My theory on what happened with the A9II

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MinAZ
MinAZ Veteran Member • Posts: 5,123
My theory on what happened with the A9II
23

Here's what I honestly think happened, and perhaps why enthusiasts are disappointed.

Sony wanted a camera that would compete at the Olympic games as the atheletes competed in the sports, it would compete in camera visibility. So it wanted to be represented.

They did a focus groups with pro sports photographers asking what would make them buy an A9.

These being pro shooters that work for the wires, they didn't necessarily prioritize things that enthusiasts do - the megapixel war, star eating capability, dynamic range, or iso performance. Most pros have already a workflow for these things, being comfortable with Canikon. What they wanted is the A9II to fit into the existing workflow.

That would mean being able to plug into the Olympic ethernet system to send images directly via FTP to the wire service hubs, weather sealing so that their cameras aren't the first to die when the downpour occurs, and okay for some reason faster mechanical shutter (I still don't get this one). Oh and an improved AF algorithm couldn't hurt either.

Sony prioritized sports over wildlife this year for obvious reasons. And while this might be deeply disappointing to the rank and file, the new camera does make sense from the POV that Sony is trying to compete for the Olympics.

Let's see next year if there are more Sony white telephotos on the sidelines.

Sony a9
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aSevenArr
aSevenArr Senior Member • Posts: 1,894
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II
8

MinAZ wrote:

Here's what I honestly think happened, and perhaps why enthusiasts are disappointed.

Sony wanted a camera that would compete at the Olympic games as the atheletes competed in the sports, it would compete in camera visibility. So it wanted to be represented.

They did a focus groups with pro sports photographers asking what would make them buy an A9.

These being pro shooters that work for the wires, they didn't necessarily prioritize things that enthusiasts do - the megapixel war, star eating capability, dynamic range, or iso performance. Most pros have already a workflow for these things, being comfortable with Canikon. What they wanted is the A9II to fit into the existing workflow.

That would mean being able to plug into the Olympic ethernet system to send images directly via FTP to the wire service hubs, weather sealing so that their cameras aren't the first to die when the downpour occurs, and okay for some reason faster mechanical shutter (I still don't get this one). Oh and an improved AF algorithm couldn't hurt either.

Sony prioritized sports over wildlife this year for obvious reasons. And while this might be deeply disappointing to the rank and file, the new camera does make sense from the POV that Sony is trying to compete for the Olympics.

Let's see next year if there are more Sony white telephotos on the sidelines.

My theory is slightly different...

They built a 36MP prototype/development version and they then discovered that they couldn’t even reach the current 20 FPS transfer speeds of the original model with all that extra data to crunch.

They then messed around with this wasting months trying to get it all working and finally they determined that the required chips/processing speeds are simply not yet available (or that their current code couldn’t handle it - that’s equally likely since it probably requires an upgrade to 32 or 64 bit memory addresses and this bug can be hard to find, cause intermittent failures and if it’s in the firmware it could also be hard to fix).

With the Olympics now looming very large on the horizon they decided to go ahead and ship with all the other improvements that had been planned and developed.

The result is a completely half-assed offering and the PR flack that they are now catching.

Someone at Sony is probably doing a lot of explaining right now.

Software development is not their strong point!

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caplanner Senior Member • Posts: 1,283
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II
2

MinAZ wrote:

Here's what I honestly think happened, and perhaps why enthusiasts are disappointed.

Sony wanted a camera that would compete at the Olympic games as the atheletes competed in the sports, it would compete in camera visibility. So it wanted to be represented.

They did a focus groups with pro sports photographers asking what would make them buy an A9.

These being pro shooters that work for the wires, they didn't necessarily prioritize things that enthusiasts do - the megapixel war, star eating capability, dynamic range, or iso performance. Most pros have already a workflow for these things, being comfortable with Canikon. What they wanted is the A9II to fit into the existing workflow.

That would mean being able to plug into the Olympic ethernet system to send images directly via FTP to the wire service hubs, weather sealing so that their cameras aren't the first to die when the downpour occurs, and okay for some reason faster mechanical shutter (I still don't get this one). Oh and an improved AF algorithm couldn't hurt either.

Sony prioritized sports over wildlife this year for obvious reasons. And while this might be deeply disappointing to the rank and file, the new camera does make sense from the POV that Sony is trying to compete for the Olympics.

Let's see next year if there are more Sony white telephotos on the sidelines.

I agree - if they are as smart as I believe them to be, they wouldn’t do any different.

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Colin Franks
Colin Franks Senior Member • Posts: 1,713
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II
2

It's all very interesting, and while we can speculate, I can't see why they couldn't please both the pro sports shooters and the bird & wildlife people (which I suggest is actually the larger and more important group in terms of actually selling truck-loads of these bodies) .....by finding a balance.

I don't know any rational, thinking bird & wildlife shooter who - at this point in time - truly expected a 36MP body shooting at more than 20 FPS, but with all of their engineer's brain power, surely they could indeed have produced a body having a resolution of around the 30 MP range, shooting about 18 FPS, using the EVF found in the a7RIV, and increasing the body size by a FRACTION to accommodate a freakin' memory card that is appropriate for this sort of camera (CFExpress), and NOT a ( edited rule 6) crippling SD-II!

