Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sony to unveil Alpha A700 replacement soon?

Now, anyone who reads this blog at all knows that I'm into photography. Here's the short version: Sony has 5 consumer DSLR bodies below $1000. They have two full-frame DSLR bodies at $1999 and $2699 respectively. The Alpha A700 was their "in-betweener", coming in initially at $1599, the was dropped to $1299. Last month they hacked the price down to just $899, a sure sign that camera's going away. So what are they going to do for a "prosumer" body?

Here's my guess... Sony makes both the 12.8 MP full-frame sensor in the Nikon D3 and D700 bodies, and the 24.6 MP sensor in the Nikon D3X, and their own Alpha A900 and A850 bodies. They've already undercut the D3X by $4500, and undercut the D700 by$300 (with their top-of-the-line A900 no less). BUT... they don't have a mid-level full-frame 12.8 MP sensor camera body, with the pop up flash like the D700 has, and the out-going Sony A700 had. That flash is a wireless flash system controller, so unlike the A850 and A900 bodies, you don't have to purchase an additional flash to serve as a wireless controller. This is a big feature to prosumer buyers.

I'm thinking that Sony has not one, but TWO bodies on the way. They'll have an APS-C sensor body at the $1299 price point, probably with the newer 14.2 MP sensor they're using in the A550 body, with their "Live View" stuffed inside like the A550, and image stabilization. AND... they'll have a full-frame, image-stabilized body with built in flash, right at the $1599-1799 price range. Personally, I'm hoping for the $1599 price. Call them the "A750" and the "A800" bodies.

Possibly they'll both be full-frame sensors... Currently the A850 is the cheapest full-frame sensor camera from anyone in the market today, but it's not fast enough to entice the high-speed sports photographers from Nikon/Canon systems. Many of them are still shooting D3 bodies, and are completely happy with those. Not many takers for the $7999 D3X, even though it boasts incredible resolution from it's massive sensor.

Does this make it a good time to buy into the Sony/Minolta lens system? I think so...

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