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Associated Press Sign Exclusive Product Deal With Sony


BTM_Pix

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Associated Press have signed an exclusive deal with Sony for the supply of imaging products for all of its news photographers and video journalists worldwide.

This is pretty big coup and its the photography side that is particularly big news for me and it will make for very uncomfortable reading for Canon and Nikon.

Its taken Sony a while to get everything in place to be a genuinely viable alternative to the big two for field work as its not just the cameras and lenses but all of the image transmission capability and pro support but it looks like they've certainly proved its all in place now if it passes muster for AP.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ap-to-equip-all-visual-journalists-globally-with-sony-imaging-products-301098857.html

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31 minutes ago, zerocool22 said:

Well its news media, they could shoot it with an iphone, it would make no difference to me. 

If universal studios would have an exclusive deal to only use sony cameras for example , that would have been huge. Allthough I am digging the sony venice.

The broader point is what it does to the duopoly of Canon and Nikon in that field and what implication losing that stranglehold may have on their future camera developments, particularly Nikon.

Having to try harder would be one implication.

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37 minutes ago, zerocool22 said:

Well its news media, they could shoot it with an iphone, it would make no difference to me. 

If universal studios would have an exclusive deal to only use sony cameras for example , that would have been huge. Allthough I am digging the sony venice.

Canon and Nikon were long seen as the only reliable options for professional photojournalism. 

This may not make a difference to you, but it is a HUGE shift in the market.

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Interesting move.

This is partly because Canon's mirrorless camera system is so late in the game. And Nikon's mirrorless system is mainly aimed at consumers.

Sony could learn a lot from the AP use of their fleet. The A9 II should really get S-LOG now in a firmware update. I expect the photographers, some kitted out with A7R IV and some with A9 II to have the same colour science and video formats available between them.

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The pro support is a big factor in these decisions, cameras going down in the field = lost $$$ for company like AP where timeliness is everything.

They obviously are convinced Sony can deliver pro support. In particular if  I were Canon I'd be worried because their pro support has differentiated them for years. Nikon pro support - not soo much.

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But are they using mirrorless? I know plenty of people who work for Getty in the news media category and they all shoot Sony anyway. The difference is they use the Sony tophandle style camcorders. Occasionally I’ve met one who uses an A7x on a gimbal, but it’s mostly the top handle type. 

AP are on a similar vein so I assume they’re not using mirrorless in that field. 

Interestingly, I’ve heard many stories of big name actors who refuse to interact with AP. In fact they make it a point not to talk to AP on the media line. 

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8 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Interesting move.

This is partly because Canon's mirrorless camera system is so late in the game. And Nikon's mirrorless system is mainly aimed at consumers.

Sony could learn a lot from the AP use of their fleet. The A9 II should really get S-LOG now in a firmware update. I expect the photographers, some kitted out with A7R IV and some with A9 II to have the same colour science and video formats available between them.

Considering that the A9 was their first serious attempt at breaking in to the photo journalist/sports photography market and how that was hampered by a lack of some key lenses at launch, the slow mechanical fps and incomplete feature set regarding field work, its quite something to have gone from where they were to doing a deal like this in only three years.

Honestly, a year after the A9 launch, I'd have put far more money on them not being in this market any more at this point than I would on them having got AP on board like this.

4 minutes ago, Anaconda_ said:

But are they using mirrorless? I know plenty of people who work for Getty in the news media category and they all shoot Sony anyway. The difference is they use the Sony tophandle style camcorders. Occasionally I’ve met one who uses an A7x on a gimbal, but it’s mostly the top handle type. 

AP are on a similar vein so I assume they’re not using mirrorless in that field. 

Its the stills aspect thats the bigger deal than the video journalists really as AP have a lot of features, news and sports photographers who would thus far have been almost exclusively using Canon or Nikon DSLRs.

Funnily enough, that last UEFA Champions League match that I shot was notable because for the first time I did actually see a couple of photographers using Sony A9s, although they were still outnumbered thirty or forty fold by the rest of us.

I'd presumed it might have been UEFA's photographers using them as Sony are a sponsor but in light of this I'm wondering now whether they were actually AP photographers trialling them. 

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34 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Interesting move.

This is partly because Canon's mirrorless camera system is so late in the game. And Nikon's mirrorless system is mainly aimed at consumers.

Sony could learn a lot from the AP use of their fleet. The A9 II should really get S-LOG now in a firmware update. I expect the photographers, some kitted out with A7R IV and some with A9 II to have the same colour science and video formats available between them.

I don't see journalists needing SLog. News reporting is for fast turn-around. They aren't going to want to play with color. Same reason why many sports journalists shoot JPG and not RAW. Faster is better in breaking news. 

