The death knell may be ringing for Sony’s APS-C line. In an article in The Korea Times that Mirrorless Rumors found, the company will focus heavily on its full-frame line in an effort to take on Canon and Nikon. The company’s recent activity seems to suggest, too, that its line of full-frame mirrorless cameras is its top priority, given that we now have the a7, a7II, a7R, a7RII and a7S. Fortunately, the lenses available for the FE mount has grown and improved since its inception.
“Besides the stagnant growth of the camera market, the entry-class segment of the lens-interchangeable camera market is slowing down drastically,” Bae Ji-moon, the head of Sony Korea Digital Imaging & Marketing Department told the Korea Times.
By entry level, Ji-moon means Sony’s APS-C cameras that are now under the alpha branding. In a previous life, they went by the NEX prefix, though there are also still some traditional DSLR-style alpha cameras, the most recent of which was the prosumer-level a77II. The a99, Sony’s DSLR-style full-frame titan, performs admirably, but it hasn’t seen a new version in three years.
It’s unclear what exactly this means for its APS-C cameras, both the compact line with its four-digit model numbers (think: a6000) and the beefier two-digit line (a58, a77II, etc.). The company may take longer to update those lines, or it may not update them at all.
“In the short run, we will target existing full-frame camera users and then attract those who use entry and mid-class models to upgrade their cameras in the long run, raising the popularity of full-frame cameras,” Ji-moon told the Korea Times.
Perhaps it will find a way to make full-frame mirrorless cameras more affordable out of the gate. The a7 is now going for about $1,200 body-only on Amazon and B&H, but it took over a year for it to get down to that price. More over, the a7 is barely two years old, and it already has its successor, the a7 II, which goes for roughly $1,700 body-only. Both of those prices are more affordable than most of Nikon’s and Canon’s full-frame offerings, but they’re most likely above what many entry-level consumers are willing to spend on a camera. The a6000 body-only goes for $550, and the a5100 body-only goes for $450. Both with a kit lens go for $700 and $600 respectively.
We’ll have to wait and see what exactly is in the future for Sony’s camera division, but current signs point to a flourishing full-frame line.