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Gear Rumors

With Sony’s E-Mount Success, What Does The Future Hold For A-Mount?

By Anthony Thurston on October 13th 2014

You wouldn’t be the first person to wonder what Sony has going on with their A-Mount now that the E-mount, especially the FE (Full Frame – A7/A7s/A7r) portion, has been getting all of the attention.

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In a report over on Sony Alpha Rumors, the author gives an update on what he has come to learn about the future of the A-Mount line. First and foremost, the author explains that the reason for all the focus from Sony on E-Mount lately has been that the runaway success of the A7 series cameras caught Sony off guard. So, Sony put a lot of A-Mount projects on hold to try and get the E-Mount “broadened” before competitors can catch up.

As a result, a few things will happen – according to this rumor site (so grains of salt here). First, A-Mount will continue into the future, but with a longer release cycle for products and a more “Pro” focus. This means no more entry-level A-mount cameras (for the foreseeable future).

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My thoughts on this are complicated, as I both feel sorry for A-Mount owners who are invested in that system, but also totally understand what Sony is doing and why. When a product catches on like the A7 series has, you have to drop everything and run with it.

I am curious to see what the big Sony announcement is towards the beginning of 2015, most are assuming it will be E-Mount, but who knows, maybe it will be A-Mount’s turn…

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What are your thoughts on this update on the future Sony’s A-Mount system? Do you agree with the choice Sony has made to focus on E-Mount right now to keep its edge over competitors? Leave a comment 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. David DeBar

    I have accumulated vast array of Minolta and Sony lenses. My most reset acquisitions are the A99II body and more recently a Minolta 600mm f/4 fast focus lens. They work wonderfully together! I hope Sony continues to support the A-Mount. If they do not, I have enough A-Mount gear to last the rest of my life. When I read about Sony’s new lens and camera developments, I skip over the topic unless it pertains to A-Mount. 

    When I read how e-mount users lament over the lack of lenses available for their bodies, I’m so happy to know of the vast array relatively inexpensive  lenses available on e-Bay that  work great on my camera.  Yes, I know all about the new coating the new Sony lenses have, I own a few more modern ones. I also have some SSM lenses. This stuff is over touted! As proof of my claims I submit the attached photo taken with a Minolta 600mm lens. The screw driven auto-focus is good enough for me.

    My only regret is that there are so few A-Mount users left. Other than people I have met on the Internet, I seem to be the only one still using A-Mount. 

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  2. Jerry Jackson

    I have no insider information about Sony’s plans for the future, but I personally hope the A-mount sticks around for a LONG time … because it’s the best “mirrorless” system on the market. Unfortunately for Sony, too many photographers are ignoring it.

    I realize that I am almost certainly in a minority group among photographers, but I was one of those working photographers who decided to switch from DSLRs to mirrorless cameras several years ago because of the lighter weight and the ability to preview my actual exposure BEFORE capturing an image using live view. My transition was a slow one where I was using DSLRs and mirrorless cameras from several brands side-by-side for personal work and client work while trying to find a mirrorless system that could use to “replace” and not “supplement” my DSLR kit. I even tested the A99 when it first came out and dismissed it because I was obsessed with what I thought was superior innovation in smaller mirrorless cameras.

    I ultimately switched to the Olympus m4/3 system but eventually moved to Sony’s E-mount and FE-mount cameras for a couple of reasons. Although I’ve captured many great images in the last 5 years using PEN and OM-D cameras and they do work beautifully for many photographers, they didn’t meet all of my personal needs. I switched to E-mount and FE-mount bodies and they are great, but I ultimately was forced to pick up the LA-EA4 adapter and use A-mount lenses to get the lenses and the AF performance that I needed for much of my work.

    After I was using the E-mount and FE-mount cameras with GIANT A-mount lenses I decided to pick up the RX1 as a smaller full-frame solution because even the A7 with either the LA-EA4 adapter and A-mount Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art lens or native FE 35mm f/2.8 seemed bigger than I wanted for “mirrorless” … and that was when it hit me. What is the real advantage of using the lighter E/FE-mount cameras if I’m connecting the LA-EA4 adapter and using A-mount lenses to get the performance I need?

    I rented the A77II and A99 A-mount bodies to use for two weeks and discovered they have the same “mirrorless” ability to preview exposure using live view but they have NOTICEABLY superior AF performance with A-mount glass (even better than the A7 or A6000 with LA-EA4), balance better in my hands when shooting with A-mount glass, and the larger batteries in the A77II and A99 last MUCH longer than the smaller batteries in the A7 and A6000 bodies. I ordered A-mount bodies in late March and I’m already happier.

    I’ve seen many working photographers who have switched to FE-mount bodies and the majority I’ve personally seen are also using the LA-EA4 and A-mount lenses. Even if the selection of native FE-mount lenses improve, I feel like the A-mount bodies and lenses are this beautiful woman who is a supermodel waiting to be discovered but photographers are ignoring her because there’s a younger girl who is making more noise and is covered in makeup to hide her flaws who is getting all the attention.

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  3. tuerta photography

    I just sold my whole Sony setup (body, 8 lenses, 3 flashes) this week. Sony has been too vague even when asked direct questions about the future of A-mount, and while I had hoped for a new A99 replacement model, I have given up on that and am switching over to Fuji now.

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  4. Spencer Pablo

    I’m pretty heavily invested in the a-mount side, but totally understand the focus on the e-mount. Luckily my Zeiss a-mount lenses work acceptably with the adapter for my a7 cameras. In fact, my favorite combo is the a7r and the a-mount 135mm 1.8 Zeiss.

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  5. Greg Silver

    Since I have an E-mount camera, I’d have to say – heck yeah I’m happy they’re focusing on that lens format. That beino said I hope they continue the A-mount format too.

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  6. Austin Swenson

    I don’t think the A-mount is going anywhere as long as DSLR style cameras are being made, because I think Sony will still want to compete in that market if they can, and I think they are doing just fine in that space. It’s just easy for someone to poo-poo the idea of shooting A-mount when you have Nikon and Canon dominating that space for so much longer.

    As far as them producing fewer crop sensor bodies, I think I am okay with that, because I don’t really know any people with those smaller bodies anyway, and I couldn’t go back to one myself now that I have used the full featured ones.

    When they introduced the A7 line, they said they wouldn’t be going anywhere for the foreseeable future with that anyway, so I don’t think I’m too worried yet.

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  7. Mircea Blanaru

    I think that having more diverse standards is better for the consumer.

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  8. Cha

    I have a few professional A-mount primes and I’m just WAITING for a solid A-Mount DSLR to pin them on. I cannot wait for jan/feb 2015!

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