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No other Sony DSLRs this year



There will be no other Sony DSLR this year after the Sony Alpha A100. Read here:

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I checked this with Zeiss, and my sources are confirming this. IMHO this is a real disappointement. The Alpha A100 is nothing else than a Minolta 5D with a new sensor and some tweakings/improvements. Nothing for a serious amateur IMHO.

If Sony waits another 12 montsh to launch the successor of the Minolta 7D or a pro body, I do not know how they want to gain market share.

Obviously Sony changed its mind. Who knows why. Not a good sign IMHO.

Here is the full text of the interview, in case it disappears again:


"In 3 or 4 years we will be able to tackle Nikon, who now is maybe the most affected by our arrival"
To fight for Olympus' third place in the next 18 to 24 months and to take Nikon's second place in 3 or 4 years time. These are the plans for the reflex sector that were revealed to QUESABESDE.COM by Samuel Andreo, director of photographic products for Sony Spain, during the presentation of the Alpha DSLR-A100 in Barcelona. Although Andreo doesn't rule out future novelties like the on-screen preview or the full-frame sensor, the one certainty is that the A100 will be the only SLR from Sony this year. The next one, aimed at the professional, will arrive in 2007. Iker Morán.
Many users have the general perception that Sony have arrived late in the digital reflex market.

Yes, the present market has matured. It was back in 2005 when the digital reflex market experienced a large increase, which in Spain, was as much as 60% in units. What is happening now is we are expecting an increase of 40%, although it's true that the ideal moment was last year.

In this case, maybe the strategy would have been different if we had entered the top of the range market. But as the market is already vast and massive in terms of units, the ideal situation was to enter the mid-range sector. That's to say, tackle the section where there is rotation right now.


Andreo spoke with QUESABEDE.COM last week, after introducing the new Alpha DSLR-A100 to the Spanish technical press.

Sony isn't the only new brand that has just landed in the SLR market. Is so much competition viable?

The ideal situation for all the companies and for the market is that the entrance by such companies as Sony, Panasonic or Samsung will increase the amount of digital reflex cameras, attracting people that until now wouldn't have thought about buying these products.

We are all for it. It's true that the market has similar numbers to the maximum achieved by the film reflexes. If this happens, the same cake will be shared amongst many, and there won't be a revolution. What we are aiming for is to bring the world of photography closer to more people.

And if in the end it turns out that there isn't enough for everybody, will there be more brands that fall, or form new alliances?

Yes, I think that in the end these type of agreements will happen, such as Samsung and Pentax, Panasonic and Olympus or Konica Minolta with ourselves. We believe however, that at the moment, there is room for everybody.

The digital reflex market is a sector in which there is still a long way to go and I don't believe that anyone will have to withdraw. It remains to be seen if changing the actual SLR podium can be acheived in the the next two or three years. At the moment the market is all Canon, Nikon and Olympus, we will see if another brand, be it Sony or Panasonic, can take third place, at least.

Canon, Nikon and Olympus. Sony are going for third place, but... is Nikon's second place or even a face off with Canon one of Sony's long term objectives ?

Catching up with Canon is a possibility, but very remote, in the distant future. At the moment we are concentrating on third place for the next 18 or 24 months, and in 3 or 4 years, which is when we will aspire to second place, we will tackle Nikon. But we see Canon as far off in the distance and we are in no way competing against them, because there is a strong fidelity.

Along those lines, it is deduced that Olympus are going to be the most affected by the arrival of Sony.

Maybe Nikon more. With Olympus there are more features and various similar points, such as the sensor cleaner. The quota we gain at the the beginning won't be taken away by Olympus whose share is small, nor will the same happen as when Olympus entered the market and took some of Nikon's share.

Now it will be Sony that will also take the market from Nikon, and in the end we will have Olympus and Sony with similar participation, being able to begin to compete against Nikon within two years. Second place will be four years time.

While the rumours about this reflex were unravelling, Sony was talking about CMOS sensors that could shoot 60 frames per second, about high resolution shots from video sequences… Perhaps the Alpha DSLR-A100 could turn out to be disappointing to those who had high hopes.

At the moment, at least for a year, this will be the only model. But it's clear that in the forseeable future what we do with the market in 1 year to 18 months time, we have to begin to think about the professional user who, at the moment, will remain a little distanced from this model which is aimed at the larger market and in no way at the professional, not even for features or speed.

The reason we have tackled this segment is as we have said: it's better to create a new platform of users, of an advanced level, and from there tackle the top. Meaning, the opposite to Olympus who began with the E-1 and started from the top. It was already too late for us to do it.

Does this mean that at Photokina there won't be a second digital reflex from Sony?

No, there will be nothing new as for reflex cameras.

Nevertheless, some of the lenses presented, including Carl Zeiss, appear to be aimed at a more professional camera.

These lenses were made thinking of the future. Because of this there are lenses that now appear to be a little disproportionate, with prices around 3.000 euros or more in the case of the G series. It's certain that for this area it's too much, comparitively, but we are thinking about future areas.

Are we talking about the PMA fair coming next year?

We still don't know when it will be, but for sure in 2007.


Andreo showing off the features of the Alpha DSLR-A100 during the presentation in Barcelona last week.

Is the full-frame sensor one of the possibilities being played with?

At the moment we have nothing confirmed. I know that there are various routes and the theme is being studied a lot, regarding through which part of the professional sector we will approach. No route will be disgarded as Sony is one of the leaders regarding the production of sensors.

As regards to the future evolution of these sensors, it's clear that firstly we can launch something revolutionary, at prices that although not for the wider market, will neither be considered a luxury.

But the initial plan contemplates launching two bodies the first year..

Yes, it's certain. But in the end it has been decided to concentrate all effort into establishing Sony Alpha as a brand of reflex cameras, and create a user platform, be it those who go for the Cyber-shot F828 or the R1, reflex film or users of other brands that didn't have many lenses and that, whatsmore, weren't attached to the brand. Later we will step up to the higher level, but that won't be until 2007.

Does the Cyber-shot DSC-R1 continue to keep it's place in the Sony catalogue?

We beleive so, yes, but it remains to be seen what the users say, who decide at the end of the day. At the moment, no price replacement for the R1 has been forecast, and the idea is that it will exist alongside the A100. With the R1 we have a 24-120 mm for 1.000 euros, as well as having an 18-70 mm at the same price.

There are users that won't take on reflex cameras but the R1 yes. It's a very versatile camera, with a moveable screen. We hope they can live together, but it's clear something will be harmed.

Are there plans to rejuvinate it?

I don't think so. Having concentrated on a strong investment in the reflex department, there will be nothing new in the near future in the Cyber-shot R saga.

The R1 has an APS sensor and one of it's tricks, bearing in mind that it's a compact, is that it shows a preview of the shot on the screen. Is the preview function one of the evolutionary routes for Alpha's?

It's possible, because it's quite interesting. Essentially with the R1 and the F828, one of the strong points was being able to take photos from any angle and compose the shot on the screen, something which wasn't possible with the A100.

It's one thing that we think the users value, and it has worked for Olympus. What is happenning is, at the moment, I don't know what other possibilities can be applied to the Alphas.

Spanish to English translation by Richard Scadding

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