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jonpais

Sony Dominates FF Sales in USA

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Four out of ten full frame cameras sold in the first half of 2018 were manufactured by Sony. It’s also been reported that in the overall mirrorless market, Sony has held the No.1 spot in both dollars and units for more than six years. The company attributes much of its recent success to the overwhelming popularity of the a7r III, a7 III and a9 full frame mirrorless cameras.

source

In my own view, I paid $2,700 for the a7 III + Voigtlander 65mm f/2. In absolute terms, that may seem like a lot of money - but when you consider that the ‘basic’ model shares much of the DNA of the a9 and a7r III and in some ways even outperforms Sony’s flagship models costing as much as double the a7 III; and that the APO-Lanthar has been favorably compared to Zeiss Otus optics selling for $4,000 - it can be considered a bargain. 

 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Not that suprising, really. They're getting on with the times and they do keep getting better and better.

Nikon and Canon are late to catch up, but it will be interesting to see how that looks like when they do.

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They are doing well partly due to a good product but partly due to zero competition.

No full frame mirrorless Panasonic, no Olympus, no Fuji, no Canon, no Nikon.

That is about to change.

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Yup. But Sony's are still a little iffy. Haven't met anyone that was completely in love with their Sony camera. They can do some awesome things and there's nothing quite like it yet indeed: combining being fullframe mirrorless, having sensor stabilization, being that sensitive and getting the results. But if Canon and Nikon can rival that with better ergonomics, menus and everything... then I doubt many still find Sony that exciting. It's all about usability, that's why so many people still use Canons for just about anything, although they hardly seem to have anything exciting going for 'em.

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1 hour ago, Cinegain said:

Yup. But Sony's are still a little iffy. Haven't met anyone that was completely in love with their Sony camera. They can do some awesome things and there's nothing quite like it yet indeed: combining being fullframe mirrorless, having sensor stabilization, being that sensitive and getting the results. But if Canon and Nikon can rival that with better ergonomics, menus and everything... then I doubt many still find Sony that exciting. It's all about usability, that's why so many people still use Canons for just about anything, although they hardly seem to have anything exciting going for 'em.

They had better have the best product since sliced bread! If you are just starting out fresh I doubt Canon, and Nikon particularly are about the last camera kit you would buy if you are going big time into it. Especially into the video side of it. Panny, Sony and Fuji are on a roll. Olympus seems to have fallen by the wayside? I have no clue who is buying Nikon high end stuff the way it is other than the same old turds that are against Mirrorless bodies.

Canon and Nikon had Better hit a home run,  hell make it a Grand Slam HR to slow down the momentum the 3 company's above had made. I would say Fuji has bit into Nikon more than Canon.

Just having a decent body in this day and age is hardly a reason to spend 5 to 7 thousand dollars on a new kit. As you stated Sony has proved that. Output and features sell high end stuff now.  There will be 200 reviews on You Tube the first day ripping Nikon's ass if it is a dog.

Speaking of Sony Bodies, I broke the SD card door on my A7s yesterday! 169 bucks to fix it out in California, plus shipping both ways. Damn it. They have to put a whole new back on it.

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Interesting they use NPD Group info for all the "we're #1 in the last 6 months" but for the claim of #1 in mirrorless over the last 6 years is " Source: Sony internal historical data sources." Form reading that goofy press release, sounds like the "source" is Sony Alpha Rumors.

This announcement reeks of desperation, the a7III and the largely ignored Pentax K1.2 are the only FF bodies released in the last 6 months. They have a new camera, they should be #1. Its no coincidence Nikon's Z6/Z7 announcement is a week away.

Perhaps we'll get a follow up announcing they've maintained a dominant position with most FF cameras shipped between now and when the Nikon starts shipping or something equally silly like most FF mirrorless lenses sold in the last 4 years.

Chris

p.s. I'm keeping an eye on used gear boards after the Nikon is announced, I'm betting there will be some good deals from Nikon shooters that are shooting Sony as a 2nd system or just dipping a toe in mirrorless. Hot new camera means good deals!

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The market share numbers are exaggerated by the fact that neither Canon or Nikon have launched a new FF in the past year.

The A7iii though is an incredibly strong product offering especially at its price point. It’s strength is that it has no glaring weaknesses - it does pretty everything well or very well for both video and stills.

I tend to disagree with most people here about the ergonomics. I do get that people who are used to a dslr want a mirrorless that feels like a dslr. But I have never owned a Dslr and whenever I pick one up it feels like a klunky relic. There is some something very intuitive about large sensor small body. I guess I am mostly a photographer so my wants are different. The form factor of the Fuji X-H1 is popular here but it hasn’t resonated with photographers. 

I will be super impressed if Nikon comes out with a better mirrorless than Sony (I will be totally gobsmacked if Canon does). I don’t think Nikon actually needs a better mirrorless to outsell Sony -their brand name should do that with a fairly solid offering.

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14 minutes ago, Robert Collins said:

I tend to disagree with most people here about the ergonomics. I do get that people who are used to a dslr want a mirrorless that feels like a dslr. But I have never owned a Dslr and whenever I pick one up it feels like a klunky relic. There is some something very intuitive about large sensor small body. I guess I am mostly a photographer so my wants are different. The form factor of the Fuji X-H1 is popular here but it hasn’t resonated with photographers. 

