Who's eagerly awaiting the rumoured Sony MF mirrorless?

Started Mar 30, 2014 | Discussions thread
tex Veteran Member • Posts: 7,418

Rod McD wrote:


I don't have an A7r to dump but I'd interested to see the specs of an "affordable" MF digital camera. I'm an old MF and LF man and am still attracted to large detailed landscape prints which is probably one niche suited to such a camera.

Yes, excatly.

The Pentax 645D is currently the camera to beat price wise (at $10K plus lens).

Well, the current CCD body is at about $6,500 new, and all the old Pentax 545 lenses can be used with it, and they can be had in excellent condition for bargain prices---sub $500.

The only way I can see Sony offering a camera that is really different from a MF DSLR (Pentax & Hassleblad) or a modular system (Alpa, Linhof, Phase One, etc) would be to offer a mirror-less camera like an oversize A7. I don't know if there's good business in that.......it needs to make economic sense.

I think a Sony move into this market would make a lot of sense no matter the body stle....but I think the most bang for their buck in the short term would come from more of a Fuji 645 approach, or possibly a Mamiya 7 approach, stylee and size wise.  It would be a bit of a sensation---probably more than a bit.

As this thread shows, potential users have very different tastes in possible uses and lens choice - the comments here about preferred lenses range from a 25mm WA to a 150mm short tele......... So a fixed lens standard or semi wide like the RX1 isn't going to 'cut it' with all users. They'd need around four new primes to launch with the body. OTOH I suppose the Chinese adapter industry might open up access to the vast range of fabulous Pentax 645 and 67 MF lenses that today sell on e-Bay for a song.

Yes, and Sony has already crossed the Rubicon in terms of corporate wrapping their heads around adapting everyone else's lenses to their cameras.  At the photo Plus Expo in NYC last fall, when the A7 and A7R cameras were introduced in person to U.S. observers for the first time publicly (and that part of the Sony booth was hoppin', lemme tell ya! Just like the year before with the RX1...), all the reps were actively gushing about this ability with the A7/A7R cameras, not just speaking of it sub rosa.  It was obviously a talking point from upstairs.  Believe me when I say that such a thing requires a lot of mind-changing on the part of management, it's no insignificant thing.  It is notable and remarkable.

But I disagree about whether a fixed lens, say, 35mm equiv, which is 55 in 645, wouldn't work: it already has, in the previously $2,700 RX1 and RX1R.  And if they could do a solid one with a 3x fixed zoom---hardly a major engineering feat, they could cover from 45 to 135, or 28-85 equiv  and at about 2.7x they could have a 28-75 equiv or a 35-100 equiv at about 3x.

Everything here is founded on a weak rumor and every comment is conjecture.

That's not quite true.  Sony has already committed to make the new 50mp MF sensor for the new Hassy and the new Pentax.  They already have the sensor, and they have obviously already got their camera engineers thinking about small form bodies in general, and have now built up a legacy there.  And they already have their partnership with Zeiss, and design their own lenses.  And of course as you point out above there is the adapter option.  And they have been handsomely rewarded, some would say inordinately so---but that is a different argument, for the innovation they have been doing in the last 3 years, which actually began when Sony produced the first sub $2K FF camera.  Sony has gotten a whopping pile of essentially free advertising from these innovative moves.  They would be rewarded again if they made this move.

Yes, still a rumor, but some are more plausible than others.

And, just to add a little spice:  there are some interesting rumors that Canon is looking at this market.

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tex_andrews, co-founder and webmaster of The LightZone Project, an all-volunteer group providing the free and open source LightZone photo editing software. Personal website: www.texandrewsart.com
"Photography is the product of complete alienation" Marcel Proust
"I would like to see photography make people despise painting until something else will make photography unbearable." Marcel Duchamp

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