is 'Pulling' ?; Pulling is a marketing term for OEMs motivating consumers to buy their products. It is usually achieved with discount coupons etc. However, in the case of the a850 (and the a5XX to a lesser extent) I propose that it is blatantly being achieved by the Price Point - which is far better than any coupon.

As I have said before C&N were a very fat & comfortable FF duopoly, and Sony has come along and upset their apple cart with their significantly cheaper FFs. Initially, the a900 was shunned by C&N FF users and still is to a very large extent, however the tone is notably changing, evidenced by more balanced comments and more C&N users openly admitting that they are at least considering Sony.

Sony's FF offerings can only be good for all FF DSLR consumers and it is a pity that there is not at least one more OEM with a FF, so come on Pentax - it can only get harder the longer you wait?

Let's not pretend that Sony are a serious PRO contenders yet , there is more work in the way of PRO infrastructure and PRO product ahead for Sony to earn their PRO badge. Sony have already signalled their intentions to attack the PRO segment by offering FF and some high quality lenses. No offence intended to any Sony owners here, and yes generally speaking any of Sony DSLRs can be used to make a living out of taking photos, but so can a P&S in the hands of a PRO.

Because of Sony's FF Price Point strategy, serious questions are being asked by many more existing non-Sony DSLR users (not just FF) if the widening $Gap created by Sony, is being straddled by the other OEMs offerings.

I propose that C&N will have to act sooner rather than later, but only if Sony is seen to be developing their PRO channel. The faster Sony does this, then the sooner C&N will have to 'drop their pants'. So it is reasonable to assume that we and others should not only expect some (expensive) long glass and fully featured PRO body/s, accessories and systems but also considerably more PRO support network infrastructure?

2) Now for the 'Pruning';

Besides provoking some thought about Sony's future offerings, I drafted my so called 'Sony Product Tree' to graphically show that Sony is doing something that have not done before with any aXXX series DSLR; 'Pruning' the a700 branch and not offering a replacement. I further propose that Sony have deliberately done this and for a good marketing reason!

Sony went to a lot of trouble and expense to take the a700 to a performance level that would keep most users happy and comfortable with Sony APS-C DSLRs. The general comments about the a700 here and elsewhere, reflect the pleasure that Sony has ultimately generated with this product and in turn this has produced high levels of consumer purchase satisfaction.

So why did Sony 'prune' their then only 'flower' that existed between the a3XX and a900 branches?

I propose that; At this time , the absence of an a700 level APS-C, will push more enthusiasts to purchasing a FF and consequently dearer Sony FF lenses. Put simply; if Sony had retained the a700 or announced a replacement for the a700, at the same time as the a500, a550 and a850 were launched, then they would also be most likely to achieve less a850 and a5XX sales. For Sony to take this unprecedented step, then we can only assume that a700 unit sales must also have been falling away, and this is to be expected after 2 years into a DSLR product life cycle?

Therefore and regardless of what many may think; the new a5XX series is the closest Sony DSLR to a a700 replacement that we have available right now, unless of course you are an enthusiast with the wallet for a FF system.

So, if right now I would rather spend ~$1000US on a fuller featured, quality, rugged and proven high ISO camera, I had better race out and grab an a700 before they are all gone, because I suspect that the true a700 replacement is deliberately some way off in the future?

Your thoughts please?

BTW, what do you think about the little 'star' I put on top of the Sony Tree?

Regards Steve

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