Thom Hogan posted his 2011 camera and lens prediction. First he analyzed the current year for Sony: “2010 was the year Sony took off on a tangent. NEX and Pellicle mirror cameras are definitely both a bit on the side of non-traditional DSLR plays. The inexpensive full frame thing failed, as did the dozens of low-end traditional-DSLRs-with-minor-differences thing. Somewhere in the organization Sony execs sent and responded to a different memo than the one Canon didn’t see. Sony’s is a high risk, high reward (or big failure) strategy. Ironically, the best NEX camera is the video model, the NEX-VG10. But Sony has a lot to work on still for stills, even if they get the A700 replacement out and maybe a new full frame sensor flagship: lenses. They need more lenses (NEX, APS, full frame, you name it). Without those lenses, the rest of the strategy will almost certainly fail to bring Sony up to the Nikon/Canon level. The NEX was a good idea, but we’re stuck at three lenses, two of them way too big for the camera (compare a Samsung NX100 kit with the NEX5 kit).”
And those are Thom’s prediction for 2011: “Not too difficult to predict that the A700 replacement appears, though I think there are some surprises to those that haven’t been paying attention: pelliclemegapixels, GPS inside option, etc. Looking at the feature list on paper the camera looks like a Canon and Nikon killer. But it isn’t, it’s just another Sony (oh, I know I’m going to get beat up over that line). Competent, but a little unfocused in target user (and interface), and not quite at the same pixel peeping level as its competitors. Hey, what about the rumored 24mp APS sensor? Answer: how many lenses does Sony have that could resolve well on that? Four? Five? So putting a camera out with what is essentially the maximum for useful APS pixel count doesn’t seem like it would be a big winner given the other constraints (e.g. lenses). (One source does tell me that Sony has 4-5 Zeiss lenses planned for 2011 launch, including a 200mm f/2, so perhaps these will fill that void and give the 24mp users something to shoot with.) You don’t really want to put out a camera that might cause a majority of its users to start posting “it wasn’t worth it” messages all over the net. Still, the multiple “economy full frame” excursion that Sony went on seems to imply that they’ll throw just about anything at the wall to see if it sticks, so we probably will see a 24mp crop sensor camera from them, and it may be the A700 replacement. I’ll just go on record as saying that would be foolish. I don’t think it’s difficult to predict that Sony have at least two more NEX models by the end of the year and at least three more NEX lenses. What’s tougher to predict is what happens with full frame. I think we’ll see one more stab by Sony there, mainly because it was already in development before the upper management started questioning the large sensor payback. So which is it: full frame with video, or full frame with a pellicle mirror, or both? Given what I know about the sensor development, the video is a given. So my guess would be both. Meanwhile Sony, like Panasonic, will join the compact-camera-with-built-in-cellphone game (call it the Sony Erickson Cellular Alpha, or SECA for short). mirror, more ”
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