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Old Oct 16, 2013, 7:07 PM   #11
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Just like the Nikon D800E, the A7R has no low-pass filter for increased sharpness. They showed me some side-by-side images with the D800E and I was convinced that the chipset (the aforementioned confusingly named Beyoncé chip) was able to do a sharpness interpretation that is superior.
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Old Oct 17, 2013, 9:18 AM   #12
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Sony is a consumer electronics company. They are treating their ILC business just like another consumer electronic offering. Small = marketable. That's a fact. The public wants smaller devices with large LCDs. Full frame is the new "higher mp". If the average consumer is presented with 2 cameras - one an aps-c 24mp camera and one a full-frame 24mp camera they will assume the full frame is better. Just like they would assume a 24mp aps-c was better than a 16mp aps-c. You can dislike that all you want but it is consumer behavior.

So, Sony is looking at this from a completely marketing standpoint and looking for spec-sheet bullets that sell to the general public.
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Old Oct 17, 2013, 10:31 AM   #13
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I agree entirely with what you've said, but ...

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... Small = marketable. That's a fact. The public wants smaller devices with large LCDs. ...
That runs counter to what seems to be Sony's strategy. Wouldn't that lead one to believe that people would buy a NEX-7 in preference to an A7? (... putting aside for a moment the $600 price difference between the bodies, plus the difference in the cost of the lenses.)

Edit: Plus, in the venues that these cameras are being sold in (online) size is an abstract.
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Old Oct 17, 2013, 11:06 AM   #14
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You're forgetting the need for full-frame to satisfy that marketing requirement. So, you need a small/full-frame solution - that ticks the "right" checkboxes (as long as the full frame carries the right number of MP - which is why they're releasing 2 versions.
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Old Oct 17, 2013, 1:15 PM   #15
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You're forgetting the need for full-frame to satisfy that marketing requirement. ...
No, I get it. There are two kinds of people in that market segment.
  1. There are the people that already have systems, and know what benefits a 'Full Frame' system will give them. They will be content to go with the Canon, Nikon, and Sony Alpha systems that can use the lenses and accessories they already have.
  2. There are the people that haven't already made a significant investment in a system, and don't really know what they're looking at when they're looking at an A7 or A7R.
    • Some of these people have the money to spend on a Leica, and when comparing the 'Bling' value of both a Sony and a Leica, will go with the Leica.
    • Some of these people will see that, while the bodies are "relatively" inexpensive, the appropriate lenses for them are sparse and expensive, so they'll either put off their purchase until the selection of lenses fills out a little, they'll look elsewhere, or they'll give up on the idea.
    • Some of these people will balance the cost of the 24MP A7 ($1,700) plus the Zeiss 35/2.8 ($800) (Total: $2,500) with the smaller, lighter 24MP 35/2.0 RX1 ($2,800). They could go either way.
    • The ones that have convinced themselves that they need one of these, will go ahead and buy one. I suspect that there aren't as many of these as Sony would like.
There's another segment of people that might be interested: The people with a substantial collection of fine old lenses that they'd like to mate to a digital camera. But considering that Sony has repeatedly stated that they would NOT produce a 'Full Frame' NEX body, they may have gone ahead with a NEX-7 or one of its siblings, and some of them may be quite satisfied with that decision.

The more rationally you look at this situation, the less rational Sony's decision to introduce them seems. While no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the average buyer, I would hate to see Sony reverse that trend.
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Old Oct 17, 2013, 1:44 PM   #16
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It's not irrational at all. Sony needs competitive advantage vs. Canon and Nikon. They're not going to gain it using the same form factor and the same sensors they supply to the competition. Translucent mirror technology was a stop-gap. Their goal was electric viewfinder to get smaller form factor and better focusing in video and continuous focusing.

They're rolling out 5 lenses now and 10 more in 2015. They're showing commitment to the vision.

What killed sony in the past was their shotgun approach to all the different types of cameras and technologies. This type of camera is exactly what Sony has wanted to do since they took over from Minolta - get rid of the prism to create a smaller form-factor. They recognized that the public would demand full-frame sensors in top level cameras. APS-C wasn't going to be good enough.

Now, it's going to take at least another generation for people to trust Sony again IMO. People will test the waters with these cameras, but they're going to remember the last time Sony promised great things with a full-frame camera and then Sony abandoned them. So, Sony will have to build trust. But, from the beginning Sony was committed to full-frame and smaller form factor. They've achieved that. Think about it - Sony supplies m4/3 with sensors and aps-c competition with sensors (nikon/pentax). Their own full frame sensors will always outperform aps-c or m4/3 sensors from their own technology. They have a built-in advantage every generation. Now, they have the smaller body - so trash the arguments that full frame has to be too large.

