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Sony manager Kimio Maki and Mark Weir: A7rII is not “crippled” as the Canon 5DS!


Dpreview posted the full interview with the Sony Senior General Manager of the Digital Imaging Business Group Kimio Maki and Sony US manager Mark Weir. Here are some of the key info:


1) Sensor:
To create a balance between resolution and ISO sensitivity. Usually, if you increase resolution, you have to sacrifice sensitivity. To achieve both we created a full-frame back-side illuminated sensor. We needed resolution of 40MP+ and we also needed ISO sensitivity greater than 6400, and in order to achieve that balance, this [BSI CMOS] technology is necessary. Once you’ve gathered the light, improving processing speed is an important issue, so we changed the wiring inside the sensor from aluminum to copper, and reversed the structure. So we’ve improved the resolution and the ISO sensitivity over the original a7R.

2) About the Canon 5ds:
We wanted to overcome the idea that has been prevalent since as long as there have been digital cameras, that you can have one virtue [resolution] or the other [sensitivity] but you can never have both. Look at the Canon EOS 5DS. A maximum ISO sensitivity of 6400, and crippled movie capability. Canon says that it intentionally created the camera to fit the requirements of certain photographers, and [has thereby demonstrated] that the material science of their device technology [cannot] accomplish both objectives. 

3) About the RAW compression:
Right now it is the same, yes. We’re still working on it. In the future we may change the software but that’s not completed yet. We have consumers who require 14-bit etc., and we’re considering [how to deal with it]. 

4) About the competition:
As you know we don’t have the same history [as some of our competitors] in the camera market, so if we just did the same thing as Canon and Nikon we’d lose. Because we don’t have the same brand image as a camera maker. So we have to think about what the consumer needs.
The customer’s voice is the most important data for me, when we’re creating a new product. Of course when we create a new camera we look at competitive products as a reference, but the most important thing is the voice of the customers.

5) DSLR advantage over mirrorless:
That advantage is getting smaller and smaller. I don’t know when we will [surpass] that technology but we will do our best.

6) Lenses:
Our lenses have to be better than Canon’s. That is my mission. We have already made a 35mm F1.4 and 90mm macro – both were based on customer’s requirements, and also we have a full F4 zoom lineup, so our next lenses will be at the upper end of the lineup. And also aperture. A F2.8 lineup is necessary, and brighter [primes].


To sum up the good news: Sony is likely listening to the customers and that means that better RAW files, faster primes, telephoto lenses and f/2.8 zooms. It’s also important to underline how Sony is sure that Mirrorless will soon close the gap with DSLR cameras. Which also means their A-mount system would become “redundant” when this happens.

A7rII and RX camera preorder list:
A7rII at Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama, Uniquephoto.
RX10m2 at Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama, Uniquephoto.
RX100m4 at Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama, Uniquephoto.
In Europe at:
A7rII at Sony DE, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, CH, AT, SE, FI, NO, PT. Wex UK.
RX100m4 at DE, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, CH, AT, SE, FI, NO, PT. Wex UK.
RX10m2 at DE, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, CH, AT, SE, FI, NO, PT. Wex UK.

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