Future of A mount

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bakubo
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Sat May 04, 2019 2:02 pm

That reminds me of the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s. I would rarely see anyone else with a 35mm SLR or larger camera when I was out and about. Other people just had things such as a 126 Instamatic, 110 camera, or later the ubiquitous 35mm P&S cameras. Now the people who would use an Instamatic, etc. use their phones. We are just back to the way things were for many decades.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat May 04, 2019 3:12 pm

I can't go back that far but 80's yes those 110 and disc film cameras were popular. Modern times the compacts and superzooms are pretty much dead now, bar a few who shoot wildlife on a budget maybe the odd one I see with a bridge type.
Phones seem to have wiped them out - the pocket pc appeal with the built in camera. That new huawei seems to do a great job and that tele lens, video quality, low light and fake blur which is getting better. If you get one of those for not much on a contract why bother with a camera?

Enthusiast market will remain I have no doubts about that - surely it is hitting some of the ILC sales too. Hard to see how so many makers can compete. No signs of the drop in sales stopping. I would have expected less makers and models over time, perhaps we will see the effects of this in the next few years. I will always be a camera user I just prefer it, mass market can have their needs met with phone cameras.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Tue May 21, 2019 12:34 am

Carl Garrard (some may know him or remember him) wrote about the A-mount today.

Sony A-Mount: Single Lens Translucent is Still Relevant

https://photographic-central.blogspot.com/2019/05/sony-mount-single-lens-translucent-is.html?m=1

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby pakodominguez » Tue May 21, 2019 8:42 pm

bakubo wrote:Carl Garrard (some may know him or remember him) wrote about the A-mount today.

Sony A-Mount: Single Lens Translucent is Still Relevant

https://photographic-central.blogspot.com/2019/05/sony-mount-single-lens-translucent-is.html?m=1

Carl always wanted to be a Sony prophet.
A-mount is dead. Or almost dead. The last A-mount camera is the A99II inroduced in 2016. A99 was introduced in 2012 and the A900 in 2008. So if we believe in a 4 years cycle, we can expect an A99III next year, Inch'Allah! And I will love it that happens. But I don't see it. What I see is Sony putting all their resources on the E-Mount.
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed May 29, 2019 3:10 pm

I can't speak for Carl but I think he had high hopes of A mount way back in the early days. I was quite vocal then about some of Sony's "goofs" shall we call them. A mix of good and bad, moments of excellence mixed in with moments of madness. Their early entry models did very well A200-350, and I can say I've seen quite a few around -after that they released the pretend mid level A500/550 models which were a flop. They just didn't have what people were looking for - followed by 2 generations of models of "downgraded" entry cameras, which were less appealing than the ones they replaced.
When SLT turned up Sony had already lost a lot of potential traction, probably based purely on those 2 major mistakes.

I don't know what Sony will or won't do. I tried to change mounts twice - both times ended in disaster with big QC issues. So I stuck with A mount. I made a decision a while back, that what I have it "good enough" for what I do. More than good enough in fact. Even if Sony stops right now, I can probably meet my needs for the future with eBay purchases if needed. The price of this gear will only get cheaper (bodies and lenses)

There is still some life left in A mount, IMO I just don't get on with the boxy E mount bodies and their cramped ergonomics. Despite the cool features. One sign to watch is if stocks run out on the 3 bodies they are selling - if they go completely that's the sign it's over. It does have potential to leave a sour taste in the mouths of A mount users, for that reason I think Sony would be ill advised to abandon it. They also need something a bit better than the dated AF LEA4. BTW those folks who say Sony will lose native lens sales, IMO are way off. Most of the E mount users I know are using "Canon" lenses with an adapter!

So as they say it's not over yet, but we shall see what unfolds

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:17 am

I don't think Sony are that interested in A mount users, they seem focused on E mount but at a price and with so so lenses at a high price.
I still maintain one Sony compact but moved over to Canon D series. Sony had an outstanding camera in the A 57 but failed to build on that success, what did they do, they started dumbing down rather than moving forward, enough was enough so I jumped ship for my APS-C cameras

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:11 pm

classiccameras wrote:I don't think Sony are that interested in A mount users, they seem focused on E mount but at a price and with so so lenses at a high price.
I still maintain one Sony compact but moved over to Canon D series. Sony had an outstanding camera in the A 57 but failed to build on that success, what did they do, they started dumbing down rather than moving forward, enough was enough so I jumped ship for my APS-C cameras


I don't disagree with that summary. I still have the A57, for it's time unusual to have a large buffer on such a camera, and I still use it today. For some odd reason they decided to strip things down in the next release, and a slightly odd mashup for the later one (A68)

For me it's a bit late in the day I think to move to any other system. Tried that twice before and got unlucky with QC problems on Nikon/Pentax. So I don't fancy trying that again - I have used to odd Canon here and there 5dIII/ and the IV. Not that I plan on buying into Canon. E mount APS-C is quite uninteresting, only one body with steady shot, perhaps for video folks -don't see a lot of appeal for stills shooters. E mount native lens cost is through the roof, can't say I'd be willing to shell out those prices

