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Past Article Calendar

September 2010
« Aug   Oct »

Worldwide demand delays Alpha 560 launch

According to Don Long writing for the Photo Marketing Association Newsline, Sony San Diego claims that the reason for the delay in the Alpha 560 rollout is worldwide demand, stretching the capacity of the Sony factories to the limit.


PMA Story

Remember, right at the start when Sony took over from Konica Minolta, Photoworld and Photoclubalpha reported the new staff as saying that Sony did not expect to sell two, or even threee times, the Minolta historic figures. They would sell ten times the quantity that Minolta had ever sold. It seems the view expressed by UK Sony executives in 2006 was realistic; Sony is an entirely different scale of operation.

But maybe they still have some of the same facilities that Konica Minolta bequeathed to them, and maybe those are simply not capable of turning out certain types of camera body in the required quantity fast enough.

The Alpha 33 and 55 have been given priority and only the 16-megapixel Alpha 580 will appear this year. What chance, at photokina, of an Alpha 700 successor to match the Nikon D7000 now announced with its 6fps 16 megapixel sensor and HD movie capability?

Olympus has now scotched rumours they were pulling out of the DSLR market with the E-5, a FourThirds successor skipping the unlucky number E-4 – but unless the performance pulls something out of the hat way beyond the specifications (12.3 megapixel and 720p HD movie, basically a 2008 spec) they might as well have dropped the ball.

And Samsung, with the NX100, has rather neatly chosen to show Sony what the NEX could have been. They have had the clever idea that since the focusing ring only instructs the camera to operate the focus motor, it can equally well be told to control the aperture instead when a button on the body is pressed. This simple i-Lens function restores in one step an almost instinctive photographic left-hand action we have almost forgotten.

It proves that there are engineers out there over 40 years old, too…

– DK

2 comments to Worldwide demand delays Alpha 560 launch

  • Good problem to have.

    Who would have thought two years ago with a widespread financial meltdown underway that Sony’s sensor production facility would be swamped with record numbers of orders (both internal and external)?

    I guess the demise of the Sony Alpha camera division was a little premature.

  • alphaomega

    My 34 years in engineering on both sales and supply sides told me that having demand exceeding production capacity was a better problem than lack of demand. Problem with then trying to meet demand too quickly leads to excess costs and it is so easy for marginal costs then to exceed marginal revenue. Sony may have introduced too many new products too quickly. An eagerness for success that exceed their rational thinking. They will have to manage new product introductions to match their productive capacity. For us Sony users it is good to learn about excess demand. That means customer acceptability of their products and the guarantee of a long presence in the DSLR/SLT markets with new products and innovation. The APS-C market seems to move towards a duopoly of Sony and Canon sensors.