I mean think about about it, if they had produced such a camera as described, they truly would have been the king of the castle, crushing Canon & Nikon regardless of the Olympics, but also including the Olympics. But no, the cancer of *committee meetings likely ruled.

*A camel is a horse designed by a committee.

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arbitrage Regular Member • Posts: 401
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II
2

Yes, this is likely exactly what happened.  Sony has always targeted the A9 at sports photographers (and I guess now photojournalists).  They have never, ever made any ad towards wildlife/bird photographers.  I have no idea what the actual sales numbers are between those two markets.  I'm a bird photographer so obviously my view is biased in that direction.  I know there are lots of bird photographers using Sony these days but I have no idea how our market compares to the sports/journalist market in terms of sales volume.

The A9II updates make total sense for Sony's intended market.  These are the type of features that already converted CaNikon sports shooters would be missing and what potential coverts would ask for.

For my use case I would have been more likely to buy an A9II if all they had done is stick a 36MP sensor in it and not changed a single other thing.  I would have also been okay with them doing that and dropping the FPS even all the way down to 10 if they had to.  But I'm not their intended market so I digress.

I'm still considering an A9II but have cancelled my preorder for now.  I do value a number of things in the A9II.....larger grip, better buttons, better sealing, dual UHS-II.  I'm also intrigued by the upgraded processor that is going to reduce EVF lag, allow full res EVF at 120Hz and improve AF Tracking performance (all according to Sony and yet to be tested).

It seems that Sony was not willing to drop from 20FPS in order to increase MPs and increase the EVF to the 5M dot one in the A7RIV.  They also weren't willing to make a new unique body design to accommodate better memory card options.

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Brian_Smith
Brian_Smith Veteran Member • Posts: 3,225
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II
11

MinAZ wrote:

Here's what I honestly think happened, and perhaps why enthusiasts are disappointed.

Sony wanted a camera that would compete at the Olympic games as the atheletes competed in the sports, it would compete in camera visibility. So it wanted to be represented.

They did a focus groups with pro sports photographers asking what would make them buy an A9.

These being pro shooters that work for the wires, they didn't necessarily prioritize things that enthusiasts do - the megapixel war, star eating capability, dynamic range, or iso performance. Most pros have already a workflow for these things, being comfortable with Canikon. What they wanted is the A9II to fit into the existing workflow.

That would mean being able to plug into the Olympic ethernet system to send images directly via FTP to the wire service hubs, weather sealing so that their cameras aren't the first to die when the downpour occurs, and okay for some reason faster mechanical shutter (I still don't get this one). Oh and an improved AF algorithm couldn't hurt either.

Sony prioritized sports over wildlife this year for obvious reasons. And while this might be deeply disappointing to the rank and file, the new camera does make sense from the POV that Sony is trying to compete for the Olympics.

Let's see next year if there are more Sony white telephotos on the sidelines.

You're actually very close - except many of the pro sports photographers & photojournalists who this camera is targeted are already Sony a9 shooters.

Boosting connectivity to 1000BASE-T connection that allows gigabit communication for high-speed stable data transfer including remote shooting and 5 GHz wireless LAN may not sound sexy - but it's exactly what they asked for - not more megapixels.

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Brian_Smith
Brian_Smith Veteran Member • Posts: 3,225
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II
25

aSevenArr wrote:

MinAZ wrote:

Here's what I honestly think happened, and perhaps why enthusiasts are disappointed.

Sony wanted a camera that would compete at the Olympic games as the atheletes competed in the sports, it would compete in camera visibility. So it wanted to be represented.

They did a focus groups with pro sports photographers asking what would make them buy an A9.

These being pro shooters that work for the wires, they didn't necessarily prioritize things that enthusiasts do - the megapixel war, star eating capability, dynamic range, or iso performance. Most pros have already a workflow for these things, being comfortable with Canikon. What they wanted is the A9II to fit into the existing workflow.

That would mean being able to plug into the Olympic ethernet system to send images directly via FTP to the wire service hubs, weather sealing so that their cameras aren't the first to die when the downpour occurs, and okay for some reason faster mechanical shutter (I still don't get this one). Oh and an improved AF algorithm couldn't hurt either.

Sony prioritized sports over wildlife this year for obvious reasons. And while this might be deeply disappointing to the rank and file, the new camera does make sense from the POV that Sony is trying to compete for the Olympics.

Let's see next year if there are more Sony white telephotos on the sidelines.

My theory is slightly different...

They built a 36MP prototype/development version and they then discovered that they couldn’t even reach the current 20 FPS transfer speeds of the original model with all that extra data to crunch.

NOPE. There never was a 36 mp version. Nor was one ever considered.

That was merely a bad guess by a rumor website...

