Sony Alpha A600 Coming? (Updated 3-06)
|(Not an actual A600 image, obviously)|
Unlike information shared previously to me, this time I've been told I can share it. Based on this persons past reputation with sharing highly detailed information... it caught my interest.
Here's what I was told, summarized and broken down:
Supposedly this model will replace the existing A580 DSLRand be at a slightly higher price point, but lower than the A65.This camera will fill the gap between the upcoming (and rumored) A57 model and the current A65SLT for those who prefer a traditional DSLR.
I was told that for now Sony's reaction to gathered marketplace demand is to keep traditional and non traditional DSLRS in the fold, but that only two OVF DSLRS would stay in the lineup. Priority is now given to SLT but that OVF are not yet out of the lineup. At least not yet. Apparently this is a pretty sudden switch in strategy, according to him.
The A600 is supposedly designed to be more affordable at the production level but does not skimp on features, and is designed for enthusiasts based on their demand. The design decisions were cost cutting without sacrificing much of what enthusiasts desire in a DSLR- good for Sony and good for the traditional consumer.
Loose specifications I received for the possible A600 are as follows:
- -New body design, similar to A65 in size
- -Larger brighter OVF than the A580 (still penta-mirror, cost savings) at .92x magnification "w/data overlay" @ 97% coverage
- -Similar live view system as the A450 (away goes the second sensor and mechanisms that cost extra money), more traditional main sensor live view with faster contrast detect AF than previous Sony DSLRS, this time for all lenses
- -updated 18.4 mp APS-C CMOS sensor (See update this has now changed)
- -up to 8fps capture with full metering and af capabilities (A580 could do only 5fps with metering/af)
- -same battery as A580, A65, A77
- -new "wide coverage" 15 point AF system (new type with 5 cross type sensors)
- -full 1080p HD video will be included (no specifics on this)
- -Dual card slots (no specifics on type)
- -New pop up flash (not sure how this will work, assume bounce and regular?)
- -Silver and Black model (depending on territory)
- -New quieter mirror box mechanism and shutter
- -First curtain electronic shutter mode
- -Moisture/dust preventive measures (but not moisture or dust resistant)
- -3 custom function buttons
- -Updated Quick Navi Menu interface (assume like A65's which isn't true quick navi like A900/etc.)
- -Dual control wheels, rear is scroll and click type
- -Due this year before fall
Now again this is a rumor I received- but the way in which it was worded sounded legitimate enough to share. Normally I ignore these kinds of emails when then come in. The specifications are indeed interesting and conceivable to me- yet despite the sources reputation, I always hold on things being fact till I see something in the flesh.
Again- I'm reporting this because this person has given me credible inside information in the past (the type unfortunately I had to keep secret), and gives the rumor credence I suppose, based solely on his accurate information (and pictures sent) in the past.
I was also told that originally the A600 had already been designed, then scrapped. But because of higher than expected demand for an optical viewing path alongside the demand for EVF, the project that was initially scrapped was brought back to life.
To me this sounds a bit too good to be true, but it's reasonable to assume I suppose that Sony could produce both EVF and OVF DSLRS until such time as a viable replacement for both comes to fruition. Also, the numerical name of the DSLR makes complete sense, both as a replacement for the A580 DSLRand for the tradition of past "6" series cameras. The A65is a tweener model, a lot bang for the buck, the A600 seems to be the optical equivalent of that cameras hierarchy- optical or electronic choice for A-Mount users.
Could it be? Sony are going to provide a choice afterall in the mid range segment? Rumors on SAR state there will be an A900 replacement with an OVF maybe one in the mid range too isn't so crazy. I'm both skeptical and optimistic about this rumor based on the source and current Sony strategy.
I really don't see this happening personally, but I do hope its true though! I would love to be wrong about what Sony are going to do in the future and for them to pull a 180 like this. Would a move like that endear traditional users back to Sony? Tough question but surely it would pique their interest at the very least.
Last thought I have on this subject is just an excerpt from an interesting interview that my buddies at Imaging-Resource conducted with Mark Weir from Sony USA :
The excerpt that peaked my interest is when Dave Etchells asks Mark if Sony would respond to the market if there were a cry out for traditional DSLRS: "DE: So if you see a large, angry mob of customers coming demanding a conventional SLR... Sony would respond."
And Mark's answer was: "MW: I think Sony always keeps their customers in the front of their minds."
The question remains at just how much outcry (if any) Sony have heard or noticed and if indeed there was enough to keep at least two optical path "traditional" DSLRS in Sony's Alpha lineup. Apparently according to the source, there was.
I guess that remains to be seen. If I hear more about a supposed A600, I will report it. I've been told an update about this rumored camera will come in the future, more specifics about the camera that I'll be allowed to share.
Interesting, to say the least. Guess we'll see what happens.
My contact has made a correction/update to the A600 rumor.
The initial information on the sensor size is incorrect. Now I'm being told the A600 was originally designed to be 18.4mp but will instead be 16.2mp, and will use an updated version of that sensor.
According to the source, Sony had originally planned to design two sensors but because of the high demand of the 16.2mp sensor from other manufacturers of late (I guess we can expect other cameras in the future to also use this sensor?) the 18.4mp sensor wasn't put to production and instead the 16.2mp sensor was upgraded.
Upgrade specifics aren't known. I'm guessing they were implemented to facilitate faster live view and video options?
Apparently, this was also an ancillary cost savings measure that worked best for Sony's CMOS sensor sales division as well saving the Alpha division internal development costs. Also, this decision was made very recently, and his initial information included the first "final" specifications of the camera. This is what I'm being told now.
Given the other specifications he mentioned and rumors out about the A57 camera, this seems a much more logical sensor to use. No more information was given on the A600 but I've asked several other questions (poignant ones as well) and await answers.
Again I'll re-iterate: Until I see something concrete, I'm suspect of the information given, but this new information seems much more logical and "real" to me.
Received an email today from the same source that the A600 would not be coming in spring but later this year, along with other announcements from Sony. Also that another 16mp Alpha camera will be coming before then and that Sony have decided to keep using the very popular 16mp sensor in its cameras this year due to high demand of overall image performance.
No more details were given on the A600, nor any of my specific questions answered- I was told that more information would come later this year on the A600 as he receives it.
Again, reiterating that I'm just forwarding this information as I receive it from the source. I don't claim any validity to the information until I see proof of it myself in the flesh. It will be interesting to see what comes of this information- or not.