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Old May 8, 2014, 11:32 AM   #11
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I'd be careful with Sony products for a while that company is in a bit of trouble.
They have already sold off their PC unit and are splitting of their TV unit, basically they are unloading all the high volume low profit consumer electronics portions of their business to try to stay solvent.
Yes, Sony sold off its VAIO product line, and closed about half their SonyStyle retail stores in this country, but the TV deal was in the works for years as part of an initiative created by the Japanese government, and involves a number of Japanese television manufacturers.

Also remember that Sony bought Ericsson out of their joint venture, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, and is now the fourth largest manufacturer of smartphones.

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Their camera unit is currently in the black and still doing OK.
It's not just their camera unit, it's their digital imaging unit. They make more image sensors than everyone else put together, and they're spending boatloads of money on R&D to keep it that way. Financial analysts don't understand the value of R&D to the bottom line, so they think it's barely breaking even.

So Sony is healthy, and is likely to be around for quite a while, despite what some 'experts' might have to say about it.
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Old May 8, 2014, 11:37 AM   #12
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I started out confused that's for sure. Aggravated is probably too strong a word.

Here is an example. Our courthouse is undergoing repair in preparation of a full restoration effort. The county ran an add looking for someone to do shots on an as needed basis. The person who was chosen to do the hiring knew diddly about digital cameras. She gave the job to a guy with a super zoom P&S because his camera had the highest x range of zoom of everyone who had shown interest.

My 70-200 f/2.8 APO lens would be completely unsuitable for the outdoor shots due to only having a 3 x zoom range. Three and a half story building counting the clock tower. Big numbers were the only criteria.

I have had my A-550 for several years now so have not shopped for anything new in quite a while. At the time of purchase I had numerous Minolta lenses making Sony the way to go. I have been quite happy with my camera.

Thank you TCav for adding the part about the sensors. After asking on the Sony side I did some reading that would indicate Sony digital imaging is alive and well

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Old May 8, 2014, 1:26 PM   #13
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Yes, no doubt about that. It is their consumer commodity based portions.
The high volume low profit parts they are trying to divest themselves of as are many other companies.

Their sensors are very good and hopefully staying around for a long time.

I'm just wondering where DSLR fall, if they are anywhere near becoming a commodity item. Like I believe Point&Shoots already are.
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Old May 8, 2014, 2:12 PM   #14
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One very interesting development: Sony has exclusive marketing rights to Seiko Epson's small and medium size LCD displays. This means, in addition to camera manufacturers having to go to Sony for their image sensors, they also have to go to Sony for their electronic viewfinders and their LCD monitors.

Sony may not rule the camera world, but those who do need Sony. "... the power behind the throne, so to speak."

Is it any wonder Sony is moving away from optical viewfinders in their high end cameras?
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Old May 9, 2014, 8:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterP View Post
Yes, no doubt about that. It is their consumer commodity based portions.
The high volume low profit parts they are trying to divest themselves of as are many other companies.

Their sensors are very good and hopefully staying around for a long time.

I'm just wondering where DSLR fall, if they are anywhere near becoming a commodity item. Like I believe Point&Shoots already are.
I'm sure Sony will be highly involved as a vendor. It makes great sense - inventory costs go down, marketing costs go down, distribution costs go down (vs. selling to retail). I'm sure that aspect is very profitable indeed.

As for the second part of your post - DSLRs. I guess it depends on whether you really meant DSLR or you meant ILC. I think DSLR will continue to collapse back. It went through a boom phase, but I really think mirrorless will take over a big chunk of that going forward. DSLR technology is reaching maturity. You're no longer seeing revolutionary changes every year - merely incremental. I don't think there's going to be a lot of growth. And, unfortunately in today's stock market world - stable and profitable aren't good enough. There has to be growth. It really will be interesting to see if Sony continues to produce tranlucent mirror technology going forward.
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Old May 9, 2014, 5:50 PM   #16
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As for the second part of your post - DSLRs. I guess it depends on whether you really meant DSLR or you meant ILC. I think DSLR will continue to collapse back. It went through a boom phase, but I really think mirrorless will take over a big chunk of that going forward. DSLR technology is reaching maturity. You're no longer seeing revolutionary changes every year - merely incremental. I don't think there's going to be a lot of growth. And, unfortunately in today's stock market world - stable and profitable aren't good enough. There has to be growth. It really will be interesting to see if Sony continues to produce tranlucent mirror technology going forward.
That depends on whether you want to stick to the textbook definition of SLR, the key portion of which is "Reflex". SLRs (and dSLRs) have two mirrors. One feeds the image to the optical viewfinder in the top of the camera body, and the other feeds the phase detection AF system in the base of the body. Sony's "Translucent Mirror" system replaces the optical viewfinder with an electronic viewfinder, making one of the mirrors in an SLR superfluous. Sony has also been doing a lot of work on "Hybrid AF" systems, placing phase detect sensors on the image sensor in the 24MP APS-C A6000 (the world's fastest AF system, btw) and the 24MP 'Full Frame' A7. Future Sony "dSLR"s might incorporate similar "Hybrid AF" systems, making the single remaining mirror in an SLR superfluous.

If they were to release such a camera or cameras as replacements for its current line of "Translucent Mirror" cameras, calling them "dSLR"s would certainly be a misnomer, though they'd retain the existing A-Mount flange focal length, and so probably wouldn't fit everyone's expectations of what a "Mirrorless" camera would be either.
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