From its development, Sony a9 was aimed at pro sports photographers and photojournalists to rival the 20.8mp Nikon D5 (12 FPS) and 20.2mp Canon 1D X II (14 FPS) neither of which offer silent shooting.

Sony a9 toasted the specs of both cameras in most regards, but two areas it could not match them were 1000BASE-T connection which allows gigabit communication for high-speed stable data transfer including remote shooting and 5 GHz wireless LAN.

Sony a9 II addresses both issues along with better weather-sealing, voice memo, improved image processor, improved remote camera operation, 10 FPS mechanical shutter and much more.

That's the true story. The 36 mp rumor was nothing but a bad guess from someone who didn't know as much as they claimed.

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PWPhotography Veteran Member • Posts: 8,782
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II
1

Brian_Smith wrote:

aSevenArr wrote:

MinAZ wrote:

Here's what I honestly think happened, and perhaps why enthusiasts are disappointed.

Sony wanted a camera that would compete at the Olympic games as the atheletes competed in the sports, it would compete in camera visibility. So it wanted to be represented.

They did a focus groups with pro sports photographers asking what would make them buy an A9.

These being pro shooters that work for the wires, they didn't necessarily prioritize things that enthusiasts do - the megapixel war, star eating capability, dynamic range, or iso performance. Most pros have already a workflow for these things, being comfortable with Canikon. What they wanted is the A9II to fit into the existing workflow.

That would mean being able to plug into the Olympic ethernet system to send images directly via FTP to the wire service hubs, weather sealing so that their cameras aren't the first to die when the downpour occurs, and okay for some reason faster mechanical shutter (I still don't get this one). Oh and an improved AF algorithm couldn't hurt either.

Sony prioritized sports over wildlife this year for obvious reasons. And while this might be deeply disappointing to the rank and file, the new camera does make sense from the POV that Sony is trying to compete for the Olympics.

Let's see next year if there are more Sony white telephotos on the sidelines.

My theory is slightly different...

They built a 36MP prototype/development version and they then discovered that they couldn’t even reach the current 20 FPS transfer speeds of the original model with all that extra data to crunch.

NOPE. There never was a 36 mp version. Nor was one ever considered.

That was merely a bad guess by a rumor website...

Personally I'd pickup 36mp/15fps or even 12fps over 24mp/20fps any day provided all others are the same such as buffer depth, cleaning speed. 15fps or even 12fps is really sufficient in sport as we have not heard complaints from Canon and Nikon sport PJs without 20fps with their cameras.

From its development, Sony a9 was aimed at pro sports photographers and photojournalists to rival the 20.8mp Nikon D5 (12 FPS) and 20.2mp Canon 1D X II (14 FPS) neither of which offer silent shooting.

Sony a9 toasted the specs of both cameras in most regards, but two areas it could not match them were 1000BASE-T connection which allows gigabit communication for high-speed stable data transfer including remote shooting and 5 GHz wireless LAN.

Sony a9 II addresses both issues along with better weather-sealing, voice memo, improved image processor, improved remote camera operation, 10 FPS mechanical shutter and much more.

That's the true story. The 36 mp rumor was nothing but a bad guess from someone who didn't know as much as they claimed.

But really why Sony cannot offer an option to add ISO 50 into auto-ISO (very useful in panning photos)? And why cannot offer Safety-Shift feature which basically is an easy AI implementation? Both Canon and Nikon cameras offered such features decade ago such as in my Canon 1D III, same as voice memo in 1D III decade ago.

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aSevenArr
aSevenArr Senior Member • Posts: 1,894
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II
2

Brian_Smith wrote:

MinAZ wrote:

Here's what I honestly think happened, and perhaps why enthusiasts are disappointed.

Sony wanted a camera that would compete at the Olympic games as the atheletes competed in the sports, it would compete in camera visibility. So it wanted to be represented.

They did a focus groups with pro sports photographers asking what would make them buy an A9.

These being pro shooters that work for the wires, they didn't necessarily prioritize things that enthusiasts do - the megapixel war, star eating capability, dynamic range, or iso performance. Most pros have already a workflow for these things, being comfortable with Canikon. What they wanted is the A9II to fit into the existing workflow.

That would mean being able to plug into the Olympic ethernet system to send images directly via FTP to the wire service hubs, weather sealing so that their cameras aren't the first to die when the downpour occurs, and okay for some reason faster mechanical shutter (I still don't get this one). Oh and an improved AF algorithm couldn't hurt either.

Sony prioritized sports over wildlife this year for obvious reasons. And while this might be deeply disappointing to the rank and file, the new camera does make sense from the POV that Sony is trying to compete for the Olympics.

Let's see next year if there are more Sony white telephotos on the sidelines.

You're actually very close - except many of the pro sports photographers & photojournalists who this camera is targeted are already Sony a9 shooters.

Boosting connectivity to 1000BASE-T connection that allows gigabit communication for high-speed stable data transfer including remote shooting and 5 GHz wireless LAN may not sound sexy - but it's exactly what they asked for - not more megapixels.

But you will agree that they’re going to sell a lot fewer A9ii’s now

So I have to question this strategy. What percentage of the current A9 users need gigabit Ethernet? Certainly not me.

