Sony making anything that's a replacement for the A700?

Discussion in 'Sony' started by David Orriss Jr, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Seems like Sony is doing over-the-top cameras and a bunch of low-end
    cruft but nothing that is a pro-sumer or serious hobbyist camera like
    the A700 any more.

    Anyone heard anything to the contrary? I'm not seeing much in the
    trades. Disappointing, to say the least.

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    David Orriss Jr, Jan 9, 2010
    #1
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  2. David Orriss Jr

    Bruce Guest

    On Sat, 09 Jan 2010 12:06:07 -0800, David Orriss Jr
    <> wrote:
    >
    >Seems like Sony is doing over-the-top cameras and a bunch of low-end
    >cruft but nothing that is a pro-sumer or serious hobbyist camera like
    >the A700 any more.
    >
    >Anyone heard anything to the contrary? I'm not seeing much in the
    >trades. Disappointing, to say the least.



    Surely Sony's prosumer camera is the A850?

    Lower than expected sales have forced Sony to curtail investment in
    the Alpha DSLR range. An investment program that was to include seven
    new lenses has been cut back to only three. Investment in new DSLRs
    is on hold. The A850 must have cost Sony very little to develop and
    was a desperate measure to try to sell more 24 MP sensors.

    Sony has attempted to buy market share by selling at below cost. The
    Alpha range is losing Sony *a lot of money*. While this was probably
    acceptable for a short time when a big rise in market share was being
    "bought", the rise in market share has fallen well short of
    expectations. Sony hasn't even been able to exploit Pentax's loss of
    DSLR market share because Micro Four Thirds is proving so popular.

    There must be a limit to how much money Sony is prepared to lose on
    the Alpha range. At some point, Alpha either has to start turning a
    profit or Sony will have no alternative but to kill it off.
     
    Bruce, Jan 9, 2010
    #2
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  3. In article <>, Bruce
    <> wrote:

    > On Sat, 09 Jan 2010 12:06:07 -0800, David Orriss Jr
    > <> wrote:
    > >
    > >Seems like Sony is doing over-the-top cameras and a bunch of low-end
    > >cruft but nothing that is a pro-sumer or serious hobbyist camera like
    > >the A700 any more.
    > >
    > >Anyone heard anything to the contrary? I'm not seeing much in the
    > >trades. Disappointing, to say the least.

    >
    >
    > Surely Sony's prosumer camera is the A850?
    >


    Price is what I'd consider a bit high for prosumer. Also there's the
    fact that it's missing an internal flash. HOWever the full-frame and
    other features of the camera are very nice.

    > Lower than expected sales have forced Sony to curtail investment in
    > the Alpha DSLR range. An investment program that was to include seven
    > new lenses has been cut back to only three. Investment in new DSLRs
    > is on hold. The A850 must have cost Sony very little to develop and
    > was a desperate measure to try to sell more 24 MP sensors.
    >
    > Sony has attempted to buy market share by selling at below cost. The
    > Alpha range is losing Sony *a lot of money*. While this was probably
    > acceptable for a short time when a big rise in market share was being
    > "bought", the rise in market share has fallen well short of
    > expectations. Sony hasn't even been able to exploit Pentax's loss of
    > DSLR market share because Micro Four Thirds is proving so popular.
    >
    > There must be a limit to how much money Sony is prepared to lose on
    > the Alpha range. At some point, Alpha either has to start turning a
    > profit or Sony will have no alternative but to kill it off.
    >
    >


    Given the configuration of the 850 vs price vs your synopsis above, you
    are probably correct.

    I hope they are able to turn around their efforts and continue in the
    camera business. However, they're not going to succeed by doing what
    amounts to little more than subtle variations of the A100...

