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Dirk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dirk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 December 2006 at 13:30
Spoke to a Sony official some days ago.
He told me the big news will be revealed in feb/march. Some real marketing budget is gonne be spent in March.
Sounds smart, just at the edge of winter/spring (at least for Europe and uSA).
"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera" - Dorothea Lang

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kimare View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kimare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 December 2006 at 13:55
I really enjoyed reading your thoughts Phototravler. But I don't think the big G's will be the last Minolta lenses to be re-introduced.

Because it's Sony wants to play with CaNikon at all levels. And CaNikon has a lot of fast mid-priced primes.

I'll divide the market into these parts, there is of cousre overlapping between the differnt groups:

1. Point and shooters. They don't demand high level lenses they just want a cheap and simple zoom with their entery level camera 5D/A100/A1000.
These are lenses for them at the moment:
Sony - AF DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6
Sony - AF DT 18-200 F3.5-6.3
Sony - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6

2. Advanced amateur. Know more what he wants, goes up one step in price and quality. Prefer mainly zooms. But likes also fast cheap primes. Has 5D/7D/A100/A10.
These are lenses for them at the moment:
Sony - AF DT 11-18 F4.5-5.6 D
Sony - AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5
Sony - AF 28 F2.8
Sony - AF 50 F1.4

3. Enthusiast. Uses specialist lenses like primes, macro lenses and the large Gs. Uses 7D/A10/A1
Sony - AF 16 F2.8 FishEye
Sony - AF 20 F2.8
Sony - AF 50 F2.8 Macro
Sony - AF 100 F2.8 Macro
Sony - AF Reflex 500 F8
Carl Zeiss - Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80 F3.5-4.5

4. Pros. Photo is his/ her bread and butter, that's why they are not willing to compromize on quality, price doesn't matter. Uses A10/A1
Sony - AF 35 F1.4 G
Sony - AF 70-200 F2.8 G SSM
Sony - 135 F2.8 [4.5] STF
Sony - AF 300 F2.8 G SSM
Carl Zeiss - Planar T* 85 F1.4
Carl Zeiss - Sonnar T* 135 F1.8

What't missing in this line up? I dont' think Sony will do much with the entry line up. But in the advanced amateur/ enthusiast segments a lots lenses are missing and it seems like many of the lenses you are listing up are zooms targeted towards the higher end. I think we will see a fair amount of these lenses re-introduced:

Minolta - AF 17-35 F2.8-4 D - wider zoom for the advanced amateurs
Minolta - AF 28-75 F2.8 D - a faster zoom for the advanced amateurs
Minolta - AF 100-300 F4.5-5.6 (D) APO - a longer and better zoom for the advanced amateurs
Minolta - AF 35 F2 [RS] - some enthusiasts find the f1.4 too expensive, and this is an alternative.
Minolta - AF 28 F2 [RS] - some wants a faster 28mm
Minolta - AF 24 F2.8 [RS] - A nice small lens, but it might suffer from the fact that it's squeezed between the already availible 20mm and 28mm

CaNikon already has similar lenses and that would lead Sony to make them, as they don't want CaNikon to play alone. A cheap and simple solution is to upgrade and re-introduce existing lenses from the Minolta line-up.

Your predictions are these.
4/200 Macro, 4.5/400 SSM, 2.8/200 SSM, 4/300 SSM, 4/600 SSM - Enthuiast
2.8/24-70 ZA - Pro
4/12-24 DT ZA - Advanced amateur/ Pro (depending on price)
2.8/17-50 - Advanced amateur
4/70-200 G - Advanced amateur
18-75 3.5-4.5 DA - Advanced amateur
1.2/50 ZA - Pro
1.8/21 ZA - Pro
2.8/16-35 ZA SSM - Advanced amateur/ Pro (depending on price)
2.8/24-75 SSM2 - Advanced amateur
2.8/17-60 DT SSM2 - Advanced amateur

Edited by kimare - 29 December 2006 at 13:58
A700 M35 2.0 - M85 1.4 - M100 2.8
KM11-18 - KM28-75 - M70-210
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PhotoTraveler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PhotoTraveler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 December 2006 at 17:05
Well, the lenses allready launched where the lenses Sony belived they could get out the fastest. As David K points out, they also come from the same plant. There isn't a lot of ryme or reason to the list they brought, especialy it being so prime heavy.