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Frustrated Writer Regular Member • Posts: 337
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II

aSevenArr wrote:

Brian_Smith wrote:

MinAZ wrote:

Here's what I honestly think happened, and perhaps why enthusiasts are disappointed.

Sony wanted a camera that would compete at the Olympic games as the atheletes competed in the sports, it would compete in camera visibility. So it wanted to be represented.

They did a focus groups with pro sports photographers asking what would make them buy an A9.

These being pro shooters that work for the wires, they didn't necessarily prioritize things that enthusiasts do - the megapixel war, star eating capability, dynamic range, or iso performance. Most pros have already a workflow for these things, being comfortable with Canikon. What they wanted is the A9II to fit into the existing workflow.

That would mean being able to plug into the Olympic ethernet system to send images directly via FTP to the wire service hubs, weather sealing so that their cameras aren't the first to die when the downpour occurs, and okay for some reason faster mechanical shutter (I still don't get this one). Oh and an improved AF algorithm couldn't hurt either.

Sony prioritized sports over wildlife this year for obvious reasons. And while this might be deeply disappointing to the rank and file, the new camera does make sense from the POV that Sony is trying to compete for the Olympics.

Let's see next year if there are more Sony white telephotos on the sidelines.

You're actually very close - except many of the pro sports photographers & photojournalists who this camera is targeted are already Sony a9 shooters.

Boosting connectivity to 1000BASE-T connection that allows gigabit communication for high-speed stable data transfer including remote shooting and 5 GHz wireless LAN may not sound sexy - but it's exactly what they asked for - not more megapixels.

But you will agree that they’re going to sell a lot fewer A9ii’s now

So I have to question this strategy. What percentage of the current A9 users need gigabit Ethernet? Certainly not me.

I guess Sony hopes/expects those disappointed by the new features on the A9II to opt for the original A9. Pricing may also play a part as here in Australia the new camera is AUD3000 more than its predecessor.

Personally, I'm staying with the A7Riii as a single body for now. When my travel plans dictate I'll consider a second body and get what is most appropriate at the time.

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caplanner Senior Member • Posts: 1,283
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II

Colin Franks wrote:

It's all very interesting, and while we can speculate, I can't see why they couldn't please both the pro sports shooters and the bird & wildlife people (which I suggest is actually the larger and more important group in terms of actually selling truck-loads of these bodies) .....by finding a balance.

thats exactly what they did when they released the 200-600.  That is focused on BIF and wildlife hobbyist photographer.  IMO anyway....

I don't know any rational, thinking bird & wildlife shooter who - at this point in time - truly expected a 36MP body shooting at more than 20 FPS, but with all of their engineer's brain power, surely they could indeed have produced a body having a resolution of around the 30 MP range, shooting about 18 FPS, using the EVF found in the a7RIV, and increasing the body size by a FRACTION to accommodate a freakin' memory card that is appropriate for this sort of camera (CFExpress), and NOT a F*#!*ing crippling SD-II!

I mean think about about it, if they had produced such a camera as described, they truly would have been the king of the castle, crushing Canon & Nikon regardless of the Olympics, but also including the Olympics. But no, the cancer of *committee meetings likely ruled.

*A camel is a horse designed by a committee.

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joger
joger Veteran Member • Posts: 5,679
there is no disappointment about the A9II - I simply don't buy it :-)

MinAZ wrote:

Here's what I honestly think happened, and perhaps why enthusiasts are disappointed.

I guess 'disappointment' is a category nobody should think of when it comes to gear. Yes there have been speculations and some might postpone their purchasing decision and the A9 is anyway a niche camera.

Sony wanted a camera that would compete at the Olympic games as the atheletes competed in the sports, it would compete in camera visibility. So it wanted to be represented.

That's surely the goal on their home turf.

They did a focus groups with pro sports photographers asking what would make them buy an A9.

These being pro shooters that work for the wires, they didn't necessarily prioritize things that enthusiasts do - the megapixel war,

The is no megapixel war! There is a constant technological envelopment. smaller pixel have side effects as larger pixel do. Once you understand their implications you can choose the configuration you prefer. Sony is an excellent example off a company that let's it's customers decide which model to choose from - standard resolution or higher resolution

star eating capability,

There are other brands to choose from or simply to accept the algorithm.

dynamic range,

With 14 bit probably at the current limit

or iso performance.

Very good now on the A7 III and A7R III and IV - the A9 seems to be good enough for pro sports photographers

Most pros have already a workflow for these things, being comfortable with Canikon. What they wanted is the A9II to fit into the existing workflow.

maybe - or maybe they just wanted to put a 'II' batch on it to boost sales

That would mean being able to plug into the Olympic ethernet system to send images directly via FTP to the wire service hubs, weather sealing so that their cameras aren't the first to die when the downpour occurs, and okay for some reason faster mechanical shutter (I still don't get this one). Oh and an improved AF algorithm couldn't hurt either.

Those PROs will give the camera a try and decide whether it ticks all boxes for them.

