My Sony Ultimatum

Well, here we go again. SonyAlphaRumors (SAR) has a post today recapping the rumors for a new full-frame camera coming out soon.  The latest development is a registration with the Chinese government of two new Sony cameras.  The Admin at SAR says based on the designations, one of the two has to be a full-frame Sony.  Also the Admin says it’s typically 1-2 months later that the cameras are launched.  These developments are added onto rumors that say that Sony will be releasing a full-frame camera that will have a high frames per second rate and extremely good auto-focus but with moderate resolution.  This identified it as either the legendary A9 or an A7S III.  In an earlier iteration of this rumor it was stated that this camera was going to be very expensive.  This would point to an A9.  The Admin was saying that it would compete with the Canon and Nikon professional cameras that retail in the $6,000 – $5,000 range.  Currently he seems to be undecided whether it could also be an A7S III and moderately more expensive than the current A7X II series cameras.

From a personal point of view I hope it turns out to b the A7S III. I currently use the A7S.  It has only two weaknesses.  It needs much better auto-focus (which is actually a general problem for all the Sony mirrorless cameras) and it could stand to have 18 or 24 megapixels of resolution.  If those two weaknesses were addressed it would be the perfect camera for my needs.

So if SAR is right (which is a big if), then sometime between the end of April and the end of May a fantastic new Sony full-frame camera is due to debut. So, do I believe this?  Well, actually kinda no.  Maybe it’s the delay in new products caused by the earthquake that occurred in Japan a couple of years ago or maybe I’m just getting skeptical.  But I don’t think Sony has the goods yet.  Believe me.  I’d like nothing better than to plunk down $3,000 to get my dream camera.  It would be right in time for summer and all the photo opportunities that that entails.  And I would love for Sony to reach up into the top bracket of camera-making companies.  After all, I’ve got a pretty healthy investment in gear at this point.

But for some reason I don’t think they’ll put out the cameras that are mentioned above. I think they’ll put out the A7 III.  It will have some number of megapixels slightly less than the current A7R II and will have some new gimmicks built in that will appeal to the mass of people (something with the word selfy associated with it).  It will claim to have the state of the art of auto-focus technology (but it won’t).  It will be just another iteration of the A7 cameras that Sony has been putting out for the last few years.  And, if that turns out to be the case, that’s going to be a problem for me.  I’ve been a loyal and patient Sony fan going back to the A-850 DSLR.  I’ve owned four Sony mirrorless cameras and a ton of lenses.  But I’m just about out of patience.  I haven’t owned a Sony mirrorless that could auto-focus half as well as the A-850. And the A-850 was far from the best auto-focusing camera out back in its day.  So I guess what I’m saying is that Sony is about to be judged by me.  If they don’t come out with a full-frame I’ll stay in waiting mode.  But if they do, I’ll be deciding whether I have a future with Sony mirrorless or not.  So listen up Sony.  It’s either my way or the highway (that’ll scare ‘em).

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Tom Dulaney
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My current “carry around” camera is an A6300, an ASP-C crop sensor camera. I have to disagree with one of your statements because my experience is that this camera is a stellar performer in auto focus. My A850, which I still own and use, isn’t in the same universe in terms of speed and accuracy of the focus. This assumes that you’re using native Sony E mount lenses, when I use older Sony or Minolta A mount lenses via adaptor, the focus performance drops some but is still acceptable.