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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    Anyone else care to offer some insight?
    I honestly don't think that Sony really knows what they're doing...

    Okay, consumer electronics company, background in point and shoot cameras and broadcast digital decides to start offering Digital SLRs...

    Alright, they buy out KM's camera department, use their existing relationship with Zeiss to make some nice lenses. The a900 is nice. The a700 is great, the a850 is... interesting?

    I don't know where they go from here. Sony seems to be dedicated to becoming, if it exists, a low-end dSLR player, and I don't understand that.

    They've got now six dSLRs that are in the "entry-level" category, with no updates to the mid-level a700 and a retrograde update to the "semi-pro" level FF a900. The Sony FF cameras are nice and have excellent price-points... but what professional is going to want to haul around non-weather sealed lenses? Are Sony going for the studio-only crowd?

    Or are Sony going to quite determinedly shoot themselves in the foot by having no clear upgrade path in the system?

    I have a feeling that Sony simply doesn't have a set direction for the dSLR division, unless that direction is "gadgetry".
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by laydros View Post
    I'm not going to go as far as to say that I don't think 3D TV will take off, but I will at least say I will be surprised if people are willing to wear glasses to watch the evening news and oprah, not to mention buy another tv after just upgrading to an HD LCD TV.
    same can be said of LED tv's though. at some point people replace their tv's and 3d technology is very new so in 3-5yrs when alot of people are gonna be thinking of replacing their tv's then this may hit the right spot; especially for ps3 owners. i'll stick with my pioneer kuro plasma thanks.

    like you though, i'm a little confused by this. couldn't possibly be for everyday use. i suspect that 3d is only applicable to certain shows/ films right ? ie: its 3d "capable". i was of the understanding that to get 3d imaging it needs to be jazzed up in production.

    i think its interesting.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    I have to admit ... the waiting is growing rather annoying for the α7xx announcement. It honestly could be a dramatic shift in still photography, by providing a better high-ISO image and perhaps a revolutionary mirror-solution for rapid-fire sports capability............
    Patience Don, the A700 will come in April/May, certainly before the World Cup (Soccer for you Yanks). It looks like a 500mm f4 may be released at the same time.
    I doubt the A7xx will be revolutionary, just an all around improvement.

    A850 Shocking? Got me there.

    3D? I have no interest. Maybe in 7/8 years time for films, maybe not. Broadcasters here are still not transmitting 100% HD TV; 3D is donkeys years away.

  4. #24
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    OK Rooz, I get that you don't totally understand Sony Policy, you may not be alone and Sony may have made mistakes, but from whose perspective.
    The enthusiast may deride the A2/3xx series as a nonsense but does a newcomer?
    As a Nikon user you may criticise the A700 but the Minolta user embraces it for obvious reasons.
    Is the replacement A700 overdue? yes.
    Do we want better high ISO performance? Yes.
    Better AF? Yes.
    Live view? Maybe.
    Video? Some do.
    None of that makes for an embarrassment. The A450/A5xx look pretty good. A700 is great but needs updating. A850/9xx are top notch.

    So, apart from the entry level, what it comes down to is that you're unhappy with the performance of the A700. Saying that
    its capable yeah but when compared to the opposition its miles behind. why anyone who was not minolta affiliated would buy an a700 is beyond my understanding. the only appealing thing in sony's lineup is its FF cameras which in good light are very good.
    But isn't that the whole point, the A700 was targetted squarely at Minolta users and upgraders from A100/A200. I've already conceded that, apart from the A900, Sony will not draw sales from CaNikon.
    As for the A700 being "miles behind", behind what? Compared to the D300 there's not a lot in it and the D300s costs twice as much.
    The A7xx will here be soon and will, I hope, improve an an already great camera.

    yes, exmor R was supposed to be groundbreaking too remember ? its a failure of epic proportions in low light though. you can only cry wolf so many times. sooner or later people are gonna wise up to the "new ground breaking technology" talk and just say "yeah right, we've heard this all before." or maybe...they're actually couting on the lowest common denominator knowing there's no shortage of hacks out there who believe this crap...
    What on earth are you talking about?
    Sony said from day one that Exmor R was for Video and P&S cameras and not significant for the DSLR where the fill ratio was against it.
    If Exmor R has been a failure in those markets, I'm not aware of it due to my general lack of an interest in those formats.

  5. #25
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    I guess a more pragmatic view would be that non-entry SLRs are not making much money right now, and in this poor economic situation Sony is just going to put little into the higher-end SLRs for now, and maybe put more money into it later. The A850 required very little development, and has certainly given some sort of path for A700 users, but as many have pointed out, such a slow camera is hardly a replacement.

    I guess the entry level market is booming. I continually see more and more people with SLR cameras at tourist and kid places. I try to talk friends out of it, because unless you put considerably more effort into your photography, an SLR is not going to get a person better images than a good bridge or P&S. But they keep buying Rebels and D3000s and A330s. So Sony has every reason to keep pushing in that department. And the A450/500/550 grabs some of the P&S upgraders that have huge budgets and think more money will buy them better images (when off camera flash is what they really need) and does fill in a tiny bit for people that had been thinking about upgrading from an A200-380 camera, and are more money careful.

