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Melbourne Park

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  1. While pre-orders were being listed at $Au3,500, there are Australian sites offering the A7S for $Au2,500. Which includes our sales tax of 10%. So, that would be pre-sales tax in the USA, a price of $Au2,273. Which in US dollars, would be about $US2,200. Also the Australian sites are offering a free lens adapter of your choice, worth in Australian dollars up to $300, or $US280. So I think the likely US price for the camera is around the $US2,000 mark, when profiteering from retailers passes. I am delighted with the price. This is around the same price as the 7R, for a stills and video camera that suits me better ( I don't want full HD but 1080P will suit me perfectly). I don't need 36MP resolution - sorry - I do not want 36MP - its a pain in the bottom IMO. And I hardly ever crop a photo. I have heaps of great photos from my old Olympus E-1. It's processor was a beauty IMO - and it only produced 5MP shots. 12MP is the perfect file size IMO. And you get low light capabilities, which means the need for a flash may be much less necessary - which is a very appropriate benefit in a compact camera. I'll keep my micro four thirds gear for tele photography, and likely change over in time, selling my wide angle m43 lenses, although that will hurt I've got to say. I am looking forward too to using some of my old film lenses on a sensor size they were designed for. My only reservation is focus speed, and I am hoping that they lower light capability will give improved focusing. Reviews remarked upon how while the A7 had phase focusing, the focus often missed. While with the A7R, the focus while slower was reliable. Perhaps the sweet spot might be the A7S, with faster but reliable focusing. Not relevent for videoers, but perhaps the A7S was not designed for video'ers - perhaps it was designed for people like me?
  2. I am like you - 4K video isn't where its at for me. I also have micro four thirds gear (Olympus). But I will not be able to do decent amateur video hand held with my Olympus lenses on a GH-4 IMO, due to lack of internal stabilisation. I will very much miss the touch screen and focus interface on the Olympus LCD, but I think the low light ability of the Sony especially the video will allow me to achieve lots that I can't easily do with Olympus or a GH-4. As far as stills resolution goes, the Sony zooms actually out resolve Olympus's best lenses from the tests I have seen. The slower Sony zoom lenses aren't an issue for me because they have less depth of field than similar priced Panasonic or Olympus zoom lenses. With the broader shadow tone range, and greater ISO settings, the camera will be better in low light, which is something valuable to me. But I expect focus will be poor in such low light, but perhaps the A7S focus's a bit better due to its good light capability should enhance the contrast focusing. If Sony's price is right, I'll likely jump and use both platforms.
  3. I recall the CPU story from a Japanese manufacturer, who was requested to have a failure rate of .002%. Curious about this, the company sent some extra CPUs along, to satisfy the customer's error "requirement"! The customer was somewhat surprised ...
  4. I suspect though, that faults would get less and less, due to experience. Interesting though that the GH-3 sells now for retail now @ $1,300; while the A7 sells for $1,700. That's about your price difference on sensors ($400). But more relevent here, is the price for other FF cameras. Canon and Nikon both have FF cameras that cost under $1,900. The Nikon D610 is a cese in point. It has a magnesium obdy with polycarbonate front outer skin, and its as weather and shockproof as a D800. It shares the same optical viewfinder as the D800 too, which means 100%, good magnification, and expensive prism optics to get the high quality view to its viewfinder. Which is much more expensive technology, that an A7's. Same too with the reflex mirror mechanism. It has LCD "live" views like an A7's too, and its LCD screen is 3.2", which is big. Its body is big and more costly to make too, plus it has lots of buttons and switches, all weatherproofed. Costly again ... but it retails for under $1,900. When I look at the A7, its highly profitable at $1,700. Its a much cheaper camera to make than a FF DSLR. If Sony want to really get a jump on Canikon, their chance is the A7. Of course. This is why they've taken mirrorless into FF. Back when the OM-D was rumoured, gossip said it was FF. But it was just m43. Sony's now done FF in mirrorless, with the A7 range, with so far three different FF sensors. Sony has good reasons not to have high prices for the A7"S". Highly competitive prices could see mirrorless even become successful in North America. If Sony have higher prices, then they'll not be successful IMO. Strategically, if Sony sell the A7 cameras at mid to high range APS DSLR prices, they'll still be profitable, because the mirrorless platform has less costly mechanical components than DSLRs, and they use less materials in manufacture. If the A7 and the A7"S" are both really affordable, Canikon will know that if they enter the FF mirrorless market, they'll have to do so much lower prices than their DSLR FF cameras in order to compete with Sony. And lowering prices for a effective FF mirrorless camera, would consequently likely damage their precious DSLR businesses. Which would threaten their whole business model, based on selling lenses onto DSLR bodies that are restricted to an exclusive attachment criteria. IMO the key to Sony winning a very large FF mirrorless market, is to have value prices, because that will attack (ie compete) with their Canikon competitors where their profits are indeed vulnerable. Selling for high prices for the FF Sony Alpha cameras would be a competitive mistake, and could result in another Betamax fiasco (introduces 1975), because high prices for the A7 range will invite in Canikon who would likely take the Sony market, just like VHS did (which entered in 1976).