 

If you ever hold the top end Canon, Nikon bodies, like the1DX, the D5 you Would like them, heck love them. They fit in your hand like a glove, and don't seem to weigh anything like they look like they would, and are balanced it seems no matter the lens on them. They are magic. I regretted selling every one I ever owned LoL. You just can't wait to get out and shoot with one.

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2 hours ago, Cinegain said:

Yup. But Sony's are still a little iffy. Haven't met anyone that was completely in love with their Sony camera.

Best way I can describe it are they are a logical favourite but not an emotional one. I don't really bond with it when using it.It's a utilitarian tool with top specs... it's not a friend, or a companion, in the way that some lesser cameras have been.

Sony need to work on the X factor and look beyond the scientific.

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Oh I will be the first to admit my hands are just too big for any of the mirrorless cameras other than the Panny G, GH series. But have not tried say a Fuji XT2 but I am not going to buy into a APSC system, not happening. I can't even use the Sony RX10 I bought, ,and I Have to have some sort of extension on my A7s. I use the Sony battery grip most of the time, mainly for battery life, and even then it still sucks size wise and battery wise. I was out yesterday when I broke my SD door on it, and as soon as I turned it on, "Battery Exhausted" LoL. I must be having more Senior Moments than I remember! Lucky I had 4 more batteries for it. Worse than a Damn BMPCC in video mode. Well not that bad. I Only have one pocket full of Sony batteries instead of two pockets full with a BMPCC. ?

I am sure this new Nikon top end Mirrorless would, will fit my hands way better than the Sony A7 ones. That would not take to much effort to do! ☹️

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I'm reminded of hearing that some cinematographers want equipment that gives a great look SOOC camera, and some want a neutral capture that they can then manipulate in post.  The former tend to view cameras and lenses and lighting as artistic tools, and the latter talk about the highest resolution and lowest distortion components and view the camera as a technical tool.

It seems to me that Canon, Nikon, and others have followings because of certain artistic elements - people buy Canon despite the weaknesses because of "those Canon colours" etc.  No-one seems to talk like that about Sony.  People seem to buy Sony because they have designed their products to extract the most technical performance out of them, not because they have some sort of killer feature - no-one is saying "oh, but that 6K downsampling resolution!".

In a sense it's a philosophical choice for the user, do they want a camera that is a flawed but wonderful artistic instrument, or do they want a precise but neutral capture device?

I prefer the latter but I understand why people would choose the former, it's personal.

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I doubt the majority of Nikon, Canon shooters ever even use Video on their cameras. So buying the latest and greatest ones for taking Photos is stupid to me. What the hell other than HDR, which I hate on photos, has evolved in them the last 5 years other than some low light ability. You aren't going to shoot photos at 50,000 ISO anyways.

A Nikon D750 or a D800, D4s is still good enough for photos. And Nikon has always had crazy good Photo AF on their higher end cameras. Better than Canon has, well at least a hell of a lot easier to get it to work right AF.

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I’m only responding here to comments like, ‘well, duh... they’re the only ones who’ve released a new camera in the past six months,’ or who suggest the numbers are fake.

Both DSLR manufacturers, who sell coveted premium pro cameras costing upwards of $6,000 and still manage to cripple their 4K video (if they offer it at all) by either unacceptably cropping the image, using pixel binning, disabling histograms or zebras, switching from DPAF to CDAF in video or giving us a miserly number of AF points in the center of the frame, saying goodbye to face tracking or using outdated codecs, as well as mirrorless manufacturers who fall far behind in key areas like battery life and autofocus, with bizarre constrictions on HDMI out and curiously missing critical exposure aids have allowed Sony to take the lead where video is concerned.

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Sony has pretty much taken the lead on Video since day one. I don't see that changing anytime soon either. Broadcast TV is just about dominated by Sony. And that is crazy big money Networks pay out. Scary money.

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1 hour ago, kye said:

I'm reminded of hearing that some cinematographers want equipment that gives a great look SOOC camera, and some want a neutral capture that they can then manipulate in post.  The former tend to view cameras and lenses and lighting as artistic tools, and the latter talk about the highest resolution and lowest distortion components and view the camera as a technical tool.

For me the big advantage of Sony is ease of use. You get uncropped 4K, slo mo, good low light, shallow dof with standard lenses, decent af and ibis. Everything you need so you don’t have to bother with manual focusing, adapters, focal reducers or even gimbals a lot of the time.

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1 hour ago, jonpais said:

[..]

Both DSLR manufacturers, who sell coveted premium pro cameras costing upwards of $6,000 and still manage to cripple their 4K video (if they offer it at all) by either unacceptably cropping the image, using pixel binning, disabling histograms or zebras, switching from DPAF to CDAF in video or giving us a miserly number of AF points in the center of the frame, saying goodbye to face tracking or using outdated codecs, as well as mirrorless manufacturers who fall far behind in key areas like battery life and autofocus, with bizarre constrictions on HDMI out and curiously missing critical exposure aids have allowed Sony to take the lead where video is concerned.

