Future of A mount

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

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:26 am

Old Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times.

Best of luck to everyone all around the world!

We are still in Japan, but since October have been living in a medium size city and in the suburbs (get around by car, not crowded trains) and not in Tokyo and other big, crowded cities.

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ValeryD
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby ValeryD » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:41 pm

Good luck to everyone in the world!


Thank you! Also for you!

About the format. I still have 4 cameras in my hands: A300, A57, A77-II, A99-II. Surely the A99-II is the best. :) But I like the A77-II no less, for reporting the camera has excellent speed and quality.

Well, a bunch of lenses:
Opteka Fisheye - All the time on a57 (without mirror - don't need AF)
Minolta 17-35 D /2.8 - works great with A99-II
SAL 35/1.8 DT - super sharp with a77-II
Minolta 50/1.7 - A-99-II (Winter time lens, for -30 degree)
Zeiss - 16-80 - All the time on A77-II - excellent quality lens
Zeiss 24-70 - best with A99-II :)
SAL 55-200 - old one, some time I use for a traveling, little bit slow, but light and sharp with A77-II.
Minolta 80-200 - for A99-II - very fast, excellent for sport and so.
Tamron 70-300 USD - A77-II - for hunting a animals :)

A300 I use some time for night shots, the colour from CCD sensor way better than from other Sony cameras, may be A99-II has almost the same colour. So far as I can see A format dead, but I very happy with the cameras I have and I'm not interesting at all to move on E format.
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bfitzgerald
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:16 am

Perhaps I'll pick up an A99II later on ;-D Once the price drops down!
I did try a Z6 the other week a friend bought, it's quite a bit nicer in the hand v the E mount Sony's I've used. Still it didn't really blow me away either. Nothing so far has, just not feeling the vibe with these new cameras.

I've 4 bodies that are what I consider to be "good enough", quite a few lenses and some Godox flashes which I got for review (ie cost me nothing). With the rather underwhelming LEA4 the only option for screw drive lenses, and the hmm 2.5fps limitation on most E mount bodies, a lack of any sensible sized APS-C E mount body. I see 0 reason to even consider moving to E Mount. I'm surprised Sony didn't throw A Mount users a bone with a more up to date adapter (at least the 79 point AF and 2.5fps is slower than any A Mount body ever made). Doesn't cut it for me I'm afraid, best to stay put and once in a while pick up the odd bargain lens that turns up!

I've seen a few Tamron 70-300mm USD's around a nice prices, what the AF speed like Valery for moving stuff? (ie runners)

Once this 2km limitation is lifted, I'll be heading out and doing some documentary stuff. The place is like a ghost town - in a way the complete lack of traffic is quite refreshing. Global pollution seems to be dropping rapidly, air quality seems hugely improved.

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ValeryD
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby ValeryD » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:09 pm

I compared how AF works on the E and A format on the presentation of the A7 * cameras, well, in general there is no comparison in speed. Yes it works, but it induces very slowly with adapters without a mirror. If you take an adapter with a mirror, it’s still slower. Errors AF in aiming at the object appear. And the meaning of the mirrorless is completely lost, the AF system in the adapter is very weak, the AF points are less than in any SLT camera, it even worse than on the A57, I'm not talking about the A77-2 and even more so the A99 * series. Yes, I looked closely at A99 on eBay, but AF speed is still more important for me, and the quality with 24mp images is almost the same. This is especially felt on old lenses with an AF drive from the camera, they focus much faster (well, the ones that I have :)). So far, everything is fine in A format. :) I think that you can confirm this by having two cameras on the hand.  

Tamron 70-300mm F / 4-5.6 USD SP. I have been using it for a long time, it works perfectly with all cameras and APS-C and FF. Both AF speed and sharpness are beautiful. Especially in the range of 70-200 (120-135) is very sharp. On cameras APS-C gives 450mm (300X1.5 = 450) with its low weight. But with A99-2 it is not very sharp, it is not good enough for a 42mp matrix. Well, of course it works, but not like with the A77-2. Therefore, I purchased a high-speed Minolta 80-200.
In general, there is not a single criticism of Tamron(Sony sell same lens 70-300 - with own name on it. :) ). Over the years of work, sometimes in "hellish" filming conditions, Tamron has never failed.

PS. If you can find some used Sony flash like HVL-F43M or F43AM(old standart) - they the best! I have also Metz 44 AF-2, but Sony F43 way, way better!
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bfitzgerald
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:53 am

Mirrorless to me has one appeal, using other mounts lenses. ie a bit of fun with adapters
It breathed new life into those older lenses, which is a good thing. With the A to E adapters there is a better solution that can be done, it comes down to if they bother to do it. If not then that's a good sign about how Sony value their customers. I'm not fussed, because I didn't dump a ton of cash on A Mount, I gradually built up stuff mostly from s/h or third party purchases. A good example of that was the Tokina 11-16mm, Sony never bothered to make a new UWA design lens so there was no choice for buyers! I bought the A57 and A77 (at a lower price than released). One battery and never bought a single Sony lens new - because I was certain things wouldn't turn out so well.