  5. About the Nex branding - I thought that Samsung hurt the name - their mirrorless being called NX. I was surprised that was legal actually. Who knows - but Sony have certainly wasted many many millions on their branding the Nex line. Which surely points to Sony making mistakes - which was my point to pablogrollan. As far as the sensor cost issue goes - I agree that smaller sensor would cost less to produce. I suspect though that R&D costs dominate sensor costing. I note too that the bottom of the micro four thirds cameras, sell for quite low prices. My presumption with such price divergency using similar sized sensors, is that the R&D has been paid for with cheap cameras that use sensors that are not the very latest. Also, Learning Curve issues do lower production costs. Lets not forget though that the A7 sells for $1,700. Certainly, I think that a mFT sensor might cost one quarter of the raw materials to make (864mm^2 v 225mm^2 surface area = 3.84 greater area for FF sensor). I assume that higher pixel density would increase the cost though on smaller sensors? IMO I would guesstimate the price difference between mFT and FF as being a factor of three times. The main issue though would be R&D. Followed by where the sensor lies on the "Learning Curve". The Learning Curve means that as time progresses, things get cheaper to produce. So, there are two main costs - your simple production volume cost (which will go down over time as production skill improves) and the R&D cost. I suspect that there is a great desire to pay back the R&D as quickly as possible from the R&D sector of the company. Hence if Sony sell the light sensitive sensor to Nikon, its R&D will be paid back much more quickly, and hence the cost of the sensor will go down a lot. Similarly, if the sensor is sold into a cheaper camera, the volume of sales will increase, and hence the R&D will be paid back much more quickly, If I was pricing the R&D pay back, the choice for Sony (ignoring Nikon sales) would that if the camera using the sensor was sold for a low very competitive price, then the sales volume would be much greater. Hence I would ask a much lower R&D contribution for a low price A7S. But if the A7S is sold for $3,000, then I'd ask a higher R&D payback, because the sales for a $3,000 A7S would be much lower than if the camera was sold for $2,000. We do know however, that the A7 sells for $1,700 now. IMO the difference between the A7 sensor and the A7S sensor, would just be R&D. There should not be a big difference in price between the cameras from a sensor point of view IMO. And if the price is set high, then the camera may not sell nearly as well as it will if sold for a keen price. I assume too that because the A7S body is cheaper than the A7R body, that the A7S was not targetted as the premium A7 product. Unfortunately, I do not know the cost of manufacture of a sensor, or its R&D cost. Let's guess though ... lets say a team of 20 people working for $100,000 spent a year on the A7S sensor. That's $2 million. If 100 people, then $10 million. If the pay back for the R&D was $200 per sensor, then if 20 people, the volume required would be 100,000 cameras. This article says mirrorless - SCS sales - were about 4.2 million. http://pmanewsline.com/2013/12/02/mirrorless-camera-sales-growth-slows-amidst-lower-priced-slrs/#.U0261xbOnbw Another article says that already in Japan, the A7 & A7R had achieved 0.5% of the market http://bcnranking.jp/news/1312/131227_27056.html. So, 0.5% of 4.2 million, is 210,000. That is two times my previous pay back figure. And that is in just one year. R&D pay back would be for several years. Hence, I think a $200 premium for the A7S sensor's R&D, is an OK estimate. It could easily be just $50.
