The Sony A900 full frame DSLR
Information and links about Sony's Alpha 900/A850
The Sony full frame DSLRs
- 3rd The Sony A900 is now marked as discontinued - [SAR]
- A850 is marked as discontinued - so much for Sony and 'Full Frame'?
More at SAR
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2009 August 27th
Sony announce their second FF camera the A850
- Full-frame 24.6 effective megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor and dual BIONZ processors for detail-packed, low-noise images with high sensitivity up to ISO 6400 (with expanded ISO range)
- Bright optical glass pentaprism viewfinder with 98% coverage
- SteadyShot INSIDE offers up to 4.0 steps anti-shake performance with all lenses
- Photo quality (921k dot) 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD
- Fast, high-accuracy 9-point AF with 10 focus assist points
More info @ DPR
2008 September 9th As expected its the A900...
24.6 MP and $3000 available late October 2008. Also 2 lenses
Vario Sonnar T* 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Series Lens
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The SAL1635ZA model is a super wide angle 16-35mm f/2.8 constant aperture zoom lens, well-suited for landscape, snapshot and indoor photography.
70-400mm f/4-5.6 G Series Lens
The SAL70400G lens is a 5.7x super telephoto zoom lens and the latest addition to Sony’s G-series line of premium lenses.
Designed to deliver extremely sharp descriptive performance across its wide focal length range, it is ideally suited for sports, action and wildlife photography.
- 24.6 MP 35mm format full-frame CMOS sensor
- SteadyShot INSIDE full frame image sensor shift stabilization (world first)
- Eye-level glass Penta-prism OVF, 100% coverage, 0.74x magnification
- 9 point AF with 10 assist points, center dual-cross AF w/2.8 sensor
- 5 frames per second burst
- 40 segment honeycomb metering
- 3.0" 921K pixel Photo Quality (270 dpi) LCD display, 100% coverage
- ISO 200-3200 (ISO 100-6400 expanded range)
- Magnesium Alloy body and rubber seals for dust and moisture resistance
- AF micro adjustment
US A900 Press Info
|SAN DIEGO, Sept. 9, 2008 Sony is introducing its full-frame (alpha) DSLR-A900 camera, aimed at serious photo enthusiasts looking for traditional SLR performance with the added benefits of digital photography.
It is designed to deliver ultra-fine picture quality with the world's highest resolution, 24.6-megapixel, 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor and fast image processing with a new dual BIONZ processing engines. The camera is also the first to have a body-integrated image stabilization system for a full-frame sensor with Sony's SteadyShot Inside anti-shake system.
One look at the camera's distinctive pentaprism and nostalgic body design will evoke its full-frame optical performance. It features a bright, clear optical viewfinder with 100% field of view coverage that would impress even film photography loyalists.
'The (alpha) DSLR-A900 introduction solidifies Sony's position as a leading camera manufacturer that can meet the demands of serious enthusiasts,” said Phil Lubell, director of digital camera marketing at Sony Electronics. 'It represents the best in sensor and image processing technologies and offers enhanced functions, performance and reliability so photographers can push their creativity to the limit.”
Ultra-Fine Images As The Human Eye Perceives Them
The camera's Exmor CMOS sensor delivers the photographic expressive power of wide angles and perspective that only a 35 mm full-frame sensor can offer, and is designed to take advantage of the resolving power of high-precision (alpha) lenses. Its high pixel count and large size provide enhanced image detail and a wider dynamic range for natural colour reproduction and subtle tonal gradations.
The sensor is produced using proprietary Sony planarization technologies to ensure an ultra-flat surface across the entire imaging area. Instead of a single analog/digital convertor, the sensor uses over 6,000 on-chip, column-parallel A/D converters to convert analog signals to noise-resistant digital signals at the earliest possible stage. The result is reduced noise and high-speed transfer of data.
