Sony crushes the price/build-quality barrier

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RichA, May 11, 2010.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    RichA, May 11, 2010
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  2. David J Taylor, May 11, 2010
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  3. RichA

    Peter Chant Guest

    Peter Chant, May 11, 2010
  4. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    Sony has a large surplus capacity to produce APS-C sized sensors and,
    given the extremely slow sales of Sony Alpha DSLRs, this new NEX range
    will soak up some of that surplus.

    Sony might hope that the NEX range will not impact greatly on sales of
    Alpha DSLRs, however it is almost certain that the exact opposite will
    be the case. Certainly in Japan, where Micro Four Thirds sales have
    been very much at the expense of the sales of Four Thirds DSLRs..

    There is of course a stark contrast between the very large investment
    that Sony has clearly poured in to the NEX range, and the comparative
    lack of recent investment by Sony in the Alpha DSLR range.

    We have already seen Fujifilm, Panasonic and Samsung abandoning their
    DSLR ranges in favour of high quality mirrorless cameras. My
    prediction is that Sony will soon follow suit.

    This is the beginning of the end for Alpha DSLRs.
    Bruce, May 11, 2010
  5. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    The Four Thirds lens mount would be of no use whatsoever with an APS-C
    size sensor. And given Sony's massive (and currently underused)
    capacity for producing APS-C size sensors, there would be no sense in
    opting for anything smaller.

    Indeed, the better overall IQ, lower noise and enhanced control of
    depth of field are such strong assets of APS-C compared to Four Thirds
    that it would be sheer madness to throw them away by going for a
    smaller sensor.
    Bruce, May 11, 2010
  6. RichA

    Rich Guest

    I don't think it is. It's "minimalist" but then I liked the look of
    the Olympus E-330 and Lumix L1. In fact, it looks a little like the
    Ricoh GRX.
    Rich, May 12, 2010
  7. []
    Well, it's an other Sony own-brand special I, for one, won't be
    considering. A 4/3 sensor and micro-4/3 lens mount would have much more
    sense, making the package more balanced, perhaps allowing room for an EVF,
    and allowing the customer a much greater choice of lenses. The camera
    doesn't even have a built-in flash!

    David J Taylor, May 12, 2010
  8. RichA

    Guest Guest

    they're not part of the 4/3rds consortium and i doubt they could be
    even if they wanted to.
    Guest, May 12, 2010
  9. []
    That's a pity, as it could reduce Sony's development costs as well as
    lowering costs to customers, and provide them with a greater range of
    lenses at launch.

    Their loss, me thinks.

    David J Taylor, May 12, 2010
  10. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    You have completely missed the point. The APS-C sensor has
    significant advantages over Four Thirds. Sony would be throwing those
    advantages away and committing commercial suicide by making 'just
    another Micro Four Thirds camera' in a market that is already well
    supplied with high quality product.

    Far better to explore a new market where the competition (Samsung and
    Sigma) both have flawed product on offer.

    Also, Sony already makes APS-C size sensors in huge quantities and
    there is a surplus of capacity because of the commercial failure of
    the Alpha range of DSLRs. Why abandon the resulting economies of
    scale only to enter a market that is already supplied, making sensors
    that are markedly inferior to APS-C? It would be madness.

    Two Olympus Micro Four Thirds models also lack a built-in flash. But
    I agree, it seems a strange omission. Naturally, it opens up a market
    for accessories with a proprietary interface that Sony will seek to

    No-one so far has remarked on the weird appearance of the NEX
    hardware. The lenses are huge compared to the bodies. The bodies are
    minimalist and almost featureless. The user interface is very

    I wonder who these cameras will appeal to - I use a Panasonic Lumix
    GF1 as 'the camera I always have with me', and I would welcome an
    alternative with better image quality and more control over depth of
    field. Even though I have been using a Sony DSC-R1 for several years
    now, and have been very happy with it, I am not sure that I could live
    with a Sony NEX camera. It is just too weird.

