After the Sony Alpha 100: Alpha 200 or 300?

A rather interesting post on the Dyxum forums tells us more about the future of the digital single lens reflex cameras at Sony (provided that we believe what is still only a talk between Internet users who say they know). The first item is about the name of the future cameras: There’s no more Alpha 200 but Alpha 300 (this year) and Alpha 500 (next year). I may have to rename the category where I post thos messages 😉

Sony Alpha 200-300Let’s look deeper: the most advanced model (Alpha 500, as we should understand) will be the first Full-Frame in the product line (with a sensor of the same size as the old 24×36/35mm film image). So, it would not be usable with lenses specially optimized for the small APS-C sesors. This is quite well in line with the observation already done that Sony developped no lens of this type and stayed ready to switch to Full-Frame cameras. It would give them a very significant advantage if you compare with Nikon and Canon, in a competitive environment where the small compact cameras are starting to put some pressure on the lower end of the D-SLR market.

So, the Alpha 500 would have a FF 20MP sensor and through the use of an intelligent organization of the sensitive zones of the sensor, Sony would claim to be providing a stunning 40MP. Striking!

But this is only about a 2008 camera that is still far from being ready. For 2007, the Alpha 300 (or can I still call it Alpha 200?) would bring no less than 14-15 mega-pixels with a crop factor fo 1.25 that would near the FF target. Think about it: As the Alpha 100 shocked the public with the first ultra-low-cost 10MP when only Nikon could fight on the field of image size (with a Sony sensor, by the way), the Alpha 200/300 could be able to shake down the best oppponents, even without the marketoid-like doubling of resolution through the sensitive site organization of the sensor.

But to stay compatible with the already existing market of compatible low-cost lenses, the Alpha 200-300 would include a menu option allowing the user to switch to a lower resolution (11MP?) and giving compatibility to the cheapest lenses.

Most of the rest of the post is rants and raves about the Sony marketing babble: “We are the world leader in photo sensors; We succeeded in prying 6% market share out of Canon and Nikon hands in a year only, we are ready to overtake anon and leave them the 3rd rank“. All is quite in line with the information recently appeared in the news: Canon has recently left the pole position to Nikon on the Japanese market (many analysts believe that the Japanese are showing the way for the rest of the world with a year of advance).

Such cameras would be able to transform the dreamof Sony into a hard reality and move the market around. Howevern we still do not have a precise launch date for such an Alpha 200 or 300. and even less about the Alpha 500…

One comment

  1. The launch (today) of the Canon EOS 40D is interesting because it also means that the (relatively) low resolution of the new D-SLR from Canon leaves a lot to fight for the Nikon D300 and Alpha 300.

    It’s going to be famously interesting…

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