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Interesting there is an interview with the southern tweed wearing hipster at DPReview:

https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/2999935759/interview-we-talk-to-ap-director-of-photography-about-switch-to-sony

I think if silent shutter is a big motivation to go Sony, it shows Canon should be doing some sort of hybrid EVF on the 1D X series in future. One that allows the silent shutter to work through the viewfinder rather than only on the back screen. A camera with no viewfinder isn't very much use to a professional in bright daylight!

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4 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Interesting there is an interview with the southern tweed wearing hipster at DPReview:

https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/2999935759/interview-we-talk-to-ap-director-of-photography-about-switch-to-sony

I think if silent shutter is a big motivation to go Sony, it shows Canon should be doing some sort of hybrid EVF on the 1D X series in future. One that allows the silent shutter to work through the viewfinder rather than only on the back screen. A camera with no viewfinder isn't very much use to a professional in bright daylight!

The electronic shutter in the original was a bit of a stick to beat them with as it was the only way to get decent fps but with the A9ii they've got the best of both worlds now that the mechanical shutter has been upgraded to a healthier 10fps.

The silent shutter is becoming increasingly important to sneak shots during press conferences as they routinely limit stills to the first few minutes now because of the racket of the shutters.

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The skeptic in me wonders how much cash was involved from the Sony side, like a sponsorship deal. Pretty interesting development nonetheless, the CaNikon press photographer duopoly now has very visible competition. Sony pushed, made needed changes to the a9II while bringing the glass and now has a real visible foothold. This is a good sign for a future RF mount version of the 1dx. If a major agency is willing to make a switch like this, CaNikon will be feeling the heat. 

More competition is always better, feedback from the AP team will make the a9III even better. Lets hope they ask for video profiles LOL!

Chris

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56 minutes ago, rdouthit said:

I don't see journalists needing SLog. News reporting is for fast turn-around.

I have shot my fair amount and always go log/raw 4K internal and burned in LUT 1080p external. 

That gives the editing team options for super quick turn around and lots of flexibility and data for archival and future use. 

I see a lot of ungraded log footage used in news media, they don’t have time to grade, nor do they care. First wins no matter what the skin tones look like.

38 minutes ago, Video Hummus said:

mindshare among professionals is worth 10x the weight of gold.

For sure. Many of those pros will also have their own gear, and most will likely swap to Sony for their personal / private work down the line. 

 

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I've no doubt that this is a financially advantageous deal for AP but no amount of inducement would be worth jeopardising their core business of being able to push images to news desks around the world from anywhere in the world with the same speed and quality as their rivals.

The fact that they have determined that they can now do this with Sony equipment to the extent that they will change over their entire inventory is a huge statement.

Its also a big statement from Sony that they are confident enough to put themselves in that position of responsibility because them getting kicked out of AP will be a far bigger story than them getting in there.

It might not be of particular, or indeed any, interest in the here and now to most people on this forum but the ripples of this particular pebble being dropped in the pond might well become very relevant in the next few years.

Canon and Nikon have primarily only been concerned with what each other does for a long time which has only led to incremental developments to keep up with each other but they will have to react to this and take Sony far more seriously in what has been their own private battleground.

Not least because this will have put every other agency on alert about whether they can get a similar deal out of Sony....

Lenses were one of the reasons that Sony were never really able to take a seat at their table because they didn't have the full arsenal particularly when it came to the long primes but that is very different now.

Ironically, when you look at the lineup of RF and Z mount lenses, it is now Canon and Nikon that actually have the gaps in their lineup and have to play catchup with Sony when it comes to offering a complete system for anyone going mirrorless.

 

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LOL! Sony has been the only imaging company courting news organizations for the past couple of years. They have taken over where Canon and Nikon used to dominate. They're the only ones still sending reps to orgs such as the NPPA and other folk. There's a good chance that they were offered about 20% or more off of their gear. A9 is definitely much more suitable than anything coming out of Nikon mirrorless for PJ work. The big move probably has to do with video too. Sony video is good and flexible enough for video straight out of camera.  The XAVC Intra codec is more than enough for video.  Smart move by the AP. Also, no need for SLOG video at all!

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1 hour ago, BTM_Pix said:

 

Ironically, when you look at the lineup of RF and Z mount lenses, it is now Canon and Nikon that actually have the gaps in their lineup and have to play catchup with Sony when it comes to offering a complete system for anyone going mirrorless.

 

This is the key point.

EF and the range of DSLR lenses has been an advantage for so long and now it's practically in the bin

1 hour ago, TheRealOG said:

Also, no need for SLOG video at all!

Why does the 1D X Mark III have LOG then?

Did all the pros say "No"?

I think you may want to revisit your made-up reasoning there.

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