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Andrew Reid

There will be a Sony A7S II successor. The bad news is - "it will take time"

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6 hours ago, wolf33d said:

Absolutely NO way the a7siii comes in 2 years from now. 

They went back to the design when Panasonic announced the S1, now they are just trying to add 4K60 10b without overheating. This will be a 2019 camera. 90% of the camera is probably done and now they are trying to make it work technically.

Also, I agree with you, this shitty Japanese mentality of “we do what customer want”. It’s too late. 

Apple said that ages ago: if you wait for your customer to tell you what they want, by the time you bring the product on the shelf they want something else. And it’s never been so true. 

Their job is to anticipate customer needs 2y in advance so they meet the need when the camera is ready.

Actually Sony's STRONGEST advantage is the sensor. They make sensors which are ahead of cameras by atleast 2 generations. Even their own cameras only tap a small portion of their Sensors True Potential (to protect their cinema line-up as well as genuine issues with heat and battery life). The ZCam E2 is Proof of this. By offering 4k at 120p, it easily outlines the potential of the sensor that Panasonic is unable to or unwanting to explore. Even the dynamic range in video is greatly handicapped in video due to the limitations of VLog and all its other profiles. The GH5 itself can do full res at 60p, meaning it's potential for HDR photos is superb. 

Sony mentioned in the same interview that they have customers requesting for higher megapixels even though he believes the 12MP  count on the A7sii is sufficient. Which means probably an 18MP sensor or somewhere between that and the 12MP and obviously with equally good if not better low light. And the colour science of the new A7iii. IMHO the dilemmas foe Sony are thus:

1. Should it offer 10bit 4-2-2 internal like the Panasonic or have it external like Canon, Nikon and Fuji. Or have a mix like Fuji's to satisfy everyone. 

2. Whether they need to get rid of the recording limit on the Camera or wait for the regressive EU legislation to die by next year and save on costs and then get rid of it.

3. 10bit may have more heat and pipeline related issue. Sony is wondering where (all) to cut corners. He is confident that they STRONG cards can easily handle 10bit so that is not an issue with him. The issue is giving as much as Panasonic and not too much more. Considering that apparently all Sony Sensor buyers have to outline their exact specification in the purchase order (under the guise of getting the right sensor for the job), Sony is more than aware of what the Panasonic Full Frames cameras will be capable of. Sony has to offer similar features, some more and some less. At a Premium in terms of cost. Or actually in terms of profits. 

This is a sensor roadmap (in the pic). But many sensors are on the market ONLY after their original buyers finish making their products, and Sony won't share details of its own sensor atleast until such time as it is available off the shelf. The only thing sure, right now, may be that the sensor can do full res at 60p (or higher) and has 14-bit at some frame rates which may be half of that or lower. Also dual or rather multiple gain and ISO in the range of the previous A7s cameras and maybe a little higher, if not just cleaner at those ISOs. 

 

Fujifilm-X-T3-8-1320x887.jpg

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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

I think one of three things happened:

Sony got cocky and thought that they were more ahead of everyone else than they really were, making them think they had more breathing room than they really had. That could also explain why the A7 III was beyond pretty much everyone's expectations. 

Or

The A7S III was nearing the end of its development when all the sudden everyone else started circling them, daggers drawn. We started hearing rumblings around April and May that big things were on the horizon, and by mid-Summer things really picked up steam as September approached. Then in the span of 3 weeks you had Canon, Nikon, and then almost out of nowhere, Panasonic announcing full frame mirrorless, with Panasonic promising 4K 60p. Even the advances Fujifilm has made might have concerned them. It seems entirely possible that after all of this they realized they needed to continue development. This would explain why (if I remember correctly) Sony reps had indicated not that long ago that the A7S III was close to being announced. 

And/or 

They haven't figured out how they can implement key features due to hardware/design limitations. I've been very skeptical about their ability to have 8-bit 4K 60p, let alone 10-bit 4K 60p, because of overheating issues. 

Really though, none of those would surprise me. If the A7S III were ready to go, as some people still believe, there is no reason to hold it back, especially given how fast the landscape has been changing. It'd be better to get it on the market sooner rather than later before it falls behind technologically before its even released. 

