Sony mirrorless A-mount next year?

Started Nov 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
perry rhodan
perry rhodan Senior Member • Posts: 1,662
@ Bruce LOL, the future is known!

Bruce Oudekerk wrote:

It doesn’t take a seer to foretell the ultimate demise of the SLT, it has always been doomed. The whole purpose of the SLT technology was not to get rid of the OVF or the SLR flip-up mirror but to facilitate video with the uses of Phase Detect auto focus. Everything else was a bonus...or not... SLT was an admittedly elegant method to get video and the ultimate live view. The minute Contrast Detect and/or Phase detect on-sensor is able to compete at-all-levels with traditional Phase Detect…the SLT is dead and gone. The problem, as I see it, is not that this will happen, but how it will affect those of us with legacy lenses. And that means all Minolta, KM and pretty much all early Sony lenses. While it is certainly possible to use Contrast Detect to control conventional Alpha mount lenses, I suspect it will seem as though they are focusing through molasses. Similar issues seem to exist on the 4/3s lenses used on m4/3s. Look at the issues the a99 is having with phase detect on chip in regard to lenses supported.

So SLT has always been an interim solution in my mind. But eventually I saw SLT as going away and being a clever footnote to the history of digital photography. SLT is also a way for Sony to get their act together on advanced EVFs in preparation for more advanced mirrorless cameras. I just expected it to go away in, maybe, another 5 or more years, not NEX year.

So the above might be factual as I see it but from thereon it takes some guesswork.

The digital imaging portions of Sony Corporation seem to be doing well but I suspect upper level Sony management is reorganizing into crisis mode, and passing edicts down via profitable divisions to forge ahead at an increased rate. And if it’s typical of most upper level management, the constraints of new timelines have little basis in reality. So my worry is that Sony will force changes that are not ready for prime time or we'll see extended camera intorduction delays. Personally I think we have already seen small vestiges of ill concieved technolory in existing products and I hope the new road map timeline doesn’t cause Sony to shoot themselves in the foot. A good example of what has happened in the past was the extended delayed introduction of the a77 to fill the gap of the long departed a700. There was nothing for years, after there should have been a replacement product. For good or for ill, SLT development was the reason and now they are getting ready to dump it. They won’t completely lose it of course…I hope… because I suspect there will be substantial issues with these problematic legacy lenses. A simple solution would be to include a passive E-mount to Alpha-mount adaptor in a thinned down Alpha body. That would allow many to keep this innocuous adaptor permanently affixed to their larger dSLR-like system cameras. My guess is that this will be touted as a feature for its versatility for use of Nex and other mount lenses. For those with problematic legacy Alpha-mount lenses; specifically all screw mount lenses (that’s most of us), I suspect we will be required to use a LA-EA3 style adaptors (w SLT & screw drive) or a similar, less expensive one with SLT, no motor and appropriate electronic pass through. If you think about it makes for a more, not less, versitile system camera.

An unknown is the distinguishing characteristics between future NEX and Alpha cameras. While the lines will blur, the fundamental reasons for having a larger more versatile true full-system camera and a much smaller and correspondingly less versatile system camera will still exist. People that need vertical grips, heavy and physically large lenses and sophisticated on–camera lighting aren’t going to want a body the size of a NEX 5 series iPhone-like body. And for a variety of reasons I don’t foresee miniaturizing some of the functionality on much of this larger equipment. My walk-about camera right now approaches 2000 grams, whereas the largest NEX, a NEX7 with kit lens is more like 550 gr. They are two separate creatures and each has its own place in the photography universe and that isn’t going to change…mirrorless or not.


Thanks for the laugh. Spreading FUD?


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