  6. Firstly, I am unsure about answering because I think there was some emotion going on in your reply. So I'll just answer back directly. The problem is that this is barely on topic. Let me say I am not a Pro photographer, and that my interest is in buying one of two products: the A7S, or the GH-4. Hence I am reading these threads.
  7. Sure ... but how is 2K video resolved on the A7S? My understanding, is by the A7S cropping down to APS-C? Hence the full frame is not used??? Or is there binning going on?? According to what I've read, there isn't binning with 2K. So ... a speed booster on the A7S could make a Canon FF lens etc increase the ISO by one stop, by putthing an APS-c focus onto the A7S's sensor ... not worthwhile probably because the gain of one stop may not be a big deal with that S sensor.
  8. With the ISO power of the 12.2 MP sensor, I don't see much need in speed booster. While a stop is worthwhile on deeper depth of field sensors, with the huge ISO power of this new sensor, I'd save the money and get a cheaper adapter.
  9. Sony have lots of experience at pricing technology. They'd have asked Pros how much they'd pay ... but outside of such issues, things become strategic. I'll give you an example: if Sony sell this A7"S" camera at $3,500, that action would cause less sales, bad PR, and much worse, it would invite Nikon to use the very same sensor in a Full Frame Nikon "2". Keep the Nikon "1" the same. And Nikon might sell it for $1,899. And make money. Meanwhile, Olympus would be even more tempted: bring out a larger camera, call it their E-7, with IBIS FF, clever cooling, phase focus, full video capabilities, and the same mFT bayonet, and sell it for $1,999. Worse still, it would invite Canon to innovate (at last) and bring in a video stills hybrid for $2k, that would make Canon the reference point for quality FF mirrorless. Does Sony want Canon to capture this market? The sensor division will want high prices for the A7S. Because the sensor division will want Nikon and Olympus to place orders for their new sensor. But Sony's sensor division should not want Canon to become serious about mirrorless. The strategic marketing question is: does Sony want to own this market? If they do, the best way to own it, is to discourage the competition, by having a great price, and simply by taking over from DSLRs with better, more affordable, more clever products. That actually cost less to manufacture. The question from a cost of manufacturing point of view is: how expensive was the new sensor to develop, secondly how expensive is it to manufacture, and thirdly, how expensive are the differences from the A7? The differences from the A7 not that many. For instance, the camera could have had much faster shutter actuations - but its still 5 fps maximum. The differences are the sensor, the bayonet (its stainless), the software and perhaps the CPU (although since the camera doesn't do 4K internally, perhaps the CPU is a lot cheaper than the 4 thread CPU that the GH-4 uses. When Mazda introduced the Miata MX-5, it was sold at a good price (if you were prepared to wait). Honda congratulated Mazda, and they then put their open sports car they were developing on the back burner. It was game over for Honda, because Mazda priced an excellent product at a good value price. Mazda owned that market, and the Mazda Miata MX-5 still rules. So high prices would be a huge mistake. I could quote the 5 "P"s of marketing (some use 7): Product, Price. Promotion, Place (Distribution) and People. One of those "P" issues must be what surely would be a Sony key camera mission: to popularise mirrorless in North America. Mirrorless has failed in North America. North Americans like big things. They have shown that they do not value smaller size, when there are other downsides. Plus perhaps, they think if its small, its a toy. Its not serious. The A7S doesn't need to be expensive. Because its mostly electronic. Its not like a 5D MIV ... with an expensive prism, and complicated mirror mechanisms. Its only moving parts are the buttons and dials, the shutter (which is pretty lethargic) and the screen and doors. Its much much cheaper to make than a 5D. Its cheaper to manufacture than a 5300 or an Evolt DSLR, except for the weather sealing, and the sensor, although how much extra the sensor really costs to manufacture, is an interesting question. But I include the sensor there in same cost to make as a 5300 - but not its R&D costs. With computers, the old rules for valuing them - was to weigh them. The same applies for cameras, as far as the manufuctering goes, and excluding R&D costs. The fact that the A7S weighs under 500 grams, tells me a lot. Its not costly to manufacture. And