February 23 2010 - Photo Jottings

February 23 2010


Sony once again offers some “conceptual” products.  One of those products is a Carl Zeiss Distagon 24mm F/2, which was first offered up (called “large aperture wide angle fixed”) at a 2007 trade show, and a 500mm F/4 lens, (also shown a couple of years ago) which I estimate will have a $7000-$8000 price tag.  Other conceptual products are an upgrade to the A700, with HD video, coming this year hopefully.  I wonder why Sony discontinued the A700 last year when they didn’t even have a replacement in the pipeline?

Sony will launch an ultra-compact mirrorless interchangeable lens system sometime in the future, the claim is it will be an APS-C sized sensor, not the micro 4/3 format. Sony should have thought of this a couple of years ago, I think it’s the wave of the future, but Sony is once again behind the curve.

If I sound a little down about this latest Sony news release, it’s because I am.  Floating an intermediate replacement camera body and super high-end “conceptual” camera lenses with no clear release dates isn’t going to generate any excitement for current Sony DSLR users, or potential new users.  Sony just doesn’t seem too serious about building a good reputation with entry level and intermediate users, much less any real pro users.  How about coming out with a 300mm F/4, 70-200mm F/4, 24-105mm F/4, 16-35mm F/4 (think Nikon), maybe an 85mm F/1.8, or a newly designed 50mm F/1.4 for crying out loud?  A lot of people don’t have several thousand dollars to spend on pro lenses, and would be better off (and probably happier) with a smaller, lighter and less expensive lens.

Based on some limited knowledge, floating “conceptual” products like this keeps the manufacturer from producing something that can’t generate a profit. For example; Sony waits to see what kind of interest the product generates after the announcement, like when consumers call their local camera stores expressing interest, then those stores try to place orders, and from those orders they determine the potential market.  It’s possible you may never see conceptual products if the interest isn’t there, that may be why we haven’t seen some of those mock-up lenses from three years ago, and are only now seeing a couple of those lenses make it to a working model.  In the coming months we’ll see what kind of interest those lenses have; look for mid-year release with strong demand, and no release and no explanation with weak demand.

500mm F/4, CZ Distagon24mm F/2, A700 replacement, and lesser model, both with HD video
Possible upgrade to A700
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