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Old October 27th, 2016, 07:05 AM   #1
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Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

Sony to spin off camera businesses | Kyodo News

Hoping this means we'll have better decisions, like 4K 60p across the XDCAM lineup rather than limited to the FS7 and up (Which IMHO, was an incredibly stupid business decision, allowing Panasonic to corner that part of the marketplace.)
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Old October 27th, 2016, 10:07 AM   #2
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

Perhaps the first of April doesn't have the same meaning in Japan as it does here!
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Old October 27th, 2016, 10:25 AM   #3
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

I doubt it's a spoof, as the article was written today. ( Had it been written on April 1st then you might be onto something, not sure why they'd mock that tho).

April 1 is probably the beginning of their fiscal year.
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Old October 27th, 2016, 11:28 AM   #4
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

The story is on the Kyodo News website. You can find it with a quick search.
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Old October 27th, 2016, 05:25 PM   #5
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
Sony to spin off camera businesses | Kyodo News

Hoping this means we'll have better decisions, like 4K 60p across the XDCAM lineup rather than limited to the FS7 and up (Which IMHO, was an incredibly stupid business decision, allowing Panasonic to corner that part of the marketplace.)
An interesting yet, to me, not surprising turn of events. I'm sorely tempted to agree with Jack regarding 'incredibly stupid' but in as much as Sony corporation is a hugely successful multinational corporation I hesitate to label them so. It is perhaps probable that recent moves, including the decision to not enter the consumer/prosumer 60p 4K market, are strategic in nature with a long term bigger picture in mind, whatever that might be. It might well be that returning to a profit situation, which I understand they have done, has been driving the bus and cost cutting, including and especially R&D, might well be front and centre of top management's thinking.

I can quickly think of two reason why they made this move, the first being to enable the new entity to be quicker to respond to volatile market conditions and the second to set the scene to sell the new entity as a separate going concern. Perhaps both.

Whatever, as a long time Sony camera customer, perhaps even something of a fanboy, I view this announcement with mixed emotions - the end of an era and the beginning of another.

My latest purchase was a Lumix GX85. When it comes to functionality and price Sony is not competitive, nor do they intend being so, clearly. My next camera purchase might well be the announced Panasonic GH5 which is said to bring 60p 4K to the table.

One thing we can count on: Sony Corporation will do whatever it takes to be profitable and a long term survivor. If the camera division, soon to be Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc., is forecast to not meet profit requirements long term then I expect Sony Corporation will sell it off, drop it like a hot potato.

We shall see.
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Old October 27th, 2016, 08:07 PM   #6
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

Cameras are still going to be made by Sony, and the head of the department is going to be the head of the new "firm". Sounds like some creative re-arrangement for accounting purposes. They may be trying to break out one area of products from those that are not doing so well (I heard a while back they were losing money on their flat screen TVs, for instance) To me, this does not translate into any new direction for their camera products as far as design and production goes. Same ole, same ole.


Mark

P.S. I like ALL camera companies, but find JVC to be a bit of an oddball (not in a bad way).
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Old October 28th, 2016, 11:11 AM   #7
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

Does anybody know just how profitable Sony's camera divisions are?

Handycam? I have no clue.

Alpha? I have to believe that is doing very well. I know he A6000 series and the A7 series have been great performers over the past couple of years. I have been told and have read that they have exceeded even Sony's sales expectations. Also based on how fast they are refreshing each model and how much tech improvements are happening, they seem to be really gaining great industry reputation because it it.

XDCAM? Dont really know about traditional 2/3 inch ENG cameras today but I have been told the FS7 sales were very strong and the new FS7 Mark II is about to be released. I strongly suspect the FS5 is doing well. I also have to think that Sony's smaller ENG event cameras like the Z150 and X70 are selling OK too. They seem to be everywhere.

Anybody have any inside info?

I cant imagine that there is any other camera company right now that is doing better than Sony. No?

Last edited by Cliff Totten; October 28th, 2016 at 12:57 PM.
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Old October 28th, 2016, 02:00 PM   #8
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

You may well be correct, Cliff, about the 'right now' and I would suggest because of astute management the recent dip in profitability has been corrected. But outfits such as the Sony Corporation spend significant time, money on seeking to understand, predict, what will happen 'way down the road' and that information is critical in shaping their strategic decision making.

The questions the guys at the top wrestle with, are paid the big bucks to solve, are what does the future look like and what do we need to do differently to ensure profitability in the future.
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Old October 28th, 2016, 08:48 PM   #9
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

I think there is an interesting thing happening in the low cost consumer vs expensive pro world. Sony is pushing down pro features into low cost cameras that used to exist only in high-end models.