I don't see much of the other minolta stuff coming back. The 28, 35, 24 are not stuff most average joes buy. Even in the middle ground, people there are still using zooms more then anything, but f2.8 zooms. Those 3 primes are all good. I own the 24. But they wouldn't set the world on fire any more then the 16, 20, 2.8/28 are.

The two tamron based zooms surely look dead to me. Otherwise they would have been back. I think a rebadged tamron 2.8/17-50 would do the job fairly well for now. And the 100-300 looks to be replaced with the 75-300. I think Sony made a call on that one that from a selling standpoint, the 100-300 looks like a lesser lens to a person just looking at things on paper. And the 2 would have large overlap. Instead, they bring the 75-300 as they have, and then bring something like a nice F4 later.

They need the big Gs to establish where they are going, and to shore up unfinished business with minolta users. The 100-300 would be forgotten with a 70-200 F4. The primes would be forgotten overnight if Zeiss brings something.

Sony is trying to show they are serious, so having all the big pro glass out there will show that, and hint where they are going to a point people won't question things, even if the body isn't here yet. Plus they can sell the stuff to minolta users and even new A100 users.

In the end, I think there is only so much old stuff Sony will want to bring back. They have a chance to do a big house cleaning. The other thing is it seemed pretty clear a new G lens line was coming from KM. They had cleared out most of them, and the new 35 was announced. Sony brought back all 3 of the newest Gs. It stands to reason that SSM versions of the others were designed, it was a matter of getting to production. I think KM was gearing up for that with a lead up to the 9D. Now that whole setup is shifted back one year from the change to sony. So now is the time.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PhotoTraveler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 March 2007 at 00:16
Time to grade me post PMA 2007

Originally posted by PhotoTraveler PhotoTraveler wrote:

Today: Nothing happens.

Nailed that one :)

Remainder of 2006: Nothing more happens, year is almost over, been a big year for cameras, especially if you have a 10MPs. Five 10MP cameras, 1 from every brand.

still good

1Q 2007 (aka PMA 2007 lead up): This should be pretty un-eventful for just about everyone, at least early on in January. Except for one little company called Sony. Most people talk about the A10 (7D replacement) coming in PMA, and that is in general true. But in reality, itís coming sooner, and for good reason.   The A10 will be announced in early/mid January. Jan. 12th or Jan 19th to me look like the prime dates. Why then? Well, Sony needs to announce the A10 as soon as possible, but they canít go any earlier because of holidays, and then CES, which is where they will probably launch a new P&S or 2. It also marks 1 year since the big news. But, there is a much more critical reason. Nikon is bringing a D3H at PMA, and Canon is bringing a new 5D, or a 1D or both. Those will be big time news. Sony has to get out early to be able to get noticed, and they need to get in Phil Askeys (DPReview) Que before those 2-3 beast. Otherwise it wonít be seen till the snow thaws. Other major reasons are that A100 sales are probably dead now, They need to get A mounters to keep faith. This is a camera that is massively over due. There is also some marketing tid bits that will make this plan look good.

Ok, well, I was wrong about the early launch, but we now know why, they couldn't use what KM had. So, that definitely changes things. And of course Pre-PMA announcing a mock up wouldn't make much sense. Got the 1D. I also have to say that my stating elsewhere that the 40D would not happen also came true.

No D3H though. That has a lot of folks wondering. Heck even Nikon Australia list the D3Hs as discontinued. Maybe it's still coming soon.

Sony did announce some P&S at CES, they did show stuff at PMA to keep the faith. And it was a pretty quiet lead up to PMA with companies announcing stuff much closer to PMA then normal.

So what is the A10? To be brief, it will be a 7D replacement; the body will be similar to the 7D, yet completely new, just like the A100 looks a lot like a 5D, yet every single part is new. Key features will be a new sensor, weather seals, GPS support (hopefully built in), probably DNG support, possibly a bigger/better viewfinder then the 7D, and a hand full of other upgrades that bring it in line with the current state of the semi-pro class.

