(SR4) UPDATED: Sony Sweden says the A560 and A580 will very likely be the last DSLR with “classic” mirror. And there might be a replacement for semi-pro camera A700 at Photokina


Markus from Sweden sent us the following link (Fotoguiden.se) to an interview with the product responsible guy from Sony Sweden. The interview is in swedish and Anders Ericsson (Sony) says that the Sony A560) and the A580 are probably (pretty certain) the last traditional DSLRs from Sony! So bye bye Optical Viewfinder :(

And than he says that “there might be a replacement for semi-pro camera [shoplink 3228]Sony A700[/shoplink] at Photokina

Can our swedish readers please make a complete translation? Thanks!

Source: Fotoguiden.se

UPDATE: I repeat, we don’t expect the A7xx yo be announced at Photokina. Probaby they will sow the prototype only. But we do believe the A560 and A580 are really the last DSLR cameras…

UPDATE: Here the complete Interview translation made by Eric (Thanks!)

Q: Anders Ericsson, photo specialist at Sony, you have just released four new DSLR. Isn’t that a little too much?
A: Yes, you could really think that. The thing is that we are entering a new market where haven’t been precent. Early this spring we released a NEX camera which combines the quality of the DSLR and also high resolution video in the NEX-5.  We are now entering the DSLR bodies and so are releasing two different types of concepts here.

Q: These new cameras, the A33 and A55, which are a completely new design from Sony with fixed mirrors, which types of customers are they targeted at? Who are you competing with?
A: Well they are for those customers who are thinking along the lines of “Should I buy a very good compact camera with video function or should I aim a little higher?” Maybe they are looking a little at, for instance, the Canon EOS-550.

Q: It sounds like this technology could be interesting for instance for hobby photographers/semi professionals with a 70-200/f2.8 who want’s to shoot sports.  It is possible we could se this technology in cameras with optical viewfinders which are a little bigger and more professional?
A.: Yes, absolutely. This is a new direction we are taking and going from a DSLR, that is a digital system camera, to SLT where the T denotes Translucent, meaning a new type of mirror technology. This broadens the concept type to many different types of camera bodies. So that is true.

Q: Then the A560 and A580 might be the last models of your older, traditional segment?
A: I can agree to that, yes. That is correct.

Q: Now, you have chosen and electronic viewfinder in the A33 and A55, but when we look through it the whole image is not presented – there is a masked area which is not being used. Why is that?
A: It is because the viewfinder has a resolution of 1.44 million pixels. Effectively the resolution is 1.15 million pixels, which is because there is a boarder around the image which might be perceived as unused space. This is why we are communicating that the effective resolution of the electronic viewfinder is 1.15 million pixels.

Q: Is it the graphics card in the camera that can’t handle the whole picture and that is why the whole area isn’t used, or what is the technical cause for this?
A: That’s a very good question. It is possible that i could be that they have used up the capacity of the camera on the software for the autofocus, in order for that to reach top performance.
(That’s what I think he means to say anyway, he’s not expressing himself very clearly.)

Q: A33 and A55 have a fixed mirrors which “steals” some light. How large is this loss of light?
A: They are talking about approximately half a stop before it reaches the software, but the new sensor in this camera should mean that it has less of a loss than the older A550.

Q: So you are gaining half a stop on the new sensor, doesn’t that mean you’re always facing the risk that you are half a stop behind the competition – comparing the latest sensors?
A: We are hoping that the reviews that you and the rest of the press are producing, will show that these cameras perform better than the older A550 did.

Q: Sony has previously gotten some critique regarding noise on some models but we saw earlier with the A550 and A500 that you have improved this some. Do you think with time you will become the leader in terms of noise?
A: The goal is to deliver very good imaging chips and have a very low noise levels in those. What happened in the A500/A550 was that we switched from the older CCD technology in the entry level cameras to the new exmor technology where we digitize the light directly on the imaging chip, which means that we loose the step where you would previously build up noise because of the external A/D converter. We can now skip that step.

Q: Those who have an A700 and are hoping for a new camera for the more advances users, when will they get something new?
A: That is a very good question. There have been a lot for whispering about an A750 during that past six months. We have not seen any press release of information regarding this internally yet. We’ll see what happens at the fair in September, down in Germany.