Image processing gets a boost in speed and power from the application of two BIONZ image processing engines. Large amounts of data captured by the 24.6-megapixel sensor can be quickly processed to achieve a fast shooting response. Additionally, this dual BIONZ processing system applies advanced noise reduction algorithms producing images of exceptional quality and detail, especially at high ISO sensitivities.
World's First Anti-Shake System for a Full-Frame Sensor
The camera's newly-developed, body-integrated SteadyShot Inside unit achieves an anti-shake effect equivalent to shutter speeds faster by 2.5 to 4 stops. This new unit provides stabilization for Sony, Minolta and Konica-Minolta wide angle, large-aperture lenses, which is difficult for lens-integrated systems.
State-of-the Art Optical Performance and Responsiveness
The ultra-bright viewfinder with 100% field of view coverage and 0.74x magnification enables accurate framing and preview. It features a high-power condenser lens, an eyepiece with high reflective-index glass, and a multi-layer, anti-reflective coating on every optical surface to deliver its extraordinarily bright and accurate view.
Additionally, the focusing screen is user-replaceable, with additional L-type (grid pattern) and M-type (super spherical acute matte) screens sold separately.
The camera's newly-developed autofocus system consists of nine wide-area sensors with 10 assist points for improved tracking of moving subjects. A center dual cross sensor comprised of two horizontal and two vertical line sensors as well as a dedicated f/2.8 sensor are included to achieve greater precision, especially when using fast-aperture lenses.
It also offers high-speed continuous shooting of 24.6 megapixel images at five frames per second. A newly-designed mirror box features a unique parallel-link mirror mechanism that moves on two horizontal axes to accommodate both 100% viewfinder coverage and the body-integrated image stabilization system without increasing the camera's size. The mirror box also has a new moving magnet actuator, a high-powered coreless motor for a faster shutter charge, and a magnet catcher to minimize mirror bounce and light refraction within the box.
Versatility to Unleash Creative Possibilities
The model's innovative intelligent preview function takes the guesswork out of setting up a shot and the hassle of taking multiple shots to achieve a desired effect.
After pressing the depth of field preview button, the camera 'grabs” a RAW preview image which is processed and displayed on the LCD screen. You can then fine tune white balance, determine the best level and effect of dynamic range optimization, adjust exposure compensation and check histogram data, all before you actually take the picture. Preview images are not recorded on the camera's memory card, thus saving capacity.
Other key features aimed to expand creative options include the Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) with five levels of user-selectable correction as well as DRO bracketing for enhanced scene analysis and graduation optimization. EV bracketing with ±2EV range makes it easy to create high dynamic range composite images.
Thirteen creative styles can be selected to enhance images and then fine-tuned by customizing contrast, sharpness, zone matching and other parameters, while 3 user-programmable memories provide instant access to as many as 26 different mode settings.
Powerful RAW file processing control is put in the photographer's hands with the included Image Data Converter SR3 software that delivers faster file processing speeds, easy adjustment of image parameters, Dynamic Range Optimization and a new Peripheral Illumination function that compensates for corner light fall off.
With the camera's HDMI output and Photo TV HD mode, your creative output can be enjoyed on a compatible HD television. This mode brings the look of actual printed photography to the television, by fine-tuning such image parameters as sharpness, gradation and colour.
Comfort in Your Hands
Its construction features rugged, lightweight magnesium alloy with moisture-resistant, rubber seals for buttons and dials, an anti-static coating to prevent dust adherence to the imager, and a high-endurance shutter rated for more than 100,000 release cycles.
It has a 3-inch, Xtra Fine LCD screen (921K) makes it possible to check focus and image quality with accuracy. It incorporates an easy-to-see display with a quick navigation menu to easily access common functions without interrupting your creative flow. A backlit LCD panel sits on top of the camera and displays key settings.
System Expansion with New Accessories
The A900 camera will be accompanied with an array of accessories like the recently-announced Sony HVL-F58AM flash unit with its innovative Quick Shift Bounce system, powerful performance with a guide number of 58, and wireless auto flash ratio control.
The Sony VG-C90AM vertical grip offers the same ease of operation when shooting vertically as horizontally, with its button layout and low-position shutter-release button. It also houses two InfoLITHIUM batteries (sold separately) for longer shooting and playback.
The DSLR-A900 body will be available in November for about $3,000 along with related accessories.
|Price (body only)
||Magnesium Alloy chassis, high grade plastic exterior
||35.9 x 24.0 mm CMOS sensor 'Exmor', RGB colour Filter Array, Built-in fixed low-pass filter, 25.7 million total pixels, 24.6 million effective pixels, On-chip Column A/D Conversion & NR
6048 x 4032 (24M 3:2), 4400 x 2936 (13M 3:2), 3024 x 2016 (6.1M 3:2), 6048 x 3408 (21M 16:9), 4400 x 2472 (11M 16:9), 3024 x 1704 (5.2M 16:9), 3924 x 2656 (11M APSC), 2896 x 1928 (5.6M APSC), 1984 x 1320 (2.6M APSC),
|File qualities / formats
||RAW (.ARW 2.0), Compressed or uncompressed RAW option, RAW + JPEG Fine, JPEG Extra Fine, JPEG Fine, JPEG Standard
||Static-resistant anti-dust coating, CCD-shift dust reduction mechanism
||Sony Alpha lenses, (also compatible with Minolta A-type bayonet mount lenses), Can be used with DT (1.5x crop) lenses in APS-C mode
||CCD-Shift ' SteadyShot INSIDE' system, Five level LED shake indicator in viewfinder, Claimed equivalent to 4 steps in shutter speed *
||TTL CCD line sensors (9-points, center dual cross types + 10 assist sensors), EV 0 to 18 (ISO 100) detection range, Predictive focus control for moving subjects
|AF area selection
Wide AF area, Spot AF area (center), Focus area selection (any of 9)
||Single-shot AF, Direct Manual Focus, Continuous AF, Automatic AF, Manual focus, • AF micro adjustment (+/- 20 steps for up to 30 lenses)
|AF assist, illuminator
||Yes (built-in LED lamp), Range approx 1m - 7m
Auto, Programmed AE (with shift), Aperture priority AE, Shutter priority AE, Manual, MR (memory recall) / Custom,
Auto (200 - 3200) - upper/lower limit selectable *, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, Up to ISO 6400 (expanded range)
||Multi-segment (40 segment Honeycomb pattern), Center-weighted, Spot
||EV 0 to 20 (Multi-segment / Center-weighted), EV 2 to 20 (Spot metering), (at ISO 100 with F1.4 lens)
||AEL button (customizable), Half-press shutter release
||Single or continuous bracketing, 3 or 5 frames, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 or 2.0 EV steps*, *2.0 EV steps for 3 frames only
||-3.0 to +3.0 EV, 0.3 or 0.5 EV steps
||Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane Shutter
||30 to 1/8000 sec, Bulb
||1/250 sec, 1/200 sec (with SteadyShot INSIDE on)
||Depends on lens, 0.3 EV steps
||Yes, dedicated button
Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash, colour temperature (2500 - 9900 K), Manual (Custom) - 3 memories
|White balance fine tuning
||Auto (none), Preset WB: -3 to +3, Fluorescent WB: -2 to +4, colour temperature WB: G9 to M9 (19 step Magenta / Green compensation)
|White balance bracketing
||3 frames, Hi or Lo steps
|Dynamic range optimizer
Off, Standard, Advanced Auto, Advanced, DRO advanced bracketing (3 frames, High/Low selectable)
||sRGB, Adobe RGB
||Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night view, Autumn Leaves, B&W, Sepia, Adobe RGB
||Contrast (-3 to +3), Saturation (-3 to +3), Sharpness (-3 to +3), Zone Matching (-1 to +2 steps), Brightness (-3 to +3 steps), (Available in all colour modes)
||Long exposure for exposures longer than 1 second (User controllable: On / Off), High ISO NR High/Normal/Low/Off at ISO 1600 or higher
Eye-level fixed optical glass pentaprism, Spherical Acute Matte focusing screen (interchangeable), Magnification approx. 0.74x, 100% frame coverage, Dioptric adjustment (-3 to +1.0), Eye-relief 20 mm from eyepiece, Eyepiece cup removable, Eyepiece shutter built-in, Viewfinder info bar
||3.0 " 'Xtra Fine' TFT LCD, 921,600 pixels (640 x 480 x 3 (RGB)), 100% coverage, Anti-reflective coating
||-3.0 to +3.0 EV in 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 2.0 EV steps
|External flash (optional)
||Sony HVL-F58M, Sony HVL-F56M, Sony HVL-F42M, Sony HVL-F36M, Macro Twin Flash Kit HVL-MT24AM, Ring Light HVL-RLAM, Off camera flash shoe FA-CS1 AM
||Single-frame, Continuous (H/L selectable), Self-timer (10 or 2 sec), Continuous bracket, Single-frame bracket, White balance bracket, DRO bracket
|Continuous , shooting *
||H: Approx 5fps max, L: Approx 3fps max, RAW: Up to 12 frames, cRAW (compressed): Up to 25 frames, RAW+JPEG: Up to 10 frames, JPEG (XFINE): Up to 11 frames, JPEG (STD/FINE): 285/105
10 sec, 2 sec, Mirror up function (optional), Remote control
||Yes, for shooting, playback and control panel display
||USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mass storage, Multi-LUN or PTP), Video out (NTSC or PAL), HDMI type C mini jack, DC-IN, Remote terminal, PC control (with supplied software)
|Remote control *
||Wired: with optional RM-S1AM or RM-L1AM, Wireless: with included remote control
||AV (Selectable NTSC or PAL), HDMI (1920 x 1080i, 1280 x 720p, 720 x 580p, 720 x 576p), 'PhotoTV' HD settings applied with BRAVIA.
||Compact Flash Type I/II, UDMA Mode 5 compliant, Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo, PRO-HG Duo, Supports FAT12 / FAT16 / FAT32
||NP-FM500H Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (1650 mAh), CR2025 Wireless remote, Battery charger included, Optional AC adapter, Batter life Approx 880 shots (CIPA standard)
||Vertical Grip VG-C90AM, One or Two NP-FM500H batteries with auto switchover for power (additional battery is optional).
||156 x 117 x 82 mm
||No battery: 850 g, With battery: 895 g
Info from before this point contains pre release info and rumours - left in for archive purposes
8th A Swedish site promises that it will have an announcement tomorrow about "a new camera with full frame and the highest resolution in the world"
I'm told (thanks) that the A900 is available for pre-order at a Chinese site, where the price translates to about £1600 (?)
More new photos of the A900 in use on DPR
7th I'm told (thanks) that DC magazine in the UK is suggesting that September the 10th is time for a Sony announcement.
At Xitec, someone has grabbed a shot of someone testing an A900 with 16-35 lens.
The size of the Pentaprism bulge has been commented on but [dpr] "it's the second largest viewfinder in any current full-frame dSLR; 0.74x with 100% coverage. That's larger than the Nikon D700 and D3, Canon 1D Mk III, and Canon 5D. The only current dSLR with a larger viewfinder is the Canon 1Ds Mk III, with a 0.76x 100% viewfinder."
There is also more speculation about just what 'Intelligent preview' means in the specs we've seen [PA]
- "It is reveals 'Intelligent Preview'. I do not have all the details, but this is what Sony will offer in place of Live View - it is a sort of Polaroid pre-test on screen, with some more information or accuracy, compared to just shooting a pic and reviewing it on any DSLR. Also, I believe that it is viewed from the buffer and not stored on to the memory card. I have not seen any explanation on how or what this function does though, beyond knowing that it is intended to show accurate depth of field, check focus, and check exposure more accurately than reviewing a quick shot - and to do it fast without needing to take a saved test shot.
- Note the information about the sensors - I have got a diagram, but can't publish it. The nine sensors are tightly packed into the APS-C zone, they do not cover the full frame area. The APS-C zone is marked out with a rectangle not just corner marks, as the camera clearly functions with DT lenses in APS-C crop mode. So the AF sensor is really an APS-C model. It is differently laid out to the A700, and has 'AF assist metering' cells located next to the AF sensors. These obviously map the light levels for the AF sensors and maybe instruct a boost in sensitivity to local sensors (or at least fine tune the response to match brightness levels).
- The 5 fps was - obviously - revealed in the Sony story about the new MS PRO-HG Duo high speed cards which mentioned Sony's latest DSLR having 5fps (it is the top story since this morning on the main website pages here). I think we can now add that the A900 will have 5fps and a dual memory slot."
4th The Sony FF is 24.6MP and there is even a National Geographic ad at Xitec
This has been picked up a lot and is the source for most of the Sony info you'll see:
Specs (from Ad)
- The new a900 has arrived. A new height in the 'a” revolution is now within reach. Engineered with the exclusive 24.6 Mega Pixel Full Frame Exmor CMOS sensor, an industry breakthrough from Sony, this powerhouse integrates only the best imaging technologies from the world's leading image sensor manufacturer. A work of art for the truly discerning individual.
- 24.6 Mega Pixel Full Frame Exmor CMOS Sensor – Dual BIONZ Image Processing Engine – Intelligent Preview – 100% Viewfinder, 0.74x Magnification – 3.0”, 921K-out Hybrid LCD – 9-point Centre Dual-cross AF (with f2.8 sensor and wide-area 10-point assist) – 5 fps Continuous Shooting – SteadyShot INSIDE
August 31st The 5D replacement and new Sony FF are in the hands of reviewers, but no D3'x' [DPR] also a Sept 17th meeting for Canon UK dealers.
29th Are you in Toronto on Tuesday September the 9th
Fancy a look at the new Sony FF camera?
We were just forwarded this flyer...
...book early, limited space available :-)
28th The consensus is definitely only -one- new DSLR from Canon at Photokina. We also hear of a joint press conference at Photokina from Adobe, Apple, Canon, Microsoft, Nokia and Sony (note no Nikon) - are we about to have a new standard for something photographic? DNG from more cameras? Another better version of JPEG?
2008 August 26th I also noticed this Sony press release from June, that discussed using back-lit cmos sensors. Widely used in astronomical CCD detectors, the fabrication difficulties and costs have up until now kept it out of the consumer market. (note that our eyes work in the front illuminated mode, hence things like a blind spot. Other versions of eyes have evolved with different designs including back illumination (Octopus))
20th From Xitek [via Sweden]
- "Sony a900 body. There the posted price is 2490 Eur which is a very little cheaper than the Nikon D700 (2499 Eur) and much cheaper than the Canon 7d (2990 Eur).
- In stock on Sept. 30."
Note that the September 30th date probably comes from a French site that advertises the A900 - whilst I've not followed all the links through non English sites, I suspect this is a classic circular rumour. Yet another reason i always try and give sources (unless it's info sent directly to us ;-) - thanks to those who spotted this one and pointed it out.
Also linked from DPR with a September 10th announcement date.
15th Tha Sony A900 (name still not certain) is expected to be shown to the world on September 9th/10th [PA] but maybe delayed until PK.
August 4th Most likely the FF A900 - pricing and features will make for some interesting discussions once the next Canon FF camera(s?) gets announced ;-)
June 23rd Lots of info on the forthcoming Sony A900 at a Chines site 
It includes loads of good photos from the current P&E show in China.
There is a good translation of the above page in this DPR post
- "On the eve of the opening of the Exhibition, tech163 surveyed the exhibition hall and found Sony's top-of-the line FF A900 (tentative name). This flagship model felt solid (firece) when fitted with the CZ24-70.
- According to the caption beside the camera, A900 utilizes the latest 24.6MP Exmar CMOS sensor, with built-in SSS and like the A700, it can be fitted with a vertical grip. The new flagship flash is displayed alongside the A900."
Still no firm date for a release, but expect it to be popular at Photokina in September
In a related DPR thread I noticed Thom Hogan's comment about the changing directions of the bigger players in the market:
- Fujifilm out of DSLRs but a new push in compacts.
- Pentax mostly out of compacts, emphasizing DSLRs.
- Sony with so many low-end DSLR models, only one high.
- Canon rumored going lower in DSLR models.
- Sigma producing multiple APS compacts, no new DSLR.
- Nikon with potentially 4 DSLRs that would be labeled "pro" (D300, small FX, D3, D3x).
An interesting thread to look through even for dyed in the wool Canon users ;-)
There is also a bit of noise [DPR] about Panasonic dropping the four thirds format (I personally much prefer 3:2, such as 35mm format. I've tried square, and for the majority of my work I end up preferring a rectangular crop)
June 4th 2008 In the 'other FF camera' arena, there is the long trailed Sony FF DSLR - a DPR thread hopes for a June release along with a CZ 50mm f/1.2 and 14-24 f/2.8
March 21st A900 or not? A suggestion that the new Sony FF is to be the A500 [AP] also at ~$3k and 6FPS [DPR from 'Rangefinder' mag]
March 20th The new Sony FF camera gets an outing at PIE in Japan.
No real news other than the 24.6MP image stabilised camera will be released at a major trade event this year (photokina is most peoples' bet) (some new pictures and new Sony DSLR site)
Here's a picture of the new Sony taken at PIE in Tokyo by Shuichi Yamada (thanks!)
2008 January 31st
At PMA, Sony talk more about their forthcoming 24.6MP DSLR (CMOS with Super Steady Shot stabilization).
There's a whole load of pictures at DPR taken at the Sony press event (no trip to Vegas this year for Northlight ;-)
Sony have announced the A300 (10MP) and A350 (14MP)
...and a 25MP FF CMOS sensor for use in cameras, but no camera with it inside (at the moment)
Sony PR [Sony]
Sony Develops 35mm full size CMOS Image Sensor with 24.81 Effective Mega pixel resolution and extremely high signal conversion speed for use in Digital SLR Cameras
~ All-pixel scan mode of 6.3 frame/s ~
Tokyo, Japan - Sony Corporation today announced the development of a 35mm full size (diagonal: 43.3mm/Type 2.7) 24.81 effective megapixel, ultra-high speed high image quality CMOS image sensor designed to meet the increasing requirement for rapid image capture and advanced picture quality within digital SLR cameras.
In recent years, the demand for digital SLR cameras featuring high resolution and wide graduation ranges capable of capturing every detail of the subject matter has continued to increase, particularly among high-end amateur users. Additionally, the increasing user requirement to shoot from the same focal length and angle as 35mm film cameras using interchangeable lenses has led to significant interest in the development of 35mm, full size CMOS image sensors.
However, there are a number of technical challenges to developing full (large) size image sensors, such as the propagation delay caused by using extended power circuitry and signal lines, and the difficulty of maintaining uniform sensitivity and signal saturation across the surface of the screen.
Furthermore, because current semiconductor exposure systems are unable to cover the entire chip surface of 35mm full size CMOS image sensors, multiple exposures are required. This results in the difficulty of accurately controlling exposure variance and matching circuit patterns.
Advantages of this device
The newly developed CMOS image sensor combines unique circuit design technology with Sony's advanced fabrication expertise, including a system of joining multiple exposed patterns together and advanced planarization for minimizing fluctuation, to realize 35mm, full size, 24.81 effective megapixel resolution. Sony's "Column-Parallel A/D Conversion Technique" also provides each column within the sensor with its own A/D converter, minimizing image degradation caused by the noise that arises during analog processing while at the same time delivering an extremely high signal conversion speed.