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    Killing all posts from Google Groups
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    David Orriss Jr, Jan 9, 2010
    #3
  4. David Orriss Jr

    Bruce Guest

    On Sat, 09 Jan 2010 13:59:04 -0800, David Orriss Jr
    <> wrote:
    >In article <>, Bruce
    ><> wrote:
    >>
    >> Surely Sony's prosumer camera is the A850?
    >>

    >
    >Price is what I'd consider a bit high for prosumer. Also there's the
    >fact that it's missing an internal flash. HOWever the full-frame and
    >other features of the camera are very nice.
    >
    >> Lower than expected sales have forced Sony to curtail investment in
    >> the Alpha DSLR range. An investment program that was to include seven
    >> new lenses has been cut back to only three. Investment in new DSLRs
    >> is on hold. The A850 must have cost Sony very little to develop and
    >> was a desperate measure to try to sell more 24 MP sensors.
    >>
    >> Sony has attempted to buy market share by selling at below cost. The
    >> Alpha range is losing Sony *a lot of money*. While this was probably
    >> acceptable for a short time when a big rise in market share was being
    >> "bought", the rise in market share has fallen well short of
    >> expectations. Sony hasn't even been able to exploit Pentax's loss of
    >> DSLR market share because Micro Four Thirds is proving so popular.
    >>
    >> There must be a limit to how much money Sony is prepared to lose on
    >> the Alpha range. At some point, Alpha either has to start turning a
    >> profit or Sony will have no alternative but to kill it off.

    >
    >Given the configuration of the 850 vs price vs your synopsis above, you
    >are probably correct.
    >
    >I hope they are able to turn around their efforts and continue in the
    >camera business. However, they're not going to succeed by doing what
    >amounts to little more than subtle variations of the A100...



    Sony bought themselves a yawming credibility gap by basing the Alpha
    series on a range of (D)SLRs that had already died once under the
    (Konica) Minolta brand. It died for a reason - it wasn't good enough.

    Having saddled themselves with a DSLR line that had a poor reputation,
    Sony made the same mistake as Minolta by having a confusing range of
    lenses. In fact Sony *added to* the problem by introducing Carl Zeiss
    lenses, but not enough of them.

    You cannot plan an outfit around Sony Alpha DSLRs and all-Zeiss lenses
    because the Zeiss lenses don't yet cover the full range of focal
    lengths. So you end up with a mixture of Sony/ Minolta and Carl Zeiss
    glass with differing optical qualities and colour rendition that
    doesn't match.

    The recession has come at a bad time for Sony with margins being
    squeezed. It is now likely that the Alpha range will lose money for
    several more years.

    Where will it all end? Or more to the point, when?
     
    Bruce, Jan 9, 2010
    #4
  5. David Orriss Jr

    Robert Coe Guest

    On Sat, 9 Jan 2010 12:13:37 -0800 (PST), RichA <> wrote:
    : On Jan 9, 3:06 pm, David Orriss Jr
    : <> wrote:
    : > Seems like Sony is doing over-the-top cameras and a bunch of low-end
    : > cruft but nothing that is a pro-sumer or serious hobbyist camera like
    : > the A700 any more.
    : >
    : > Anyone heard anything to the contrary?  I'm not seeing much in the
    : > trades.  Disappointing, to say the least.
    : >
    : > --
    : > (remove 'invalid domain' to reply)
    : >
    : > Killing all posts from Google Groups
    : > The Usenet Improvement Project:http://improve-usenet.org/
    :
    : The A700 was about $1300 when introduced. Stretch a bit and get the
    : A850 for $2000.00.

    That's almost a 54% stretch. Did David tell you he just hit the lottery or
    something?

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Jan 9, 2010
    #5
  6. In article <>, Robert Coe
    <> wrote:

    > On Sat, 9 Jan 2010 12:13:37 -0800 (PST), RichA <> wrote:
    > : On Jan 9, 3:06 pm, David Orriss Jr
    > : <> wrote:
    > : > Seems like Sony is doing over-the-top cameras and a bunch of low-end
    > : > cruft but nothing that is a pro-sumer or serious hobbyist camera like
    > : > the A700 any more.
    > : >
    > : > Anyone heard anything to the contrary?  I'm not seeing much in the
    > : > trades.  Disappointing, to say the least.
    > : >
    > : > --
    > : > (remove 'invalid domain' to reply)
    > : >
    > : > Killing all posts from Google Groups
    > : > The Usenet Improvement Project:http://improve-usenet.org/
    > :
    > : The A700 was about $1300 when introduced. Stretch a bit and get the
    > : A850 for $2000.00.
    >
    > That's almost a 54% stretch. Did David tell you he just hit the lottery or
    > something?
    >


    LOL! Agreed.. especially in this economy...

