Pre Sony a7RV Launch IR Sony Manager Interview

Image Resouces has a lengthy interview with 3 Sony Managers that you can read in full here, or you can check out our bullet points from the interview below to save time:

  • The Photo Market
    • COVID impacted Sony’s still shooting business, but video continued growing and doing well
    • Sony thinks that still, photo capture will return
    • Other manufacturers have expressed similar sentiments, but some have reported increases or remaining steady depending on where they are in their product life cycle, like Fuifilm
    • It’s Sony’s position that still photography will remain strong for years to come
    • Photography is still growing but not as fast as video
    • Hybrid cameras are great because you can do video and stills well with no shortcomings or cost increases now
    • Video and photos have different ergonomic needs, though, so there is room for different kinds of bodies
    • High-end video shooters have very special needs, while entry-level ones want simple
    • Mid-level videography is largely covered by hybrid cameras and even some high-end shooters that do not need cinema levels of capture like XLR connectors
  • Supply Chain
    • Everyone is having issues, and everyone is trying to minimize the impact of COVID and China’s zero COVID policies
    • Sony isn’t worried about supply chain issues going forward
    • Sony did have some issues globally but not every region was impacted
  • APS-C Cameras
    • APS-C is still important, and Sony’s single mount is a strength for full frame and APS-C
    • Sony needs to focus more on making APS-C bodies
    • The ZV-E10 is designed to attract new users to E-mount
    • The cost difference between APS-C and full-frame has become minimal
    • The size difference between APS-C and full frame is also minimal now, but the overall kit size and weight can be quite different
    • Sony focuses on full-frame lens design due to the minimal differences
    • Full-frame lenses can be fully utilized on APS-C but APS-C lenses cant be fully utilized on full-frame
    • FX-30 and ZV-E10 prove Sony is still dedicated to APS-C
  • RX Series
    • Sony still produces and supports the RX series, but they can’t say any more at this time
    • The current lineup still sells well
  • AF development and AIAF
    • Images sensors, AI, and Autofocus are different technologies, but Sony combines them to maximize performance
    • Scene recognition was the first way Sony tried to improve camera performance
    • Sony now uses AI for AF, but originally they had to consider whole objects
    • Sony’s AF/AI technology is the base of their system’s AF performance
    • Sony will definitely be announcing more advanced AIAF soon
    • Each BIONZ chip is different, with separate rolls that work together to get 8x the processing speed of the BIONZ X
    • The BIONZ XR in the Alpha 1 can handle a huge amount of data, like 50MP at 30fps while doing 120fps AF calculations during continuous shooting
    • The BIONZ XR also provides better color science and reproduction along with lower noise and higher dynamic range and resolution for movies and stills
    • Sony making the sensor and processor give them a performance advantage because most camera companies use off the shelf sensors and processors
  • Alpha 1 Mechanical Shutter
    • Sony decided to push flash sync speed since it hasn’t evolved over the years, so Sony developed a new dual-drive shutter
    • You can do flash photography with an electronic shutter, but it won’t scan as fast as a mechanical shutter
    • The Alpha 1 can sync at 1/400th full frame and 1/500th APS-C, but only 1/200th electronic
  • Why is the Alpha 1 Shutter So Fast
    • Sony can’t get into the details of its dual-drive shutter but they can say it uses an electronic actuator in addition to the conventional spring to enable high-speed drive of 1/400th sync
    • The use of carbon fiber shutter blades also helps with robustness by reducing the moving mass acceleration and deceleration
  • Alpha 1 still and video stabilization
    • Video and stills need different forms of stabilization, and Sony will continue trying to improve both based on the feedback
    • Sony’s 5.5 stops of stabilization isn’t tied to any particular mode
  • What are the advantages of the new 24-70mm and 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses
    • Customers liked the originals, but they wanted smaller, lighter, and higher image quality with better AF speed and tracking so Sony gave them what they wanted
    • The new lenses were only possible using the latest technology
    • Sony hopes improvements continue to come at a fast pace
    • Sony’s latest XD linear motors and new optical designs were necessary for them to achieve new groundbreaking performance
    • Lens elements have to move quickly and precisely
    • Sony’s XD linear motors were first developed for the 400mm f/2.8 in June 2018
  • The new 24-70mm f/2.8 Optical Formula
    • The new design has twice as many ED and XA elements as the original, which would have been impossible or impractical before
    • The entire optical design has to be started from scratch
    • Sony also reduced focus breathing for video capture
  • The new 70-200mm f/2.8 is also very different why
    • It has fewer elements and a new optical formula
    • The new formula allowed Sony to make the world’s lightest 70-200mm f/2.8
    • The reduced element count made the lens even faster with Sony’s new XD linear motors
  • The original 70-200mm f/2.8 is still being sold
    • Sony doesn’t really comment on this beyond saying they do not discuss their strategies but are happy for the feedback about keeping lenses on the market
  • What’s next on the lens roadmap
    • Sony cannot comment on its future lens roadmap, but they have a lot of new lens ideas for the future that you should look forward to.

Sony A1: B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama

Sony FX30: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II SEL70200GM2:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama

Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama

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