Sony prioritized sports over wildlife this year for obvious reasons. And while this might be deeply disappointing to the rank and file, the new camera does make sense from the POV that Sony is trying to compete for the Olympics.

Sure - but no disappointment at least on my side - I might have bought a fast higher MP A9 II but I am definitely not buying any 24 MP camera with better alternatives for me at Sony.

Out of a sudden this makes the A7R III look like a bargain again

Let's see next year if there are more Sony white telephotos on the sidelines.

Perhaps we do. The marketing aspect is not deniable. But most of all I am happy with all the new lenses we've received plus the mind-blowing step forward with the A7R IV.

I am sure at some point we're going to see 16 bit and many other new thins like computational photography in an A7R XX camera sooner or later. Until then the existing camera selection should satisfy a lot of enthusiasts and sports-PROs.

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caterpillar Veteran Member • Posts: 7,634
Not likely
14

aSevenArr wrote:

MinAZ wrote:

Here's what I honestly think happened, and perhaps why enthusiasts are disappointed.

Sony wanted a camera that would compete at the Olympic games as the atheletes competed in the sports, it would compete in camera visibility. So it wanted to be represented.

They did a focus groups with pro sports photographers asking what would make them buy an A9.

These being pro shooters that work for the wires, they didn't necessarily prioritize things that enthusiasts do - the megapixel war, star eating capability, dynamic range, or iso performance. Most pros have already a workflow for these things, being comfortable with Canikon. What they wanted is the A9II to fit into the existing workflow.

That would mean being able to plug into the Olympic ethernet system to send images directly via FTP to the wire service hubs, weather sealing so that their cameras aren't the first to die when the downpour occurs, and okay for some reason faster mechanical shutter (I still don't get this one). Oh and an improved AF algorithm couldn't hurt either.

Sony prioritized sports over wildlife this year for obvious reasons. And while this might be deeply disappointing to the rank and file, the new camera does make sense from the POV that Sony is trying to compete for the Olympics.

Let's see next year if there are more Sony white telephotos on the sidelines.

My theory is slightly different...

They built a 36MP prototype/development version and they then discovered that they couldn’t even reach the current 20 FPS transfer speeds of the original model with all that extra data to crunch.

They then messed around with this wasting months trying to get it all working and finally they determined that the required chips/processing speeds are simply not yet available (or that their current code couldn’t handle it - that’s equally likely since it probably requires an upgrade to 32 or 64 bit memory addresses and this bug can be hard to find, cause intermittent failures and if it’s in the firmware it could also be hard to fix).

With the Olympics now looming very large on the horizon they decided to go ahead and ship with all the other improvements that had been planned and developed.

Not likely. Companies like Sony, as most high tech companies, don't start the R&D after the release of the latest product. Even before the A9 was released, the A9-2 was already being conceived and R&D'd. There was no last minute tweaking. You don't jump from 24mp to 32mp just like that. Even on paper you already know if your processor and other parts of it can handle that data and other requirements. You don't go to prototype or testing stage blind and then just find out that you can't handle 32mp or 36mp of data. That's a poor way of managing your R&D. Imagine taking you 3 years to find out you can't do 36mp?! That's not how dual stacked tech and the A9-1 was born.

And because their R&D for the A9-2 started way even before the A9 was released, they had 3-3.5 years of R&D in it. Sure, they have other sensor size on the side, and they could have simulated those in their computers. No need to build them yet in the early days. But the OP is correct - they wanted to know what the pros would like and put all their energies into making that happen. It seems that sports shooter is just fine with 24mp (easier to move the data and upload to the servers, no downgrade in IQ), and 20fps is just fine for fast action in track and field.

In Technology Management, there is a term called "Technology Push," and "Market Pull." The A9 was the former. The A9-2 was the latter. The A9-2 got it's cue from market feedback. The A9-2 was designed based on what the market wanted. And this is very crucial because all these things we are seeing now is part of a grand plan. A plan that was hatched maybe 5-7 years ago, and will run its course for 10-15 years. This is not a throw that thing on the wall and see if it sticks, kind of planning and execution.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is so important because it is here where Sony wants to break the duopoly and dethrone Canon as the best camera maker. It is important because it will happen in their home soil. It is so important because the Olympics is a 4-year event and the last time it was held in Japan was in 1964. Who knows when it will be held again in Japan! To be able to outperform Canon and Nikon in their home country, in a prestigious event, is a big thing. If it goes well, it will dramatic and poignant.

Now, if you want it to succeed, you need to do the things that sports shooters want. They know their problems and they want it solved. And if you don't want to fail, you don't rock the boat by introducing a 36mp camera or start bumping framerates to 30fps (though I was hoping even a 24fps would have raised eyebrows). You don't want to introduce variables that can cause problems and hence over all failure. Just address the main concerns of the main users of this. And most importantly, IGNORE THE GENERAL MARKET!

