Future of A mount

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

Unread postby classiccameras » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:40 pm

Fuji must reign as the Jpeg king, a title once owned by Olympus but current cameras fitted with the Sony sensor in my view no where near as good for Jpeg colours, I would still put my old Olympus E-510 Jpegs up against anything, Panasonic Sensor. the X-10 is a great camera, with an excellent built in zoom, however, I found with mine on full zoom focusing slowed down and the metering was a bit off but not by much. Fabulous build quality and you can see there they got the inspiration from, Leica. They go and ruin every thing in my view with a different sensor on the X-20 & 30' I could never get excited over X models and their lenses were not cheap.

My wife has a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70 compact which she uses on holidays, She has never got a poor picture, focus and exposure are always good and fast even in awkward lighting, Colour rendition is very much in the old Olympus mode but the tendency for a green bias that some Panny's used to have is gone, its nicely balanced and does not over blow the colours which is pleasing, whats great is a built in EVF which is is very useful in very bright sunlight, all the settings are displayed in the EVF, In some ways I like it better than my Sony 90V. A good holiday camera with a long powerful Leica Vario-Elmar zoom and affordable.

Coming back to Sony, in a way its a pity that Sony ever bought into Minolta, Minolta today would probably be up there along side Canon as they were always rivals in the 35 mm SLR days, there were good features on the early Minolta A mount APS-C cameras but Sony dropped them.

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:18 pm

X10 is working OK, so I'll run it into the ground for as long as it goes. I did have the XS1 too at one time, but it's DSLR big/heavy and honestly I prefer to use the A57 and 18-135mm, so I got rid of it. Share the same sensor, which is good I'm alright with the lens range on the X10, 28-112mm equivalent and the lens is fast enough. Real tragedy Fuji abandoned their compact/finepix range, just threw the towel in. Can't get anything like that now. The 24-something RX Sony's hmm well I'd rather have the top end 70mm is limiting to me. For some odd reason they still sell the RX100 I, a 2012 camera! The latest one is an insane £1000+, frankly we're in loopy times for pricing in photography!

I don't know why Sony bought A mount, they did say back then they are in it for the long term. The lack of action is pretty telling
I did read about 2 new lenses for E mount next week. Sony said they had to spend time on building the E Mount lenses, they have done that now and more. So they can't really make that excuse again - not that I expect much if anything to happen on A Mount. They might surprise us (laugh). I'm not kidding about a gofundme either - this mount has too much history to let it wither away and die. I just hope if Sony have lost interest entirely - they release it so someone else can do things with it, or sell it to another company who knows how to handle it.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:26 pm

I got a Sony RX100 last year:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9124

It had 2.0 firmware, but the latest firmware for download is 1.10. It is not the same as the 2.0 firmware for the RX100III, etc. See the thread. Something seems to have changed and it may be some of the internal electronics so 2.0 cannot work on older RX100s. Just speculation though.

Earlier this year I bought a Panasonic TX1 (ZS100, TZ100) for $419 (paid in yen, of course) in Hiroshima. I like it a lot. I wrote a user review:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62337549

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:35 am

As I said my wife has a TZ70 which I borrow, I have to be honest, I like the Panasonic concept and design features on their compacts and I have more confidence in getting a good picture than with my Olympus EM-10 ( which I have sold ). Don't get me wrong, the Oly EM-10 is a great camera but I never seemed to Warm to it as I did my old E-510 and later A-57. The Oly menu was tedious to surf through and not that user friendly, I think Panasonic compacts take a lot of beating and I like them for what they do

If I did look for a used A mount body, it would probably be an A-58 as it had slightly better noise control than previous models. The body size is as big as I would want to go, I would just put standard zoom on it 18-55 or 135 and nothing more as I would not make it into a system. My 650D is my system now, and that's pretty basic really. The X-10 is a real stand out camera and apparently become collectable on the second hand market, you won't find many, most are probably 'keepers'.

Did any one have reservations in the early days about the Sony SLT system, They initially got mixed reviews, mostly about the reduced light to the sensor through the translucent mirror and ghosting, not that I ever noticed.

Trouble with Sony now is the ever more Mk 1 Mk 2 Mk 3 and so on, with most models, each one being dearer than the last, as Barry said prices are now getting to the point where people won't buy, so the market shrinks,

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:48 pm

I think we're in the era of use what you have, and don't worry about the GAS or whatever people call it.
If the X10 Fuji died, I doubt I would replace it with anything. The RX Sony's are OK, but it's not really needed. I can use the phone if I have no camera on me. Not really worthwhile buying an expensive compact unless I would use it.
I can just take the A57 if I want smaller size. I didn't really use the mirrorless ones I did try, even the small body ones - soon as you mount a normal lens, the small size is wiped out.

