How healthy is A-mount?

Started Feb 2, 2014 | Discussions thread
K E Hoffman
K E Hoffman Senior Member • Posts: 5,047
A-mount is fine..

Agree there are tons of reading on this you can find even a dozen posts down. (So I do wonder about the intent.. curiosity vs. pot stirring)

In 2011 there were 2 new A-mount Lenses

In 2012 there were 4 new A-mount Lenses

In 2013 there were 4 new A-mount Lenses

No trail off, after the first year where the existing Minolta lenses were rebranded starting with 18

There has only been one year with 5 lenses, and the last two years matches the most lenses in a two year period since Sony had the mount.

There were several high end, needs IBIS, released in the last two years.

There has been no fire sale pricing on Lenses. There is not a problem with large numbers of them going out of stock which is what one would see if Sony had any plan to reduce or phase out the a-mount lens line

This year e-mount just reach the level A-mount was announced with. It took them 4 years to do that. And A-mount still has more lenses..

So there is no problem on Lens Releases... (only if you compare a system in a build out phase vs one in a longer term update and improve phase do people think they see a problem) Nikon released more Nikon 1 CX sensor sized lenses than APC sensor or FF sensor lenses in 2013 too.

The consumer level A-mounts have the shortest renew cycle, about once a year. The A58 is less than a year old.

The more advanced models have a longer cycle of 2-4 years. You can see that not only with Sony, Canon and Nikon. The A77 and A65 are just over 2 years old, and priced like they are about to are replaced. Maybe by only once camera this time, but a replacement is coming.

The A99 is just over one year old.

SO there are no model levels that are over due or not represented by a current model.

A37 was replaced with A3000.. I don't like e-mount pretending to be an DSLR.. but Sony has tech that sells that can be released cheaper at this level..  no expecting to see any under $500 a-mounts again.  Canon made the SL1 to compete with e-mount a EOS M was been a non-starter with them.

Infact in 2011 Nikon had a similar situation where it released TWO CX sensor bodies and only one DSRL, because of how the product cycles interact.

Canon released no Pro level cameras in 2013.. For much the same reason Sony only released one, their upper level line doesn't refresh any faster than 2-3 years.

SO there are no late or missing A-mount products missing.

I do think that Sony will not have as many low end DSLR level cameras in the future, because the e-mount APC cameras fill that need by the consumer. Sony A5000 level cameras are to Sony What Rebel is to Canon.. .low end.. models often refresh

Sony just rebuilt its core international sites with the new unified brand, and heavy information about how to tell the difference between the two mounts and how to chose.

When Sony restructured in 2012... Digital Imaging was one of the three product lines it most wanted to emphasize. Even at the core Sony international sites when you drop down the product menu, "cameras" is listed first... (no its not in alphabetic order)

You can not be a leader in digital imaging without a DSLR level line. Loss of that line would hurt Sony's credibility forever...

Sony's Digital Imaging Site.. (US Run lists SLT first on the drop down menu)

On the lens drop down shows FIVE a-mount categories and e-mount as a single last on list category.

They did do an "odd" thing. They spent money over the holiday promoting two new cameras that were causing a buzz, vs existing A-mounts. "Odd" is not the word... "Smart" and "Standard Practice" are the words.

Sony Attended the large Photo Plus Show 3 months ago.. there is strong a-mount presence there

This always talk about new in marketing THIS.. idea + Blogs did cause some people concern when on site listed on a-mount on the front page.. but looking further some smart people (EinsteinsGhost) noticed the site was created in May and set up as a Blog and has been listing new products SINCE May.. just missing the last A-mount release. I does feature the most recent A-mount lens release (a lens that really needs IBIS to compete) it also is missing e-mount and video announced before May 3 and if you drill down in the lens area full a-mount and info on choosing a-mount bodies info is there.. but new product blog idea did cause some concern.

So there is not reduction in A-mount ongoing presence in the core marketing content. The campaign pushes for new cameras can give can give people an impression, that is not part of the long-term plan.


  • Lens release patterns normal and stronger than some recent 2 year periods
  • Body release patterns normal, though may be fewer A3X level cameras in future
  • Marketing and A-mount presence on NEWLY created sites meant to last 1-2 years strong.

A-mount is doing well, but it is not in a build-out phase it is in a longer term road-map so e-mount has had some more lenses and its more consumer level cameras renew more often.

I expect Sony to leverage some of the A7 cameras' acceptance with people who own other mount systems to try to get them to add more Sony high-end gear to their systems after getting the A7/A7r in the door.

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K.E.H. >> Shooting between raindrops in WA<<
Don't Panic!.. these are just opinions... go take some pictures..

 K E Hoffman's gear list:K E Hoffman's gear list
Canon EOS 450D Nikon 1 J1 Sony a6500 Sony E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS +3 more
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