Unfortunately my skepticism of Sony turned out to be right. I remember getting a lot of flak on DPR forums back in the day for my critical take on Sony for obvious mistakes in dumbing down their entry models, missing should have stuff on mid range and up bodies. And just plain missing much needed lenses that never did turn up (ie 70-200mm F4, 85mm F1.8, no 28mm prime, no new 24-105mm, and they only ever did one new macro lens ie 30mm SAM). Fast forward and well we can look back and say Sony just never fully committed to A mount, and put almost no effort into marketing new bodies (A77ii or the A99ii even before that not much all the focus was on E Mount). A large portion of the lenses were MInolta re-badged optics, some we good, some less so.

With that in mind, I'm just a Minolta/Bargain hunter - so moving to E Mount has no real advantages for me. Smaller bodies, with generally larger lenses, much higher native lens cost (Tamron and Sigma are IMO no longer a budget brand though there are some options for cheaper lenses). Sony might not care what happens to A Mount, their plan seems to be to continue to sell a few bits at inflated prices so it officially doesn't appear they have bailed out. It's a shame they bought A Mount I would much rather it was left to die back in 2006, then we'd have know where to go.

So I'm not overly fond of Sony, in a way which makes it not too likely I'd be using E Mount bodies in the future. I wouldn't trust the company to invest in them, and I'm not someone who put big cash into stuff like some have. I'd rather sit it out, use what I have and see how things pan out longer term. All the SLR mounts are on limited lifespan if we're honest. But at least you can use the lenses on mirrorless. The only thing I'd like is a better tele lens say 300-400mm so I'll dig around wait for the right one to turn up/price crash to continue.

When I see people listing A mount stuff, many of them are dumping the entire system, even A99ii users. Of course not everyone, there is a good market for s/h stuff and probably will be for a good few years. I actually like the A99 quite a bit, the A77ii is good but wasn't a buy new camera for me. They might have done well with E Mount, but the cameras and system has no soul and no ergonomics - I just don't like using them at all (the ones I have tried). It's like weird mish mash of trying to be retro and modern at the same time. The cameras handle poorly and are not a patch on the A mount designs.

So I think long term Canikon will catch up and pass Sony out, with what's left of the industry. I'd say Pentax is def gone, and Olympus can't make a profit on cameras either. Who knows what we'll use in 10 years time, and frankly does it matter!

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:40 am

CIPA shipments numbers are out for Feb 2020 and show another big decline:
http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/e/dw-202002_e.pdf
http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/e/d-202002_e.pdf

As expected it's also hitting lens shipments/production
http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/e/s-202002_e.pdf

And this is before the virus issues kicked in, I'd imagine a big drop over the already dismal year is almost certain. Will be interesting to see how many survive the fall out which could be for a long period of time. I think it's time for some re-adjustment in the industry :mrgreen:

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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby ValeryD » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:54 pm

Well, where will the whole industry be? All that’s left is the expensive FF about the cameras, and from different firms, and everything else in the photo industry will go here:

Super camera with Leica lenses
https://www.dxomark.com/huawei-p40-pro-camera-review/

I have Xiaomi Mi A2 (examples and compare with A77-2 and A99-2)with the very good camera on it and more likely my next phone Xiaomi Mi 10 pro:
https://www.dxomark.com/xiaomi-mi-10-pro-camera-review/
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bfitzgerald
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:36 am

Hard to say what will happen, guess it depends on how things progress "after" the lockdown has finished.
As the industry was in a steep decline before this happened (as shown in the figures), it's obviously only going to hurt it even more. If they pile on austerity measures. (which I think won't work this time around) - that will only make things worse for everyone
Yes even some of the affordable phones are giving pretty good results

Might be time for a few makers to pull the plug, and dare I say the industry as a whole really needs to "get real" on their pricing, which is just driving down sales even more. Photography (new gear), isn't really affordable anymore - they've milked the cow dry

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Future of A mount

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:30 pm

Latest figures are out and it's really bad as expect. With Covid 19 wiping out shipments across the board.
https://petapixel.com/2020/04/24/cipa-r ... -in-march/
http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/e/d-202003_e.pdf

Be interesting to see how they respond, with incomes significantly down and people worried about their jobs. Doesn't seem likely high priced camera gear purchases are on the cards. Ultimately the industry is going to have to wake up to their pricing, or as some say - the era of cameras being replaced with phones, is about to get the fast forward button pressed. I'm still expecting a few shirts to get lost, or rather a few makers to pull out.


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