Prices..well let's put it like this. That new L mount that came out, 50mm F1.4 lens almost 1KG in weight, huge and costs £2200! That's a nuts price for any 50mm f1.4, I'd be embarrassed to advertise a lens like that for that. Even an A7III, mix in a 24-105mm and a 70-200mm F4, that's over £3500 just for a two lens set up. Even Tamron and Sigma are price gouging on their newer lenses, not as much - still prices are bad all round. You can get alright deals on older bodies, lenses have gone up to levels I've never seen before. Can't say I'm surprised to see older cameras around, and people just using them. If I got stuck I'd just re-buy a good s/h A99 or whatever else I needed to replace ie one of the crop bodies. Prices are only going to fall even more over time.

I think the SLT was a compromise, least with some sensors. Perhaps the newer ones a bit less. If that had an effect on sales I don't know. Sony have the option to remove it and just PDAF off the sensor, if they wanted to. It's not just Sony they are all at it, the new Canikon mirrorless lenses are pricey, even the Fuji X ones lack much of a budget range bar a few kit lenses.

I remember when I worked for a major supermarket years ago, I was told quite clearly in no uncertain terms - that branches don't always have the same stock. Some lines (ie the budget stuff), are removed to up sell to more premium lines. It's just how they work, xyz no. of people will need an item and they will probably pay more for it. That worked back then, until the German discount chains came in, and gobbled up a lot of market share. What the camera industry needs badly is some maker from China to shake them up - similar to how Godox have destroyed sales of OEM flashes. I'd not buy a branded OEM flash ever again, grossly overpriced and the Godox stuff has the radio built into all the units, triggers are cheap and reliable. Stuff just works, and is priced fairly.

Makers are a bit in denial, keep releasing new mirrorless mounts, new boutique ultra expensive lenses and ramping prices up. No doubt phones have hit them, but I bet the "good enough crowd" is the main reason sales have bombed. What I have is good enough, so why bother with massive wallet dent to get some nice new features? Market saturation is the downfall of the industry. I don't know how to get out of that, but I think just increasing prices isn't working. I'll also say I look at the camera price buster too, and these "cashback" deals usually have price increases just before - in many cases even with the cashback it's more than it was 6-12 months ago. Consumers are not that dumb :-)

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:19 pm

Just to add one thing without rambling too much ;-)
The reason I liked and still do the X10 is some of the design concept of the camera. Almost all compacts have a power zoom, the X10 is mechanical - far nicer. The retro look I don't care about that much, I was never into the block style cameras of ye years past (no idea why we makers some of them are using this boxy look for new mirrorless bodies). Viewfinder is useful sometimes, though they improved it on the X20. It's not the smallest body out there, battery life is ho hum at best. Certainly has it's weak points.

If Fuji had run with this concept, and taken it a stage further - they could have had the ultimate compact camera. Shame they have a nasty power focus on this, full mechanical focus would be great. Video didn't have a lot of settings, they could pad that out, shove a 1" sensor in there and wow "take my money". They never did, which is a tragedy really. It's a benchmark "could have been" camera. No I wouldn't pay £1000 for a 1" sensor, but they could have made one at a reasonable price and got some serious interest.

Sony have similar thinking, the 2 things I use most on the cameras I have, the AF assist light and GPS. Both removed from future models (sigh). If the A77II had had both of those - I would have got one long ago ;-)

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:57 pm

Going back to the title of this thread, 'Future of A mount', Is there one?

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:18 pm

Only if you release products, that's not something we can do
It is inevitable that if you do nothing on A mount people will over time wander off. Is it viable? If you consider the no. of lenses/gear out there it is IMO; minimal outlay to tweak existing bodies and continue is not really that costly - not for a company like Sony.
There are probably still more Sony users than Pentax ones out there (active that is)

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:38 am

Pentax are seriously struggling, they failed to find a niche in the market, my local camera shop is a Pentax main agent, and they sell many Pentax cameras/lenses, but apparently a few come back to trade in for a Canon/Nikon/Olympus.
One brand that is surviving quite well is Panasonic.
Agreed re the A mount, but they really should listen to A mount users rather than thinking they know best, which has been their Achilles heel since acquiring Minolta

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:03 am

I don't know how well or not the K-1 has done, it's well priced for a FF body. Pentax were IMO way too late to enter the FF market.
I think users miss the K3 type cameras, nobody seems to like the KP - a half way mish mash and it's pretty ugly!
There is probably a reason why Hoya sold off the rights to the name to Ricoh, they can use it for photo products. Hoya kept the bits that made money, ie the medical division. I've never had a lot of time for Hoya or Ricoh - both have done a pretty bad job, QC issues, marketing. Things don't look so good, erm nobody uses Pentax really - they've been a minor player for a while.