Well, the mock up shows this to be pretty much on, though I didn't really go out there on predictions. The A10 Mockup is a 7D re-invented. It will have a new sensor, it has weather seals, and the view finder does look a bit bigger then the 7Ds.

Ah, that sensor. Now, 1 year ago, the Sony 10MP was a given. Now, itís not. In fact I would say there are very low odds of it being used. Why? Because 10MP is the new 6. This sensor is now an entry level chip. No matter what you do with the rest of the body, you wonít be able to give it much more added value. A 10MP A10 will flop. Or put another way, it wonít be very impressive, wonít draw any more people in, and will fall in a rut with the Pentax K10D. Itís also an old sensor now, and people have grown tied of it. And Sony is in the biz of selling sensors, and pushing model classes up in pixel count to sell new model sensors.

So what does it have? Well, I see 3 options. Iíll call this mystery sensor ďSensor QĒ.

1)     12 MP Sony CCD: Basically just yet another step on the same old system. CCDs arenít dead, and Sony will bring more. Afterall, next gen Entry Level bodies will need a sensor. But Sony already gets heat over the ďnoise issueĒ, even if it is fine for 99% of usage. They could go in and add some real hardware noise hardware like Canon did to fix the fundamentally more noisy CMOS. But, thatís a lot of work ($$). And this would be a chip that is going to be in every entry level model in 3 years. Itís not a big step from 10MP, and any more you are asking for bad noise performance. So it could happen, but doesnít look as tempting as other paths.

2)     D2X CMOS sensor: Well, this is a good candidate. It exists, which is a good start. Gets more pixels, has better noise control and is overall a nice unit. Iíd say this is a very likely chip. It would also continue the trend. D100 chip (6MP) ends up in every camera in time. Then D200 chip (10MP) ends up in every camera in time. So why not the D2X chip. The D2X is also near the end of its life, Sony would like to find more use for it. Secondly, it gets CMOS in the line for Sony; any future FF body will almost certainly be CMOS to provide in-sensor cropping. Sony can launch a new image processor for the CMOS family of bodies, and give it a decent name this time. Few people would complain about this path. There is one issue though, itís Old (2004), and maybe Nikon does own some rights on this sucker. So that leaves option 3

3)     14MP CMOS: A whole new chip. A new generation from the technology of the D2X/R1 sensor. Gets them a bit more pixels, which will help in the long term market, new DSLRs will come out less frequent, and gives room for 12MP entry level bodies in a few years with no fear of being like the D200 is today, or worse the Canon 30D. Also, this chip could be using the same tech as FF sensor that is in the pipe. Just smaller. Match that up with a new image processor and you have a great beta program. You also dodge the ďoh itís just the D2X sensorĒ attack. Sony gets to have something new. It would also probably stand as the beginning of the end for APS chips. Yeah, their will be more 1.5x bodies in the future, but camera above Semi-Pro will all be FF except for special models like the High Speed D#H series. Give this sensor even better noise handling and away we go.

So which will it be, probably #2, but I hope for #3. For the rest, we will just call it Sensor Q, and what ever the answer above is, that is what sensor Q is.

Well, the idea it would be a new sensor is right, the conservative guess that it would be the d2x is out, and looks like my hope of #3 will be correct. Time will tell.

Ok, so now they have a body, it rocks, and itís out. Anything else? Well, you get the base body for $1599, which is fine. Then of course a kit with the 18-70 for $1699. But there will be one more kit, a special one. A10 plus the 16-80 ZA for $1999. This is the kit many will go for. Now of course it gets interesting. An A10 announced in mid January, gets in stores in early to mid February. But the Zeiss 16-80 has been delayed till March. No problem, this is where the fun marketing comes in. In February, you can get a 16-80, but only if you buy the body with it in the kit. Want it alone? Wait till March. So it makes it more tempting, plus a nice kit. And heck, why else would it take Sony till March to have enough 16-80s to sell. Perfect plan.

No body, makes a kit hard to do, darn

So that is the A10. Then probably in Mid Feb. , announce the actual release date of the 16-80, and bring news of the 2.8/24-70 ZA which will be available the same time. More news to come at PMA, or rather closer too it.