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:12 pm

Which Canon are you using now? I used to have a 30D and 60D. Both were wonderful cameras.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:47 pm

Bakubu, a 650D which has the touch screen and a superb Canon 28-135 Ultrasonic zoom with stabiliser, I mostly use this lens, I don't miss the EVF. but I love Canon colours and the OVF is nice to use
. All my kit is second hand, the Canon used market is huge.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:21 am

Barry, you mentioned Pentax, I had a KR some years ago thinking it was a good move from my old Olympus E-510, No it was not the best move I have made, I'm a big fan of Jpegs although I use RAW as well and its Jpegs were awful for colour balance and over blown blues and greens, exposure was hit and miss and noise was very prominent even with noise reduction switched on, focusing was not that fast, so I ditched it for a Nikon D5100, but that never lasted long, that's another story

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:53 pm

classiccameras wrote:Barry, you mentioned Pentax, I had a KR some years ago thinking it was a good move from my old Olympus E-510, No it was not the best move I have made, I'm a big fan of Jpegs although I use RAW as well and its Jpegs were awful for colour balance and over blown blues and greens, exposure was hit and miss and noise was very prominent even with noise reduction switched on, focusing was not that fast, so I ditched it for a Nikon D5100, but that never lasted long, that's another story



I had a lot of problems with the KR, everything was fine until I used it in low kelvin light, then the AF was unusable it would massively back focus every time. No adjustment would help it was that far off. As I said back then I kicked up with Pentax, still have the email. They said wait for firmware to fix issue. Of course many years later, that firmware never turned up. I think the AF module was defective - rather than incur a cost of recall or service for users, Pentax just decided to ignore the problem (go buy a K5 they said which also evidently had problems). So they basically lied (about the fix). I printed off the email, took it back to the shop and they refunded me. I then sold all the Pentax gear I had and tried Nikon - with different AF issues. Total nightmare google the D7000 back focus and get more than a few results, the D90 I got also was a bit off though alright after I sent it in for service. Pretty sure the issues with Nikon were that earthquake at the factory, either way I got sick of it. So I got rid of the Nikon stuff - then I got the A57 then the A77 later on (I had not sold off much Minolta stuff only a few things I didn't use)

Pentax bright Jpegs are OTT, that is the default not to my taste, some of the other setting are alright. I think the WB is a bit hit and miss on the KR often with obvious green/magenta shifts. Not ideal for jpeg shooting. I wouldn't go near Pentax ever again, I would probably not look at Nikon either. I'm just not into Canon much, used the 5dIII and IV they are nice cameras just doesn't feel fun using them. So I'm sticking around, whatever happens doesn't really matter much to me - I can eBay A99's and other cameras/stuff for a long time.

Perhaps Sony's strategy is to bore A mount users into moving to E mount, I don't think they can really rely on that. I'd be fairly cautious about Sony's long term plans with such a small E mount, must be a reason why everyone else has a much larger mount. In 10 years you might find the same thing happen, maybe I'm just being sceptical! Unless Sony come out of a much better adapter solution, and bodies that don't feel like boxes with grips shoved on. They don't appeal much to me

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:18 pm

In my view the A-57 is a keeper, may be the A-37 as a back up body, but I would not now build a kit around them, just rely on the kit zoom for general snap shots. As for A mount, nothing wrong in that, its a system that could have gone places, but competing against the big 2 was a no contest

Canon seem to get things right, but not always my 450-D over exposed in default settings so I used it with -7 all the time, I live just a few miles from Canon UK so I took it to their workshop, for testing, they said it needed re calibrating with updated firmware, and they did it while I waited free of charge, and it did the trick.

I'm not sure what the state of play is with Olympus and their 4/3 system and i'm not sure where 4/3 is going, except price increases, but I think Panasonic are better, I have a DMC- FZ330 bridge for general shoots at air shows, 25-600 Leica Vario Elmarit with constant F-2.8, which seems to compensate a little for the small sensor, it has never given me a bad picture, unlike Olympus who have still not mastered a rather contrasty tone curve even with the Sony sensor, one thing Panny's don't suffer from.

Agreed with your description of the E mount bodies, I just do not like the cameras or the systems and the outrageous lens prices for so so performance. Sony spent a fortune developing in camera lens correction rather than giving us a decent lens to start with. The Pentax KR and others of that period were under the Hoya owners, who apparently made some of the lenses, but now Pentax are with new owners, who knows what their future is and their multi coloured bodies was a brave step that only had limited appeal

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:42 pm

I'd not hold out much hope for Pentax, Ricoh don't seem to be making any money off K mount - last few lens releases were crazy expensive/big lenses which not many users will buy into. They had some hope with the K1, fairly affordable for a FF body. They've just not got the installed user base to keep things rolling. I did like some of their ideas, trying to be objective about. I liked how you could set up the camera via the many tweaks - at a time Sony were busy "dumbing down" their DSLR's sadly. Nikon had I not had problems with, would probably have stayed with them, but I never got attached to their lenses I tried. Bodies were good build, features wise - optics solid but lacking that something I find in Minolta lenses.

