Future of A mount

Specifically for the discussion of the A-mount DSLR range
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bfitzgerald
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:19 am

There are plenty of adapters around, just they are simple ones, use the ring to adjust aperture and manual focus. The LEA3 works with in lens AF motors, but evidently not well on older bodies (ie slow). The LEA4 is the SLT using the A57 AF system - which for the A57 was alright in it's day - for FF it's actually worse than the A77/99. Usable, but bulky and not really appealing to me. You also lose the faster fps I think on most bodies down to 2.5fps. So it's kinda crippled even if that's not a huge thing, you are better served with native A mount bodies no question. A580/560 I was interested at the time, I dig around now and then for bargains.

Mirrorless is an attempt to suck out more profits from a badly hit industry. No question manufacturing costs are low, far less parts, quicker to assemble. Of course there are some advantages, and some downsides. And yes more costly lenses ;-)
Sony could easily make a much better adapter -but I suspect they won't. It's a bit of a trust thing - can I trust Sony with E Mount if they leave A mount to wither? I don't have a lot of confidence in the company to want to hand over my money to them. For this reason I bargain hunt - stopped buying any new gear bodies or lenses some time ago as I saw this coming a long way off; and can probably just stick with A Mount just sourcing s/h stuff. Doubt many expect them to do anything - only time will tell.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:36 pm

bakubo wrote:Of course I have no special knowledge or insight into what Sony is thinking and I don't make predictions about these things since I most certainly don't know, but it seems to me that there is a good likelihood that Sony will keep the A mount alive for a long time.

How many A mount lenses are out in circulation? Sony, Konica Minolta, Minolta, Tamron, Sigma, Tokina, etc. A mount lenses. Sometimes I hear figures for the number of Canon EF mount lenses and Nikon F mount lenses, but I don't recall hearing about A mount. Whatever the number is it must be quite large. Not as large as Canon and Nikon, but still large. Also, Sony has a pretty big and diverse set of A mount lenses they sell. From time to time they add a new one and update older ones.

For a smaller company such as Nikon it probably takes a lot of, maybe too much, resources to support more than one or two lens mounts. Sony is a very big company though so maybe it is not really so difficult for them to support the A mount, E mount, and FE mount.

A continuing trickle of updated A mount bodies seems to not be so difficult for Sony. Every 2-4 years update the sensor, use newer, faster CPUs and other components, tweak features, etc. The flipping mirror is gone so even A mount bodies don't have many intricate moving parts that need such expensive and careful alignment. Over time, no doubt, Sony is trying to normalize as much as possible across the three mounts so that some of the cost of development and manufacturing can be shared. Takes time to do that, but I bet they have already made progress.

The A mount probably still creates profit and with so much of the development already done then future incremental upgrades may not cost as much as one might think, especially if some of the components and firmware modules can be used across the mounts.

Using an E or FE mount body with adapter, of course, allows use of the A mount lenses, but many people prefer a native A mount body which works with them much better.

I suppose Sony may not be able to decide yet what to do, but it would have been good for them to make some sort of statement about commitment to keep people from drifting away.

Anyway, just a bit of musing while I was out walking in Sapporo on a rather dark, cold day. :)


I still agree with what I wrote above in 2016. I am disappointed that Sony hasn't at least every 2-3 years come out with some A-mount body update. I think the last one was the A68 in 2015. I agree it is very hard to trust Sony and jump into a new mount. I have heard lots of people who buy Sony FF mirrorless get a body and maybe one lens and then like to use adapted MF lenses.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:43 am

Well the A99II came out end of 2016, but the last crop body as you say was 2015 with the A68
A77II is now over 5 years since it was released. Not that shocked the length of time has grown - then again with all 3 bodies sharing the same basic design, can't be that costly to update these bodies.
I think there is a market there for it. Maybe they plan on selling the 3 bodies into the future - can't see how they expect people to be that interested in them, esp. the A77Ii which has not come down in price despite being "pretty old" for a camera. I wouldn't buy one not at £900 that's just poor value.

A99II - who wants to invest in a pricey pro body when there is little happening? Bar a grey market deal a hard sell
Not sure what the A68 is aiming at, a cheap extra body - again that's not really dropped in price much. So we come down to the same conclusions, Sony is artificially keeping prices higher on the older A Mount bodies, and maybe hoping people get bored and buy an E mount camera?. Question is why bother with the release of the A99II? Doesn't add up to me. You can still get these bodies new, so I have to assume there is some kind of production going on

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:57 pm

It seems like there are lots of used A99, A77, A900, A850, etc. bodies available for pretty good prices. If I wanted an A-mount body to use with my lenses then I would get one of those. I still have my A700 and A100 packed away with the lenses far away. There just hasn't been all that much new development in digital cameras in the last few years that I care much about. And raw processors have improved so they can get more from the older camera sensors than before. An A99 or A900/A850 would probably totally satisfy me. All of my A-mount lenses are FF Minolta, Tamron, Tokina, and Sigma lenses from my film days so a FF body would probably be best. Sold my 2 APS-C Sony lenses long ago.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:35 pm

Yes some good prices around. More A99's then I would have expected, so it seems it might have sold pretty well - despite the high price at release. In most ways I'd be happy to run with A99's in the future - there are quirks and annoyances, as with all cameras. Importantly it unlocks all those FF lenses, the IQ whilst not quite up there for high ISO with newer sensors - is still a good step up from the crop bodies. I could run for 10 years + with A99's it's more than good enough.
For budget landscape shooters the first A77 with the GPS is still capable machine good DR and solid build If I shot mostly people/scenic stuff I'd be more than happy with that. I am still tempted to pick up an A900 for the "OVF" experience I miss.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:45 pm

