I noticed that the not-yet-three-year-old Sony A700 has been definitely discontinued, distinctly dispensed with, definitively dropped, but that nothing has come along to replace it yet. Is there anything known to the cloud-mind about this? An A701 out there where the sky meets the earth? Do we have moles at Sony? Any loose-lipped pros under bendable NDAs? Is there a "Sony rumors" site? That's a pretty big hole between the $850 A550 and the $2k A850. Not to mention a gap of 300 A's...I'm just sayin'.
Send this post to a friend
Note: Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. More...
Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by James McDermott: "Sony's ultimate aim is to have a bespoke DSLR model for every customer. There appear to be approximately two million A200, A300, A400 and A500 variants out there at the moment. The A700 was bought by a Mr. Wayne Kopalski of Akron, Ohio; having reached its production target of one, the model was discontinued immediately thereafter."
ADDENDUM: More seriously, I'd just like to say that I consider this a major stumble on Sony's part. Not a critical mistake—just a stumble, like a politician making a bad gaffe.
Sony is still new to this market—the DSLR end of the camera business—and for it to leave this critical segment of the product spectrum vacant is akin to a TV station broadcasting dead air. (I've never worked at a television station, but I imagine that few things set the crews scrambling like dead air.) It's not like an overdue update where the old model is getting long in the tooth and overly familiar (or simply obsolescent—Olympus's long E-1—>E-3 gap is still the paradigm stumble of that type). It's that the old one is gone, as in NLA, and if there are customers standing at the counter waving $1100-$1400 in cash in their hands, there's nothing there for them to buy. Not good.
I can't imagine giant Sony would even hear what I have to say, much less pay any attention to it, but in my humble opinion it's time for a concrete announcement and a commitment to a firm release date, if possible.
I've been a fan of Sony cameras for a long time, and I'm a big cheerleader of the A850/A900 duo (see also here...and here, about three-quarters the way down). So I'm hardly anti-Sony. But I gotta call it like I see it. Amateur prognosticators all over the internet love to opine that "so-and-so is going to lose market share," and I hardly ever say that. But I know the enthusiast market if I know my name, and in this case my opinion is that Sony really is taking a chance on losing some customers. —MJ