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Associated Press / Sony deal weirdness


Andrew Reid
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Camera companies got sent a public tender from the Associated Press, who previously had chosen Canon gear.

The tender however is a covert list of Sony specs!

I have retyped it. Original document is not shared in order to protect the source, but this NEEDS be public knowledge.

My comments are in brackets.

STILL CAMERAS
Camera Body 1: Professional level camera that will be the workhorse of AP photojournalists worldwide. Silent operation with electronic shutter and a mechanical shutter for flash sync. Hi-res electronic viewfinder with fast refresh rate. 20 frames per second in silent mode. Full frame auto-focus sensor. Weather sealed. Built-in Gigabit Ethernet. Built-in WIFI. Full remote control via Ethemet. No shutter blackout. No rolling shutter that distorts/manipulated images. Full range of native lenses for system (we'd like to avoid having to use adapters on non-native lenses). Facial recognition capabilities with eye tracking. Integrated phone app. Video capable 4K.

(That is a Sony A9 II then)

Camera Body 2: Professional level camera for use for specialty assignments like entertainment, fashion and portraiture. Silent operation with
electronic shutter plus mechanical shutter for flash sync. 50 megapixel or larger. Minimum 10 frames per second. Higher resolution view finder (oled viewfinder). Real time face and eye tracking. 4K video capable.

(How oddly specific... That'll be the A7R IV then!)

(It gets worse...)

Camera Body 3: Reporter level camera that can be easily carried in a pocket or backpack. Super compact real time eye tracking. 24-200 equivalent lens. 15 frames per second/no blackout. 4K video. Audio jack.

(Perfectly describes the RX100 VI right down to the exact focal length)

*********

Can you imagine if you were somebody at Nikon or Fuji for example and you received this quite specific description of 3 Sony Cameras?

So what went on?

Was a deal stitched up behind the scenes first? If so, why bother sending a tender out to other companies at all?

If you have any more info about this tender process please let me know so I can continue investigating.

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Clause 18.2 - Importation Location Marking For Overseas Imports

In compliance with AP's standard terms and conditions for procurement, any and all items of equipment supplied under this contract that are not of US origin must be clearly and prominently marked with an easily understood reference to denote the State used for the initial importation into the US. 

In the case of this particular contract, all equipment will have its initial port of entry to be in the State Of New York and should be marked accordingly.

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Who knows, maybe a few years ago Sony asked AP what type of specifications they would like and if that would be enough to make them switch from Canon.  Maybe Sony, after doing their market research, listened and delivered what their customers wanted and now has an advantage in the market place because of it.  Or maybe the system is corrupt, someone inside of AP is getting a kickback from Sony and wrote the bid to only allow for Sony products to be purchased.

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There is absolutely no doubt it is a sweetheart Sony deal not a public tender.

The giveaway is how specific the tender is.

"Eye tracking. 24-200 equivalent lens. 15 frames per second/no blackout."

A tender shouldn't be this specific about a compact camera if they really had any intention in making a deal with companies other than Sony or even hearing from all the camera companies at all.

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