What's the future of the A mount?

Started Mar 5, 2013 | Questions
PaddyC Regular Member • Posts: 302
What's the future of the A mount?

Sony is soon going to be supporting four lens lines (amongst consumer photographic equipment):

1. FF A

2. APS-C A

3. E

4. FF E

And all the camera bodies to go along with them and whatever fixed-lens (RX100, RX1) developments they are planning. Not to mention the rest of the cybershot family.

I know it's easy to get to get on the "sky is falling" rant for the A mount but there is definitely a lot of uncertainty in the minds of A mount users at the moment even if there is no hard evidence to substantiate people's concerns.

With the recent release of the A99 and the A58, and a few lenses one should find evidence that Sony will continue with the A mount.

I do wonder if Sony's goal is to keep the A mount but simplify the offerings. This is good and bad.

Maybe it's just because I keep reading the doomsayer posts but I have wondered lately about my investment in A mount lenses.

What do you think the plan is at Sony?

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RichV Veteran Member • Posts: 6,168
Re: What's the future of the A mount?
1

I think the plan at Sony is to always keep an eye on what's making money, to keep growing the unique aspects of their market (the ones nobody else can compete well in - it's interesting to note how Sony bought a stake in Olympus), and that they know the A-mount will go away at some point - but that if it does too soon, it'll have a strong negative impact on their reputation and confidence levels.  They're pretty obviously not at a level, yet, to compete in the pro-body market (and it might also be that they'd produce too few converts for the investment), and I wouldn't be surprised to see their bodies (in all models) "cap" at the < $3500 US value range (I use the term because I think the A99 should be priced a couple hundred dollars less than it is, when compared to the other brands). (It's interesting to note that in the comments re: today's Nikon 80-400 announcement, there's more than one entry on how it's even more outrageously priced than Sony gear).

I think the A mount will be around for another 4-5 years at least; Sony's still a ways off, I think, from being able to provide an alternative that won't alienate the bulk of their A-mount customers.

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goetz48 Senior Member • Posts: 2,607
Re: What's the future of the A mount?

Currently Sony is making those lenses for E-mount that are small. Night eyes and tele guns are available for A-mount and may be put on the NEXes via an adapter. With FF NEX there will be no difference. The already have a FF E-mount video cam that comes with an A mount adaptor because there are no E mount FF lenses available at all. An E mount 300/2.8 lens will be as large as an A mount lens plus adapter. Makes no sense to develop such a lens for E mount.

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Rashkae Senior Member • Posts: 1,176
Again???
4

Why do we need another one of these same "Future of A-mount" threads every week?

Please just use the SEARCH and read the many many many previous discussions!

Sonyshine
Sonyshine Senior Member • Posts: 8,737
Re: Again???
4

I think the A mount has a very bright future ahead of it!

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OP PaddyC Regular Member • Posts: 302
Re: Again???

I did a search but did not see result. I wasn't going to spend hours trying to determine what had been posted recently.

I thought it was worth asking because it's been on my mind and SAR just released some new rumours about the FF NEX.

Sorry for disturbing you.

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stan_pustylnik Veteran Member • Posts: 3,928
Re: What's the future of the A mount?

Everything depends on sales in Asia: China, India, S.Korea, Indonesia, Brasil - new economies with huge young generation. If they'll buy enough A-mount or NEX cameras.

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VirtualMirage
VirtualMirage Veteran Member • Posts: 3,922
Re: What's the future of the A mount?
1

How is it much different than the major competitors?

Canon has three lens lines (FF EF, APS-C EF-S, EF-M) as well as Nikon (FF, APS-C DX, 1 series).  And both are divided across just two different types of lens mounts, the same as Sony (A mount and E mount).

The only difference I see here is you mentioned the FF E-mount that hasn't even been released yet as a digital camera (aside from video camcorder NEX-VG900), let alone there are no FF E-mount lenses for sale yet.  If you count only the currently available lens lines, Sony has no more than Canon and Nikon.

So I am failing to see exactly what you are trying to label as a concern being that Sony isn't juggling more than the other major competitors.  The only thing that may weigh more on Sony is that their E-mount has been more successful than the EF-M and 1 series, placing more of a demand for E-mount lenses.  Bur remember that part of the E-mount success isn't so much the E-mount lenses, but because Sony has allowed the ability for 3rd parties to easily offer adapters for a wide variety of lenses.  So several people are mounting A-mount, EF-S, Nikon, Conikon, etc to the E-mount via adapters.

So, I personally, don't see this as a reason for them to give up on the A-mount.

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Paul

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OP PaddyC Regular Member • Posts: 302
Re: What's the future of the A mount?

Canon has three lens lines (FF EF, APS-C EF-S, EF-M) as well as Nikon (FF, APS-C DX, 1 series). And both are divided across just two different types of lens mounts, the same as Sony (A mount and E mount).

The only difference I see here is you mentioned the FF E-mount that hasn't even been released yet as a digital camera (aside from video camcorder NEX-VG900), let alone there are no FF E-mount lenses for sale yet. If you count only the currently available lens lines, Sony has no more than Canon and Nikon.

