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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
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