Skip to main content

contemplating the sony α7 release aftermath

Sony α7R
It's been a week since Sony introduced the α7 pair of cameras to a giddy hyperbolic audience of camera gear dweebs. You would have thought it was the second coming of Christ in some quarters. After the dust settled surprisingly quickly, I came to the same conclusion about the camera and system that a number of others hinted at between the lines of their various hands-on previews.

It's too expensive for what the system currently delivers.

That's not to say that, from an engineering perspective, it's poor. Far from it. From an engineering perspective it's something of a tour de force. Sony took its fixed lens RX1, a 135mm sized sensor fixed lens camera, and essentially combined it with the E mount to create the α7. In one fell swoop they asserted their leadership in this specific domain over both Canon and Nikon. But that's just in this one particular domain (a pure mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with a 135mm sized sensor).

The digital camera marketplace is far, far larger than this one type camera, with formidable brands that can produce remarkable results no different from what the α7 can produce right now. And therein lies the problem. By the time you add in the high expense of a limited FE lens selection, along with the high cost of the body, you run up against established camera lines with the same size sensor from Canon and Nikon in the same price range. And both Canon and Nikon have bodies (the 6D and D610, respectively) that will be priced competitively against the α7 on the low end, and even the α7R on the high end, and they will produce far more market wins (purchases) than the α7 pair.

This is the challenge that Sony has to face. Sony will have to realize that their success selling this camera against Canon and Nikon will be spotty at best, just like the current α/Minolta mount SLT cameras, especially in the US market. Where they will gain traction with this camera will be Japan and the far east where mirrorless overall has established a considerable foothold. If Sony is in this for the long haul (and I certainly believe they are), then the α7 is the beachhead from which a hard fought future success will probably come.

For Canon and Nikon, Sony's future success will come at their expense. The α7 isn't the camera Canon and Nikon have to fear right now, but the follow-on generations. Every time I read how the α7 is the "full-frame camera for the masses" I laugh. The camera for the masses doesn't start at $1,600 and up, body only. The camera for the masses sells for no more $800 with kit lens (and in many cases a lot less), and will be the equivalent of the NEX 5N, call it a future α5, with a 135mm sized sensor. When Sony releases such a camera, then you'll see a real shakeup in the camera market. And that's the camera I personally will buy for myself.


Popular posts from this blog

A Decade Long Religious Con Job

I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.

What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.

A quick check via Google leads to an article written in 2010 by the Orlando Sentinel about the Majesty Tower. Based on what I read in the article it's owned by SuperChannel 55 WA…

Be Careful of Capital One Mailings

Capitol One ("What's in your wallet?") sent me a bit of deceptive snail mail today. I felt sure it was a credit card offer, and sure enough, it was. I open all credit card offers and shred them before putting them in the trash. Normally I just scan the front to make sure I don't miss anything; the Capital One offer made me stop for a moment and strike a bit of fear into my heart.

The letter's opening sentence read:
Our records as of December 30, 2009 indicate your Capital One Platinum MasterCard offer is currently valid and active.Not paying close attention during the first reading, I quickly developed this irrational worry that I was actually on the hook for something important, but I wasn't quite sure what. The letter listed "three ways to reply" at the bottom; via phone, the internet, and regular snail mail. I elected to call.

Once I reached the automated phone response system, the first entry offered was '1', to "activate my Capital …

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…