24-70 shown, kinda

So in the lead up to PMA, Nikon announces the D3H, probably a 12MP LBCAST unit. The world gets to see the new Nikon Pro Body, same body will be used in D3X. If anything changes in the mount for FF, it will happen in this body, even though itís not FF. Possible removal of the AF motor like the D40 saw.

Canon brings out either a new 5D, or a new 1D, or both. A new 1D line of course will be all FF. So these get a lot of press. Sony users go off and play with A10s.

Well, the D3H is still a mystery. But with the sony news on the future pro body, the FF D3X next year looks right. Canon did surprise with the 1DIII not being FF.

Also, Nikon did respond to one of the things I brought up in this post. The D40 and it's vulnerability, I mentioned sony could jump on it with a A1000. 6MP made it weak, Well, nikon addressed that.

Sony isnít completely done though. They still get some lens announcements out in 07. The first coming before or at PMA. Of course the 2.8/24-70 ZA is out at some point. But Sony needs to finish their un-finished Minolta business. So they announce what will be the last of the Minolta lenses to live on. The big Gs. 4/200 Macro, 4.5/400 SSM, 2.8/200 SSM, 4/300 SSM, 4/600 SSM. They get released in that order too, spread out over through the summer. Remote chance of something like the 100 SF sneaking in too. Basically Sony brings the big Minolta line back, which would have already been designed by Minolta, just never released. Also gives the A10 some glass to work with.

Another new lens is a 4/12-24 DT ZA, this will be the last DT ZA Zoom, fills in a hole, fits well with the 24-70. More lenses to follow in the year.

Hey, I did good here. 24-70 was shown (we knew that would happen). But they addressed the un-finished business. Big Gs are returning. From what we can tell, a 4/200 macro and a 2.8/400.    And the 4/200 is much more ready to go. So I got that right, 4/200, then a faster then planned 400, and then we will see what else comes. Of course things look to run at a slower release pace.   We don't know what the other lenses are for sure. Fast aperture wide angle zoom could be a 4/12-24 DT, but I don't think so now. We will see what happens.   And yep, more lenses come through the year.

One last thing is Pentax. The Pentax K1D mockup gets shown. Basically itís everything the K10D lacks, and Pentaxís pro body, without going FF, since Pentax has Medium format, and their lens lineup shows they are going all out APS, they wonít have a FF pro body. And of course this camera doesnít say what the sensor is, but the specs point to it having Sensor Q. The real thing wonít be out till the fall. If sensor Q doesnít exist, neither does this body for a good while. Pentax canít come out with a K1D without a sensor that is a step above the 10MP unit.

Well, no mock up. But I pointed to is using Sensor Q, that would be what the A10 has, the A10 came as mock up, not production, so that logically bumps back the K1D mockup. Oh well.
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PhotoTraveler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PhotoTraveler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 March 2007 at 00:39
Originally posted by PhotoTraveler PhotoTraveler wrote:

Part II

Summer 2007: Ok, now we get into summer. At this point few care what Sony does for a while. We got our A10, we know more about the lenses. There is no un-finished business. Sony is now back to where Minolta was. That is, they now have 2 class of bodies filling the same spots, and the Minolta lenses back. Everything else is just add on over what KM had.

So what is Sony to do. Well, release a body. Now this is where we have to figure out the confusion we have got from Sony reps. We know 2 bodies come in 07. Some say 2 above A100, some say 1 high, 1 low. In the end, I think it will be high low, and for a couple reasons. One of the big ones is I think Sony and Nikon are dueling with each other on their FF release. They have the same sensor, but they are trying to each be first, but also trying to not release at the same time. Each wants some glory time. So they keep skipping around. And besides, guessing on the later date is always the safer bet.

