More from Gustav on Sony Alpha in 2010

Started Dec 27, 2009 | Discussions thread
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winedarksea Senior Member • Posts: 1,654
More from Gustav on Sony Alpha in 2010

Gustav (Kingfisher on Photoclubalpha, ijsvogel on Dyxun), from the Netherlands) has long impressed me with his astute and well-informed predictions about future Alpha cameras. With his A900, he takes wonderful shots of kingfishers from a blind, where he waits patiently for hours, and he has made appearances at photography events on behalf of Sony on several occasions in the last year or so. This has put him in contact with fairly high-ranking Sony Alpha European officials, so when he makes predictions he speaks with some level of authority. He was largely on the money with regard to the A550, for example.

Earlier in the fall, he predicted that the new A7xx would appear in January or February, and that it would not have video. Just a month ago, he predicted its appearance in March or April. In a series of posts on Dyxum yesterday, he said the "they" are now saying it would be "after April," with no further elaboration as to when. He speculates that maybe Sony had decided that the camera would have to have video, and so have delayed release until that could be perfected. Last month he was quoting Sony officials as saying that it would be a great camera that would have the entire camera world talking. Now he is saying that it will be an amazing camera that will be well worth the wait. He also emphatically says that it will be an APSc camera. That seems to be in line with what Toru Katsumoto recently said.

In the fall, Gustav said that Sony would have video in its Alpha-level cameras by the end of the year. I could not tell whether this meant in Alpha cameras with ovf or in mirrorless cameras. Thom Hogan and Toru Katsumoto both made it clear that Sony is working on Sony mirrorless cameras, perhaps with Alpha mount. Hogan perdicted their appearance sometime around September of 2010, and that is the only indication I've seen.

Yesterday, Gustav also predicted that an Alpha between A380 and A500 (A450?) would be announced at CES, the second week of January, 2010. Gustav also said that this camera would apparently not be spectacular, having perhaps the same specs as the A500, but without LV. Apparently Sony will also announce a whole raft of p&s cameras at CES.

There was a rumor circulating on Sony Alpha Rumors a short while ago that Sony would also announce an A800 at CES, in addition to the A450. Gustav doesn't mention it, but says that he knows that there will be more cameras in the A800 and A900 series, when he doesn't know. Another poster at Dyxum pointed out that the Canadian SonyStyle site now lists the Sony Alpha cameras under the rubrics: A200 series, A300 series, A500 series, A700 series, A 800 series, and A900 series--implying that there will be more cameras in each series. Carl apparently heard A800 as the name of a future camera early this fall. So I wonder if we won't have an A800 appearing sometime this year. CES, as predicted? or perhaps later? FF 14 meg? FF 24 meg?

Gustav also predicts that 2010 will also be a big year for Alpha lens introductions by Sony, eight or ten lenses. This seems to be in concurrence with other predictions. It appears that they will include the 500 f4, and either an 18mm CZ, or a 24mm CZ, or a 200mm G. This means that Sony has been ramping up introduction of new lenses quite considerably this year and next--seven this year, eight to ten next.

So what does all this mean?

Here is my two cents worth. Take it of course with a grain of salt--I am already very likely wrong in my previous prediction of the A7xx cameras in the first quarter of 2010.

Sony will introduce an A450 and many p&s cameras at CES.

Sony will introduce an A650 at PMA. This will be a fine and worthy A700 successor, but without the name and without video. It may be the last Alpha to be introduced without video.

Sony will then introduce the "amazing" A7xx in May--reserving the 700 level, as Minolta did, for ground-breaking technology.

Sometime between January and September, Sony will introduce an A800. And sometime between September of 2010 and March of 2011, Sony will introduce an A9xx that will blow our socks off.

In September, Sony will introduce a mirrorless competitor for the mirrorless cameras already on the market. These will be very fine cameras for still photography, but will offer the best video experience in any "slr" camera to date. Will they use the Alpha mount? or will they use a new mount, with adaptors for Alpha lenses?

Sprinkled throughout the year, Sony will introduce as many as ten new lenses, including several that will help to position some of the new Alphas as excellent journalist, sports, action, wildlife cameras, and several to help fill out other gaps. Some of them will be optimized for video.

And sometime between summer 2010 and first quarter 2011, I expect revisions in the A200/300/400/500 series.

Can Sony do all of this in 2010? I don't know; the best-laid plans of mice and men go oft awry. But they have been working on it hard, and have I believe built up a sizable amount of momentum. In any case, I expect the Alpha line to have a very interesting year in 2010.


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A700; SAL 50 f1.4; SAL 18-250; CZ 85 f1.4

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