    Let's see what Nikon brings to the "mirrorless DSLR" table. ;-)
    Bruce, May 12, 2010
  11. RichA

    J. Clarke Guest

    Sony has obviously decided that the larger sensor outweighs the
    availability of third-party lenses. As for lowering development costs
    and lowering costs to customers, Sony can afford the development costs,
    and the costs to customers will be whatever Sony decides they will be.
    J. Clarke, May 12, 2010
  12. RichA

    Peter Guest

    Since I am not on Sony's board I can only guess what Sony decided.
    As for pricing, It will not be whatever Sony wants it to be. Consumer cost
    will be set by the market, as in any other free market product with an
    inelastic demand.
    Peter, May 12, 2010
  13. Because almost all A-mount lenses require a camera body motor to drive
    the lens AF, which the NEX bodies don't have. But there are new
    A-mount lenses, and more coming, which have their own focus
    motors. Which should be able to autofocus on a NEX body via the
    A-mount adapter.
    Chris Malcolm, May 12, 2010
  14. It's the beginning of the end for DSLRs in general. But it's not going
    to be a sudden death. They'll run in parallel until there's no longer
    any advantage to the reflex mirror technology.
    Chris Malcolm, May 12, 2010
  15. []
    From Sony's viewpoint, it may seem sensible, but I don't think it's best
    for the consumer. The difference between APS-C and 4/3 is marginal, and
    given a couple of years advance in sensor technology 4/3 will be capable
    of covering an even greater ISO, range, and perhaps a sufficiently great
    ISO range for the majority.
    It's what I was alluding to with "a better balanced package" - add in that
    EVF and flash, and use the smaller 4/3 sensor and lenses.
    ... and Canon, as well. From what you say, it sounds as if we'll get two
    more incompatible systems, rather than the benefits the 4/3 and micro-4/3
    could have produced for the consumer.

    At least, I hope my Nikon DX lenses will fit!

    David J Taylor, May 12, 2010
  16. RichA

    Mark L Guest

    Like the 8x10 view-camera, its glass plates, wet-baths, and covered wagon
    to carry it all, might only appear at a Buckskinner's Rendezvous
    celebration once a year, owned by just one person in that state. Fondly
    cherished by those who enjoy trying to preserve the past for its novelty
    Mark L, May 12, 2010
  17. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    The difference between APS-C and 4/3 definitely isn't marginal. It is
    the same difference as between APS-C and full frame. In each case,
    there is a whole f/stop difference in depth of field, which is very
    significant for creative photographers.

    The majority? The majority of camera owners shoot atrocious snapshots
    of their children, pets and cheap package holidays. You don't even
    need the quality of 4/3 for that. A $100 point and shoot is overkill.
    Bruce, May 12, 2010
  18. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    Sony has a particular problem in that its Alpha range of DSLRs is not
    selling in significant numbers. The Alpha DSLRs are apparently losing
    Sony very large amounts of money. Investment in the range has been
    cut back with several planned new lenses postponed or cancelled.

    So the demise of Sony DSLRs will probably be quicker than with other
    brands that aren't losing money to anything like the same extent that
    Sony is.

    On a more general point, the mass market may well move away from DSLRs
    and towards mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, but professionals
    and keen amateurs will stay with DSLRs for some years to come. The
    mass market never needed DSLRs, but their greatly improved image
    quality (over P&S digicams) wasn't available in a compact body until
    Micro Four Thirds came along.
    Bruce, May 12, 2010
  19. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    When you think of it, the digital market is maturing in very much the
    same way as the 35mm film market did.

    We will end up with DSLRs and mirrorless digital interchangeable-lens
    cameras using the same high quality sensors - just as 35mm SLRs and
    35mm rangefinder cameras used the same film and gave comparable image
    quality to each other.
    Bruce, May 12, 2010
  20. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    The Alpha lens to NEX body adapter is important because it will allow
    Sony to stop making Alpha DSLRs while still offering ongoing support
    to people with Alpha and Minolta lenses.

    There has clearly been a lot of investment in NEX at a time when
    investment in Alpha DSLRs and lenses has been curtailed. The writing
    is on the wall.

    For Alpha, the end is nigh.
    Bruce, May 12, 2010
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