Putting it All On The Table
This rant will be brief, because it’s so obvious. Yesterday (June 10, 2015) Sony kicked some serious butt with the announcement of the A7R II.
That Sony was going to reach for the top position in the Mirrorless segment was a given for some time. But that they would do it so convincingly and so relatively quickly, was even a little surprising to those, like me, who have been observing the industry for some time.
The high points of A7R II read like a wish list of everything photographers have wanted….
– Full frame 42.4MP BSI CMOS sensor
– rugged 500,000 actuation shutter with an electronic front curtain and silent mode
– 5 axis sensor-based image stabilization
– a new body based on the excellent design of the recent A7 II, which finally gets rid of the infamous Sony interface gremlins
– ISO to 102400
– 4K video in-camera video recording, with Super 35mm crop mode or full-frame mode without pixel binning
– S-log 2 gamma
– fast on-sensor phase detection
– 5 FPS raw shooting, articulated LCD, high-res EVF, and on, and on, and on
In other words.. the whole nine yards. Everything but the kitchen sink. You asked for it, – you got it. Think of a cliche.
This stands in stark contrast with the rest of the industry that doles our new features slowly, an upgrade here, a tweak there, a new feature once a year or so. This is the norm for some companies… keep the development costs low, and keep selling new cameras with a bit of extra chrome and shiny wheels now and then to keep the faithful happy.
But with the A7rII, following quickly on the heals of the A7, A7r, A7s and A7II, Sony has wrapped all of the goodies (and then some) into one package. Available in August for US $3200, it isn’t even priced as outrageously as one might think a new flagship camera might.
Add to this the excellent range of Sony, Sony/Zeiss and Zeiss-direct FE lenses, with at least 6 more coming in the months ahead, and it’s hard to see where Sony has mis-stepped. Indeed they are doing things the way that they should be done… a full frontal assault on the all-to-complacent industry front-runners.
Nicely done Sony. You’ve done the industry a favour. Maybe the big boys will now realize that a time like now, when the industry is in a serious transition is not the time to be faint hearted, but rather a time to innovate and give the photographic community products that meet their needs, and as importantly, excite.
Michael – June, 1015