Q: Finally, the electronic viewfinder you are using in the A33 and A55, in the press meeting here there was some talk about something even better coming in a year. What kind of technology is that?
A: You are actually getting ahead of me here, I have no facts about that development. What I have heard rumors about is that there is a lot of development going on in that area. What you have now with the viewfinder in the A55 is that you have very little loss of light when photographing in low light, which is a tremendous advantage compared to earlier compact cameras when using an electronic viewfinder.

(SR1) Having some fun: More asian rumors (A9xx, Axxx, A780)

Asian rumor writers are quite active in those days! As you know we from SonyAlphaRumors don’t expect Sony to announce any new professional camera at Photokina. But those asian sources do claim to know specs and details about the [shoplink 3032]Sony A900[/shoplink] and [shoplink 3228]Sony A700[/shoplink] successors. As usual, take it with a grain of salt!!! I am almost certain they are purely invented! The only true news is that Sony UK discontinued both fullframe models

The first two camera specs do come from mobile01.com

Sony A9xx
34.6 mp
100% pentaprism
51 AF point
center new double cross f2.8
8 cross
18 hidden assist point AF
ISO 100-25600,extend 50-51200

Sony Axxx
18mp
19 point AF
center double cross f2.8
10fps
new Bionz,unknown number
ISO 100-25600,extend 50-51200
3.5′ Bravia class LCD

And here a rumor from Xitek (via Fotoactualidad)

Sony A750
18MP CMOS
New BIONZ processor (perhaps twice, but is unlikely)
19 points of focus, central cross
Between 10fps and 12fps
ISO 100-25600 (expandable to 50-51200)
Full HD Video 1080i
Folding LCD 1.44K
HDR, 3D Panorama
Metal body
Date of announcement: September 12

(SR1) A “cheap” A77 rumor and a Leica FF rangefinder rumor (with Sony sensor)

I found two new rumors (They are not from our sources so don’t trust them too much)!

1) Joseph S Wisniewski worte inside the dpreview forum that “My sources say that there’s already M10 prototypes in the field with the same 24mp Sony used in D3X and A900, but with rangefinder friendly microlenses. Which conflicts with rumors that Sony microelectronics is discontinuing the FF sensors, but hey, rumors are what they are.

2) A very “weak” A77 rumor has been posted by eprice.com.tw

● more than 30 AF points
● sensitivity up to ISO 25600
● Anti-dust metal body (presumably aluminum-magnesium alloy)
● more complete control and a higher standard button configuration
● larger buffer memory storage than the A55. Takes CF cards
● same NP-FM500H lithium battery
● about 1,500 U.S. dollars

Reminder: Rumor classification (SR = Sonyrumor):
SR1=probably fake rumor
SR2=rumor from unkown sources
SR3=50% chance it is correct
SR4=rumor from known sources
SR5=almost certainly correct!

(SR4) Sony A77 to be announced in January 2011

All our most important sources confirmed that there will be no A77 announcement at Photokina. Maybe Sony will show a A77 prototype but they will definitely NOT launch the camera now. Anyway you don’t have to wait years to get the new semi-professional camera. The A77 is scheduled to be announced in January/February 2011. The sources told me that Sony needs that time to analyze the impact of the new translucent technology on the market. They are currently reviewing the press and pros reaction. They will certainly fix some of the A55/A33 limits. As you have seen with the MLU petition Sony is listening you.

The [shoplink 3228]Sony A700[/shoplink] successor will be a translucent model. The current prototype name is A77 (we don’t know if that will be the final name of the camera). The sensor is also new (the prototype has a 18Megapixels sensor).

One of my sources told me that Sony also has a A7xx with optical viewfinder. He doesn’t know if that model will be released.

Let Sony know what you want! Feel free to suggest me some more poll options. I will add them quickly!

Will you buy the lens for your APS-C E-mount camera?

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UPDATE: Sony UK says the “Sony A850 is a previous model” !

Sony UK do mark the [shoplink 3028]Sony A850[/shoplink] as a “PREVIOUS MODEL”. I checked oder sonystyle stores and couldn’t find similar results. Don’t know if that is just a BIG mistake. We from SonyAlphaRumors didn’t get any rumor about a Photokina FF introduction. But we really don’t know everything from Sony!

UPDATE: J. from UK phoned Sony: “They told me that both models are discontinued (previous model). They have NO A850s in their warehouse and 2 A900s left in the UK. So does this mean that Sony really are withdrawing from the FF frame market or does it mean that they are going to reveal something unexpected between now and Photokina?

P.S.: All important stores do have the A850 in Stock. I found a new Sony Alpha 850 $55 price drop on Amazon :)