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Gear Rumors

Sony To Announce New Medium Format Camera This Year?

By Anthony Thurston on March 25th 2014

Some very interesting rumors have just started coming out about the possibility of Sony producing their own Medium Format(MF) camera, and that it could be announced as soon as the next 5-6 months.

sony-sensor

As you may know, Sony has a new CMOS MF sensor out. It is currently being used in three different cameras, the new PhaseOne, Hasselblad and Pentax 645D II. Most MF camera up until now have been CCD sensors. They are easier to produce at the size needed for a MF sensor. But, their tragic flaw is that they are terrible with low light because they don’t react well to bumping up the ISO.

According to the rumor, Sony could have plans to announce their own MF camera within the next 5-6 months. It is unclear exactly what that camera could look like though, if it would be its own new system, or if maybe Sony would try a sort of MF RX (fixed lens) type camera.

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Supposedly, this camera would not compete with the new PhaseOne, Hasselblad and Pentax 645D II. It would be “completely different.” That is sort of where the RX guess comes in. Another tidbit is that it will be cheaper than all the other MF offerings, which is a big clue. The Pentax 645D II is expected to go for a little more than $10,000.

This could indicate that Sony has plans to release a MF camera (fixed lens or interchangeable) for under $10,000. That would be very big time news if it does turn out to be the case.

Would a Sony MF Camera For Under $10,000 Interest You?

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We, of course, would love to read any thoughts that you all might have on this in the comments below.

[via Sony Alpha Rumors]

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Rafael Steffen

    Great discussions.

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  2. Rafiayub

    I think, the DSLR system would be replaced by MF system soon, because it will help to keep the professionals away from the highly saturated DSLR/MIRROR- LESS hands. And of course , If Sony is able to produce a wonderful MF System, it will work. Hopefully, Nikon and Canon too will bring forward MF Systems soon…

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  3. Davo

    A nice rangefinder would do it, like a fuji 690/670, 50mm 3.5, leaf shutter, dreaming.

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  4. Martin

    Based on previous evidence, I’m inclined to agree with Nick. Sony have a raft of lessons to learn before they enter another market. Medium format is currently a pro market; if Sony wish to meet the needs of this market, they will need to develop a system which meets pro needs in the same way Phase One and Hasselblad do. This will mean future proofing, tethering, leaf shutter options, tech camera compatibility, minimalist UI and a pro support network. If Sony successfully manage to create a system like this, it will need a “killer app” to draw custom away from the established brands. The implication of the rumour, reinforced by the Sony-manufactured 44×33 CMOS sensor announced recently, is that Sony will make the first medium format mirrorless system camera. If this is the case, and Sony can overcome the prejudices of those pros who still don’t trust mirrorless (AF speed, responsiveness, battery drain and EVF quality will be the key battlegrounds) while maintaining all the benefits of a P1 or Blad, then they may have an exciting product on their hands. I don’t think P1 or Blad will be in danger of losing much existing custom, but it would certainly make new converts think again. Sony’s aggressive pricing history might suggest that the new camera would be priced low enough to attract FF-DSLR shooters over to MF.

    If, however. Sony want to extend the market beyond pros and into the rich amateur bracket, then all they need to do is what they do now- drip feed lenses, overload the camera with features carried over from Cybershots, and add UI elements which detract from the shooting experience. Unfortunately, this will create an expensive curio that doesn’t fully answer the needs of one market or another. Equally unfortunately, based on historical evidence, the latter route seems more likely.

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    • Martin

      I should of course point out that the former path, considering the amount of effort and risk required on Sony’s part, would probably not give a sufficiently high return for them. Which is why I suspect the latter route is more likely.

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  5. Nick

    This would be a big mistake.
    Again Sony will not be able to produce the right lens system (or at least not fast enough), although we can expect good and innovative camera or cameras.
    It is a lesson they are barely learning.
    Photographs do not buy based on cameras quality and specifications only.
    It is the whole system that matters.
    Medium format is a small market where they don’t fit.
    They were not able to sway the Nikon/Canon DSLR monopoly.
    It will be impossible for them to gain in an even more PRO-oriented market.
    Nikon is one of the 3 camera manufacturers making profit, although they are using Sony sensors (DX/FX) in many of their cameras. If Sony makes good MF sensors, it does not mean they should necessarily make also MF cameras.
    They should focus on winning the battles on open fronts; otherwise they will lose the war completely.

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