SLOG-2/3, detailed zebra options, timecode, peaking, high speed frame rates, clean 4:2:2 HDMI....and the most incredible image sensors that Sony has ever made. All on "consumer" Alphas with 14 stops of dynamic range?

Look at the A7s-II. That image sensor has an incredible signal to noise ratio and is a true low light monster. You can get shots with and A7s-II that you CANT get with an FS5, FS7, F5, F55 or even an F65. Phillip Bloom shoots the "Wonder List" for CNN and uses his FS7 and A7s-II and they are cut together completely seamlessly.You cant tell the difference, except when it's a guy on a pattle board at night with moon light only. When you say "Oh may God, that's an amazing shot in complete darkness"...it's not the expensive XDCAM you are watching!

The A6300 & 6500 with that amazing 6k readout to 4k scaling. I'm STILL shocked at the enormous amount of fine image detail it resolves. And the A6300 still sees further into the shadows and it's far,...and I mean FAR CLEANER than an XDCAM FS5 that costs 500+% more.

It just seems that Sony's Alpha division has become a technological tornado blazing it's way through the industry landscape right now. Meanwhile XDCAM FS5's and FS7's are still using 5 year old FS700 image sensors. Look at the difference that 5 years of image sensor technology will make.


I dont know. I think that Sony will need to accelerate the lifecyle of future XDCAM products and refresh them on a faster schedule. They are just letting allot of their best innovations go to the Alpha side of their business.

Other weird marketing things like allowing cheap Alphas and cheaper RX's to have SLOG and NOT allowing SLOG on more expensive models like the XDCAM X70 and Z150 is just bizarre. It's a shame that a $1000 RX100 will have more dynamic range than a $3500 Z150 even though they share the same sensor.

I dunno. Somebody needs to get the camera marketing decisions to make more sense in the future. The Alpha management team is very AGRESSIVE. The XDCAM management team is the exact opposite.

Sony Alpha and XDCAM = Bulls and Bears.

I dont get it.
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Old October 28th, 2016, 09:38 PM   #10
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
The A6300 & 6500 with that amazing 6k readout to 4k scaling. I'm STILL shocked at the enormous amount of fine image detail it resolves.
...Except in 4K 30p where it only does a ~4.6K readout equivalent to a MFT 2x crop factor. If you primarily shoot in 30p, get a speedbooster for sure.
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Old October 30th, 2016, 01:25 PM   #11
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

We will have to wait and see how it affects the development of new cameras.
I'm maybe a bit sceptical as this might just be decision to appeace shareholders. Or to disconnect failing divisions from the rest, so losses won't drag down the total result. Or to prepare the sale of certain divisions. Don't forget the influence of 'bookkeeping' on the level of such corporations.

Any more news on FS7 II rumors? :-p
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Old October 31st, 2016, 02:31 PM   #12
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

This sounds like the front edge of a strategic divestiture. Smart phones have clobbered the point and shoot consumer market, and probably the low end of video cameras as well. If Sony sees itself as a consumer company, why does it need the professional production gear and high end of the amateur market? There isn't a lot of commonality with high volume consumer products (think PlayStation, gaming, content). The same is true for medical equipment that will also be placed in the new company.

The new smaller company should be easier to manage in a market with companies like Red and Blackmagic driving prices down for very sophisticated technology. Canon was a lenses and still camera company until DSLRs developed video capabilities and the Cinema line was launched. How do you make a profit in a market full of competitors while funding expensive R&D?

I think consolidation is inevitable. Larger firms can spread the R&D costs over more prosumer/professional product volume. Look for a combination with an existing standalone camera and optics company like Nikon (which just happens to use Sony sensors). Perhaps Blackmagic or a Chinese firm would be interested in buying the new entity to get hold of the technology. I wonder how the camera business fits into the strategic plan at Panasonic and JVC?

All speculation on my part...
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Old November 1st, 2016, 03:05 AM   #13
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

Iv'e been using XDCAM cameras for ever however, when Sony brought out the RX10, a6000, A7s and so on....I sold all my high end cameras and moved over to the new Sony A7s style cameras, as I saw what they were delivering for the price/features v my 60k XDCAM rigs.
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Old November 1st, 2016, 07:54 AM   #14
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

HI Simon,

That is a major move for your and same time as me. I have sold my FS7 and am moving over to small cameras. Will I still use XDCAM, yes, when the client demands it and I will rent a FS7 or F55. But I agree with you at the great video quality of the small big sensor camera.

I just checked out your link to your business. Do you have chops? I have been playing since I was a kid.
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Old November 1st, 2016, 08:11 AM   #15
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Re: Sony's camera divisions to be spun off into a separate entity.

I believe Sony Corp has been in financial trouble for a long time. Maybe the beginning of the breakup of a large corporation?
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