Future of A mount

Specifically for the discussion of the A-mount DSLR range
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bakubo
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Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:15 am

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. :)

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby CHOLLY » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:01 am

There was never any doubt about Sony's plans for the A mount.

They have released a new A mount camera each year since 2006. The 4 year time period between A99 and A99II is what scared many people into thinking that Sony had abandoned that mount. That and the rapid success of full frame E mount cameras... but it remember; it took 4 years for Canon to update it's best selling full frame camera.

Sony HAS updated several of it's A mount lenses, especially the professional "G" line, and Sony executives have said all along that the A mount was alive and well. In fact, I am willing to bet that with the specifications of both the A99II and the A77II a LOT of Second Body Sony owners... that is, people whose primary body was a canikon, but bought into the E mount range of cameras for size, image quality, and features... will now STRONGLY consider purchasing a Sony A mount camera for the very same reasons.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby peterottaway » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:00 am

Yes the A99 II is very interesting but I suspect that an A77 III would be a bigger money spinner for Sony. Given that the A7 III would come out first then I can't see a new A77 model much before the end of 2017 though.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:21 pm

CHOLLY wrote:There was never any doubt about Sony's plans for the A mount.


You are clearly new to A mount since you know so little of what has gone on with it since about 2001. Some of us have used A mount since the 1980s. You didn't follow all the angst and concern on various forums from Minolta A mount users when Canon and Nikon had DSLRs, but Minolta didn't. And the many people who have switched and abandoned A mount because of it. Then the concern that Minolta would go out of business until Konica bought the company and formed Konica Minolta. Then finally in 2005 they came out with the first A mount DSLR called the 7D followed by the 5D. Then once again the company was having big problems and there was angst that it would go out of business. Sony came in and bought part of the company including the A mount. Then the A100 and A700 and several very uninteresting low level bodies that few people liked. The A700 wasn't updated for years. The A900 wasn't updated for years. And so on. So, yes, there has been lots of DOUBT at many times for a very long time.

So, definitive statements such as yours and use of words like 'never' just shows your lack of knowledge of the history with A mount customers.

CHOLLY wrote:The 4 year time period between A99 and A99II is what scared many people into thinking that Sony had abandoned that mount.


That is just one of the most recent incidents.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby peterottaway » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:36 am

And yet for all the Doom and Gloom about the A Mount it has survived and with cameras such as the A77 II / A99 II offers a quality products.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby CHOLLY » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:24 am

bakubo wrote:
CHOLLY wrote:There was never any doubt about Sony's plans for the A mount.


You are clearly new to A mount since you know so little of what has gone on with it since about 2001. Some of us have used A mount since the 1980s. You didn't follow all the angst and concern on various forums from Minolta A mount users when Canon and Nikon had DSLRs, but Minolta didn't. And the many people who have switched and abandoned A mount because of it. Then the concern that Minolta would go out of business until Konica bought the company and formed Konica Minolta. Then finally in 2005 they came out with the first A mount DSLR called the 7D followed by the 5D. Then once again the company was having big problems and there was angst that it would go out of business. Sony came in and bought part of the company including the A mount. Then the A100 and A700 and several very uninteresting low level bodies that few people liked. The A700 wasn't updated for years. The A900 wasn't updated for years. And so on. So, yes, there has been lots of DOUBT at many times for a very long time.

So, definitive statements such as yours and use of words like 'never' just shows your lack of knowledge of the history with A mount customers.

CHOLLY wrote:The 4 year time period between A99 and A99II is what scared many people into thinking that Sony had abandoned that mount.


That is just one of the most recent incidents.


:lol:

I started shooting Minolta camera's in the EARLY 1970's. I STILL own a working Maxxum 7000 and a full compliment of AF lenses. My first Sony DSLR was a brand new A350 and I have been active on a number of Minolta/Sony bulletin boards as well for years.

I am WELL AWARE of Minolta, Konica Minolta, and Sony A mount history.

The people who were and are concerned about the history of the A mount are IGNORING the development histories of every other major manufacturer.

This is TYPIFIED by criticism over the 4 year gap between the A99 and A99II while completely IGNORING the 4 year gap between the 5DIII and 5DIV or more significantly, the 4 year gap between the A900 and the A99.

IN OTHER WORDS, people worried about the A mount should remember their history and just RELAX. :wink:

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:50 pm

I'm waiting to see if Sony bring out a new compact A mount body, may be an A37 11 with 20 or 24mp sensor. I loved that size, small, compact, nice to hold like a DSLR, It needs a larger higher resolution LCD and EVF, I could quite happily build a system round that with used Minolta glass. As for history, I still use my old Minolta XD-7 and X-500 from the 60's, both with F-1.4 lenses, manual focus, lever wind, love them to bits.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby CHOLLY » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:06 pm

Probably not.