    I can always dream big I suppose.. :)

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    David Orriss Jr, Jan 10, 2010
    #6
  7. David Orriss Jr <> wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > Bruce <> wrote:


    >> The recession has come at a bad time for Sony with margins being
    >> squeezed. It is now likely that the Alpha range will lose money for
    >> several more years.
    >>
    >> Where will it all end? Or more to the point, when?


    > Sounds like I'll have to consider going over to Nikon or Canon at some
    > point. Rather a shame because I've thought the A700 to be excellent and
    > was looking forward to more from Sony in that vein.


    > But it sounds like Sony might not being investing in this too much
    > longer..


    People moan on like this every time Sony brings out another entry
    level DSLR which isn't the higher level one they're waiting for. But
    high level DSLRs have a much longer lifespan than lower level models,
    and are typically less numerous in their variations than lower level
    models. And Sony clearly have decided on a strategy of multiple models
    at each of the lower levels. It works for cars, and seems to have been
    working for Sony's DSLR sales. So there will always be a lot of lower
    level alpha models introduced in between each high end model release.

    It's about time Sony came up with a successor to the A700. The A700
    has been discontinued. There's a growing number of rumours about the
    features of the new model. And lots of impatient Sony DSLR owners
    saying if they don't hurry up with the new model they'll have to
    switch to another brand, while others speculate that maybe Sony is
    finished and is going to pull out of DSLRs.

    Can't you guys see how Sony is positioning itself in the DSLR market?

    --
    Chris Malcolm
     
    Chris Malcolm, Jan 11, 2010
    #7
  8. David Orriss Jr <> wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > Chris Malcolm <> wrote:


    >> There's a growing number of rumours about the
    >> features of the new model. And lots of impatient Sony DSLR owners
    >> saying if they don't hurry up with the new model they'll have to
    >> switch to another brand, while others speculate that maybe Sony is
    >> finished and is going to pull out of DSLRs.
    >>


    > I think you mistake my statements. I'm more "thinking aloud" then
    > saying I'll change brands. I love my A-700. I'm just curious what the
    > replace is or will be.


    >> Can't you guys see how Sony is positioning itself in the DSLR market?


    > Not really, no. I mean I think it was a good investment for them to buy
    > Minolta because they were good cameras. But sometimes I can't help but
    > think Sony seems to not quite be sure what *it* wants to do with its
    > camera line.


    > If you feel otherwise please share. I'm open to any discussion or
    > perspectives on the subject.


    I suspect they've decided the best way to maximise revenue from DSLRs
    is to choose a number of different levels of camera defined by price,
    and then offer a few models at each level with differences in
    features, such as MP of sensor and sophistication of live view. The
    top end flagship models are intended to have all the best professional
    features, and avoid the novel features of the lower level DSLRs which
    are often seen as gimmicks by professionals. At the top end even the
    provision of a built-in flash is seen by some as a gimmick pandering to
    the vulgar.

    But as time passes and they become better engineered some of the
    gimmicks first developed in entry level DSLRs become accepted as
    useful features even at the top end.

    So at the moment Sony is still populating the lower levels of its
    model range, improving the gimmicks, and finding out which gimmicks
    caould be useful features to carry up into the next high end flagship
    models.

    It looks like the next high end model due is an A700 replacement,
    i.e. a top class APS-C sensor semi-professional DSLR.

    Given their technology strengths and their camera development history
    I expect Sony to be the first to offer an exchangeable lens non-DSLR
    at either APS-C or full frame sensor sizes.

    It looks to me like a sensible and consistent long term development
    strategy. Of course it has been hit the financial recession,
    but taking that into account has been more successful than most
    expected it would when they took over Minolta.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
     
    Chris Malcolm, Jan 12, 2010
    #8
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