Sony's never been great at feedback, they made some awful decisions with A mount in the early days. Then I suppose they will say they've done well on E mount. I've just no interest in E mount at this time, bar a test body for lens reviews - reality is most of my lenses are screw driven, there is no advantage for me using an LEA4 - might as well just buy A mount bodies. Just have to see what happens - if anything.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:21 am

I think A mount will tick along for some time until Sony see sales really slump in favour of E mount or other brands, Can't see that happening very soon, E mount does not seem to be a first choice of many photographers because of cost and format and many people are put off by the design style. 3rd party E mount lenses are very few and I can't see Tamron or Sigma putting much money into developing new lenses for a system that has below average sales. It was worth their while with Canikon and still is to a point. For a APS-C DSLR camera, the K30 & 50 were not bad, 'But' !

If I did decide to down size. I would prefer to go down the Panasonic 4/3 path rather than E mount. I have a lot of respect for the brand
I usually bought Hoya filters but there are other equally good brands, seen Hoya filter prices recently, way up.

Yes, Canon and Nikon survived on feed back on a global scale,
its a good protocol to adopt and its paid off numerous times for them, it seems Sony still have the attitude, we know best although more recent editions of A and E mount have seen some improvements, but they still haven't given the user full control over noise as many other brands have, strange.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:38 pm

Hard to say what's going on, I don't think mirrorless will make the camera industry recover. It's pretty dead all round - even if E mount is doing fairly well.

I've no confidence to invest in any makers right now, least of all Sony. As long as I can use my Minolta lenses is all that matters to me, and I can with limitations via adapters. Let's be blunt Sony have had little interest in A Mount for a long period of time, I just hope they let it go, so someone with forward thinking can pick it up. E mount is only a desperation place to go, the LEA4 isn't great it's dated and too many limitations. I gave up worrying about it a while ago, just never liked Sony - how they handled A mount is proof of that. They apparently want it to fade away, whilst overcharging for older bodies, as a nice punishment present for loyal customers.

Kinda says a lot to me!

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:07 pm

Good summing up Barry, I was a big fan of the Minolta A mount lenses but sold them with the A mount bodies . In my collection I have 2 Minolta 35-mm SLR cameras a XD-7 with a Rokkor f-1.4 50-mm lens and an XD-500 with a F.1.7 50-mm lens, a 135 F/2.8 tele and A variety of wide angles, I still use this kit with Fuji Chrome Velvia 50, and those lenses always impress when my slides are projected. They don't make them like that any more. As I mentioned before, its a pity we no longer see the Minolta label on up to date A mount cameras, if they were I'm sure they would be up there with Canikon, but Sony grabbed them

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:44 pm

I would have liked Minolta to continue, sadly Konica seem to be the ones who pulled the plug for reasons unknown. That was during a time of high growth, not the decline we see today. Minolta was always a solid no. 3 behind Nikon and Canon, well ahead of Pentax; Olympus were never in the running, largely the AF era passed them by. I think they could have carried on and done fairly well.

I'm not sure Sony get what A Mount users need/want; I do feel for those who heavily invested in the system - I have not in terms of cost outlay, though I have a fair bit of stuff. Most of the recent purchases were real bargains. The return I would get for selling the entire inventory - well it wouldn't be much really. Some of the lenses are worth more to me for practical reasons, v the cash I would get back selling them. The time to clear out and shift systems was probably 3/4 years ago. Prices are pretty low now, it's a buyers market.

I remember reading on DPR some E mount users saying, "Sony don't want to make an A to E adapter that's too good". As it would cost them lens sales. Thing is, so many are using Canon on E mount (not always dumping their EOS stuff either just the body). I did watch an interview with a Sony rep, didn't understand why people wanted a better adapter. They can make one, just they can't seem to be bothered. So A mount users who stick around, there isn't a lot of point moving to E mount. You can get better native AF on A mount bodies - Sony don't seem to understand their A mount customers at all IMO. Anyway, not a lot we can do about it - the E mount just doesn't grab me, perhaps it will work for others. I only ever used to buy new gear, now and moving forward whatever happens, nope never again. Not at those crazy prices

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:34 am

I believe there are 3rd party adaptors but I know nothing about them or their quality, If I ever got the yearning again for a Sony I would look for a A-580 or 560 as long as it was in good working order. I regret not getting one when Jessops were offering discounts on them to make way for the new SLT range. Konica/Minolta lenses are still around if you look them. I always say, when people resort to using adaptors on the camera to enable one size to fit another, some thing is not quite there, just use an established camera system like Canikon where there is no need for an adaptor unless for specialist purposes, E mount is an attempt by a manufacturer to down size a camera system to keep up with other small systems such as M/4/3 and Fuji, Canon & Nikon were very late in joining the club, but I guess they were waiting to see how E mount and M/4/3 got on. I read some where that Konica Minolta remained consultants after Sony acquired the brand, but I believe that fizzled out, probably because Sony didn't want to listen and they still don't listen


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