Yeah, that's something I'm afraid they ain't gonna turn around by going mirrorless (but hoping they will). Just look at the mess that EOS-M is (to me). The meaning of mirrorless is more than pulling out the mirror and replacing the optical viewfinder with an electronic one. More so it's everything else that's cutting edge and innovation. EOS-M isn't even doing sensor stabilization... Olympus has been doing it for many many years now. Catch up already! They were reluctant to get 4K into consumer cameras. When they did... they put a huge crop on it. Stuff like that is just inexcusable. Will FF high-end mirrorless be any different? I mean... was the 5DmkIV any different? But time will have to tell. If they do embrace the mirrorless philosophy and don't play games but actually are serious about trying to disrupt the mirrorless scene... it could get interesting. I hated using the D5300 although I loved the results out of it. Their whole approach was too traditional and dated. Can they up it? Now there's even rumors Olympus might be going fullframe... one thing's for sure. This market is going to be on fire. Will be interesting to see things play out. Better fill up my pantry with popcorn...

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Even though my A7s has died, and is likely a very expensive fix, I still rate it by far my all time favourite camera and I really do love it and much more so than any Canon or Nikon camera I have had so far.         I also am perfectly happy with its ergonomics and colour (and I have pretty big hands).

 

Being able to shoot and see with the EVF in really low (almost no) light and shoot walk around with adapted or native lenses and use something like a Canon 17mm tilt shift lens at night hand held is something I can not do yet with anything else.

In the meanwhile I will probably have to get a cheap old Canon APSC DSLR just to be able to take photos and/or video (I still have some decent EF mount AF lenses).

I will miss using the 17 TS-E FF though and using both the FE 85 1.8 and Sony Zeiss 55 1.8 as no old lenses have come close to those for me.

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1 hour ago, Robert Collins said:

For me the big advantage of Sony is ease of use. You get uncropped 4K, slo mo, good low light, shallow dof with standard lenses, decent af and ibis. Everything you need so you don’t have to bother with manual focusing, adapters, focal reducers or even gimbals a lot of the time.

This is an excellent example of how people speak about the Sony cameras, a list of features, presented rationally and factually.  I'm not criticising at all, this is how I view the camera - an input to the work I do in Resolve.

By contrast, people talk about the colour of Canon and more recently Nikon, they talk about the rendering of out-of-focus areas of vintage lenses, they talk about things like the Black Pro Mist filter, and they talk subjectively about 'the look', how things are 'cinematic' or 'analog' or 'filmic', about the quality of the highlight rolloff, etc etc.  They tend to say things like "I know camera X only shoots in soft 1080, weighs 25kg, battery life is 12 minutes, sound is unusable, and you need an engineering degree to operate the menus, BUT <insert subjective comments about the feel of the footage here> and that's why I choose it".

Different tools for different folks.  Film-Making is Art after all :)

I guess my point is that although Sony isn't a stand-out in aesthetic terms, it is a stand-out in wringing all the technical capability out of the components of a camera, which is a stand-out for those who take a more objective preference to the camera, which is why people can suffer the poor menus and other weaknesses.

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11 minutes ago, kye said:

This is an excellent example of how people speak about the Sony cameras, a list of features, presented rationally and factually.  I'm not criticising at all, this is how I view the camera - an input to the work I do in Resolve.

By contrast, people talk about the colour of Canon and more recently Nikon, they talk about the rendering of out-of-focus areas of vintage lenses, they talk about things like the Black Pro Mist filter, and they talk subjectively about 'the look', how things are 'cinematic' or 'analog' or 'filmic', about the quality of the highlight rolloff, etc etc.  They tend to say things like "I know camera X only shoots in soft 1080, weighs 25kg, battery life is 12 minutes, sound is unusable, and you need an engineering degree to operate the menus, BUT <insert subjective comments about the feel of the footage here> and that's why I choose it".

Different tools for different folks.  Film-Making is Art after all :)

I guess my point is that although Sony isn't a stand-out in aesthetic terms, it is a stand-out in wringing all the technical capability out of the components of a camera, which is a stand-out for those who take a more objective preference to the camera, which is why people can suffer the poor menus and other weaknesses.

It’s complicated. Say you’re a wedding shooter and you’re in love with the stunning colors from camera A. But your hit rate is low bcs of unreliable AF. Or your partner’s camera just returned to factory reset right in the middle of the reception. You’re not overly fond of the green tint you’ve gotta remove in post, but with camera B, your hit rate’s now somewhere between 95-98%... 

-from someone who just switched to Sony (not me!)

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38 minutes ago, jonpais said:

It’s complicated. Say you’re a wedding shooter and you’re in love with the stunning colors from camera A. But your hit rate is low bcs of unreliable AF. Or your partner’s camera just returned to factory reset right in the middle of the reception. You’re not overly fond of the green tint you’ve gotta remove in post, but with camera B, your hit rate’s now somewhere between 95-98%... 

-from someone who just switched to Sony (not me!)

I'd view those things more like hygiene factors (absolute minimum requirements) rather than weaknesses, but you're right about some people might view the trade-off as acceptable.

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