Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
kartikjayaraman
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Re: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99 ?
In reply to McLuhan, 11 months ago

Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing your views.

McLuhan wrote:

Hi, kartijayaraman.

First of all, happy new year! Then I'm now back to your qestion: Why is the A7 selling cheaper than the A99? I'll share some of my guesses.

1. Sony's imaging department may be concentrating on promoting the latest models across the product lineup. So basically they first make A7 attactive by offering short flange Full Frame camera, with decent spec and (finally) a relatively rational launching pricing. So it is at least viable option for entry-level and not-for-profit hobbyists who would otherwise look at semi-pro m43/APS DSLR/DSLM or entry-level even semi pro DSLRs from the other big names. To push it further, they may decide to make their own products even more distinct from each other by making the "older" model more costy than A7/A7r. In the case of A99, they simply leave the official pricing stable.So there will be less confusion for buyers to choose inside Sony's deprtment.

2. A7/A7r benefits much more than A99 when it comes to diminishing marginal cost. Look, A99 is using the 24mp FF sony sensor, even Nikon's D600/D610 is helping Sony lower the unit cost of the sensor.However, the current A99 stock might have used parts that are produced before such economics of scale managed to reach a muh more profitable margin, so for those A99s, they are still bearing the earlier unit cost, which should be higher than A7.

3.There are still differences in spec/functionality/form factors/build quality between A99 and A7/A7r. Many people have complained that the build quality of A7 is worse than A7r, I think that also applies when yo compare A7 to A99. The A99 simply needs more parts, such as PDAF module and SLT mirrow and their cost of R&D has to be accounted for too.While A99 failed to have Zebra, NFC and Wifi, it does have more direct control via more physcial buttons, which may require more steps for assembling and quailty control, which in turn translates into moe human labour(salary) and time for production per unit.You see, every time when bosses think about cutting the cost, they cut the positions of jobs. Think about how bleak the situation is for average and evn above-average skilled people to keep their job as photojournalists for living. For A99? The specs are fixed. They cannot cut the jobs easily but they can limit they overall production volume per batch.

4.Sony may be disillused about any remote hope to save the sale of A99. Many people in the forum and in the market complain that buying into a Sony FF system costs so much. For example, not only the A99 body itself is considered overpriced as people(including me) think that it is under-speced(raw burst rate, coverage of AF area, other small inperfections, etc), but for ideal perfomance you have to pay much more to get those AF zeiss and "rebadged" minolta G lenses. People then will complain that the badget line-up of Sony's A mount lens either does not exist as modern lenses(you are left with legacy minolta AF), or under-speced for full-frame when compared to Canikon equivalents(SAL 85mm F2.8 vs Caniko 85mm F1.8 for instance). They also complain about the absence of current intermediate F4 lenses. Neither is Alpha mount friendly enough for legacy film slr lenses and Canikon lenses(so not an economic platform for people deeply commited to such systems, which is less of an issue for A7/A7r e mount FFs)All in all, generally people have to commit a lot to fully enter and enjoy the Alpha FF system.

Sony should know better than us about how difficult for them to dump Alpha mount FF systems to a large market as they did all the pricing for the system and knows how many new Sony Alpha mount FF lenses and A99 actually went into the retailer and end users. Given the difficulty for them to sell an entire Alpha mount FF system, Sony may come with the idea that there would not be a big difference even after they lower the price of A99 body alone. Instead, they may further conclude that it is better for them to maintan/protect the bar of official pricing of current product, which would be the referencing point for future Alpha mount FF cameras. In this way, sony might be think that they can keep the room of pricing for the next-gen Alpha mount FFs, which should be more interesting than A99 in terms of specs and perfomance. But that' for 2014 really. For now, they may not want to abandon every last chance to sequeeze every single penny out of the "hopeless" A99 before it gets discontinued, which is unfortunate for those die-hard fans of curren Alpha mount systems from sony as they would end up paying the 'extra' no matter what. Sony would then say,"Well, every little rip-off we get from the market is a good rip-off for us. Anyway A99 is such a retard and we never hope it get any better." Lol.

McLuhan

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