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Old August 8th, 2009, 03:17 PM   #1
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Slightly OT: Is Sony about to hit us with new gear?

As of the time of this writing (Saturday August 8th, 2009) Sony is sold out (at THEIR site sonystyle.com) of the following:

-FX7
-FX1000
-A1U
-Z5U
-Z7U

Then, on Facebook almost a month ago exactly...Sony had this to say:

"Sony Electronics- Sir Howard Stringer visited Sony Electronics San Diego HQ today with his new, energetic global management team. Told employees "Sony may have started the year with a wimper but will end it with a bang." Lots of exciting developments. Stay tuned."

Are we about to see a new wave of prosumer cams from Sony??

If they come out with an AVCHD prosumer cam equivalent to the HMC150 (specs/price), I think it may be game over for Panny. (for me anyway)

Thoughts?

(Mods, please keep this thread here as I would like to get a general consensus from this group. Thanks.)
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Old August 8th, 2009, 03:22 PM   #2
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Those that don't know guess. Those that DO know can't say.

We'll see what happens at NAB next year as history says that's generally when all the new toys come out.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 07:01 PM   #3
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I'll speculate a bit - keep in mind this is based on nothing more than observation...

Sony sometimes has some late year announcements (the CX500/520 just recently surfaced based on the same sensor as the XR500/520, very similar to the late announcements/releases of earlier similar CX models based on the same sensors as other Sony cams...). Manufacturers are staggering release schedules a bit more, where everything used to center on trade show events, now you can make a worldwide announcement (even rumours go worldwide in no time) on the web, so there's some luxury for the manufacturere to "release when ready", not based on some arbitrary date/show.


The FX7 was a "reissue" after having been released and then disappearing once... probably due for a replacement. I don't see the FX1000 and Z series cameras going anywhere just yet, as those usually seem to last a couple model years. The A1U is pretty long in the tooth, and safely (over)due for replacement. However, I'll bet it's just a supply chain snafu that all of these are "out of stock".


The "R" sensor introduced with the XR500/520 could almost certainly be integrated into existing or updated cameras, and would raise the bar significantly on low light and low noise - I've been wondering what's taking Sony so long to make this move. When they do, the competition is in trouble, IF Sony decides to maintain/restore manual features to the user...

There are a couple obvious "holes" in Sony's lineup right now - as you've noted, the HMC150, HMC40 (Panny), and HM700, HM100 (JVC) represent reasonably priced tapeless alternatives, and many times we have spoken of such a beast on forums here... think a tapeless TRV900/VX2100...

SO, my vote is a pair of cameras, tapeless (probably MSDuo or perhaps SD/CF based, but I'd expect Sony to protect the Memory Stick franchise), "R" CMOS, relatively compact, with manual controls, pricing between $2k and 3.5K US...

AND I'm waiting to see an Alpha DSLR with video (to compete with Canon/Nikon/Pentax/Panasonic). Again, Sony is WAAAAY behind the curve on this one, and needs to bring something to the table.


My money is waiting on the Alpha, as it would provide an nice interchangeable lens platform, and I've already got great glass if Sony maintains the committment (as they've promised) to the old Minolta mount. Makes the most sense to me, but I'm also considering something along the lines of the FX7... but tapeless.

Again, sheer speculation, but probably a safe bet that we'll see something sooner rather than later, as Sony likes to remain competitive!


I'm not holding my breath, BUT I suspect both the above may see the light of day before the year is out.
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Old August 9th, 2009, 10:33 PM   #4
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Hi Brad,

Interesting. In the past, Sony has released new gear at WEVA. The WEVA Expo is in September, so it will be interesting to see if new gear shows up at the Expo.
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Old August 10th, 2009, 05:20 PM   #5
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In an interesting note... in the DVinfo Z1/FX1 forum section, an eagle eyed poster noticed that the Z1U is discontinued... effective immediately. That would mean the end of that particular camera line (FX1/Z1U), not sure if it means there will be some "replacements" as the site suggested the Z5 for someone shopping for a Z1...

I'm still voting for a Z/FX pair that is tapeless... but really want that Alpha w/Video!
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Old August 10th, 2009, 05:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
In an interesting note... in the DVinfo Z1/FX1 forum section, an eagle eyed poster noticed that the Z1U is discontinued... effective immediately. That would mean the end of that particular camera line (FX1/Z1U), not sure if it means there will be some "replacements" as the site suggested the Z5 for someone shopping for a Z1...

I'm still voting for a Z/FX pair that is tapeless... but really want that Alpha w/Video!
I'm thinking along the same lines Dave. I love the layout of the Z/FX lines other than the dreaded menu thumbwheel. Like I said, if they come out with a tapeless cam (AVCHD is fine with me) that is the same price point as the HMC150...I would almost certainly be selling my Panny. Don't get me wrong, I like the cam....I just prefer Sony's quality and ergonomics. The only issue I have with Sony is that they don't offer multiple formats in the lower end series. I want Sony to offer each frame rate in 720 and 1920. Is that so hard to comply with?
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