IR: Sony CP+ 2019 Interview about AI AF, Computational Photography, APS-C, Canon, and More

IR interviewed Sony at CP+2019 and below are excerpts from the interview:

  • While the overall ICL market was down 8% later year Sony was not
  • Sony does not believe the market will be half in two year they believe it will be 80% of what it is today
  • Sony believes that Full Frame mirrorless will grow by 50% next year
  • Sony sees risk and opportunity in the smartphone sector
  • Targeting vloggers is one way to try to avoid smartphones hurting Sony’s market
  • The Sony a6400 is targeted at smartphone users
  • APS-C is the best sensor size to go after smartphone users with
  • Sony was focused on Full Frame but will be putting more effort into their APS-C line now that their full frame lineup is solid
  • Sony felt they had to establish their brand with Full Frame before focusing on APS-C
  • They want to make an enthusiast APS-C camera, but the Sony a7II sold better than expected when they reduced the price to $999 so there is some overlap between APS-C and Full Frame enthusiast
  • Sony is trying to deiced if enthusiast APS-C or Full Frame is a better route
  • Canon has the EOS RP while Fujifilm has high-end APS-C
  • Sony can go after both markets
  • The Canon EOS RP is inexpensive, but once you buy a native lens it becomes a very expensive system
  • Sony has a very high-speed platform for its AI-based AF that performs real-time tracking that gives them an advantage
  • Most people are shooting for eyes right now and animals like birds
  • Cars are also important and they can make them track better with deep learning
  • They are setting up a dictionary on top of their high-speed platform that lets the AI calculate the subject’s position
  • Sony can’t talk about it now, but they have an AI structure to their dictionary
  • Sony is using specialized processing for their deep learning while Olympus is using a general processor
  • Right now with Sony you load the dictionary by selecting eye AF or animal eye AF, but in the future, the camera will just know which dictionary to use
  • Sony doesn’t see AI dictionaries as a problem size wise but if you have 10 or 1000 picking the right one might be an issue
  • Sony doesn’t have the tech to autoload AI dictionaries yet, but they are working on developing it
  • Once you get past picking 3 or 4 dictionaries it becomes cumbersome
  • The Sony a9 has more room for dictionaries and Sony says they are less than a gig each and that size is not an issue
  • Sony focused on speed and AI for the Sony a9 and it has lots of speed so they will continue to work on the AI and what they can build
  • The Sony a9 and a6400 have the same generation processor, but not the same processor
  • Sony a9 has a blackout-free function hat the a6400 does not thanks to the stacked sensor
  • If the price of stacked sensors come down over time Sony will put it in their consumer cameras
  • The price of the stacked sensor should drop significantly with volume like 4k TV’s did
  • AI-based AF isn’t the only way AI can help photography it can also help with computational photography
  • Computational photography was the beginning of neural networks
  • Computational photography is likely the next generation and how to draw cellphone uses to ILCs
  • Things like cropping, finding subjects, extracting 3D information from shading would be big
  • Sony is comfortable implying where they are going with products but not pre-releasing information so it’s safe to say they will release more sports lenses than the 400m f/2.8 and that they will have more APS-C cameras coming
  • Sony want’s users to be aware that they can use the full Full Frame lens lineup on their APS-C cameras

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via Image Resource


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