With the discontinuation of the Sony a99 II, Sony loses most of its ties to its ancestor: Minolta.
A major testament to the death of the DSLR was revealed today with Sony’s latest notice on the discontinuation of the Sony a99 II–the company’s last camera to be made with the Minolta A mount. Sony acquired the mount and lots of key Minolta technology after a purchase made over 10 years ago. And for years, journalists have been asking how much support will be given to the A mount. In fact, lots of us thought that it was dead and over with on the announcement of the Sony a9. The Sony a99 II isn’t really a DSLR as much as folks call it a DSLT, but the bigger news here is that Sony has no truly viable A mount cameras in their lineup currently.
The decision came upon realizing that the DSLR market is shrinking in addition to the entire interchangeable lens camera market being on the demise. Within this shrinking market, full frame is growing and after way too many years, the hot word is mirrorless. As a result, Sony claims they’re working to focus their resources even more on their mirrorless technology and the future of photography. Indeed, they’ve been talking a lot about this since Photokina 2018. With their emphasis being so much on “the future” we should have seen the writing on the wall. Pretty much every relevant product that Sony has put out in the past few years have been mirrorless cameras.
So what does this mean for the photo industry? Well, honestly I’m not sure. Canon and Nikon are bound to follow suit eventually and Samsung, Apple, Google, and Huawei are convincing tons of people they don’t need actual cameras anymore. Even at the professional level, photographers are becoming very impressed at what smartphones can do with computational photography. If I had to really guess, The Sony FE lineup of cameras is going to need to take even bigger steps forward. Maybe they’ll even create a system where apps can be downloaded and applied to their cameras.
Editor’s Note: This is an April Fool’s joke