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Old August 27th, 2009, 11:35 PM   #1
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Sony drops Ball, no video at 11...

For those who were waiting for the last of the "big 3" in DSLR's to join the DSLR video fray, looks like the wait continues...

Sony announced three new DSLR's, the a500, a550, and the a850... NONE with video - an article I read quoting a Sony source suggested Sony didn't include the feature because the continuous autofocus and exposure weren't satisfactory... sigh. The HX1 compact superzoom can do it... at sub $500.

I'm confused by Sony - while I appreciate the desire to make "consumer friendly" cameras, I don't really WANT autofocus - not on something best suited to shallow DoF (the primary reason I see for using a DSLR-V), plus manual exposure is EXACTLY what people are clamoring for. Do they really think the average customer is so dense that "auto" and "easy" are the most important "features"???

Guess my camera fund goes back in the cookie jar...
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Old August 28th, 2009, 11:49 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Do they really think the average customer is so dense that "auto" and "easy" are the most important "features"???

#1. Yes.
#2. We don't qualify for "average consumer".
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Old August 28th, 2009, 02:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bill Koehler View Post
#1. Yes.
#2. We don't qualify for "average consumer".
Sad but true, both counts!

I have to wonder though if Sony has completely missed the boat on what "the competition" is doing. The 5D2 has been stealing a lot of thunder (and for good reason), as is the HMC150, in the event shooter market.

I'm sure it's a matter of numbers, and frankly I AM impressed by the AI type "auto" features that Sony is coming up with - the camera probably IS smarter than the operator, or at least faster to adjust. When it isn't, manual override is handy... and with DSLR-V, manual focus is more logical that trying to get "auto" to work in a shallow DoF shot...

I guess what amazes me is that they actively CHOSE to leave off what is rapidly becoming REQUIRED capability in a major market segment and apparently ignoring the obvious demand while making what to me appear to be lame excuses... someone should be falling on their sword...

I know that the existing competing products have their limitations, but that hasn't slowed their adoption in the slightest - sure there are complaints, but people are using them anyway! No reasonable reason for Sony to have not released a SINGLE video capable DSLR in a rather large crop of new offerings - 6 new models this year, no video?!

I picked up Sony's HX1 figuring that the features would show up in the Alpha line shortly - it's a great, fun little camera that isn't perfect, but for the $$ is quite cool, AND IT SHOOTS HD VIDEO. The new Alpha releases have a FEW of the "tricks", but left a LOT out... while PaNikCan (and even PENTAX!) HAS the product out on the street that shoots professional quality video.

Thus, IMO, Sony "dropped the ball"... big time.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 11:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for posting this. I was wondering what they'd do.

Sony won't give us 24p in an entry level or semi-pro camcorder, nor HD video in an SLR.

Maybe they don't consider it a major market segment. Or they'd rather concede it to others.


I'm testing out a Pentax K7 this weekend.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #5
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Yeah Scott, that's sort of how I feel - the 24P isn't a big thing, I can achieve what I want in post well enough, BUT I'm definitely past tape (meaning I want a TAPELESS prosumer that's at least close to affordable, EXMOR R, and manual overrides). An EX just isn't in my budget, and while I love the little XR500V, I'd like something just a bit more "pro" for my "main" camera... HMC150 certainly comes close, but I'd have to completely switch gear(s), literally and figuratively...

I was hoping that they'd at least stick a toe in the water and release SOMETHING in the DSLR-V category, since I've got the glass and accessories, but now a 5D2, GH1 or K7 (I have some old Pentax gear from film days... hmmm) definitely becomes a viable option for me - particularly since I see the DSLR-V being well suited to the primary function(s) for which I'd be using a larger prosumer camera - shallow DoF, manual control, good low light with fast lenses, PLUS interchangeable lenses!

I shot briefly with a friends D90, and even with being clueless as to how to work it, I could see the potential... I've been playing with the HX1 from Sony (which makes it even more unbelievable that they ignored video in the Alpha), and while I see it's limitations, it's a pretty decent little cam all things considered - the 30P stutters a bit to my eye, it's 1440x1080, it's a tad soft when shooting video, but otherwise it takes pretty good video, it will intercut reasonably well with a camera twice its price... if you expect super high end video, you might be disappointed, but for casual use, it's a heckuva camera.

I know Sony wants to own the "amateur" market, but even some amateurs want the features, and if two cameras are side by side, one has video, the other doesn't and the price is the same or close, Sony will lose most of the time... this was NOT the time to wimp out.

The one remaining unknown is that it appears the A700 is being retired... maybe... and no "official" successor has been announced. With Sonys statements about video in a DSLR, it seems fairly clear they aren't all that interested in offering it, and I won't hold my breath.
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