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what is the future of A mount?

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    Posted: 02 November 2017 at 00:14
I couldn't help but notice as I was leafing through a new B&H catalog that as I was perusing through camera accessories (both standard and artistic lenses, lens adapters, extension tubes, etc) they often left A mount options out of the price listings. Now I know they're available on their website, so does that mean they are beginning to slowly phase them out because there is less demand for them? What is the future of A mount? Does anybody know if Sony plans to continue their first legacy, or if they're going headlong into mirrorless?
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote mike77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 November 2017 at 00:34
Per a recent Sony interview, they won't stop serving the A-mount. Don't expect any growth or revolutionary innovation, though.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 November 2017 at 07:27
Sigh.....

As Mike said, Sony says they keep supporting A-mount. Until when? We don't know. Olympus' last Four-thirds camera was released in late 2010, the first micro-four-thirds was in late 2008 - so, Sony's track record is already better.

But read on in this recent thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote whiteheat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 November 2017 at 07:48
Originally posted by kapuschinsky kapuschinsky wrote:

I couldn't help but notice as I was leafing through a new B&H catalog that as I was perusing through camera accessories (both standard and artistic lenses, lens adapters, extension tubes, etc) they often left A mount options out of the price listings. Now I know they're available on their website, so does that mean they are beginning to slowly phase them out because there is less demand for them? What is the future of A mount? Does anybody know if Sony plans to continue their first legacy, or if they're going headlong into mirrorless?

OK, I'll bite. Sony will keep supplying/producing/supporting A-mount for as long as it's economically viable to do so. So, some aspects of A-mount are not economically viable, as evidenced by paring back the production of existing A-mount lenses and no updating/refreshing of existing lenses or producing new lens designs etc. A-mount bodies are still being produced but in seemingly limited quantities or built to order, etc. New bodies are still being developed on a 4 to 5 year cycle. I have no idea if Sony will actually announce no further A-mount camera body development. They may not say anything and just leave some people hanging on for the next new body iteration long after it should have appeared. However, current Sony announcements do indicate their commitment to continue A-mount, at least the camera bodies as I can't remember when the last "new" A-mount lens was released by Sony (aside from the 70-200mm zoom and the 300mm and 500mm primes all costing mucho $$$$$$).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote artuk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 November 2017 at 09:37
Larger dealers like B&H haven't had printed prices or even listed A mount equipment since the Minolta days, so it's nothing new, and I don't think signifies anything, other than what does or doesn't sell well.

To answer your own question, consider Sonys A mount market share, and the overall size of the SLR market year on year.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 November 2017 at 10:44
Originally posted by kapuschinsky kapuschinsky wrote:

Does anybody know if Sony plans to continue their first legacy, or if they're going headlong into mirrorless?

Both, it appears. Mirrorless is where the money is, and it's where Sony want to be. They have committed themselves to maintaining A-mount - as long as it still sells, presumably.

Also, if Sony mirrorless can increasingly attract pros and enthusiasts from Nikon & Canon, then it presumably can from A mount too.

I expect the occasional A-mount camera to come out every 4-5 years but don't expect new stuff to appear at any great frequency.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stiuskr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 November 2017 at 10:50
The Future of A-mount, Chapter 7
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 November 2017 at 11:18
Originally posted by stiuskr stiuskr wrote:

The Future of A-mount, Chapter 7


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Post Options Post Options   Quote sybersitizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 November 2017 at 16:45
The future of A-mount is to remain in the shadow of E-mount. E-mount will bask in the sunlight of Sony's attention, ever growing stronger and more beautiful, and attracting a larger number of pollinators (buyers) to ensure its propagation.

This does not mean that A-mount must die from neglect, though; it may be able to maintain its life energy for quite some time, even while shaded. However, it does mean that its metabolism rate has dropped ... significantly less growth, less renewal, etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote artuk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 November 2017 at 16:58
Originally posted by Miranda F Miranda F wrote:

Originally posted by kapuschinsky kapuschinsky wrote:

Does anybody know if Sony plans to continue their first legacy, or if they're going headlong into mirrorless?

