Heefe: Unfortunately on a MacBook Pro with Retina Screen all these images are not sharp. I have to download them first to be able to view them as sharp images... I don't have this problem with images shown in the forum so this must be a problem with your gallery viewer here.
Unfortunately on my 2010 HP Pavilion with not-even-full-HD screen not all photos are that sharp either.
Most of them have been snapped with the subpar 18~135mm WR.
ChrisKramer1: A sheep in a wolf's body...
That's a tad harsh - this is one of the most serious fixed-lens cameras on the market, hence its beefed up ergonomics and styling.
In the right pair of hands, this sheep could be a feisty beast.
viktoriskra: One needs to applaud Sony for making its Alpha badge an admired commodity in today's photographic marketplace. It has come a long way since 'the era of indifference' (between A700 and Nex3/5), during which I had my doubts about its future.
Needless to say I am sincerely glad I was wrong.
2. (Consumer) uncertainty about technological direction - too many short-lived advancements can create mistrust and lead to rejection by the customer. How do we know that the current system won't be just an 'interim solution' like the translucent mirror thingy?
3. There's a difference between "premium" and "unaffordable" - the ratio of Sony to Zeiss lenses should be at least 2:1. Yet they're starting a new system with 1 sub-mediocre Sony kit zoom and 3 Zeiss, more Zeiss to follow in 2014. Silly. Shoot, I forgot the G-branded lenses..are they supposed to be Sony-price Zeiss-quality or Sony-quality Zeiss-price? They're a misfit and should be re-branded.
Reply to Edgar Matias:
I never thought you were. Your points were constructive and articulate, unlike the ubiquitous brand-bashing waffle some pursue on this forum.
Re: Future of Sony's tech and branding
In theory, the unified Alpha brand should be a solid foundation for Sony to (re)establish itself as a photographic force to be reckoned with. While it has the essential know-how, resources, and an inherent degree of anti-luddism, there are some issues one can immediately think of:
1. Product strategy often lacks continuity - there was a 7-year gap in its premium fixed-lens CyberShot range (2005: R1 ~ 2012: RX series). Why the long pause, knowing that there was a gap in the market and that these products could have improved its brand perception significantly?
viktoriskra: Every posh hipster's wet dream :-)
That being said, if it cures mid-life crisis better than a chopper or an extramarital affair, its $3 grand price-tag seems like a bargain.
May your mid-life crisis last forever!
It's hard to disagree with your point :-)
I used to be a camera salesman (2008 - Jan 2013; over £1 mil. photo gear revenue), and encountered maybe two dozens of customers who exhibited blind brand loyalty, or bought into a system purely as a result of brand nostalgia whilst knowing there were superior options out there. Then again, I live in Yorkshire, a county (in)famous for its cool-headedness and pragmatism when it comes to splashing a bob or two. Metropolitan yuppies tend to have more careless purchasing habits.
Brand 'resurrection' can be costly, and its fortunes are rarely guaranteed (Rover/MG, HMV, Kodak, Polaroid..). While I (not quite fully) understand the popularity of brand revival and the consequent changes in fashion, starting from scratch can often provide brands with a wider marketing platform. Plus there's an issue of leaving a legacy and 'putting your own stamp' - a proud firm like Sony would see its sub-brand as the next chapter (1. Mavica 2. CyberShot 3. Alpha) on their photographic journey.
Re: Today's Sony isn't the same
100% agree. Sony, like the majority of Japanese consumer electronics firms, has lost the edge. Numerous reasons, not necessarily branding issues - emergence and technological advancement of lower cost economies, industrial standardization, product/industry life cycle, patent expiry, obsolescence of key products, lower barriers to competitors' entry, consumer literacy, etc.
Re: Sony Walkman (I miss making and playing personal 'best of' tapes, don't you?)
While there might be few obscure retailers with surplus stock, the production of the actual cassette player had ceased. The brands lives on though, further proof that Sony's branding can go beyond its physical creations.
Its success is fundamentally down to its performance and lens offering. If it was 'fur coat and no knickers', only a fraction of consumers (ostentatious tossers, hipsters) would have fallen for it.
Hugo808: Great photo's of fascinating places. But did anyone else spot the ghost in picture 9?
1. Some might argue that in 2006 Sony did not have a choice as there was very little 'residual' brand value Minolta could offer. Even a merger with another brand with strong photographic pedigree (Konica) could not prevent its unfortunate takeover. Nevertheless, I partially agree with your point and would suggest to go for SonyMinolta :-)
2. Let's take away the (lack of ) successes with NEX and Alpha products, and focus on the branding alone. Alpha - meaningful word association; very similar pronunciation in most languages; memorable logo; vibrant, optimistic colour; can be shortened if needed. NEX - meaningless, colourless, no logo, bland in comparison. While it may seem a bit bizarre that arguably superior products will be rebranded, this unification of the two camera systems will strengthen and simplify Sony's ILC branding.
3. Utter bollocks - Walkman, PlayStation, Blu-Ray, Handycam.. Sony is responsible for creating some of the world's most iconic brands.
3. Two years ago I did a dissertation on the impact of branding on brand loyalty among Canon, Nikon, and Sony users, and found out that only a small fraction of my sample perceived Sony's 'stigma' negatively. Diversification is (increasingly) a necessity for camera/consumer electronic firms, and should be viewed advantageously as it pumps investment into their photographic operations. Would you marginalize Fujifilm just because it makes skin cream? I wouldn't.
Reply to marike6:
1. As long as Sony pursues its current path of innovation and refrains from producing too many 'lemons' (although some might argue that these are inevitable by-products of such strategy), the popularity of its photographic brand will only increase as the perceptions towards it change for the better.
2. Retention of the Minolta branding would have been easier, but not necessarily a more successful option - history is full of 'brand marriages' that went wrong (BMW + Rover, et al). It is also worth remembering that in 2006 Interbrand ranked Sony as the world's 26th most valuable brand, higher than every other camera manufacturer except Samsung. KonicaMinolta did not even feature in the Top 100.
Every posh hipster's wet dream :-)
One needs to applaud Sony for making its Alpha badge an admired commodity in today's photographic marketplace. It has come a long way since 'the era of indifference' (between A700 and Nex3/5), during which I had my doubts about its future.
wayne131: Just buy the original version, it is a stunning camera.
Exactly - the understatedness of the original version is more appealing than this creation. And cheaper, too.
In the spirit of celebrating Ricoh's adventurous takeover, I was hoping for at least 120+ colour permutations.
ozgoldman: I'd really like the 16-70mm lens in an A mount.
In theory, but so far the performance between A-mount and NEX versions of Sony/Zeiss lenses hasn't been that dissimilar.
Rod McD: It will be interesting to see the performance of the 16-70f4. There has been quite a bit of whining about the f4 maximum aperture, but if it's IQ excels corner to corner at f4, that would be fine for many users.
Fuji's 18-55 f2.8-4 is undoubtedly the best 18-55 standard zoom currently on the APSC market and one reason for many buyers to consider their X series mirror-less cameras. Sony's Zeiss 16-70 is wider, longer and physically smaller (if a stop slower). If it performs as well as its premium price suggests, it might be a real asset to the e-mount range.
You can find some sample shots at:
What about the SAL1680Z? I would expect its performance to be on par with the 'newbie'.
For those who haven't seen them yet..
..19 (amazing) sample pics can be found at: