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Sony FF DSLR rumours and info

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Sony FF DSLR/mirrorless rumours and info

Sony A9’x’ FF DSLR and other Sony full frame


Sony’s Alpha (A) series cameras make for an interesting range.

They show both Sony’s desire to be considered one of the top camera suppliers, and in particular challenge Canon and Nikon in the professional market.

Two ‘traditional’ 35mm full frame DSLRs were launched, and in time discontinued.

Whatever comes next will use electronic viewfinder (EVF) technology, something that eventually will become more widespread, but with current technologies still faces challenges at the top end (compare the viewfinder experience of a Canon 1300D and 1D X mk2 to see how far EVF has to go in some areas).

This page collects together any Sony ‘full frame’ info or other related rumours I hear of.

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Sony a99

SLT-A99 Info

A900 Info

Latest, news, info and speculation

2017 June

27th An A9r (or A7rIII) is being suggested on a number of ‘non-rumour’ sites.

This tends to happen due to editors wanting to get a traffic bump, a reticence in giving sources, and the resulting echo chamber effect ;-)

The high MP (60-70) camera stuff looks like a mix of speculation and re-hashing some previous reports, such as at [SR] a few weeks ago. Given the performance of the A9, an ‘r’ version would seem to be an obvious development to jump up from the current 42MP – especially since this would top Canon’s current 50MP offerings.

8th Sony releases new firmware update for the α9, α7 II, α7R II, α7S II, α6300, α6500 [SR]

May

18th Sony announce two new FE lenses

Son16-35mm f2.8 GM and 12-24mm f4 GSAN DIEGO, May 17, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today announced two new additions to their growing lineup of full-frame E-mount lenses.

The new lenses include the FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM large aperture wide-angle zoom lens (model SEL1635GM) and the FE 12-24mm F4 G ultra wide-angle zoom lens (model SEL1224G). The FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM lens brings the incredible high-resolution and beautiful bokeh of Sony’s flagship G Master series to a wide 16-35mm focal length for exceptional landscapes, cityscapes, portraits and more, while the 12-24mm F4 G, Sony’s widest full-frame E-mount lens to date, offers a dynamic new perspective for all Sony E-mount shooters. In total, Sony’s full-frame E-mount lens lineup now covers from ultra-wide 12mm to super-telephoto 800mm (with teleconverter) focal length range.

5th Whilst updating the main rumour page I thought it was time to include a Sony timeline. Here’s a work in progress, covering A and E mounts – dates are based on WP data.

E mount Level Format 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Alpha (α) Flagship Full-frame                 α9 
Sensitivity           α7S  α7S II 
Resolution         α7R  α7R II 
High-End         α7  α7 II 
Advanced APS-C     NEX-7  α6000  α6500 
Mid-range       NEX-6    α6300 
Upper-entry NEX-5/NEX-5C NEX-5N NEX-5R NEX-5T α5100
Entry-level NEX-3 NEX-C3 NEX-F3 NEX-3N α5000
DSLR-style         α3000  α3500 
SmartShot           QX1

5-axis in-body image stabilization (bold),
Auto-lock Accessory Shoe, Multi Interface Shoe, 4K resolution video

A mount Sensor 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
- - - - - - - 1 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Professional Full frame           α900   α99  α99 II 
            α850              
High-end APS-C DG-7D      α700       α77  α77 II 
Midrange                 α65      α68 
Upper-entry               α55  α57           
      α100     α550 α580      α58 
    DG-5D         α500 α560               
            α450              
Entry-level               α33  α35  α37           
        α350 α380 α390              
        α300 α330                
        α200 α230 α290              

Single-lens translucent (SLT) camera | 5-axis in-body image stabilization (bold)
HD video capable (Video AF) | Dual phase-detection AF (italic)

April

19th The new A9 full frame camera is announced [Sony]

24MP sensor, 20fps and dual SD card [DPR]

4th A Sony interview [DPR] carried over from CP+

March

27th The Sony interview is published again [IR] and now makes it clear that there is no ‘holding back’ of the best sensors, but it is a matter of some Sony camera co-development work being proprietary.

Seems like how I assumed it would work, after reading the original, but I suppose this shows some of the risks of doing interviews with people who speak a different language, and also that like with emails, there is no ‘recall’ button on the internet if you hit ‘publish’ by mistake ;-)

21st Interesting interview appearing briefly with Sony about sensors. It was pulled, but this is said to be a precis taken from a cached version of the original.

  • Some sensors are reserved for Sony (Perhaps why no one else is using their 42MP Full Frame sensor)
  • Sony invested billions in sensor technology and lenses
  • The Full Frame market is the most stable, but Sony wants to grow it slowly
  • “Before 42 megapixels… nobody needed such a resolution……but right now, people enjoy 42-megapixel cameras.”
  • “Now we are focused on three essential factors. One is of course the resolution, and another is the sensitivity, and third is the speed.”
  • Sports shooters target one millisecond in time so they might enjoy shooting 100-120fps
  • There is room for AF speed and intelligence improvement
  • Nikon/Canon use two systems for AF so their system can’t be intelligent. Our system can be intelligent because our sensor manages the AF.
  • AF and Exposure could benefit from Intelligence (AI)
  • The real advantage of mirrorless is direct information not the lack of a mirror.
  • An early problem with mirrorless was getting the data off the chip fast enough. Now the problem is interpreting all the data.
  • Sony a7RII mainly brought in customers form other systems, but Sony hopes to grow the ILC market beyond current DSLR/ILC users.
  • “I have said, too, that amateurs, people who don’t consider themselves photographers, like moms and dads, they need more advanced technology than the pros, because they’re the ones who more than anything need smart cameras and intelligent sensors. So maybe that will come.”
  • Full frame is their primary area
  • The price difference between Full Frame and APS-C could get closer together with time.
  • “I want to show our technology. The technology can change the future. Right now, I think American people still think the DSLR structure with mirror and shutter is best. But the technology can change that kind of way. And I think only Sony can do it. So I want to explain why the future is changing. And sensor is one aspect, and the lens is another one. Of course, intelligence is another aspect, but there are many technologies we have, so these things I want to tell your users. And of course [by combining] these technologies we create new cameras. So I want to show you the new camera…mirrorless can take a photo that the even professional DSLRs couldn’t capture.”

Via [SA]

3rd More CP+ interviews – one from Sony concentrating on lens design [IR]

February

27th Mention of a new 135mm Zeiss Batis for next week [PR]

17th After an awful lot of ‘speculative’ rumours over the last month or so, the suggestions of a new Sony ‘high end’ camera seem to be firming up.

A high speed/ISO/lower MP camera is pitched at SR

Other suggestions put an announcement later in March and assorted MP numbers from low to very high – i.e. no idea ;-)

2016 December

29th Some interesting thoughts on cameras/lenses of all makes for 2017 [TH]
I prefer the measured approach you get from Thom than some of the more fan-based ‘rumrz sites’ ;-)
Sony’s approach to higher end cameras is interesting and I have to say in some areas it’s of decided interest for the kind of work I do for my day to day photography.

October

28th There will be a higher spec ‘E’ mount camera than the A99II with dual XQD card slots at some time… [sr]
6th The RX100 Mk5 is announced [DPR]
The a6500 appears [DPR]

Other sources suggest that an a6500 with 5 axis sensor stabilisations will appear soon, along with a RX100M5 [nk]
5th Is there more to come?
Suggestions that Sony will announce a successor to the 6300 and an A9 with a 70MP sensor [sr]

The 6300 was only announced in the spring and the ‘A9’ has featured in many a wishlist…

September

19th A99 mk2 camera‘A mount’ fans will be happy that Sony have not given up on it. Just announced is the A99 II
Body Only @ B&H

Sony Announces New Full-Frame α99 II A-mount Camera
Flagship A-mount camera Features Ultra-Fast 4D FOCUS with 79 hybrid cross AF points1 plus 12 fps continuous shooting2, High Resolution 42.4 MP Exmor R CMOS sensor, 5-axis in-body image stabilization and more

COLOGNE, Germany, Sept. 19, 2016 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their new flagship A-mount camera, the α99 II.

Reaffirming Sony’s commitment to produce industry leading A-mount cameras, the impressive new camera combines the best of many of their latest digital imaging innovations including a new Hybrid Phase Detection AF system with exclusive Sony A-mount features such as Translucent Mirror Technology™. The result is a supremely specified, professional level camera that will be appealing to a variety of professional and enthusiast photographers.
“We are continuing to innovate with each new camera body, lens and accessory that we bring to market, offering compelling choices to both existing and prospective users of the Sony α system” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “With the α99 II, we’re delivering an industry-leading level of performance to A-mount owners and enthusiasts. Its powerful combination of speed and resolution is simply unmatched in today’s market.”
Redefining Autofocus and Speed
The new α99 II camera is Sony’s first full-frame camera to feature the acclaimed 4D Focus system, bringing a supreme level of AF performance to Sony’s A-mount line-up. The Hybrid Phase Detection AF system is enabled by combining a precision 79-point3 dedicated phase detection AF sensor with 399 focal plane phase detection AF points4 to produce a 79 hybrid cross AF point1 array. This enables incredibly precise autofocus performance and advanced subject tracking of any high-speed moving objects across the frame. In addition Translucent Mirror Technology, with no moving mirror, ensures steady, continuous AF operation and live image preview during both still image and video shooting. The precision AF system also performs exceptionally in low-light conditions, as it will function properly in brightness levels as low as EV-45 and in dark locations where most other cameras struggle.
In addition to its advanced autofocusing, the α99 II has been designed to allow for high resolution, continuous shooting at high frame rates. The camera features a new front-end LSI that works with the image sensor, BIONZ X image processing engine and a newly designed shutter unit to enable continuous shooting at impressive speeds of up to 12fps2with AF/AE tracking6. Thanks to a large buffer, these shots can be viewed immediately after shooting, even when in high-speed continuous shooting mode. Additionally, if these high-speed shots are being taken indoors under artificial lighting, the camera can automatically detect flicker and time the shutter accordingly to minimize its effect on the resulting images7.
The new α99 II also has the ability to deliver continuous live shooting at up to 8 fps 8 with AF/AE tracking and minimal display lag thanks to overall improvements in the EVF algorithm. This offers photographers a shooting experience that closely mimics that of an optical viewfinder, while still offering all of the benefits of an electronic viewfinder including a live preview of exposure, white balance and several other camera settings. This continuous live view shooting can be set in 3 stages to match a variety of subjects: 8 fps, 6 fps and 4 fps.
Pixel Power
The back-illuminated full-frame 42.4MP9 Exmor R CMOS sensor in the new α99 II model features a gapless-on-chip design that allows for fast readout of large volumes of data and maximizes light gathering ability. The net result is very high sensitivity with low noise, wide dynamic range and 42.4MP resolution across an ISO range of 100-25600, expandable to ISO 50 – 102,40010.
The new camera has also been designed without an optical low-pass filter, ensuring that all of the finest natural details and textures can be captured with unprecedented depth and realism. Both compressed and uncompressed RAW files are readily available based on user preferences.
5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE Image Stabilization
Sony has designed a new in-body 5 axis image stabilization system for A-mount cameras that debuts for the first time in the α99 II model. Having proven to be incredibly popular in the ɑ7 II series of cameras, this five axis system effectively detects and compensates for movement in all axes including X and Y, pitch and yaw and camera roll, and ensures that all captured content is crisp and blur-free. The new stabilization system provides a shutter speed advantage of 4.5 steps11, ensuring the full potential of the 42.4MP sensor can be realized. Also, with a simple half press of the shutter button, the effect of this the image stabilization can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen, allowing framing and focus to be accurately checked and continually monitored.
Improved design and operability
Based upon feedback from professional users, the design of new α99 II has noticeably evolved compared to its predecessor. The new model is 8% smaller than the original ɑ99 and features a newly designed grip, magnesium alloy body, dual SD card slots12 and dust and moisture resistance13.
The α99 II also features a new shutter unit that has an estimated life of more than 300,000 operations14, as well as an XGA OLED Tru-finder with a ZEISS T* Coating that offers a powerful 0.78x magnification and delivers outstanding clarify from corner to corner. The viewfinder also has a fluorine coating on the outer lens to prevent fingerprints, dust, water, oil and dirt from sticking, ensuring a clear view.
The silent Multi Controller introduced in the original ɑ99 has been improved as well, as it now offers a click-stop ON/OFF switch in addition to allowing control of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, AF area, AF mode and other settings. The α99 II also offers location data acquisition via a Bluetooth15 connection to a compatible mobile device and an updated menu structure to deliver a smoother navigational experience.
Movie Magic
For the first time in a Sony A-mount camera, the α99 II has the ability to record 4K video internally16 with full pixel readout and no pixel binning17 through usage of the professional friendly XAVC S format. The camera is capable of recording high quality footage at 100Mbps for 4K recording, and utilizing the full width of the large, full-frame image sensor in doing so. It also offers a new ‘Slow and Quick’ mode18 (S&Q) that supports both slow motion and quick motion. In this mode, frame rates from 1 fps to 120 fps can be selected in 8 steps for up to 60x quick motion and 5x slow motion recording19.
A host of other features for professional movie production workflow are also included in the α99 II such as picture profiles, time code and clean HDMI output as well as gamma assist for real time S-Log monitoring and a zebra mode for easier exposure adjustment. S-Log3 and S-Log2 gamma are both included as well.

Pricing and Availability

The Sony α99 II full-frame interchangeable lens camera will ship this November to authorized Sony retailers throughout North America and will be sold for about $3,200 US and $4,000 CA.
Notes:
1. Hybrid Phase Detection AF active. The dedicated phase detection AF sensor or focal-plane phase detection AF sensor may be used independently in certain photographic situations.
2. Continuous shooting mode set to ‘Hi+’
3. The number of usable AF points may depend on the lens and shooting mode
4. The number of usable AF points may depend on the lens and shooting mode. Up to 323 focus points are selectable. Not available for movie recording
5. Central focus point
6. The supported focus area will depend on the shooting mode and lens used. Furthermore, when “Continuous Shooting: Hi+” is selected, focus will be fixed at the first frame shot when Hybrid Phase Detection AF is active at aperture settings of F9 or higher, or when Hybrid Phase Detection AF is not active at aperture settings of F4 or higher
7. When Anti-flicker Shoot.is ON. Flicker detection at 100 Hz or 120 Hz only. Continuous shooting speed may decrease. Does not function during bulb exposure or movie recording.
8. Continuous shooting mode set to ‘Hi’
9. Approx. effective megapixels
10. Expanded ISO. Still images only.
11. CIPA standards. Pitch/yaw shake only. SAL135F18Z lens. Long exposure NR off.
12. One slot can hold an SD card or a Memory Stick.
13. Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof
14. Electronic first curtain shutter activated
15. Requires pairing with compatible mobile devices running the PlayMemories Mobile app. Supported devices are Android smartphones running Android 5.0 or later and compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 or later. iPhone/iPad: iPhone 4S or later/iPad 3rd generation or later
16. Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card required for XAVC S format movie recording. UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC card required for 100Mbps recording.
17. In Super 35mm recording mode
18. Sound cannot be recorded. SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required
19. In NTSC system

August

12th Strong hints that the A mount is a dead end product and only kept going so that Sony can offload their stocks of A mount lenses [PR]

June

27th Sony announce delays for several cameras as a result of earthquake damage, affecting: A7, A7R, A7S, A5100, A77 II, A99

May

12th All the way up to 72MP? A -possible- sighting of a Sony test camera [saR]

If it was a real one, then someoe should get a word in their ear about discussing test cameras with members of the public ;-)

April

27th The A99 likely is due for the chop later this year – no news yet of a replacement ‘A’ mount [saR]
22nd Bad news for Sony and anyone using Sony made sensors. It seems that earthquake damage may shut down manufacturing for a while [Sony]
7th Wiil Sony’s next ‘flagship’ be more ‘DSLR like’? Dual XQD cards for unlimited RAW burst are suggested [sAr]

2016 April

4th Suggestions that Sony’s next A7r will pack in 70-80MP in a full frame sensor [saR]

2015 October

16th It seems that Sony is definitely not that interested in A mount much any more [NC]

“We have No Fullframe A-Mount Planned”

September

24th Is Sony looking to quietly let the A mount wither?

I’m rewriting the entire site and was re-arranging the Sony rumours section (true, never a big section) and noticed that we’ve not seen anything in this area for quite some time.

It seems that E mount is the way they want to go?

The new uncompressed RAW files can make a significant difference to some types of image [DPR]

I just wonder why such an obvious improvement was ignored for so long? 

15th At last… Sony think about uncompressed RAW files

Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today announced user selectable Compressed and Uncompressed 14-Bit RAW image capture will be featured in the new α7S II once it arrives in stores this October.

Additionally, they have announced plans to add user selectable compressed or uncompressed 14-Bit RAW still image capture via firmware update to additional cameras beginning with the recently introduced α7R II full-frame mirrorless model.

“The voice of our α community remains the most important guiding force of our product development plans,” said Neal Manowitz, Deputy Vice President for Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “The addition of Uncompressed 14-Bit RAW processing is a direct result of customer feedback. Widely requested by photo and video enthusiasts, we believe the choice of RAW processing types will further elevate the performance of these extraordinary cameras.”

The α7S II and α7R II are compatible with Sony’s growing lineup of α -mount lenses, which now totals 63 different models including 12 native ‘FE’ full frame lenses. By early 2016, Sony will add an additional 8 new lenses to its FE full frame lineup, bringing the FE total to 20 lenses and the overall α -mount assortment to over 70 different models. [AU]

August

3rd Sony Korea say that they are going full tilt at the full frame (FX) camera business of Canon/Nikon [KT via SR]

“Sony will concentrate on full-frame cameras in the future. In the short run, we will target existing full-frame camera users and then attract those who use entry and mid-class models to upgrade their cameras in the long run, raising the popularity of full-frame cameras. To do so, we plan to boost our presence in the professional market such as photo studios and wedding photography. Besides the stagnant growth of the camera market, the entry-class segment of the lens-interchangeable camera market is slowing down drastically.
We held a 59 percent share in the mirror-less camera market last year and have been the top seller of mirror-less cameras for the last five years, but we have never topped the gross lens-interchangeable camera market on a yearly basis. Our goal this year is to become the leader in this market for the first time.”

2015 June

12th Sony announce [DPR] the A7R II with an interesting 42MP full frame back illuminated sensor and 5-axis IS. Oh, and 4k video too…

An interesting camera that will appeal to many, although the timing of its announcement – several months before availability – rather stole any thunder that the other Sony announcements might have had.
Whilst many cheer BSI – few know more than the marketing hype. See the ever useful remarks from Thom Hogan for a less fan based interpretation of changes ;-)

2014 December

26th Camera company end of year ‘interviews’ shed a bit of light on what they are going to do. Sony, Oly and Canon so far – main rumours page
12th More hints of a 46MP DSLR next year – normal Bayer style sensor [Sr]

November

28th We’re told that Sony will announce two Zeiss branded ‘full frame’ tilt/shift lenses next year – ‘wide’ and ‘very wide’

My mistake, with the full info on the lens page, for originally putting this as FE, when all the info said was FF – new source, so usual caveats.
I don’t know Sony lens mounts well enough to know how well they take an off-centred lens, such as you’d get with a T/S setup.
Certainly if they offered a 50MP sensor and a wide lens to match my TS-E Canon 17mm, I’d have some interesting purchasing choices for my architectural work ;-)20th The Sony A7 mk2 (~24MP full frame) is announced [sony] Plenty of new features and including combined lens/body image stabilisation with some combinations. See more at [DPR]

Body type
Body type SLR-style mirrorless
Body material Magnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution 6000 x 4000
Other resolutions 6000 x 3376, 3936 x 2624, 3936 x 2216, 3008 x 1688, 3008 x 2000
Image ratio w:h 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 25 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Bionz X
Colour space sRGB, AdobeRGB
Colour filter array Primary colour filter
Image
ISO 100-25600
White balance presets 10
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Image stabilization notes 4.5 stops
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Extra fine, fine, standard
File format JPEG (DCF 2.0, EXIF 2.3)
RAW (ARW 2.3)
Image parameters Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn Leaves, Black & White, Sepia
Optics & Focus
Autofocus Contrast Detect (sensor)
Phase Detect
Multi-area
Center
Selective single-point
Single
Continuous
Face Detection
Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes
Digital zoom Yes (4)
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 117
Lens mount Sony E (NEX)
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3″
Screen dots 1,230,000
Touch screen No
Screen type Xtra Fine LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.71×
Viewfinder resolution 2,359,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Exposure modes Auto
Program
Aperture priority
Shutter priority
Manual
Scene Selection
Sweep Panorama
Movie
Scene modes Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, Anti Motion Blur
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via Multi Interface shoe)
Flash X sync speed 1/250 sec
Drive modes Single, continuous, speed priority continuous, self-timer, bracketing (AE, white balance, DRO)
Continuous drive 5.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec; continuous (3 or 5 exposures))
Metering modes Multi
Center-weighted
Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Videography notes Supports XAVC S codec (50Mbps) and S Log2 flat picture profile
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (micro-HDMI port with 4K still, uncompressed video output)
Microphone port Yes
Headphone port Yes
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes with NFC and wireless control via PlayMemories Mobile app
Remote control Yes (wired)
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 350
Weight (inc. batteries) 599 g (1.32 lb / 21.13 oz)
Dimensions 127 x 96 x 60 mm (5 x 3.78 x 2.36″)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS None