Both, it appears. Mirrorless is where the money is, and it's where Sony want to be. They have committed themselves to maintaining A-mount - as long as it still sells, presumably.

Also, if Sony mirrorless can increasingly attract pros and enthusiasts from Nikon & Canon, then it presumably can from A mount too.

I expect the occasional A-mount camera to come out every 4-5 years but don't expect new stuff to appear at any great frequency.


What Sony say in interviews is that SLRs can do some things better than mirrorless.

However, they don't say what they think those things are.

With every iteration of E mount, any gaps narrow.

In a rapidly reclining market with as little as 1% market share, you can draw your own conclusions.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2017 at 09:38
Originally posted by sybersitizen sybersitizen wrote:

The future of A-mount is to remain in the shadow of E-mount. E-mount will bask in the sunlight of Sony's attention, ever growing stronger and more beautiful, and attracting a larger number of pollinators (buyers) to ensure its propagation.

This does not mean that A-mount must die from neglect, though; it may be able to maintain its life energy for quite some time, even while shaded. However, it does mean that its metabolism rate has dropped ... significantly less growth, less renewal, etc.

At what point do we apply to the WWF for Endangered Species protection?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stuart1701 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2017 at 10:57
I think the best thing Sony can do for their A mount users, short of fully supporting it, is to enable seamless migration for A mount users to the E-mount.

For motorised lenses, the EA3 adaptor seems to be just about there with the latest cameras allowing Eye-AF. Those mods should be retro-fitted with firmware changes where possible to older models.

For screw drive lenses the situation is not good. This includes some of Sony's best glass, such as the 135 f1.8,

Sony need to produce either a motorised version of the LA-EA3 to support screw mount lenses, or an EA-LA4 mk 2 with updated focussing along the lines of the A99ii that supports things like the Eye-AF function. There is no issue with older lenses, as even old minolta glass works using Eye-AF on the A99ii.

The market share for A-mount has fallen away. At the moment A mount users, (especially those like myself who have a large collection of lenses) have the worst of both worlds - little support with no new glass (I don't count Mk 2 versions of existing lenses) and minimum new cameras, yet cannot easily move to E-mount (where the camera choice and innovation is) because the screw mount adaptor is inadequate. The only choice then is to replace everything at great expense, which is not a choice many can afford to make. E mount has also less choice of glass than the existing A mount, when you consider the old Minolta options available.

Edited by Stuart1701 - 03 November 2017 at 11:10
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2017 at 11:34
Originally posted by Stuart1701 Stuart1701 wrote:

I think the best thing Sony can do for their A mount users, short of fully supporting it, is to enable seamless migration for A mount users to the E-mount.

(snip)

Sony need to produce either a motorised version of the LA-EA3 to support screw mount lenses, or an EA-LA4 mk 2 with updated focussing along the lines of the A99ii that supports things like the Eye-AF function. There is no issue with older lenses, as even old minolta glass works using Eye-AF on the A99ii.

Agreed.

Originally posted by Stuart1701 Stuart1701 wrote:


The market share for A-mount has fallen away. At the moment A mount users, (especially those like myself who have a large collection of lenses) have the worst of both worlds - little support with no new glass (I don't count Mk 2 versions of existing lenses) and minimum new cameras, yet cannot easily move to E-mount (where the camera choice and innovation is) because the screw mount adaptor is inadequate. The only choice then is to replace everything at great expense, which is not a choice many can afford to make. E mount has also less choice of glass than the existing A mount, when you consider the old Minolta options available.


If you're happy using old lenses, maybe you could be happy using old cameras too? The A77ii and A99ii arre great cameras, and it seems quite likely they will be updated by Sony at some point, so into the 2020s we will probably have cameras less than 6 years old and lenses more than 20 years old; are we in that bad a position?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Aavo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2017 at 11:42
Originally posted by Stuart1701 Stuart1701 wrote:

I think the best thing Sony can do for their A mount users, short of fully supporting it, is to enable seamless migration for A mount users to the E-mount.

Agree.
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