The Sony A850 is now officially out of production. The biggest american photo online store discontinued the camera. Click here to see the A850 discontinued message on BHphoto. A couple of months ago my sources told me that this would happen. And soon the A900 price should fall around $2000.
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I expected a small loss due the recent earthquake disaster but I didn’t expect the loss to be that big! You can download the full report as pdf (Click here). The company lost $3.2 billion in the 12 months! That’s the worst lost in 16 years. There are many reasons for that debacle. Electronista analyzed the results: “Most of the loss came from a $4.4 billion equivalent setting aside of tax assets to address worries about future results. The earthquake in the Tohoku area of Japan will also have cut into its performance through repairs and lost production. Slow TV sales affecting the whole industry, as well as a struggle to keep sales going for the PS3, PSP, and Walkman players, all of which are suffering due to Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Nintendo DSi systems, and both Apple’s iPhones and iPods.”
It’s unclear yet if that result will affect the imaging division (I don’t think so). The good news is that Sony also predicted a big plus for the next fiscal year (+$2.4 billion). So no need to be to much worried yet! I hope the whole Japanese economy canreboot as soon as possible!
In his latest article Thom Hogan (Click here) talks about the aggressive and well planed Sony strategy compared to the actual conservative Nikon and Canon approach. It’s worth to read!
Here is an excerpt of the text:
“Sony: most interesting strategies (yes plural) of the bunch. On the Alpha side went for very different technologies (e.g. pellicle mirror), which took awhile to get settled, but has clear benefits long-term. Also has been shoring up and improving dealer network here in the US, giving them a potentially significant advantage over the other players, above. Has been aggressive on price with the Alphas (some of which is happening with the dealer), and appears to be about to get more aggressive. Meanwhile, they’ve made NEX into a potentially serious mount (it currently extends from a low-end mirrorless model to a highly professional video camera). Too bad they don’t have the lenses to back it up yet. Status: making progress on all fronts, and Canon and Nikon need to be especially wary of this competitor. Forecast: one weakness is still not having all the right lenses. This blunted sales of both the full frame Alphas as well as NEX models. Even the Alpha is missing a few key lenses if it wants to tackle the high-end Canons and Nikons well. Rumors show progress on this front, but it needs to happen faster. Other weakness is in marketing. The dual strategy makes a strong cohesive “why Sony cameras matter” message very necessary.
Canon and Nikon have continued to pursue their old strategies: entry to pro DSLR lineups, iterated regularly, moved upscale in features and performance with each generation. Status: Quo. Forecast: declining returns from this strategy. A 24mp A77 at US$999 that performs well threatens the more expensive D7000 and D400 on Nikon’s side, the same-priced 60D and more expensive 7D on the Canon end.”
Read the full text at bythom.com. What do you think about his anlysis? I do agree that Sony needs to extend their lens offering. The problem I see with the NEX roadmap is that Sony doesn’t plan to make any new pancakes. I hope they will change that. The Alpha mount will see 4-5 new Zeiss lenses within 2011 and a couple of new Sony lenses. This should make us go a huge step closer to Canon and Nikon!
I am still waiting for the day where Canon and Nikon will give up their top position in favour of Sony. The good news is that at least in Japan the Sony NEX-5 is pretty close to the two big guys. 8,1% of all sold cameras are NEX-5 (Source: BCNranking). But the real surprise is that the mirrorless camera market share is well…going back! After reaching a top of 36,7% of all sold system cameras it’s now dropping down to 31%. So the DSLR vs Mirrorless battle is still continuing. A wonder how it will be in 1 year from now!
P.S.: You can see on Amazon that most cameras in the TOP 20 are compacts:
Amazon US rankings (Click here)
Amazon DE rankings (Click here)
Amazon UK rankings (Click here)
Amazon FR rankings (Click here)
Amazon IT rankings (Click here)
NEX shoots the ‘Flight of the Angel’ – HD1080 YouTube (Via Photoclubalpha)
NEX with Minolta 90mm Rokkor-M Lens Test (SonyAlphaNex).
Sony Alpha DSLR Sliced Down the Middle (Petapixel).
Sony Security Sensors to Shift from CCD to CMOS (Image Sensor World).
New Lens Mount Adapter for Sony PMW-F3 from P+S TECHNIK (Cameratown).
Sony Launches Fastest Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX Card to Date (Photographyblog).
How to transform your NEX-3 in an infrared camera (Alpha Numerique).