There is still life in A mount, because there are a lot of lenses out there. That was a problem with Pentax - quite a few manual focus ones, much much less AF lenses. Sony could easily keep things rolling - and let's be honest it wouldn't require much cost or effort. So the ball is in their court - otherwise it would have been a bit of a waste of their time to buy the mount from Minolta - why bother? Unless they offload it to another company. That would be a better solution I'd happily start a kickstarter on that one no problem!

Canon are always an option, I can get their stuff easily borrow or use what I like. Can't say I want to buy into anything right now.
I said in another thread the problems are - I don't see many people with cameras. what I do see is mostly older cameras. Folks ain't buying, least not many of them. Right now E mount isn't that exciting for me, course I can adapt lenses and use flashes. It's an option, not a very attractive one. Only one APS-C body has steadyshot, nothing that's non small sized, relatively weak APS-C line up. It's obvious they are pushing full frame heavily. Anyone I know using mirrorless, is using a lot of adapted lenses. I doubt that many are buying big time into G Master lenses. A few no question, lot of boutique stuff out there. Even a basic native set up would cost a fortune, more than I'd want to spend. Figured the best option is to just stay where I am. Stuff I have works, if anything breaks I can replace it. No it's not cutting edge tech - but it is more than good enough. Micro 4/3 never appealed to me, maybe travel shooters like it - not my thing right now.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:35 am

Agreed with your comments, my biggest gripe with the Sony A mount cameras was the lack of user control over noise, for some obscure reason Sony seemed to think it was not necessary for the user to tweak noise control, it really p---ed me off when you could see this very adjustable facility on other brands. Secondly I never fell in love with Sony colours, its hard to put my finger on it but they were not as nice as Canon/Fuji/Olympus. Nikon were strange, they often suffered from colour temp issues, some pics being over warm, although tweakable in PP.

Don't get me wrong, the A-57 and 37 were great cameras to use and the best APS-C A mounts by far, but they would not move forward, there were many tweaks they could have done on the A 58 but not to be, also, A mount bodies were getting bigger while APS-C bodies from Nikon/Canon were getting smaller, Minolta lenses were always good and I had a few. As for FF, just what market are Pentax aiming it at, the Pros are shunning Pentax preferring to stick to the tried and tested, so it must be dedicated amateurs with deep pockets and that is a very small market.
I tried an A6000 E mount and got an adaptor for A mount but it was horrible to hold and use, balance was awful and with a big lens on the front it looked like a Credit card on the end of a beer can, That didn't last long, it was from here I gave up and switched to Canon. Any FF camera needs a lens to do the sensor justice and that comes at a price. Yes, stay with what are are familiar with and what gives you the results, if it aint broke don't mend it, wish I had taken that advice

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:46 am

On colours the A100 was a bit bland to me, A200 somewhat better. I don't mind what I get from the A57/77, or the A99. I think most of the differences are AWB related. The Nikon's I used were often overly warm, Canon tend to be closer on WB. Not used Oly for some time. I personally don't buy into the "colour science" stuff flying around -seems something DPR made up. I don't debate there are small differences in the colours of camera -but a lot of it is WB or processing related and how raw files are read via software. I think you can get pretty close results on all these cameras with tweaking. So it's never something that has been a factor to me.

Reason I stayed away from Canon in the past is I wasn't impressed with their DR. 5dIII I used for a bit has good low light, excellent build. The DR is easily beaten even with the APS-C cameras I have, by a fair margin too quite obvious. It's only recently their crop/FF bodies have improved (5dIV is much better).

Most of the FF lenses I have hold up very well on 35mm. Some I have used on film so had a good idea. 70-210, 100-200mm are all good on FF and APS-C, the 24-105mm is also decent if you can deal with the distortion, 50mm F1.7 spot on and the 28-105mm RS is a stellar lens I would say it would easily handle and A99II it's just one of the best zooms in that range I've used on any camera. Don't think it would be costly for someone to build an affordable FF system on A mount using an A99. The A99 jpegs are much improved, NR low or Off way better than the 57/77 which I use in raw. So no point moving as I have most of what I want.

The only interest I'd have in E mount is as a test camera for lenses if I do more reviews, later on. I've not that much interest in buying into the system. Ditto A6000 not that exciting for me, bar an X10 replacement if that dies. Always got good jpegs from the Fuji, albeit that has a bit of a magenta shift -as does every Fuji I used. Didn't get on that well with X mount stuff, the lenses seem clinical to me, some have great sharpness with poor rendering edgy and rough backgrounds, not all but quite a few.


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