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1 hour ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

nobody else has a 6k sensor full frame with no crop

Z6 does and Panasonic S1 probably will.

NX1 does if you use a Speed Booster :)

Same with X-T3.

Sony A9 has 6K readout as well, but unless you're a pro sports photographer, may as well get something else.

1 hour ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

I think the XH2 will be a great camera, probably have higher frame rates (240fps or 180), internal 422 and IBIS. I doubt it will have XLR inputs or internal ND's though. 

I think it will be based on the X-T3, but in body of X-H1 and with IBIS of course. I think that's a safe bet. The AF will be at least as good as the X-T3 as well. It'll be a *superb* camera I know that much. X-H1 was already brilliant.

31 minutes ago, sanveer said:

Actually Sony's STRONGEST advantage is the sensor.

Is it still their strongest advantage if they keep giving their best sensors to the competition?

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Let's play the Devil's advocate here:

- "The market can't wait, Sony will be late"
First, Let's no forget that the ILC video people like us are just a very small part of the market. I know there is no need to ignore a share of the market but by most account, we are 5% of the market. The counter argument is the the A7s is precisely here to address this niche market. But there must be R&D priorities, these 5% don't seems to be on top of the list now.
Then, the Sony released the A73 and A7RIII relatively recently, so they are not exactly sleeping, these camera are good for video. Now, there are serious hints about a future new high-end APS-C camera coming soon
Finally, even though Sony is just  "thinking about it" we don't know what this really means. Perhaps the manager doesn't want to say too much. In any case, as mentioned previously, Sony is THE company when it comes to imaging sensors. They may not have a camera ready yet but they are constantly working on the different modules to make one for them or others. Finally, Sony is not interested to match Panasonic or Fuji but they seem to have the ambition to raise the bar. Then what? Are we going to complain when the new Sony is announced and the S1 falls behind? It's a never ending story.
Even if the A7s3 is two years away, the priority at Sony is certainly not to divert resources on a niche camera when they have to compete with new mirroless competitors. The FF cash cow (and profit beast) is the a7r3. They may logically prioritize their resources to match the high-end EOS-R(s) coming next year. The big chunk of the market is there, no in the niche video segment. So far the current offering is covering this part and as Andrew said before, the A7III is so good that the A7SIII might not be required. Perhaps Sony plan to counter the video challengers with the A74 and A7R4 first before dropping another punch with the A7S3 later on. Two birds one stone.

- Competitors
To be fair, the Sony guy didn't just say "I don't care about the competition". He said, "I don’t know what the impact of [Canon and Nikon entering the full-frame mirrrorless market] will be but we remain focused on creating new customers. That is our priority. Honestly speaking, I don’t care about competitors, I care about the customers."
What else could the guy say?  "Yes, we care immensely about Canon and Nikon because we are in the second league in the shadow of these long time masters"
I just see this statement as a way to downplay Nikon and Canon role and put Sony as one of the main player in the business. You can even see it as critique against Canon "I care about the customers". Not like Canon which only gives us the minimum and cripple its camera.

- SD cards
Personally, I'm happy with the SD format. The price are reasonable and the latest standard should offer 985MB/sec. If there is some sort of backward-compatibility I'll stick with SD.

- 8k and ergonomic
I can't find any reasons here. 8k is useless for me as well. Working on higher frames rate and color depth in 4k is the priority now. 8k is overkill, the hard drive technology is lagging behind and my monster PC wouldn't even handle it properly.

As for the ergonomic, I'm speechless, Sony cameras are atrocious and it should be an easy fix.

 

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3 minutes ago, OliKMIA said:

- SD cards
Personally, I'm happy with the SD format. The price are reasonable and the latest standard should offer 985MB/sec. If there is some sort of backward-compatibility I'll stick with SD.

I was an XQD virgin until the Z7 came out and now I find it hard to go back to SD. They are just so slow, fragile and cheaply made by comparison. Roll on XQD. They won't even be very much more expensive in a year or two.

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2 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

I was an XQD virgin until the Z7 came out and now I find it hard to go back to SD. They are just so slow, fragile and cheaply made by comparison. Roll on XQD. They won't even be very much more expensive in a year or two.