So I am failing to see exactly what you are trying to label as a concern being that Sony isn't juggling more than the other major competitors.

All good points. But Sony is seen as (and is in some ways) working from behind to compete against Canon and Nikon. Certainly the lens options for A mount are not as broad and deep as those from Canikon. Sony is still trying to build the A system (and it's sales) not just maintain and add if you will.

Sony have also been seeking market differentiation. So it's not crazy to think that an FF NEX system could become a pro/high-end wonder cam. Then you evolve the NEX line to take replace the alpha mount.

Not saying that's what's going to happen. And if I didn't visit forums and rumour sites(!) I wouldn't even care. But speculation abounds.

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OP PaddyC Regular Member • Posts: 302
Re: What's the future of the A mount?

I should add that I was not trying to irritate anyone with this question or start a speculation-fest, I sincerely wanted to know if anyone thought there was reason to doubt the A mount's future.

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Sam_Oslo
Sam_Oslo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,022
The future of the A mount is bright
3

The recent release of high-end lenses (including Sony 300mm/2.8 II and 500mm/4.0) and upcoming 70-400mm II, leaves no room for doubt about Sony's commitment to A mount.

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Clyde Thomas Contributing Member • Posts: 959
Better than ever before...
2

Considering 3rd party manufacturers are spending R&D dollars to support A, more than any other brand aside from CaNikon, and there are numerous Leitaxed adapted solutions, and the A is entrenched within a rich video architecture, and there are literally three professional options to chose from (current G, legacy Mino, and ZA)... Well, it's a great time to be an A-Mount tog. Better than ever throughout its 25 year history.

I suggest, that after EF and F have gone by the way side, the Alpha will also become the Omega.

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sybersitizen Veteran Member • Posts: 8,371
Re: What's the future of the A mount?
3

Compared to other things, the future of the A-mount is so low on my list of daily worries that I never even get to it.

Keit ll Veteran Member • Posts: 4,200
Re: What's the future of the A mount?

The A mount is a certain sixed bayonet mount but there are already variations in A lenses. D & non D , PDAF capable & older lenses which apparently cannot be re-programed. Lenses working using in lens motors & screw drive lenses using in-cameta body motors. & even some which have ILIS.

If Sony go down the path of exclusively developing PDAF capable lenses for use in mirrored & , more importantly , mirrorless cameras then the older lenses may become increasingly redundant ?

Alan_S
Alan_S Senior Member • Posts: 1,821
Re: What's the future of the A mount?
1

PaddyC wrote:

..........

PaddyC,

I initially bought into this mount in the mid 1980's with Minolta... it survived two major transitions, first to Konica-Minolta, and then to Sony. Here we are 30 freeking years later with several high-end new additions to the line. So,

I know it's easy to get to get on the "sky is falling" rant for the A mount

...really? I just don't understand these assertions. I mean, maybe it's easy for some to get caught up in internet babble, but one has to consider the validity of the source "opinions," the factual past & present, and think for one's self.

there is definitely a lot of uncertainty in the minds of A mount users at the moment even if there is no hard evidence to substantiate people's concerns.

well, other than a few "sky is falling" posts on this forum and SAR (did I mention "consider the source?" yep) I'm not aware of any of that in real life ...and with the 30-year history I've experienced, and the new releases, my biggest uncertainty is where's the best place to put in my pre-order for the 70-400G2 !

With the recent release of the A99 and the A58, and a few lenses one should find evidence that Sony will continue with the A mount.

Exactly; now you're thinkin'!

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goetz48 Senior Member • Posts: 2,607
It is really a pitty

that the Japanese camera producers were not able to use a common lens mount system as it was the Practica M42 thread years before. Everyone made their own system with different flange distances, diameters, contacts and other dimensions.

Really stupid!

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alberto888 Junior Member • Posts: 49
Re: It is really a pitty

goetz48 wrote:

that the Japanese camera producers were not able to use a common lens mount system as it was the Practica M42 thread years before. Everyone made their own system with different flange distances, diameters, contacts and other dimensions.

Really stupid! +++

dlkeller Veteran Member • Posts: 6,922
Re: What's the future of the A mount?

Actually it is EXACTLY these periods of stress with Minolta/KM/Sony that worry some of us.  We already had to change our system when Minolta changed the mount.  We saw the company change hands and a very long delay before we even got a DSLR.  Then we had the concern with Sony and it's delays in producing an A700 replacement and it's increasing emphasis on NEX in advertising and sales pushes so there is good reason for concern.

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Dave

cgarrard
cgarrard Forum Pro • Posts: 15,372
Re: The future of the A mount is bright

Sam_Oslo wrote:

The recent release of high-end lenses (including Sony 300mm/2.8 II and 500mm/4.0) and upcoming 70-400mm II, leaves no room for doubt about Sony's commitment to A mount.

Then why is there doubt?

OntarioJohn
OntarioJohn Senior Member • Posts: 1,959
Re: What's the future of the A mount?

Sony just released a 50 mm zeiss prime A mount a few days back. What does that tell you? And a new version of 70 400G.

How many years and units to pay back R And D and retooling marketing etc?

Think about that.

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