Now, I donít think this was the original plan. I donít think the A1000 was much of a thought back in June 06. But some things happened. Sony of course had sold 6MP chips to Pentax for the K100/110D. They would have also secured an order for the D40 chips. The Pentax was out, and Sony could connect the dots on what Nikon had coming with the 6MP chip. And of course they had deals for the 10MP unit for both the K10D and D80. But they very well didnít know what those cameras would be, or the price point. Of course, I doubt Nikon, Canon, Pentax saw Sony bringing a 10MP for 900 bucks. So the events of those few months caused a problem. First Sony brought the A100, which totally messed up the market for Nikon and Pentax. Their new bodies would have to be sold for less then planned. At the same time, I donít think Sony saw such strong bodies (Big view finders and such) coming in that class. So things got wacked out. The A100 came out, and crushed the class, then quickly slipped because of things such as the viewfinder in a market where a real pentaprism was the new standard. Doh!   So I think pretty soon Sony would have begun to regroup some. They would have to make a new ďDisruptive bodyĒ. So, enter summer 07. And here comes a new body. The A100 is pretty much forgot now. But, no worries. Sony has a plan. They now have seen the D40, K100D, and possibly more important, the E400. They see a plan. Take an A100, and slightly rework it. Rip out some more features, make it memory stick only, change a few other things to make it a bit different, make it smaller, and call it an A1000. Itís already close to that market when it comes to the viewfinder and such. Basically, re-class the A100. But do everything they can to make it cheap. Make it about 500-650 Bucks.   Now of course a few months ago I thought such a camera was a bad idea, but of course then the competition stepped up and this new market formed. But you will notice something different. Sony has a 10MP sensor. Which is a huge deal. Remember, such a camera is basically a P&S. Itís what people replace their P&S with. It needs pixels more then anything. And has stabilization. Replaces those Minolta Bridge cameras with AS. The A1000 can do great in this market, 10MP verses 6.

So the A100 is still around, but no one cares much anymore. Itís just going to live out for a while. Like another camera around this time is doing.

Gah, should have stuck with my gut that there would be no A1000, but I got sold over time on the idea. Still, probably someday, just not soon.   Still, Nikon has upped things more with the D40X, so things are not as easy of pickings as I was thinking early on. Maybe my A100/R1 drunken love child would be the ticket in 2008.

Sony isnít fully done though. I think around summer you might see a 2.8/17-50 come out based on the Tamron. Plus an all new lens. Be a great time for a 4/70-200 G. Not based on the Beercan, but a new lens. Part of the G family though, far cheaper then the 2.8 SSM. Can be cheap, sub 1000 range. Something a good number of users will pick up. This can basically fill the whole where the 100-300 was, but be much better. No SSM on it, maybe a Zeiss, but probably a Minolta G line lens. Can take the APO TCs. The 17-50 gets offered as a kit with the A10.

Well, no 17-50, but we are getting a 100-300 replacement in the 70-300 by the looks of things, and it sounds like it will come mid year.

The A100 isnít the only sad lonely camera though. Nikon D200 is more sad. Itís 18 months old. But what to do. The Nikon Timeline says it canít be replaced by a D300 yet. Such a camera isnít scheduled till spring to fall of 08. Anything sooner would angry Nikon world. And of course it sells fine still. Just slow, and itís out classed by the A10. But they can just ignore the A10 just like they do the Canon 5D. Also even if Nikon did get edgy to upgrade it, they canít. Any upgrade would put it in conflict with the D2Xs, and yes, that camera is ? year from replacement, they wonít want a D300 before a D3X. So it has to sit and wait. Nikon could make a D200s at this time. But what would it be? The camera has very few flaws. They very well will do one, but it will be very minor for sure. But, enter the classic thing to do with such a model. Introduce a special model. The D200(s)m. M for monochromatic. Sony offers all their sensors in B&W. Just few companies take them. Nikon can do that and get some more miles from it. The market for new bodies and such is slowing. But people want to see more horizontal options. Things like BW, IR, UV models fit in great. They are cheap to make, sell for a bit more through limited retailers and you got something.

Of course Sony saw this, and offers the A100 in a B&W model too, introduces it in the fall. Cost 100 bucks more, but itís still a cheap camera at that time, sells enough to keep that model going some, uses up the parts inventory.

Well, until we see the A10, Nikon clearly has nothing to do with the D300. So that holds. I asked about future B&W models. Sony folks didn't respond with a reaction of how it would be silly (like their reaction to slower primes). One rep pointed out how Canon has even made specialized models (that special 20D).

Fall 2007: Not much, maybe random lenses. Itís an off year for Photokina. The Pentax K100D is getting old. Possible replacement with K200D, basically just the same thing, but 10MP sensor, no K210D. Might not be a Sony chip though, maybe Samsung brings something. Still, Iím thinking this might get held off till more like early 08.

yeah, more lenses will be here in the fall by the look of things. other guess still looking good.