12th Hints of a non-bayer sensor appear from Sony [Sr]
11th New full frame E mount cameras on their way for CP+ [sar]

…so much for ‘A’ mount?

5th A Sony patent [sr] mixes pixels with long and short exposure times to extend dynamic range.

October

27th Sony to get (more) serious with lenses? – how about a tilt/shift? [sAr]

Not a top grade rumour but if Sony want to aim at the pro market, then they need this sort of stuff.

15th There seems to be a wide expectation that Sony’s 50MP large sensor (larger than 35mm, but still smaller than traditional film MF) may appear in a mirrorless/rangefinder style body, and that they are going to be bringing out a 35mm sensor with 45-50MP that will appear in full frame models next year (and presumably a successor to the Nikon D810 at some point).

June

25th It’s suggested that 7D2 sensor technology may well bring forward Sony’s response [Sar] with 54MP sensors and other fine stuff…

May

27th A suggestion that Sony is hanging back a while to judge the reactions of the market to recent cameras, and waiting to see what comes next from Canon [saR]
1st The A77 II is announced 24MP APS-C fixed mirror [DPR]
Compared to old model:

Sensor New 24MP APS-C CMOS 24MP APS-C CMOS
Body construction Magnesium Alloy/Plastic Magnesium Alloy/Plastic
Viewfinder 2.4m dot OLED TruFinder 2.4m dot OLED TruFinder
Rear LCD 1.23m dot RGBW LCD 920k dot RGB LCD
AF Sensor 79 points (15 cross-type) 19 points (11 cross-type)
GPS No Yes
Wi-Fi Yes No
LCD Articulation Triple hinged (hinge/tilt/swivel) Triple hinged (hinge/tilt/swivel)
Custom settings recall 3 1
Hotshoe type ISO standard with Multi-Interface connections Minolta-style
Maximum shooting rate 12fps 12fps
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000th 1/8000th
Video 1080p60 AVCHD 2.0 1080p60 AVCHD 2.0

April

6th A7s 12MP and ISO to 406k [DPR]
5th A7s … 12MP sensor and 4k video [sAr]
4th Suggestions of a new A7s model launched as soon as this Sunday (6th) [SAr]

March

26th There are suggestions of a Sony MF camera [MF pageand Sony is suggesting that it wants to move more into the ‘higher end’ market [sar]
20th Sony introducs a ‘Pro Service’ in Japan

….a hefty ‘joining fee’ and $100 p.a. membership should keep out the riff-raff ;-)

Cheaper repairs and rental equipment during repairs are amongst the benefits [Sony via Google xlt]

January

4th Sony will be filling out their lineup during the year with four APS-C cameras between now and Photokina [SAR]

2013 December

2nd Sony seem to have developed a 54MP full frame sensor – looks as if yeilds are still too low to see it for a while, but it would make for an interesting D800 followup or D4x [SAR]

July

25th An upcoming Sony SLT may feature a new 32MP sensor an 8-14FPS [SAR] (~72MP on FF if APS-C)
22nd It’s suggested that Sony has three new full frame sensors for upcoming cameras (24/32/36MP) [SAR]

April

8th Sony show off a DSLR style 4k [PR]

January

18th Sony may have a go at eye controlled focus with their upcoming ‘flagship’ model [SAR]

2012 December

27th Good A99 review at PCA –

“Slightly pointless wording on the bright orange anodised lens mount bezel lets you know this camera is not actually aimed at working professionals.”