True... I'm an XQD virgin! I believe you Andrew. The main factor is the price right now. About fragile and cheap, a lot of people say that and I don't really get it.  I never had any issue with the SD and I don't really step on them.
But it's a non issue, if the industry switch to XQD and the price goes to normal level, I will just follow.

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I think we may have S1/S1R full specs announcement and A7S III announcement almost at the same time early 2019. They will both have 4K 60p on full frame sensor. The competition is between them and Sony can't let Panasonic alone.

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If they said 4K60 10-bit was what we expected and they want to beat it then I see a few options.

They can up the specs in a way that marketing would like and we'll end up with 8K, and maybe no improvements to the 4K.

They could give us what we want with 4K, potentially downscaled 8K, extra bit depth perhaps, maybe 444.

They could go for the intangibles and play with ergonomics, NDs, maybe menus, maybe buttons and dials more like a cinema camera.

Or they could exceed the expectations they think we have and just get it wrong and give us a huge WTF camera.

Unless they change their stripes it will be the first one with 8K, maybe 4K60 10-bit.

If they've already made the camera but pulled the announcement (that's my guess) then maybe they'll be stuck with the physical shape and will be trying to tweak firmware etc.

Of course they might go full left-field and release a battery grip that has large battery capacity and a RAW recorder in there as well, that might be something interesting.

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From the DPRview it does indeed sound like it is still a long time until the Sony a7Smk3 will happen. 

And he was only very vague about new APS-C cameras coming 😞

Oh well, nothing new here that is good news. Maybe even mildly bad news, as it seems we have nothing exciting new for me in the near future. 

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10 hours ago, Tom Joe said:

The apsc line has stalled badly, and even the A5100 and 6000 are still lurking around stores embarrassingly. Don’t even start on lenses. Either madly overpriced compared to the competitors, or badly in need of refreshment.

The a5100 is still lurking around because they never updated the a5x00 series!

And I guess the a6000 sticks around too because now they're lacking any decent entry level camera then the discounted a6000 is trying to kinda fill that gap for now. 

 

11 hours ago, Tom Joe said:

Something radical has changed over at Sony. It used to be nearly impossible to keep up with their camera announcements, now the competition is either catching up or gearing up to surpass them. Shipping on the A7iii was horrendously slow. Even months after reviews were out, it was unavailable at major suppliers.

Seems they were very aggressive in the early years to capture mirrorless market share. Then they sat on their laurels and cruised along for a few years at a mid pace speed? (still been releasing a fair few cameras though)

Maybe now Canikon have joined the FF mirrorless race then Sony will kick it back up a gear to respond to them.

 

10 hours ago, currensheldon said:

Really amazed someone hasn't put internal NDs in a small, large sensor body yet. I don't really hold out hope for Canon or Sony to do it because they are trying to protect their cinema lines, but Fuji or BlackMagic could easily (I was actually surprised the Pocket 4K didn't have it after I saw how far their mount stuck out from the sensor - looked like it was going to). 


My bet is on a GH6 having built in NDs (I feel like this though is unlikely, but is still the most likely stills camera in 2019 which might have NDs). Because Panasonic always has been pushing the video tech forward the best in their stills cameras. 

And as full frame mirrorless builds up steam and catches up, this is the best way the GH line up can make another big leap ahead and stay on the throne as a #1 choice for videographers. 

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6 hours ago, salim said:

@Andrew Reid 

A few things to read between the lines. "and of course more battery power" 

I'm betting Sony needs a new body design to deal with internal heat. They will throw in a new battery possibly to justify a larger a body and make it look like it was all to appease the customers. The new body is there to provide a much longer batter life or something like that. 

Seeing how Sony was able to create model after model, I'm guessing they're not that far behind as you suggest and they already have something they're testing and  by NAB they will have a camera to show. 

 

The only unresolved issue might be if Sony decides to go for a new mount. I'm guessing there are probably internal discussion to jump to a new mount that is compatible with E using adapters but enables them to provide a class leading IBIS. If I was to speculate, I would guess there are engineers and marketing/business people sitting around and debating this topic.  Maybe they would call it E+ mount. 