The top-of-the-line flagship cameras don't really generate the main revenue even for their division. They probably build 5,000 units a year and many probably remains unsold. At their high price and specialized use, why would you buy one if you are into other types of photography? You can probably by 2 x 5D4 for the price of 1 x 1DX2 if you are a wedding/events shooter.

Thus, the main reason for toppling the top end of Canikon is nothing more than bragging rights. It's more about PERCEPTION. It's the same lame excuse that many use to say that they see all Canon or Nikon and lenses and sport events and proclaim technological superiority. It will finally start of the end of people making this lame excuse. I say "start" because the migration will take time. It was not any different when Canon entered the sports market vs Nikon. You just don't convert people in 1-2 year sweeps.  These equipments are expensive!

And this leads us to another point. U$4,500 is way cheaper than U$6,500 the typical price of a flaghsip top-of-the-line DSLR. But U$4,500 is still a hefty chunk. If people don't like the A9-2, why not the A9-1 for U$1,000 less? More so, if you really are into action/sports, is there any other camera brand that can do as well as the A9 family?

In reality, most don't need the A9-1, much less the A9-2. So, why the angst? And in reality too, what prevents one from switching to the D5? Or 1DX2 or the 5D4 or the D500 or D850? If one can bemoan the blandness of the A9-2, what other camera is there that seems to tick all your boxes? More importantly, can you afford those? Or do you even need those specs/features? If not, why bemoan the A9-2, when clearly, it was not made for you?

The result is a completely half-assed offering and the PR flack that they are now catching.

Someone at Sony is probably doing a lot of explaining right now.

Software development is not their strong point!

Actually, Sony need not explain anything. If any, the ball is in Canon and Nikon's court. Their the one that needs explaining. What will your 1DX3 and D6 be? Can it do 20fps? Will it be blackout free? Can it track a subject so sticky that even if a dozen people steps in front of the subject, he'll still be in focus? Can you change focus or subjects quickly with a touch of a finger swipe or a slide of it? Does your lenses have the same speed to rack focus and have high IQ? Can your cameras upload the images via wifi or ethernet quickly even as the cameras are being used?

Nobody in Sony needs to explain anything, especially to the general public. They built the A9-2 for the Olympics. They built it to the ones who will be shooting there.  They listened to them prior to building it. And now, what is important is what else they need to adjust to make it even better once it is in their hands.

About 2 months ago, the A7R4 received so much "meh" comments. I even thought that the camera was meant more for non Sony shooters to migrate to. In short, it was not meant to attract existing A7R-3 users, but those outside Sony. I was wrong. The brisk sales of the A7R4 are both coming from outside the fold, AND within the loyal. It seems, the lackluster specs of the A7R-4 struck a chord within the community. Sony has demonstrated here again, that they know more about the market or target market than most of us.

Remember too, not all innovations have to be revolutionary. It can be evolutionary. In fact, it is essential to have that evolutionary steps if a product is to be refined and improved. Revolutionary tech/innovation is not sustainable and will fail if it does not evolve after the revolution. And Sometimes, the most impactful innovations and changes are in the simplest and inoucuous changes. In the case of the A9-2, only true-blue sport shooters know what needs changing and improving.They will be the judge of whether Sony did right with the A9-2. Not you or me.

In the next weeks, I expect the social media  influencers to chime in with their comments. But for me, and I am sure for Sony, the true lips they want to listen to are from the sports shooters and those who really make a living and whose lives depend on action and sports. Why is this important again? It is because the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is so important to Sony for them to muck it up. Why is the Tokyo Olympics so important? It's because it is there that Sony hopes to dethrone Canon and Nikon's hold on the flagship cameras. As they virtually rendered the 5D family inutile, the M  aps-c line a dead end, and the low and mid-end aps-c dslrs with no hope, their own 1" sensor cameras unassailable by Canon, the last remaining bastion of hope is the 1DX line. That, to Sony must eventually be toppled.

Will Canon and Nikon be able to respond? I don't know. One thing is certain at this point in time. Neither companies have still to build their own A7-3.  Granting they have 6-8 months to make their flagship sports camera, I'll just wait. I won't rack my brains guessing what they will do or what they can do.

Before October is over, I am sure junkets will be held and feedback will be out with respect to the A9-2. As far as Canon and Nikon goes, they have their work cut out.

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joger
joger Veteran Member • Posts: 5,679
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II

Brian_Smith wrote:

MinAZ wrote:

Here's what I honestly think happened, and perhaps why enthusiasts are disappointed.

Sony wanted a camera that would compete at the Olympic games as the atheletes competed in the sports, it would compete in camera visibility. So it wanted to be represented.

They did a focus groups with pro sports photographers asking what would make them buy an A9.

These being pro shooters that work for the wires, they didn't necessarily prioritize things that enthusiasts do - the megapixel war, star eating capability, dynamic range, or iso performance. Most pros have already a workflow for these things, being comfortable with Canikon. What they wanted is the A9II to fit into the existing workflow.

That would mean being able to plug into the Olympic ethernet system to send images directly via FTP to the wire service hubs, weather sealing so that their cameras aren't the first to die when the downpour occurs, and okay for some reason faster mechanical shutter (I still don't get this one). Oh and an improved AF algorithm couldn't hurt either.