October

13th The highest MP 35mm camera race gets a nudge at SAR , with suggestions of a full frame 36 or 50MP camera next May/June

September

12th Sony launch loads of stuff, including the pellicle mirror based full frame A99
Previews etc. at DPR
Sony SLT-A99 key specifications:

24MP full-frame CMOS Sensor with on-chip phase detection AF
Fixed-mirror design SLT
2.4M dot OLED electronic viewfinder
14-bit Raw output
ISO 100-25,600
Up to 6 frame-per-second continuous shooting with AF
ISO-compatible flash hotshoe with ‘multi interface’ expansion connector
Pull-out three-hinge tilt/swivel 1.23m dot RGBW LCD screen
Top panel LCD
Microphone and headphone sockets
Built-in GPS
AF Micro Adjust

9th More leaked specs and images of the A99 (middle) at SAR
comparison of camera models

August

29th. September 12th is suggested [PR] as an announcement date for an A99 like this…

24.3MP full frame CMOS Exmor sensor | Translucent mirror technology
ISO range: 100-25,600 (ISO-low 50 is also available) | 14 bit RAW output
1/8000 maximum shutter speed | 10 fps | Shutter life: 200,000 shots
102 points AF system | AF with two phase detection sensors
2360k dots XGA OLED viewfinder | 3″ tiltable 921k dots LCD screen
Full HD video recording at 1920 x 1080/60p
Auto HDR capability | HDMI output
Built-in stereo mic | Built-in flash with guide number of 12
New multi-segment low pass filter
Photodiode expansion technology | Light concentration technology | Selective noise reduction
Two memory slots: SD and SD+MS cards
Announced on September 12, 2012 | Available in stores in late October 2012
New accessories to be released with the a99: battery grip, flash, remote control, microphone etc.
Very light, weather sealed magnesium alloy body | Weight: 730 g.

22nd Sony’s patent for a semitransparent mirror [SAR]
Stiil no real info on an A99.

March

13th Sony inteview gives away future plans – unfortunately, not in much detail ;-) [MP]

8th A firmware update for an expensive lens [SAR], but no sign of any new FF cameras

February

14th 24MP A99 for photokina? [SAR]
9th Sony say that the FF A900 replacement hasn’t been forgotten… [DPR]

January

9th A suggestion that the A99 has been pushed back to photokina [SAR]

2011 December

28th What might be coming this year from Sony [SAR]
20th Sony related parts of a recent Japanaes magazine article are translated [SAR]
Perhaps an EVF for the next full frame camera?

November

25th A new type of FF ‘hybrid and a 36MP FF camera get added to the collection for next year [SAR]
3rd Wider use of EVFs move on with a new design from Sony [SAR]

October

19th After the announcement of the 18MP Canon 1D X, people are looking at other manufacturers ‘full frame’/FX/35mm offerings and wondering where sensor design is going to go?
At SA rumours, the talk is of an upcoming 24MP FF A9x, with a subsequent announcement of a high MP (36?) camera to follow. [SAR]
Looks as if any forthcoming cameras will also be ‘SLT’ types with no optical viewfinder.
3rd The Sony A900 is now marked as discontinued – [SAR]

May 26th

A850 is marked as discontinued – so much for Sony and ‘Full Frame’?
More at SAR

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

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.

Sony A900 cutaway viewBrief specifications

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

Sony A99A99 Specifications

Sony SLT-A99 key specifications:

24MP full-frame CMOS Sensor with on-chip phase detection AF
Fixed-mirror design SLT
2.4M dot OLED electronic viewfinder
14-bit Raw output
ISO 100-25,600
Up to 6 frame-per-second continuous shooting with AF
ISO-compatible flash hotshoe with ‘multi interface’ expansion connector
Pull-out three-hinge tilt/swivel 1.23m dot RGBW LCD screen
Top panel LCD
Microphone and headphone sockets
Built-in GPS
AF Micro Adjust