the way to get back R&D, is by owning this whole FF mirrorless market. There's nothing small though about the A7 sensor, and the "S" also provides low light capabities for the average photographer. If Sony sells the camera for close to A7 prices, they keep out the competition, they'll popularise North American thoughts about mirror less, they'll make Sony the reference point for light weight powerful cameras, they'll pay for the R&D for the sensor in a brief time, they'll make more money, they'll not only own the market, they may win North Americans away from their love of bulky heavy DSLRs that typically use only half size sensors. Sir: if you raise the bonnet, just have a look now at that sensor. Its not hidden away either - we're proud of it! Just like Nikon and Canon own the DSLR market, Sony has an opportunity here, and the key reason, is that they have a big sensor. Won't North Amercans love that. I don't expect a high price for the A7S. Sony won't be that dumb.
  10. I think the 7R has all metal, and different metal rotating buttons. Its slighty lighter too. The A7 has a plastic front, and as said, different material for the rotating buttons. IMO the A7R feels much nicer. The A7S I have read has the A7 body (which indicates hopefully a lower price point than the A7R). The difference in body between the A7S and the A7, is the bayonet on the A7S is stainless instead of the alloy bayonet used on the A7 and A7R, due to the expectation of some big (third party) lenses for video by pro uses on the A7S.
  11. No, its a strategic decision, which is done by marketing. Essentially, there are two ways to market: a differentiated strategy, typically with higher unit profit margins; a low cost basis, with more sales and lower profit margins. The issue with a camera, is that much profit can come from its lenses. In the old days, Kodak sold its cameras in order to sell paper. Kodak was a paper manufacturing company. Its camera sales were likely low cost, high volume. With digital, there's no film profits; but lenses do make lots of money. Which is why Canikon are afraid to be serious about mirrorless. You can also add the 5 "P"s of marketing (some use 7): Product, Price. Promotion, Place (Distribution) and People. There are also lots of reasons why Sony might want to get volume out of the A7 range. A few years ago, I thought Sony had stopped developing cameras. But over the last few years, they've tried lots of different concepts. Notably, mirrorless cameras that are space efficient. But while Asia has adapted mirrorless, North America hasn't. And Nikon have only used a small sensor for their mirrorless line of cameras, which currently appear to be doing poorly. If one looks at the components of a 5DMkIII, there's a lot of cost in its manufacture. Notably, the expensive prism stands out as something costly, as does the shutter and its reflex design. Over time the mechanical side of the camera is being challenged. If one looks at the A7 range, perhaps the sensor is the most expensive part of the camera's components, rather than the shutter or the prism. One of Sony's key camera missions must be to popularise mirrorless in North America. With mirrorless, the sensor becomes a larger part of the camera's value. Which suits Sony perfectly. Perhaps the A7 is the most important mirror less camera so far - because North American like big things, and while the A7 is small, its sensor(s) are large. If Sony market the A7 so that it is not bought by consumers, then Sony have blown their opportunity top popularise mirror less in North America. What better reason to sell the A7 at a lower price.
  12. It is ready for most pro users, who would not operate without a second screen and the gear that goes with it. For ProSumers, they likely don't have the home infrastructure either: powerful editing software, fast disk and computers, 4K monitors and 4K TVs. I think if you made the camera bigger, you might loose the mass market, who want something small. Plus, Sony had a form factor for this when they started - the A7 size. Perhaps if you put in 4K, the battery life would suffer perhaps too much. Same too with perhaps with heat issues. If you put in IBIS - the issue would also be battery life IMO. If the GH-4 has IBIS, it's battery life would suffer a lot (more so with the A7's FF large sensor). The OM-D's suffer from reduced battery life - the only logical explanation is due to the OM-D's IBIS. Add that IBIS to video, and you'd need to add big grips and much bigger batteries. While a bigger A9 might solve all that, the problem for many users, would simply be that its bigger. And if the A7S had really poor battery life - the camera would be criticised by all IMO.