Sony prioritized sports over wildlife this year for obvious reasons. And while this might be deeply disappointing to the rank and file, the new camera does make sense from the POV that Sony is trying to compete for the Olympics.

Let's see next year if there are more Sony white telephotos on the sidelines.

You're actually very close - except many of the pro sports photographers & photojournalists who this camera is targeted are already Sony a9 shooters.

Boosting connectivity to 1000BASE-T connection that allows gigabit communication for high-speed stable data transfer including remote shooting and 5 GHz wireless LAN may not sound sexy - but it's exactly what they asked for - not more megapixels.

Very understandable! Their target use case is online publication for the most part I guess.

Even for printing at magazines this resolution is more than enough - you even got lot's of cropping capabilities and at the light conditions they probably shoot at ISO 1600 and above where extra resolution would fade away anyway.

The A9 and A9 II are a very good compromise for this kind of shooting activity IMHO

One aspect I'd like to add is the PROs I know in many different jobs - most PROs in any kind of environment will tell you they'd want a refined tool of what they're using now.

There are only few PROs out that prefer disruptive changes. What makes them PRO is being able to manage their tools better than others plus the right techniques to delivery results - reliably. This excludes a steep learning curve with a different completely new tool.

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joger
joger Veteran Member • Posts: 5,679
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II
1

Frustrated Writer wrote:

I guess Sony hopes/expects those disappointed by the new features on the A9II to opt for the original A9. Pricing may also play a part as here in Australia the new camera is AUD3000 more than its predecessor.

Personally, I'm staying with the A7Riii as a single body for now. When my travel plans dictate I'll consider a second body and get what is most appropriate at the time.

Sony did a great job and the positive side is we have choices within the eco system of the FE mount!

I am at the very same situation as you - I have a single body setup with the A7R III and I will add the A7R IV next year in spring for some upcoming travel and events.

By that time the prices will have come down a bit and the manufacturing will be mature and last but not least my cashflow will allow it more easily .-)

I am very pleased with Sony's way forward. What's missing are a few nice lenses to complete the lineup and some better in camera image processing with AI and hopefully RAW Pixel shift in camera.

I'd expect this being a major target for a development team for a future BIONZ-X successor of the current cameras.

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A7R III - one camera to rule them all
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I am the classic “Windows by Day, Mac by Night user'
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AndyJ2014 New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Not likely
1

Clearly the 2020 Olympics is a huge thing for Sony but when you consider launch timings for the A9ii everyone seems to be forgetting the Rugby World Cup  (RWC) currently being held in Japan

major sporting event being held in Japan ✅

ideal proving ground for Sony professional services before the Olympics ✅

ideal climatic conditions to test better weather sealing and image transfer speeds for working pro ✅

product available in the shops soon, so you can bet it is being used/tested extensively by ambassadors at the RWC ✅

Anti-flicker for floodlit stadium lighting ✅

Sony would have listened to all the feedback from A9 pro sports users with an eye on BOTH the RWC and Olympics. The A9ii make perfect sense with timing. If Sony are to convince the pro market to switch from the other brands, they have to prove their professional services, bodies and lenses BEFORE the Olympics not during, so the pros can be convinced to put Sony on the procurement list. This is a long term project for Sony and they have been working towards rock solid reliability for sports pros rather than chasing more MP etc

The more Sony is seen and proved at these major events the bigger the halo effect and the more gear they sell to the   Part timers and aspiring pros.

Thoughts?

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tommiejeep
tommiejeep Veteran Member • Posts: 6,954
Re: Not likely

Good points.  I expected the a9 to make a reasonable appearance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup but almost non-existent.   Maybe Sony did not think they were ready for Prime Time sports at that point.

I really do not expect Canon or Nikon to launch a MILC body to challenge the a9/a9ii in Tokyo for the Olympics .   It is for Sony to try and knock the flagship DSLRs off the perch.

I agree that they are missing the opportunities you noted to at least start that process .   Showing up at the Olympics with a boatload of loaner gear may get some of the Nikon and Canon Pros to try them but , as has been pointed out countless times,  they are not quick to suddenly shift from usual gear.    Sony may hire existing Pro users to shoot and try for maximum exposure of their work/images.  Panasonic tried that at the London Olympics.

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Paul Barnard
Paul Barnard Veteran Member • Posts: 3,199
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II
3

MinAZ wrote:

Here's what I honestly think happened, and perhaps why enthusiasts are disappointed.

Sony wanted a camera that would compete at the Olympic games as the atheletes competed in the sports, it would compete in camera visibility. So it wanted to be represented.

They did a focus groups with pro sports photographers asking what would make them buy an A9.

These being pro shooters that work for the wires, they didn't necessarily prioritize things that enthusiasts do - the megapixel war, star eating capability, dynamic range, or iso performance. Most pros have already a workflow for these things, being comfortable with Canikon. What they wanted is the A9II to fit into the existing workflow.