Body type
Body type Mid-size SLR
Body material Magnesium Alloy
Sensor
Max resolution 6000 x 4000
Other resolutions 6000 x 3376, 3936 x 2624, 3936 x 2216, 2640 x 1760, 2640 x 1488
Image ratio w:h 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 24.3 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 24.7 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (35.8 x 23.8 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Bionz
Image
ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600
White balance presets 8
Custom white balance Yes (1)
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Extra Fine, Fine, Standard
Image parameters Contrast -3 to +3 steps
Saturation -3 to +3 steps
Sharpness -3 to +3 steps
Optics & Focus
Autofocus Phase Detect
Multi-area
Selective single-point
Tracking
Single
Continuous
Face Detection
Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes
Digital zoom No
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 19
Lens mount Sony/Minolta Alpha mount
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fully articulated
Screen size 3″
Screen dots 1,229,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT Xtra Fine color LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100 %
Viewfinder magnification 0.71×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Exposure modes iAuto
Superior Auto
Program
Aperture Priority
Shutter Priority, Manual
Scene modes Portrait
Sports Action
Macro
Landscape
Sunset
Night Scene
Hand-held Twilight (6 shot layering)
Night Portrait
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via Hot-shoe)
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, High Speed Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in, Wireless
Flash X sync speed 1/250 sec
Drive modes Single-frame advance
Continuous advance
Continuous adv Priority AE
Speed Priority Continuous
Self-timer
Self Portrait Self-timer
Continuous Self-timer
Continuous drive Yes (2.5, 6 fps)
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Metering modes Multi
Center-weighted
Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes ( 3 frames, H/L selectable)
Videography features
Format MPEG-4
AVCHD
H.264
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60, 24 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30fps), 640 x 424 (29.97 fps)
Storage
Storage types Memory Stick PRO Duo/Pro-HG Duo; SD, SDHC and SDXC
Storage included None
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (mini HDMI Type C)
Wireless None
Remote control Yes (Wired or Wireless (Optional))
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes (Dust and moisture resistant)
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion NP-FM500H rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 500
Weight (inc. batteries) 812 g (1.79 lb / 28.64 oz)
Dimensions 147 x 111 x 78 mm (5.79 x 4.37 x 3.07″)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS None

A900 Specifications

A900 with vertical grip

Price (body only) $3000
Body material Magnesium Alloy chassis, high grade plastic exterior
Sensor 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
Image sizes 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
Dust reduction  Static-resistant anti-dust coating, CCD-shift dust reduction mechanism
Lenses 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
FOV crop 1.0 x
Image Stabilization CCD-Shift ‘ SteadyShot INSIDE’ system, Five level LED shake indicator in viewfinder, Claimed equivalent to 4 steps in shutter speed *
Auto Focus 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)
Focus modes  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
Eye-start AF  No
Shooting modes  Auto, Programmed AE (with shift), Aperture priority AE, Shutter priority AE, Manual, MR (memory recall) / Custom,
Sensitivity 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)
Metering modes Multi-segment (40 segment Honeycomb pattern), Center-weighted, Spot
Metering range  EV 0 to 20 (Multi-segment / Center-weighted), EV 2 to 20 (Spot metering), (at ISO 100 with F1.4 lens)
AE Lock AEL button (customizable), Half-press shutter release
AE Bracketing 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
Exposure compen. -3.0 to +3.0 EV, 0.3 or 0.5 EV steps
Shutter Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane Shutter
Shutter Speed 30 to 1/8000 sec, Bulb
Flash X-sync 1/250 sec, 1/200 sec (with SteadyShot INSIDE on)
Aperture values Depends on lens, 0.3 EV steps
DOF preview Yes, dedicated button
White balance 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)
colour space sRGB, Adobe RGB
colour modes Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night view, Autumn Leaves, B&W, Sepia, Adobe RGB
Image parameters 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)
Noise reduction Long exposure for exposures longer than 1 second (User controllable: On / Off), High ISO NR High/Normal/Low/Off at ISO 1600 or higher
Viewfinder 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
LCD monitor 3.0 ” ‘Xtra Fine’ TFT LCD, 921,600 pixels (640 x 480 x 3 (RGB)), 100% coverage, Anti-reflective coating
Flash compensation -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
Drive modes  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
Self-timer  10 sec, 2 sec, Mirror up function (optional), Remote control
Orientation sensor  Yes, for shooting, playback and control panel display
Connectivity 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
Video out AV (Selectable NTSC or PAL), HDMI (1920 x 1080i, 1280 x 720p, 720 x 580p, 720 x 576p), ‘PhotoTV’ HD settings applied with BRAVIA.
Storage Compact Flash Type I/II, UDMA Mode 5 compliant, Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo, PRO-HG Duo, Supports FAT12 / FAT16 / FAT32
Power 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 Vertical Grip VG-C90AM, One or Two NP-FM500H batteries with auto switchover for power (additional battery is optional).
Dimensions  156 x 117 x 82 mm
Weight (body)  No battery: 850 g, With battery: 895 g
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