The enhanced image quality generated by the sensor's 24.81 effective megapixel resolution, wide range of graduation expression achieved by its full size broad dynamic range, and the low noise, high resolution, ultra-responsive performance provided by Sony's Column-Parallel A/D Conversion technique enable it to meet the ever-increasing requirements within high performance digital SLR cameras.
Sony will target for mass production of this CMOS image sensor within this year.
- High picture quality in 35mm full size image sensor with 24.81M effective pixels
- "Column-Parallel A/D Conversion method" achieves high S/N and high-speed imaging
- CDS/PGA(24dB)Circuit PGA: Programmable Gain Amplifier
- 12bit-AD Converter on chip
- Diversified readout mode
- High-speed digital output 12 channel parallel LVDS output
- Image size Diagonal width 43.3mm (Type 2.7)
- Total number of pixels 6236(H) x 4124(V) approx. 25.72M pixels
- Number of effective pixels 6104(H) x 4064(V) approx.24.81M pixels
- Number of active pixels 6096(H) x 4056(V) approx.24.73M pixels
- Chip size 41.0mm (H) x 31.9 mm (V)
- Unit cell size 5.94μm (H) x 5.94μm (V)
2008 January 28th Still nothing new :-) However, do have a look at what Thom Hogan has in store for Nikon this year. Quite a few things, that if they came about would put some fair pressure on some of Canon's offerings.
PMA starts Thursday, so we can expect some Nikon announcements before long (see also our 'lenses' page), that and a lot of Sony fans are still eagerly awaiting their 'flagship' camera ...lots of MP and FF? (see this for a 14.2MP A350 and some more pics [Spanish site] )
2007 December 12th Looking elsewhere on the FF sensor front, what about the Sony 'flagship model'? (the one with the big pointy pentaprism box on top [see May 18th on this page]) - note that some are still saying that it won't be quite be 'FF'
This model is often now referred to as the A900 and expected for 2008. The A100 replacement (A500?) is also a distinct possibility, along with some new lenses that so far we've only seen as mock-ups
Sony are updating some of their DSLR support services in January, possibly in time for for a PMA launch (although don't forget 2008 is also a photokina year). The emphasis in a lot of Sony info I read is still towards the consumer or 'enthusiast' markets, although don't forget that in Japan, the 5D was reputedly not seen as a 'pro' offering.
If Sony were serious about moving into the 'Pro' DSLR market (and I mean the cameras being used for serious professional use) then they need to provide support services at all the large events, where you'll traditionally see dedicated on site service centres and provision of emergency 'loan' kit to cover accidents. They do already have this to some extent in their video market support. It's appearance in the stills camera market would be a serious announcement of intent, and one likely to make Canon and Nikon raise their threat appraisals of Sony.
One 'spec' I saw for an A900 (at least as reliable as ones inspired by UPC Bar codes ;-) --read the full thread for a good collection of assorted 'wish lists'/'reality checks' for this camera:
- full weather-sealing
- 3" LCD, 640x480xRGB
- 26 AF lines = 1 double-cross + 1 double-length F2.8 line + 10 crosses
- full-frame viewfinder with 0.73x magnifcation (100% coverage)
While Nikon is still looking at a higher MP version of the D3, PMA is a bit soon - more likely a D80 replacement (D80x @12MP) and some more new glass (for FF) There are some thoughts on this over at TH, where he expects the D3X to use a Sony sensor "over 20MP", maybe announced in the spring but available for the Olympics. Look too for the Canon successor to the 'unlucky' 1D3 to possibly make an appearance for the Olympics
Rumours from 1st December 2007 to 30th May 2008 are on our recent archive page
Rumours from before 1st December 2007 are archived on a second archive page.
Other (real :-) info and stuff on this site