Imaging Resource interviewed Tanaka-san is the Senior General Manager of Business Unit 1 of Sony Imaging Products and Solutions Inc’s Digital Imaging Group.
About the camera sales trend:
The worldwide ILC market overall was down about 8% on the unit shipment basis last year according to CIPA, but Sony’s Alpha is not following that trend. Based on simple calculation, two years from now, the market will be less than 80% compared to now. But not half. But then, recently there has been a momentum of new cameras. One area is full-frame mirrorless, as you know well. And the full-frame mirrorless’ growth is of course more than 100%. Almost more than 150%.
Now focus goes on APS-C and FF telephoto lenses (for Olympics):
Of course we are trying to expand the APS-C series of cameras. That maybe implies not only one product. We have the opportunity to develop a type of enthusiast APS-C model, and the enthusiasts, especially the US ones are waiting for this type of model. We are trying to increase our APS-C customers
And we implied we are working on the sports area, that implied not only a 400mm f/2.8 lens is coming. So we are implying many things, but not directly saying “next model is this one, the next model is this one”. But we’re focusing on sports and we’re focusing on the APS-C area.
Sony AI dictonary for the new S0ny autofocus system:
The first step is [recognizing] eyes, but of course, we will expand the subject types. Right now I cannot tell you, but we already have a kind of organization, to create a dictionary.
Computational photography will come to Alpha too:
We are thinking to study computational photography [applications]. In the smartphone market, I think computational photography is one way to create a new [better] image. That kind of thing, of course we can do too, I mean the ILC (interchangeable-lens cameras can do [too]. So now we are interested in computational photography.
If Sony so openly talks about a new A6500 successor than it’s easy to guess such a model will be unveiled soon!