Now there is an issue here. Pentax want to keep that uber cheap camera. So maybe they donít go 10MP just yet. They instead go extreme. For now, itís stands to reason the Nikon D40 will be the last new 6MP DSLR. But what if it isnít? If any of the 35mm based companies look to make a last stab with 6MP and go super cheap, itís Pentax. They have a slightly different market levels. Since they wonít have a full blown Pro camera, they will have something that is cheaper then the new cheap class. Go for the full out cheap as we can go, as small as they can go. K1000D. 6MP, no SR, no anything. Limit its lens options massively. Remove just about all modes from it except their special P mode thing. Make it small, strip everything they can from it. No video out, no DC in, small screen, no top plate LCD. Get it basically to a chip with a mount and an on off switch. But throw in one thing to mess with things. Weather Seals. Which is easy to do since itís tiny as heck, has almost no knobs and so forth to seal. In the end, you get a weather sealed 400 buck P&S that is an SLR. Add to that a new DA* lens. These are the new lenses with weather seals, and sonic motors. Thatís right. Get rid of the body motor just like Nikon did. And come out with a 18-75 3.5-4.5 DA*. Cheap as heck, but has a cheap in lens motor, and is sealed. So now you have a P&S basically. 500 bucks with the lens, smaller then an E400, but itís sealed. Great for backpackers and so forth. So simple any basic you canít kill it. If you do smash it, you donít care. Others though will through those little pancake lenses on it and have an uber tiny camera.

Oh, and they release the K1D in late 07. Makes for a very nice camera, does well for them.

all could still happen, Nikon has already addressed the 6MP D40 issue.

1Q 2008:

So all has been quiet. But Nikon and Sony users canít sleep. And canon execs are getting nervous. The time has come. The new year will be all about 2 cameras. Which comes first, no one knows. Which will be bigger news, no one knows. But they definitely will be big. Here comes the D3X and A1 Both FF, same chip, 20+MP.

Now, the D3X we can pretty well envision, next gen D#X/H body as seen in D3H, but different chip. The A1, well, thatís a bit harder. I think most of us will guess itís more like a Canon 5D then a Canon 1D. Not a full out pro camera, but close. No built in grip and so forth. It can be every bit a pro body, but is cheaper. Of course it has in chip cropping, SSS and all that jazz. Now everyone shuts up about Sony being a non player. The gig is up, Sony is here. And about a year from that launch the first pros will start developing in Sony land.

Now, why 20+MP? Well, it has to be, and they can. Just take D2X, R1 sensor tech, and expand it and you are well into the 20s. But remember, Canon is at 16MP today (2006). Most expect them to come out with a 22-24MP body. Sony may not need all that, but Nikon does. And they wonít bother with 2 chips. They will get themselves right up there with Canon. Nikon is happy, and so are Sony users. Nikon and Sony need something that competes with Canon for many years. That sensor will be with use for a very long time. They will want to be right in around Canon during that time. Bringing a FF 16-18MP body wonít work. It will just be crushed by a new canon 1D the next week, or even before then. Sony could bring a lesser pixel chip, but why bother. Of course, I think in a year or so after the A1, they try an A1 Pro, A0, or A1 Maxxum (The Alpha Maxxum 1 ?, as in the Maximum Alpha Number 1!Ē. That has built in grip and all that kind of stuff.

These cameras will come out Pre PMA by a fair amount. The D2X should come right around new years, the Sony will be right with it.

Well, I look pretty good here for now. Sony is showing a body that will come out in this timeframe. They were not to clear exactly when. It looks to be FF, it has no built in grip, definitely heading where I was say, more 5D then 1D. Nikon is probably on target for this too.

Sony line is now complete for the most part. But yeah, Cookie Monster says ďMore LensesĒ. You got a body, what to put on it. Well, time for Zeiss to bring presents. A 1.2/50 ZA and 1.8/21 ZA. Sure no body can afford them, but mmm tasty. Afterall, one of the main reasons for having Zeiss around is to get folks drooling. Ok, you want a practical lens, sure. 2.8/16-35 ZA SSMÖ. Yeah, SSM on a ZA. This is a lens that hits all markets; itís a long time since 06, time for some SSM stuff to move out past the G line. And besides, Sony finished getting those SSM Gs out a few months ago. The development people can move on to other things, like SSM G lenses where it makes senses, and something else to come later.