Now, some people will say - what about the lenses? Thre reality is - the vast majority of users are using canon/nikon. a large amount of those lenses are designed for full frame - not aps-c. Canon and Nikon have continued to build most of their high end lenses full-frame with only a smattering of aps-c designed lenses thrown in. For those people that are concerned with total package size - m4/3 will still win. but Sony clearly is gambling that people that want to "upgrade" will look at Canon 5d/6d and Nikon d600/d800 and see the size/cost of those and size/cost of Sony and choose Sony. They still need another generation to get the lenses out there. 15 lenses in 2 years is a pretty good start.

Sony may be completely wrong in their marketing direction but these cameras tie in completely with how they started in the business. They just appeared to wander in the desert for a few years until they could get there.
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Old Oct 17, 2013, 3:04 PM   #17
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I suspect that the IQ "difference" that Full-Frame offers over APS-C is the preserve of a very serious enthusiast or a Pro'... and those individuals are pretty much invested into a given system already. Also, most the "Full Frame" users I know tend to shoot subjects that don't seem to require speed (which also means size isn't a huge deal...) i.e- still life/landscape/studio work etc... and I'm wondering if for all else- is APS-C not good enough...? Will current APS-C "upgraders" be enticed...?

I'm of the opinion that if you're coming into a given market and are looking to steal some thunder, you've pretty much got to bring something seriously radical to the table- and whilst not having seen any results yet- is it not just a well made NEX with slightly better IQ (and the NEX ain't bad....)- with those gains probably only being seen at the extreme end of the iso scale or if you plan to make HUGE prints...

I actually think Sony's RX10 has more potential for BIG sales.... if the price drops a tad after release...
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Old Oct 17, 2013, 6:20 PM   #18
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Simon - it will be better, even if just a bit. And a consumer will almost always stretch a tiny bit for perceived extra quality. I actually use a full frame - used aps-c and aps-h. I wouldn't go back to aps-c DSLR. It will always have disadvantage in field-of-view, dof control, ISO and iq compared to full frame. If I want a smaller solution I would go m4/3. The lone vestige of benefit for aps-c is birding.
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Old Oct 17, 2013, 7:09 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
They're rolling out 5 lenses now and 10 more in 2015. They're showing commitment to the vision.
The NEX-3 and NEX-5 came out over 3 years ago. Sony has yet to roll out 15 lenses for them.

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Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
What killed sony in the past was their shotgun approach to all the different types of cameras and technologies.
... AKA, a lack of commitment.

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Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
This type of camera is exactly what Sony has wanted to do since they took over from Minolta - get rid of the prism to create a smaller form-factor.
This type of camera is just another pellet in their shotgun approach. And it's an expensive one with a very limited market.

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They recognized that the public would demand full-frame sensors in top level cameras. APS-C wasn't going to be good enough.
What "public" are you referring to? The "public" Sony generally sells stuff to doesn't know the difference between 'APS-C' and 'Full Frame'. And the "public" that does know the difference have been buying 'APS-C' cameras by the truckload.

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Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Now, it's going to take at least another generation for people to trust Sony again IMO. People will test the waters with these cameras, but they're going to remember the last time Sony promised great things with a full-frame camera and then Sony abandoned them. So, Sony will have to build trust.
Sony already came up with three great 'Full Frame' bodies, all of which could use some excellent lenses that were already available. What happened was that nobody found out about them. Maybe people will find out about these, and maybe not. But maybe the ones that do will find out that Sony also doesn't have much of a selection of lenses to go with them. That actually puts Sony in a worse position with these cameras that they were in with their previous efforts.

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Now, some people will say - what about the lenses? Thre reality is - the vast majority of users are using canon/nikon. a large amount of those lenses are designed for full frame - not aps-c.
You're confused again. Lenses that are designed for 'Full Frame' work on APS-C bodies too. That means that 'APS-C' bodies have a bigger selection of lenses than any other format, including 4/3 and m4/3.

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Canon and Nikon have continued to build most of their high end lenses full-frame with only a smattering of aps-c designed lenses thrown in.
Sony does the same, btw.

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Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
For those people that are concerned with total package size - m4/3 will still win. but Sony clearly is gambling that people that want to "upgrade" will look at Canon 5d/6d and Nikon d600/d800 and see the size/cost of those and size/cost of Sony and choose Sony. They still need another generation to get the lenses out there. 15 lenses in 2 years is a pretty good start.
If they make it, yeah. But it doesn't look good.

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Sony may be completely wrong in their marketing direction but these cameras tie in completely with how they started in the business. They just appeared to wander in the desert for a few years until they could get there.
From where I sit, they're still wandering.
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  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.

Last edited by TCav; Oct 17, 2013 at 7:31 PM.
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Old Oct 17, 2013, 7:54 PM   #20
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