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).

4 thoughts on “My Sony Ultimatum

  • April 1, 2017 at 12:52 pm
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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.

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  • April 1, 2017 at 1:54 pm
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    Tom:
    I have heard that the APSC auto-focus is much better than the full-frame. Unfortunately I’m looking for the good auto-focus in the A7 series. I am pretty sure they will get it right in this iteration (that’s why I was so reckless in throwing out my ultimatum). Because I’m not sure I’d be willing to go back to a DSLR. I’ve been spoiled by live view and in camera zoom. But I like to talk brave at Sony. It makes me feel important and powerful.

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    • April 1, 2017 at 5:50 pm
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      Oops, APS-C, you’re right.
      Comparing DSLR’s and mirrorless I’ve been spoiled principally by the size/capability ratio. Compare the size and weight of my 2010 vintage A850 wearing its general purpose lens, a Minolta 28-70 f 2.8 to my newer A6300 with its equivalent general purpose lens, a Zeiss 16-70 f4. The difference is massive but the real difference is larger than that. The mirrorless is small enough that you are likely to have it with you at any given time whereas the full frame DSLR is far too large to have with you other than on dedicated shoots. And I give up very little in the way of functionality.

      The trade off has always been there. I’ve never been able to carry a full capability camera with me all the time and there are always those I-really-wish-I-had-a-camera-right-now moments but I always carried a portable camera of much lesser capabilities. I don’t feel that I’m undergunned with an A6300.

      I’m ecstatic about my A6300’s ability to usably shoot up to ISO 6400 with very little noise but that would seem laughable to an A7S shooter. I’ll try to embed a handheld low light shot I made recently at ISO 6400 but don’t know if it will work on this site.

      BTW: My wife shoots with a Samsung NX1. That’s a pretty spiffy camera too!

      [url=https://flic.kr/p/QAueht][img]” rel=”nofollow”>[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/QAueht]I can see the light![/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomd77/]Tom[/url], on Flickr

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  • April 1, 2017 at 7:10 pm
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    Hi Tom:
    I fiddled around with the links to make them work on this comment section. I certainly like that shot. ISO 6400 is nothing to sneeze at. For a decade that was the Holy Grail of low light shooting for me. That gives you reasonable speed for indoor shots of kids at a party. And much past that there is really a noticeable increase in noise. ISO 400,000 is for shots of Bigfoot in the forest night as far as I’m concerned. I like your site. We seem to have lot of similar photo interests. Good to have someone to discuss the future of Sony with. I’m interested to see what they arte up to this year. Lots of lenses from them and the third party manufacturers.
    Best regards

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