Well, their is 2 wide Zeiss primes in "the case" so my 1.8/21 might be right, though I think more of a 1.8/18 these days.   SSM ZA no, but SSM G, yes. I think the one lens was a 2.8/17-35 G SSM. So I could be close here, and this might be about when we see it. Based on the case, I would guess the lenses are largely SSM jobs, Sony has moved forward.

PMA 2008:   Ok, time for some other stuff, probably a A10m (black and white). Nikon brings a D80s, not much going on with it. D80 is just cruising since it and the K10D own the market for the entry level camera. Sony has an A200 coming, but not time yet. Donít want to get in the way of the A1, wait for the D80s to pass.

Still looks reasonable.

Summer 2008: Sony A200. Been 2 years, bit early for a whole new model, but the A100 was left for dead long ago. New A200 basically brings a real viewfinder, some weather seals, maybe a second control dial, vertical grip option, maybe a Memory stick slot with the CF slot. It gets everything it lacks right now. Donít expect a new sensor. Unless the A10 brought a 12MP CCD, then maybe the A200 could have that, but probably not. They just need to hold with the D80 and K10D. Now, technically, a Canon 450D with 12MP should come out Thursday Feb 14th 2008. Phil post the news on DPR at 11:05 GMT . But maybe they will slow down some there. Or Sony will set up the A200 to be far enough back to react to what Canon does. Canon will probably put a real viewfinder in the 450D, so the A100 will really be hurting by then. In short, a 12MP A200 is possible, but probably will hold off on 12MP till A300.

Still looking reasonable.

Photokina 2008: Ok, not much here, might see an A10II, just a minor update. Nothing big. But Nikon finally gets the D300 out, same chip as A10II (sensor Q). Something either replaces the D40, or it gets updated. Pentax brings a K10DII (minor update).

For Sony users though, more new lenses. 2.8/24-75 SSM2, 2.8/17-60 DT SSM2. What is SSM2? Why, itís the new SSM system, that gets speed increase, not just quiet. But it gets rolled out in consumer level lenses. These are the replacements for the 17-50 DT and the old 2.8/28-75. Mid priced lenses, with the new system. All new lenses start to be SSM. Sony now has market share, they sell enough lenses, need new lenses, new SSM system is here. The lenses coming out from here out are ground up designs, and come out at slower pace. This makes SSM more practical to do, and SSM2 design is cheaper then the old SSM system.

2009-Future: Well now you are into a whole new cycle, who knows.   I do have an out there guess on something.   Sony will launch a parallel line. ďDynaxĒ or ďEĒ or something like that. Itís an EVF system. It uses a modified A mount. Short registration distance. All lenses for it are SSM. But they offer an advanced adaptor with a SSM motor in it, so you can mount any A mount lens ever made on it. Launches with a Zeiss 3.5/24-120. Possibly 2 models. 2.0x and 1.25x crops. 1.25x is the limit for this system. Designed to be smaller, and adaptor system for old lenses shrinks down the image circle. That and going bigger has the same issues Leica has in trying to make a FF Leica M. So they come out with 2 sizes. This system lives along side of the Alpha line. Someplace in there a HD video camera is spawned too, can be used with both the EVF lenses, and the old A mount stuff.

Well, thatís my guess at trying to pick where things will go and happen using Sony sensors. Of course anything can happen. But I really think things will fall something like this. I know many want A1 FF bodies now, and want every lens SSM now, but that isnít going to happen. Things take time.

All of this is a bit out there, who knows what we will see. Grade that when the time comes.

Well, I'd say I did pretty good on the guess. Biggest blunder was the A10 being Wood. And really few would have guess that one.

I think overall I did pretty good compared to the average Joe blow on the street guessing. If I made any mistake, its the classic accelerated timeframe issue. Stuff is coming, just slower then I said, which is a typical mistake to make.

Oh well. Onward to more BS'ing the future.
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