Entertainment Sony’s four rumored cameras suggest video is now its biggest focus
Sony’s four rumored cameras suggest video is now its biggest focus
Sony’s barren year for new camera launches could soon come to an end, according to some fresh rumors. And these new models will seemingly strengthen the feeling that Sony’s priority is now very much video cameras rather than photo-centric ones.
The tech giant has just published a new YouTube teaser (opens in new tab) titled “cinematography meets robotics”, with the launch scheduled to go live on September 6 at 10am ET / 3pm BST (or 12am AEST on September 7). While this might spark visions of a collaboration with Boston Dynamics, a new post from Sony Alpha Rumors (opens in new tab) has given us some more sensible hints about this camera and three more imminent launches.
According to the rumors site, this teased launch will be for a so-called PTZ (pan, tilt, and zoom) camera, fronted by Sony’s E-mount. PTZ cameras are mainly used by events teams for livestreaming and video conferencing, so this is unlikely to be a hugely exciting arrival for consumers. And while we’ll certainly be tuning into the launch, it does fit a video theme that extends to the other new Sony cameras that have been tipped to launch this year.
This new PTZ camera will, according to Sony Alpha Rumors, “be followed shortly after by a new compact, affordable Cine E-mount camera” in late September. This model is, on paper, likely to be closely related to the Sony FX3. And after that, we’ll “finally get the ZV APS-C camera and the A7RIV [sic]”, with the site surely referring instead to the rumored Sony A7R V.
This long-awaited batch of launches probably won’t excite hobbyist photographers too much. With the exception of the A7R V, all of the rumored cameras are focused on video. Sony’s ZV line, like the current Sony ZV-E10 and Sony ZV-1, is its affordable, vlogging-friendly range. And its Cinema line, which was until recently exclusively for professionals, has been edging closer to its consumer mirrorless lineup with launches like the FX3.
Not that we’re complaining. It’s a great time to be a videographer and the incoming Sony ZV model could, in particular, be a good option for non-professionals with modest budgets. The issue for Sony’s photography fans is that the company hasn’t updated any of its photo-centric APS-C cameras, like the Sony A6400 and A6600, for over three years. And this does suggest that Sony isn’t too interested in offering alternatives to affordable cameras like the Canon EOS R10.
Hope on the horizon
Still, there are reasons for photography fans with E-mount lenses to be hopeful. Those with sizable budgets have good reason to be excited about the Sony A7R V. The ‘R’ in this lineup stands for ‘Resolution’ and current A7R IV remains one of the best cameras for landscape photography, not to mention weddings and portraits.
In theory, this new version should be able to offer a much better shooting experience, thanks to upgrades like the 9.44-million dot viewfinder we saw on the Sony A1. The only downside is that the A7R V’s price tag is expected to be in the region of $3,500 / £3,800 / AU$6,800.
Fortunately, it seems that the four Sony cameras rumored to launch this year won’t be the end of the Alpha comeback. Sony Alpha Rumors says that it’s heard about “two more E-mount cameras coming in early 2023”, which is promising – even if we don’t yet have any rumored specs for those models.
The big question remains whether or not Sony is planning to resurrect its APS-C Alpha range for photographers, which has fallen into abeyance. The recent arrival of rivals like the Canon EOS R10 and EOS R7, plus the continuing appeal of Fujifilm’s X-series, suggest that it’s certainly possible, but we’ll likely now have to wait until 2023 to see it.
Until then, it looks like Sony is preparing some real treats for videographers with its next four launches. Given how quiet Sony’s camera department has been this year, which is surely in part down to chip shortages, that’s a promising sign for all E-mount fans, whether your prefer to shoot stills or video.