The millionth "Where is A-mount going"? thread (personal opinion)

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jfirneno
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The millionth "Where is A-mount going"? thread (personal opinion)
11 months ago

Over the last few months all of the rumors coming out have generated an enormous amount of anxiety about the future of Sony cameras. I've read many of the other 999,999 threads and thought about the other opinions and the worries they express. So here are a few of my rationalizations (mostly just to clarify my own thinking and maybe a little to make some points that aren't already out there).

What Sony lacks:

a. fast accurate autofocus.  b. noise-free hi-iso.  c. some professional ammenities (specialty lenses, flash options and service)

So looking at that list the only one of those items that is at all influenced by A-mount vs E-mount is specialty lenses. The e-mount flexibility allows the use of Canon or Nikon tilt-shift, macro and other specialty lense plus all the high end Leica and Zeiss manual focus lenses.

To my way of thinking if Sony puts out either A-mount or E-mount cameras that do not address the first two points they probably will never break out against Canon and Nikon. They could be a niche player like Leica but I'm guessing Sony isn't really interested in that. So if they fail with these two requirements then very soon it won't matter what else they do. A lot of people will be moving on to another camera system.

If they do solve these problems then there are several possibilities:

1. They produce a-mount and e-mount lenses and cameras that cover the same ground.

2. They produce a-mount and e-mount lenses and cameras that are differentiated either by sensor size or emphasis on mount type (compact design for e robust design for A).

3. They drop one of the mounts.

So if they solve problems a and b (and eventually c) and they follow path 1, then everyone is happy and all the peasants rejoice (yeah for us)!

If they solve problems a and b (and eventually c) and they follow path 2 then everyone will grumble and some people will be unhappy because "their favorite" mount didn't get one of the options (OS or micro-lenses or unobtainium) that went to the other mount. Maybe some will leave Sony or switch A for E or E for A but not many.

If they solve a and b (and eventually c) and they follow path 3 then one of two outcomes will occur.

If they drop the e-mount then Sony will lose the compact camera lovers and the rangefinder lens users and any potential crossover shooters who would like to put their Canon and Nikon (or Pentax or Olympus) lenses on a small camera.

If they drop the A-mount they will lose some a-mount users.

But my belief (based on nothing but my own opinion) is that an e-mount camera that contains all the DSLR amenities (buttons, menu and form factor) but uses an a to e adapter will actually satsify 90% of current a-mount users. Some will grumble but if the camera solves the actual problems (autofocus and low light use) then they will choose to stay with Sony rather than sell off their lenses. Compare that to what will happen if they abandon the e-mount. The users who want small cameras won't have a choice and will go elsewhere for a smaller system.

Now I'm okay with either.  I use A and E.  But I'm guessing Sony will produce both for a while and eventually consolidate to E.  But if they don't solve their real problems (a,b,c) it won't matter because Sony will be gone from the camera scene anyway.

Regards,

John

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