That would mean being able to plug into the Olympic ethernet system to send images directly via FTP to the wire service hubs, weather sealing so that their cameras aren't the first to die when the downpour occurs, and okay for some reason faster mechanical shutter (I still don't get this one). Oh and an improved AF algorithm couldn't hurt either.

Sony prioritized sports over wildlife this year for obvious reasons. And while this might be deeply disappointing to the rank and file, the new camera does make sense from the POV that Sony is trying to compete for the Olympics.

Let's see next year if there are more Sony white telephotos on the sidelines.

The faster mechanical shutter speed is obvious. Lots of the Olympic venues are indoor and doubtless will have a lot of led lighting.

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randomguy Regular Member • Posts: 478
Re: Not likely

caterpillar wrote:

Now, if you want it to succeed, you need to do the things that sports shooters want. They know their problems and they want it solved. And if you don't want to fail, you don't rock the boat by introducing a 36mp camera or start bumping framerates to 30fps (though I was hoping even a 24fps would have raised eyebrows). You don't want to introduce variables that can cause problems and hence over all failure. Just address the main concerns of the main users of this. And most importantly, IGNORE THE GENERAL MARKET!

Good post, but I would question if it is a sound strategy to be conservative and play it safe when they have a tiny market share in sports or could it be smarter to try to set themselves apart?

Higher frame rate wouldn't cause problems as long as slower frame rates are still available.

Sometimes consumers do not know what they want until they get it. I gets repeatedly stated that sport shooters do not want more resolution, but is that going to be true? PMR always talks about how he can "punch in" with crop mode and get 600mm reach from his 400. With a 50MP sensor a sport professional could crop to 2x in camera and still have 12.5MP images.  Effectively making a 400mm lens able to cover 400-800mm FOV without having to swap lens or changing a converter which wastes time and potentially looses shots. Large file sizes can be avoided by smaller raw or jpeg formats.

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theoverratedphotog
theoverratedphotog Contributing Member • Posts: 571
Re: My theory on what happened with the A9II
4

Brian_Smith wrote:

aSevenArr wrote:

MinAZ wrote:

Here's what I honestly think happened, and perhaps why enthusiasts are disappointed.

Sony wanted a camera that would compete at the Olympic games as the atheletes competed in the sports, it would compete in camera visibility. So it wanted to be represented.

They did a focus groups with pro sports photographers asking what would make them buy an A9.

These being pro shooters that work for the wires, they didn't necessarily prioritize things that enthusiasts do - the megapixel war, star eating capability, dynamic range, or iso performance. Most pros have already a workflow for these things, being comfortable with Canikon. What they wanted is the A9II to fit into the existing workflow.

That would mean being able to plug into the Olympic ethernet system to send images directly via FTP to the wire service hubs, weather sealing so that their cameras aren't the first to die when the downpour occurs, and okay for some reason faster mechanical shutter (I still don't get this one). Oh and an improved AF algorithm couldn't hurt either.

Sony prioritized sports over wildlife this year for obvious reasons. And while this might be deeply disappointing to the rank and file, the new camera does make sense from the POV that Sony is trying to compete for the Olympics.

Let's see next year if there are more Sony white telephotos on the sidelines.

My theory is slightly different...

They built a 36MP prototype/development version and they then discovered that they couldn’t even reach the current 20 FPS transfer speeds of the original model with all that extra data to crunch.

NOPE. There never was a 36 mp version. Nor was one ever considered.

That was merely a bad guess by a rumor website...

From its development, Sony a9 was aimed at pro sports photographers and photojournalists to rival the 20.8mp Nikon D5 (12 FPS) and 20.2mp Canon 1D X II (14 FPS) neither of which offer silent shooting.

Sony a9 toasted the specs of both cameras in most regards, but two areas it could not match them were 1000BASE-T connection which allows gigabit communication for high-speed stable data transfer including remote shooting and 5 GHz wireless LAN.

Sony a9 II addresses both issues along with better weather-sealing, voice memo, improved image processor, improved remote camera operation, 10 FPS mechanical shutter and much more.

That's the true story. The 36 mp rumor was nothing but a bad guess from someone who didn't know as much as they claimed.

If their strategy was a second rate release like this then that's even worse. Someone in Sony should be fired.

The best sensor manufacturer in the world and they can't come up with a replacement for their current sensor that doesn't have great DR when used in silent and is designed to be used in silent.

And the rumours probably came from Sony having to access the 30MP stacked sensors that their own company has already developed and people assumed they would use.

Now Sony will play second fiddle to Nikon who will release a beast that will, sorry to be brutally honest, flatten Sony in specs. Nikon must be rubbing their hands with glee at this release.

The problem with your statement is you talk about the A9ii rivalling a D5 which was released over 3 and a half years ago. Glad to see the Sony Ambassadors set their standards so high by targeting 3-year-old competitors. My guess on the D6...30MP at 15fps and let's be honest, that does kill the A9ii and destroy any chance they have of bringing across rival photogs.

Good luck to Sony if their strategy is what you think. They will need it

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