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September 26, 2010

Sony owes Alpha A700 users an answer before the end of the year

The Sony Alpha A700 is now over three years old, it was announced in early September 2007. Sony has announced and released an insane amount of DSLRs since then, including traditional dSLRs, pellicle-mirror DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and even an interchangeable lens camcorder with an APS-C sensor and NEX compatibility. Yet they are intentionally avoiding to answer the question of an Alpha A700 replacement.

A700 users put their faith in Sony at a transition point in the combined Sony-Minolta company's SLR history and this is what they get? This is sad and bad! Even Olympus has announced an E-3 replacement, and they are a much smaller company.

To add insult to injury, Sony is being coy about the prototype they are showing at Photokina, they won't say whether this is the A700 replacement or not. Judging by some of the confusion and semi-conflicting comments posted by various websites visiting the trade-show, a conspiracy theorist may even think that Sony is intentionally muddying the waters.

Which brings up the question - why isn't Sony answering this very simple question? It shouldn't be that hard to answer! Is it because they don't know the answer - perhaps because they haven't decided what to do next yet? And if yes, this may (or may not) perhaps give more credibility to the previous rumors of Sony, full-frame, and abandoning-DSLRs that generated a bit of a kerfuffle in the Alpha world.

Here is an example of them being non-committal, the first question answered in this interview with Kamera & Bild (in English; video starts with 20-second commercial). The interview also confirms that the new "advanced translucent model" will have a new Exmor sensor with full-HD/AVCHD. On the other hand, in this article at BJoP, the Sony guy is quoted as saying the "advanced prototype" will be a A700 replacement.

One hopeful sign perhaps is that so far Sony has "mirrored" their traditional and translucent models with the A580/A560 and A55/A33, so perhaps one can hope to see an A770/A77 come out together?

Speaking of Sony, there is an interview at Focus Numerique (computer-translated) that asks some interesting questions (non-A700), including as to whether optical viewfinders will be replaced by EVFs.

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