  13. Why should it cost more than the other A7s? Sony own the software inside, they haven't developed the body (its shared), and it opens up new markets for more lenses. Its CPUs inside might be no more costly than the rest of the A7 models. IMO the price will be decided by marketing. If they just want to Pro market, then sell it for $3K. But if they want the Prosumer mass market, then sell it for under $2k. I'd bet selling it for under $2K would win them major market share, and would also keep Sony and Nikon away from getting serious about mirrorless. And if another FF competitor entered the market and Sony dropped the A7 "S" price ... that would burn their new A7 customers. While profits are attractive, if Sony want to own this market, they need to sell now at no more than 20% above prices that they expect their street camera prices to be 18 months time.
  14. Actually Apple is case to make note of, on how to do things. Incidentally, their IOS phone software provided heaps of new features to my old iPhone 4, which my mother now uses. It did not get Siri - but Apple would not allow it on the old phone, Apple said because it would not be reliable on the old, slow CPU. But the software upgrades were free, and provided heaps of new features, and even more speed. Apple is interesting, because - at least under Steve Jobs - they were not afraid to hurt a current profitable business or market, by introducing an alternative product that challenged the established cash cow business. The iPad hurt notebook sales, and it cost a lot less. And that is Canon and Nikon's issues - they are heroically protecting their mirror / prism cameras. They have their heads in the sand, and they are stuck to the past. I'm amused that people here are praising their Canon 5D Mkwatevers. I had a MkII, and it was a huge tank. HUGE ... This Sony A7 S - it weighs less than a GH-4. With a battery, its under 500 grams. And the A7 line has a choice of three, full frame sensors. This is a dream for many people - light weight, and a choice of full frame sensors. As Canon and Nikon users well know - the key for being a prisoner of your system, is the amount of money you spent on your lenses. But this Sony platform allows people to at least use the glass they own - although it won't work very easily ... but it will allow the light through!! Try other platforms glass on your Canikon DSLRs! The key for me with the A7, is not the camera itself. Compared to the cost of cameras 20 years ago, this A7 line is cheap. Very cheap. The real issue with such platforms though, is that ultimately its about the lenses, because they cost the real money. If I buy into the A7 concept, with the proliferation of bodies and upgrades that will ultimately come, that is not at all a threat to me. Its a benefit to me. Because the more new models sold, the more niches that Sony attack, then the more lenses will be made, and the safer my investment in lenses will be, because ultimately its lenses that make a system succeed. And perhaps the FF sensor does have a lot of advantages outside of tele and sports stills. But for video, the benefits of mirrorless combined with light sensitive sensors are irresistible. Nikon and Canon are prisoners of old technology, and their customers are stuck with a concept that simply is inferior for video. But this A7 line, while we can complain about its lacking 4K inside - don't forget that it has stuck to its golden mission - and that is light weight. No doubt new models and probably a heavier A9 body may come later I assume. And that will be a good thing, as will MkII & MkIII A7s. New models are good for a platform, and they don't make our old model any worse. For me, the only threat to satisfaction with a Sony A7S, is Nikon (or even Canon) coming out with a FF mirrorless, and providing it with heaps of lenses and great compatibility with their DSLR lenses. If Bill Gates was running Canon, he'd have shown the new FF mirrorless mock-up already, and explained how it would handle all your old lenses. This is what crippled Word Perfect and the rest of the word processor companies, as Microsoft kept promising that their new software would be so much better, you just have to wait a while for it, and in the meantime, the competition went broke. But Canikon are too locked into the their DSLRs to be serious, and they've continued to leave the door wide open to Four Thirds and some APS-C others but most significantly now, the full frame mirrorless is here, and serving great video for under 500 grams.
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