I am a Sony Advocate Photographer, which I really enjoy being and I really like the cameras that Sony have been making. I loved my A900 its viewfinder was and still is one of the best, that I have ever used on a DSLR or SLR camera, I love using the A99, it makes working getting the exposure accurate so much easier than just about any other camera I know, and if it was only smaller. I would use it for most things, which is why I am so interested in the new A7 and A7r cameras. Sony just has to get the lens out for this system as fast as they can and having lens in a system that will not be released for a year is not going to help them make sales on this camera system, They are releasing a new system, which I suspect will ultimately see them focus more on the former Nex range (now only called Alpha), than the A-mount cameras. They have not said so. but it is obvious to me unless they use the reach that they have with their professional video network, to support pro photographers with hire and support for their professional camera equipment. They would also need to be first to market with the sensors in cameras and not giving them to Nikon or other camera makers for a while before releasing them in their own cameras. A camera company that wants to be number one, needs to be able to attract the dreams and ambitions of the people who are buying cameras. I speak to a lot of photography students and the main reason they buy Nikon and Canon is that this is what the pro’s use, so if they want to be a serious photographer then they buy these brands. They then slowly buy lens, that can be used across generations of cameras. Once someone buys into a system, they tend not to change, unless their is a compelling reason to do so. In other words, the camera system has to offer them something that they are not getting from their existing camera system. This can be as simple as professional support, reputation, lens range, camera features etc. Lets look at this list a little more:
Professional support: It would be easy for a large company like Sony to bolt onto an existing network of video support centres and it would need each centre to have hire lens available foe those exotic lens that most photographers do not own but occasionally need. This is the strength of Canon and Nikon as you can rent any number of lens from a wide range of places, which aids the availability exotic lens for photographers. Most photographers these days unless they have regular need for the exotic lens do not own them they rent them it helps to keep their costs down and it is something that I would highly recommend as keeping costs down is good business sense.
Lens Range: Sony actually has a good range of lens and there are a lot of older Minolta lens that can be used as well. The Zeiss lens are great to use and optically very good, I like their rendering and image quality. Sony could add a few few more f2 lens in their fixed lens range though as they would be cheaper and lighter than the f1.4’s that they like to make.
Camera Features: The Sony A99 has a lot of great features and I have come to love the electronic viewfinder in the camera as I can nail my exposure and use focus peaking with manual focusing easy. It’s video is well thought out and highly useable. I like the way the camera fits the hand and just works.
Reputation: now this is harder, as the cameras themselves get a good reviewing on the review sites but they have not grabbed the professionals that need to move to Sony if Sony is to get the market share that Canon or Nikon has. My writing on and about these cameras and how great they are, is not changing the marketplace. I am just not high profile enough to make that sort of difference to the average person. Yet, when I show how to use the electronic finder, to get accurate exposure it makes everyone who sees it, want to be able to do the same on their cameras. Sorry you can’t do this unless you have an electronic viewfinder.
This is the great thing about both the A99, Nex-7 and now the new A7 and A7r cameras.