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May 26, 2009

Affordable full-frame dreams for Sony Alpha under consideration?

Through this interesting dpreview forum discussion on Sony DSLRs, we learn of a quote in this Quesabesde interview of two Sony Spain marketing guys. As the forum member translates in the thread above, when asked whether there would be a D3-to-D700 type of a more affordable full-frame DSLR to parallel the Alpha A900, the marketing guys said that's its something "we are considering". You don't even need to speak Spanish to understand what they said in Spanish:

"Es una idea que estamos considerando"

Opinion and Speculation
This is by no means an official announcement of an upcoming product or a commitment to deliver such a product, so please don't line up outside your favorite camera store to place pre-orders :)

But it is not secret that the "full frame for the masses" bandwagon has been gaining steam from the moment the first 35mm full frame DSLR was announced. Currently the lowest price for a new-in-box model is around $2000 for the now three-year-old Canon 5D Mark I.

There is demand for affordable 35mm FF DSLRs, and I'm sure you have seen the pros and cons and reasons why it will or will not happen debated for centuries in the blogs and in the forums.

Perhaps Sony is planning a counter-attack in the market with a bottoms-up approach. First start by bringing in the general-interest consumers and the first-time DSLR buyers with the new entry-level trio. Then offer some more features (eg DSLR-Video?) with the upcoming (?) A500 and A550. Speaking of which, AlphaTracks opines on the A500/A550 leakage.

Then do something for the A700-crowd, and then, just like Pentax did with the K7, find a "hole" in the DSLR matrix and try to fill it with perhaps a more affordable out of the box full-frame DSLR.

Nikon's full-frame entry point is around $2300 with the D3 D700 (thanks for the correction), and Canon's is $2000/$2700 with the 5D Mark I and II.

Sony itself has a huge gap in its line-up, from the $1000 Alpha A700 jumping to the $3000 Alpha A9000.

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