Sony launched a new bigger battery back when they announced the a9

As for a new mount? ZERO chance of that happening. (unless they do something out of left field like announce a medium format camera)

A new mount would kill a tonne of good will and momentum, leaving them heaps of very pissed off customers. All for what? To start over again all from scratch. 

Nope! Instead Sony will keep on shoehorning FF sensors into their APS-C E mount.

 

6 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

I can tell you know there's not a donut in hell's chance of a new mount :)


Even lower chance than that. Not even a donut in a police station chance's of surviving. 

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17 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

And as full frame mirrorless builds up steam and catches up, this is the best way the GH line up can make another big leap ahead and stay on the throne as a #1 choice for videographers. 

It would make sense if Panasonic kept pushing the GH line as high quality 4K cameras (10-bit, or maybe RAW) and pushed the new FF line to 8K.  

It would be quite a nice neat lineup, giving pros four video lineups: the G as the disposable / C-cam line, the GH as the budget / small / 4K / IBIS line, the S as the pricier / larger / 8K line, and the EVA as the cinema line with all the SDI and pro ergonomics.

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5 minutes ago, kye said:

It would make sense if Panasonic kept pushing the GH line as high quality 4K cameras (10-bit, or maybe RAW) and pushed the new FF line to 8K.  

Hopefully the FF mirrorless means that Panasonic will not make the GH series 8K for many years yet to come. 

As I'd much rather they just make the GHx each release be the best best possible 4K camera it can be!

 

7 minutes ago, kye said:

 It would be quite a nice neat lineup, giving pros four video lineups: the G as the disposable / C-cam line, the GH as the budget / small / 4K / IBIS line, the S as the pricier / larger / 8K line, and the EVA as the cinema line with all the SDI and pro ergonomics.

To ensure a smooth (ish) upgrade progression path then the EVA1 has to be a MFT mount (or at least the new L mount) in the future. 

The release cycles indicate the G series is next in line to get an update, with the G85 successor coming next? I do hope it doesn't get skipped over and forgotten about. As I feel the G series is the sweet spot to buy for many people, especially for new comers to join and grow the system.

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5 minutes ago, kye said:

It would make sense if Panasonic kept pushing the GH line as high quality 4K cameras (10-bit, or maybe RAW) and pushed the new FF line to 8K.  

It would be quite a nice neat lineup, giving pros four video lineups: the G as the disposable / C-cam line, the GH as the budget / small / 4K / IBIS line, the S as the pricier / larger / 8K line, and the EVA as the cinema line with all the SDI and pro ergonomics.

This makes total sense IMO. The GH5 is still untouchable feature-wise, among hybrid cameras. What is perhaps needed is focusing on the video side of things even more, offering advanced features not found in anything sort of a "proper" cinema camera. Internal ND, for instance. Internal RAW and/or Prores. Perhaps the first application of global shutter? A number of things are easier and more economical to implement with a smaller sensor. 

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5 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Z6 does and Panasonic S1 probably will.

NX1 does if you use a Speed Booster :)

Same with X-T3.

Sony A9 has 6K readout as well, but unless you're a pro sports photographer, may as well get something else.

I think it will be based on the X-T3, but in body of X-H1 and with IBIS of course. I think that's a safe bet. The AF will be at least as good as the X-T3 as well. It'll be a *superb* camera I know that much. X-H1 was already brilliant.

Is it still their strongest advantage if they keep giving their best sensors to the competition?

Yeah but neither the Pana or the Z6 is out. 

Yeah but speedboosters don't really count. Definitely can hinder auto focus performance. 

My reasoning for the XH2 specs is I  think they will want to be competitive with the Sony A7000. Plus the XH1 had 120fps and higher bitrate recording unlike the XT2. So I'd assume they would continue on with the tradition. 

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All pure speculating. But since it is Sonys premium handheld vidoe shooter. 4:2:2 10bit slog2/3 at a high bit rate internally is the minimum expected plus a sdi out in 10 bit allowing for prores raw/ raw recording with an external recorder. Internal NDs maybe.
 

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