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July 20, 2009

Sony DSLR names revealed: Alpha A850, A550 and A500 (no specs)

The Sonolta "forum patrol" finds something very interesting and encouraging for hardcore Minolta users. After suffering through a six-pack of consumer-tier Alpha dSLRs, it is goodbye sub-500 model numbers, and hello 500+ club!

Okay, let's start from the beginning. In the forums, a forum user (see "ecsh" at 1:22pm on July 20) tries to register his new Alpha A230 at the Sony website, but during the registration process he notices some unfamiliar dSLR names - the Alpha A850, A550 and A500. Then another Minoltan tries this and captures the screenshot showing the three new model names.

That's all that was revealed, the names and nothing else.

Another discussion of this has started up in the dpreview forums as well.

For more analysis, discussion and speculation, be sure to check the new article on these at Photo Club Alpha. [NEW!]

The Sony A8XX-series had been highly anticipated by advanced photographers for a while now. The expectation was for an Alpha A800, which had been surfacing and resurfacing in the wishlistic world. For example, here is one of the A800 rumors from June 2008.

So it is interesting to note that the A850 number is close to the Alpha A900, and all three are out of sync with the new A230/A330/A380 model numbers and in-sync with the previous trio.

So starting today, the focus of the expectationalia will shift to the Alpha A850, as our new last-best-hope for a "reasonable" yet powerful full-frame (?) dSLR that doesn't break the bank.

We only have breadcrumbs here, but perhaps the A550 and A850 may have a specific major feature that the A500 may not have, and perhaps this may be partially why they chose this naming convention. Or not...

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