These cameras being talked about are to big and cumbersome for me, especially as I wanted to down size

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:43 am

It sounds like m4/3 is right up your alley then.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:45 pm

Yes, I like the Panny M/4/3 rather than the Olympus

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:16 am

Okay, it sounds like your problem is solved then. In my case, I use m4/3 because of size/weight mated with good results. I use both Olympus and Panasonic lenses and bodies since they are interchangeable, but for you sticking with just Panasonic still gives you plenty of body choices and lens choices.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:13 pm

I've seen some not bad deals on some micro 4/3 stuff. It's a system I've never really used for any length of time. Depends on the shooting you do I suppose -for some types I suspect sensor size doesn't make a lot of difference like landscape/travel. I'm sure you could use it for other stuff as well. I think the x2 crop could be handy for wildlife shooting, and more DOF for macro. I'd be reluctant to invest heavily in any system from scratch. I was quite disappointed in the X mount, lack of IS in body (just one has it) big downside to me - and lenses, some nice ones but also not a lot of attention to the rendering quality, quite nervous on some lenses. That aside I think it's also overpriced for a crop only system.
Is anyone using adapters with micro 4/3 or mostly native lenses?

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:53 pm

I like the concept of M/4/3, and prefer the Panasonic system to Olympus, ( what happened to the Kodak M/4/3 system ) although I preferred the original 4/3 format, however, they had their limitations and APS-C won the day, but you could get some excellent glass for the early system. I now use a Canon 650D with a an early Ultrasonic Canon 28-135 with steady shot, although it was a 35-mm lens it gives excellent pictures in cropped. Its a simple second hand system that works extremely well in the cropped arena and I much prefer the colours to Sony. My Panasonic DMC FZ 330 Bridge is my take one camera and no lenses out for the day, its so useful. I had my Sony V90 compact stolen while on holiday last year.
Trouble with M/4/3, is the price and lenses are either at the budget end and below par or are excellent performers at a sky high price.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:59 pm

bfitzgerald wrote:Is anyone using adapters with micro 4/3 or mostly native lenses?


Yeah, lots of people do. I have a Minolta MC and Yashica/Zeiss adapter, but I don't really use the lenses. Some people love to though and collect old MF lenses.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:04 pm

classiccameras wrote:I now use a Canon 650D with a an early Ultrasonic Canon 28-135 with steady shot, although it was a 35-mm lens it gives excellent pictures in cropped. Its a simple second hand system that works extremely well in the cropped arena and I much prefer the colours to Sony. My Panasonic DMC FZ 330 Bridge is my take one camera and no lenses out for the day, its so useful. I had my Sony V90 compact stolen while on holiday last year.
Trouble with M/4/3, is the price and lenses are either at the budget end and below par or are excellent performers at a sky high price.


Trust me, if a Canon 650D + old Canon 28-135mm and Panasonic FZ330 meet your quality requirements then you would be thrilled with what you can get from the somewhat lower end m4/3 bodies and lenses. Panasonic GX7 mk II or mk III, G85, GX8, G7, Olympus E-M10II or E-M5II, etc. and lots of low to mid priced m4/3 lenses.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:34 am

I did play with a GX9 and kit lens, a friend bought - it's not bad for a compact camera/lens combo. One reason I stayed away from Canon is some of their affordable lenses are hit and miss -not used the 28-135mm, but I did use their 28-105mm - trust me the old 28-85mm blows it away, even the 28-100mm D rips it up, pretty poor lens. Of course there are a few turkeys on all mounts, not too many on Minolta. Canon do some nice lenses, gotta pay for them though -some of the older ones are alright, was never overly excited about some of their lenses - their 17-85mm was pretty mediocre. L stuff is generally good

FZ days are long gone had the 5 it was alright for getting back into things, I quickly got tired of it. I did try the XS-1 bridge - bit big/heavy for me. Can't even see me getting another bridge camera again, that time has passed. Unlikely to get a compact again either. I could maybe see micro 4/3 fitting some people well, for a compact system. With the 2x crop I'm not sure I'd have much use for it. A friend did offload their Canon gear for micro 4/3 - he does wildlife complained the weight was getting a bit much (he is over 70)

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:25 pm

Its interesting to note that Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji and Kodak all signed up to the 4/3 concept and agreed to do R&D, but only 2 have survived, Olympus & Panasonic, If you are building a small second hand system round Canon do your research and choose lenses carefully, as you say there were one or two Turkey's to keep clear of. The Canon 17-85 being below par in my view. some early 18-55 kit lenses were pretty crappy to but newer STM models seemed to have improved. M/4/3 is the only other format I would consider if I was to start again preferably Panasonic the 2x crop is a bit of a stumbling block but you can get used to it I guess. Wow, the XS-1 was a monster which was why I never got interested., my FZ330 is no bigger than an DSLR and certainly smaller than a A-57, It has an excellent lens at a constant F/2.8 and has many features not found on some DSLR cameras, and I have in camera control over noise at various levels, OK it has a small censor, but the kind of pics I take its not been a problem. It also has an excellent DVF and touch screen.
Admittedly, much of the in camera soft ware is aimed at the movie maker which I don't bother with


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