Sony’s barren year for new camera releases could come to an end soon, according to some new rumors. And these new models will apparently strengthen the feeling that Sony’s priority is now much more video cameras than photocentrics.
The tech giant has just published a new youtube teaser (opens in new tab) titled “cinematography meets robotics”, with the release scheduled to launch on September 6 at 10am ET / 3pm BST (or 12pm AEST on September 7). While this may spark visions of a collaboration with Boston Dynamics, a new post from Sony Alpha rumors (opens in new tab) gave us some more sensible tips about this camera and three more upcoming releases.
According to the rumored site, this release will be for a camera called PTZ (pan, tilt and zoom), led by Sony’s E-mount. PTZ cameras are primarily used by event crews for live streaming and video conferencing, so it is unlikely to be an extremely exciting arrival for consumers. And while we’re certainly tuned in to the launch, it fits a video theme that extends to Sony’s other new cameras that have launched this year.
This new PTZ camera will be, according to Sony Alpha Rumors, “followed soon after by a new compact and affordable Cine E-mount camera” in late September. This model is, on paper, likely related to the Sony FX3. And after that, “we will finally have the ZV APS-C camera and the A7RIV [sic]”, with the site certainly referring to the alleged Sony A7R V.
This long-awaited batch of releases is unlikely to excite amateur photographers much. With the exception of the A7R V, all the rumored cameras are video-focused. Sony’s ZV lineup, like the current Sony ZV-E10 and Sony ZV-1, is their affordable, vlog-friendly lineup. And its Cinema line, which until recently was exclusively for professionals, is catching up with its consumer mirrorless lineup with releases like the FX3.
Not that we’re complaining. It’s a great time to be a videographer and the new Sony ZV model could, in particular, be a good choice for non-professionals with modest budgets. The problem for Sony photography fans is that the company hasn’t updated any of its photo-centric APS-C cameras like the Sony A6400 and A6600 in over three years. And that suggests that Sony isn’t too keen on offering alternatives to affordable cameras like the Canon EOS R10.
hope on the horizon
Still, there are reasons for fans of E-mount photography to be hopeful. Those on sizable budgets have good reason to be excited about the Sony A7R V. The ‘R’ in this line stands for ‘Resolution’ and the current A7R IV remains one of the best cameras for landscape photography, not to mention weddings and portraits.
In theory, this new version should be able to offer a much better shooting experience, thanks to upgrades like the 9.44 million-dot viewfinder we saw on the Sony A1. The only downside is that the A7R V’s price should be in the $3,500 / £3,800 / AU$6,800 range.
Fortunately, it looks like Sony’s four cameras that will be released this year won’t be the end of the Alpha’s comeback. Sony Alpha Rumors says it’s heard of “two more E-mount cameras coming in early 2023”, which is promising – even if we don’t yet have specs for those models.
The big question remains whether or not Sony plans to resurrect its APS-C Alpha lineup for photographers, which has fallen on hold. The recent arrival of rivals like the Canon EOS R10 and EOS R7, plus the continued appeal of Fujifilm’s X-series, suggest it’s certainly possible, but we’ll likely have to wait until 2023 to see it.
Until then, it looks like Sony is preparing some real treats for cameramen with its next four releases. Given how quiet Sony’s camera department has been this year, which is certainly due in part to the chip shortage, this is a promising sign for all E-mount fans, whether you prefer to take pictures or videos.