    But there is still a huge gap between the A550 and the A850. Maybe the type of people that are in that gap are the same type of people that are active in forums so we feel like there are many of these users, but I kinda doubt it. I don't think Best Buy is willing to stock D90s and 50Ds and D300s if they aren't selling quite a bit to the general public.

    So I dunno. Sony can't be making absolute bank on mid-high DSLR equipment. I could see Sony doing something similar to Pentax and Oly and just ignoring full blown pro level stuff, but the A900 and CZ glass sure feels like a jab in the direction of the 1D and D3 cameras. And the fairly recent introduction of the 70-400. So it seems like they at least WERE committed to high end users just a year ago. But the current situation doesn't help me feel any better about it.

    I want to say that for sure they must be planning some big announcements after CES, but I have been expecting some exciting big announcements on an A700 replacement and more mid-high glass (think Canon f/4 L) for a year now.
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  6. #26
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    I'd go along with a lot of what you say, Jason, and yes the A850 offers some sort of upgrade path but that only applies if you have FF glass and the camera suits your style of photography. I think Don soon realised that 3fps was a drawback. Still the A850 and A700 is a nice combination, better yet with an A750.

    The fact that Sony chose to release the A450 at CES (Consumer Electronics) tells you something.
    The PMA (Photo Marketing Association) in February, on the other hand, is the place for the goodies. It is the perfect vehicle for the launch of the A700 replacement with stock on the shelves in Ap/May in time (think I'm repeating myself) for the Football (Soccer) World Cup where Sony is a Partner.
    The signs are that Sony will simultaneously release f4 500mm/f4 and that would lead to the anticipation of a higher frame rate, up from the present 5 to ??
    Just requires a bit of patience.

    BTW, jekostas, I think Sony knows exactly what it's doing. Things may not have gone quite to plan and their plan may not fit in with how you would have done things, but Hey, they have to plan 2/3 years ahead and there's many a slip twixt....

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peekayoh View Post
    BTW, jekostas, I think Sony knows exactly what it's doing. Things may not have gone quite to plan and their plan may not fit in with how you would have done things, but Hey, they have to plan 2/3 years ahead and there's many a slip twixt....
    So... leaving weather-sealing out of all of their lenses but adding it to their "pro-level" FF body, making the system completely useless to 90+% of professional shooters is "knows exactly what it's doing"?

    Very strange definition of proper planning you have there.
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  8. #28
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    So far as I am aware Sony have never tried to target the professional market. They have said that more than once and have taken no steps to implement the support infrastructure necessary for such a move.

  9. #29
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    Unhappy "The Mind" in hindsight

    Quote Originally Posted by Peekayoh View Post
    So far as I am aware Sony have never tried to target the professional market. They have said that more than once and have taken no steps to implement the support infrastructure necessary for such a move.
    Peter,

    You know that was just a legal dodge to accept the Minolta Camera Division "as is" and not have to commit to the certain level of a credible "professional" standard. Heck, they did not even get 100% of the division, as it is, because SONY had waited on their offer until Minolta was just about financially destroyed (to get the cheapest price), it was "breaking up" and other groups were buying up their favorite chunks of it.

    The fact is and continues to be, there continually appears to be a certain lack of overall commitment to anything more than an "optical toy farm" for the children of the Playstation-generation. We might as well just accept that they will not up the ante for quite some time, if ever.

    It certainly is not the panacea I envisioned when I made the move back to Minolta/SONY. I had hoped for "full resurrection", instead of this dithering with 6-layers of P&S crossover cameras and an adoption of a 3D-standard, that I probably will never use ... or adopt.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-07-2010 at 01:13 PM.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peekayoh View Post
    The enthusiast may deride the A2/3xx series as a nonsense but does a newcomer?
    they dont have a clue what they want. they have 6 to choose from however. do you really think a newb will know the difference between 3 new models, 4 new models and 6 new models ? lol no, of course not. they do this mega-models thing for very good reason. to confuse the shit out of a consumer, take up more shelf space in department stores to make sony appear like a bigger player than what they are to ambush them into buying a sony.

    What on earth are you talking about?
    Sony said from day one that Exmor R was for Video and P&S cameras and not significant for the DSLR where the fill ratio was against it.
    If Exmor R has been a failure in those markets, I'm not aware of it due to my general lack of an interest in those formats.
    read between the lines peter. i was responsding to you being ever-hopeful of sony coming up with the next big breakthru and generally being an apologist for why sony have ignored the middle to top end of the dslr market. here is what you said.

    Toru Katsumoto (Sony Alpha Division Director) implied that the delays were due to bit of a rethink on features. He also said that Sony intend to soon release products that break new ground technologically.
    and all i'm saying is that's a load of codswallop. sony havent responded because they havent got the money, (in that division), haven't got the commitment to R&D outside their core business and havent got the know-how cos they are being driven by marketing spin doctors. "we need a new model NOW. quick, repaint it, redesign it, repackage it, rename it...volia...new model."

    there is not going to be anything groundbreaking released by sony in the dslr market. that my friend you can take to the bank...
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