They are using the A6000 family as the introductory cameras for people stepping up from cell phones. Sony will only have 3 A mount cameras until an intermediate full frame A mount is released.... (think A850).

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby Dusty » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:06 pm

Henry,

While I can see using similar CPUs, etc., the problem with lenses is the very short flange distance. Tamron, etc, can easily adjust for the slight variations between Sony, Canon, Nikon or Pentax, flange distance, but E-mount requires a whole new design, and many of the old designs are not readily adaptable.

Of course, I'm no lens design expert, so other people feel free to correct me, but this is what I remember from DK talking about the lenses when the E-mount first can out.

Either way, since they no longer produce a camera without an EVF, A-mount is dead to me.

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bakubo
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:49 pm

CHOLLY wrote:I started shooting Minolta camera's in the EARLY 1970's. I STILL own a working Maxxum 7000 and a full compliment of AF lenses. My first Sony DSLR was a brand new A350 and I have been active on a number of Minolta/Sony bulletin boards as well for years.

I am WELL AWARE of Minolta, Konica Minolta, and Sony A mount history.


Okay, so you knew when you said there was never any doubt that it wasn't really correct. :) There has been lots and lots of doubt at many times over the last 15 years or so and the number of people who have left A mount because of that doubt and concern are legion. If you go back and read my post that started this thread you will see that I also think that it is likely that the A mount will continue though so on that point we agree. :)

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bakubo
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:06 am

Dusty wrote:While I can see using similar CPUs, etc., the problem with lenses is the very short flange distance. Tamron, etc, can easily adjust for the slight variations between Sony, Canon, Nikon or Pentax, flange distance, but E-mount requires a whole new design, and many of the old designs are not readily adaptable.

Of course, I'm no lens design expert, so other people feel free to correct me, but this is what I remember from DK talking about the lenses when the E-mount first can out.


I am not sure what you are getting at. Can you elaborate?

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bakubo
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:28 am

CHOLLY, you post here very infrequently and from what I have seen you go to great length to hide any information about who you are, where you are, you don't post photos, etc. It is sort of good form here to post an introduction message in this forum:

viewforum.php?f=19

For example, here is the one I did:

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=510

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby CHOLLY » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:19 am

Bakubo, Olympus, and Pentax owners manage to hang in and patiently wait... sometimes for YEARS... for the next product.

Samsung owners justifiably have a right to complain.

But Sony has NEVER said they were done with the A mount. Truth be told, there really was no reason to suspect that they would not continue introducing more A mount cameras and lenses.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby classiccameras » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:15 am

I think Sony went through a period of indecision where E mount was introduced and A mount took a back seat for a while, They brought out the A58 to replace the A37 and A57 one of their best entry level cameras ever, much to the dismay of people on this forum. It seems that A mount is heading in the Pro and high enthusiasts direction, but for me the bodies are too big and heavy, especially after a weekend with my pals Nikon D5500, very tempting. In my previous post about the A6000 which I have, I have been pretty critical of their E mount APS-C lens line up, it basically sucks, so I have given up trying to build a system round that body with small E mount lenses and use my A mount lenses with an adaptor guess what, my A6000 is no longer a Compact System Camera, its now a hybrid which is not that ideal. I think the only CSC worth building a kit round is the Olympus EM or possibly the Panasonic CSC, They both thought their systems through before launching unlike Sony, Both had good road maps, Sony got lost.

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby Dusty » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:52 pm

bakubo wrote:I am not sure what you are getting at. Can you elaborate?


Henry,
you started this thread by saying that there were a lot of A mount lenses out there, and the also talking about sharing components.

Maybe I read you wrong, but my reply is based on thinking that electronic components and design R&D can probably be shared between the mounts - you shouldn't need a whole new CPU just because the same/very similar sensor is in different bodies, even if one is E mount and one A. Granted, having electronic aperture instead may mean a different output signal goes to the lens, but in reality it's probably going from the CPU to a secondary component that's doing the actual activating. Likewise focus sensors could be shared, as well as other components.

The problem with the lens design, however, is that E mount lenses, with their very short flange distance, are more like rangefinder lenses that traditional SLR lenses in design. DK had a whole section on this somewhere that I'm too lazy to find! :oops:

Sony is a big, rich, company, but like all companies they want to keep costs down and make profits. If A mount becomes unprofitable, it will go bye-bye!

Dusty
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