Rumor: new full frame Sony cameras are coming soon?

Sony Alpha Rumors has as their latest post “(SR4) Two new Full Frame Sony cameras coming soon!”

Interestingly in the url SAR refers to the rumor as being  SR5 rather than the SR4 it says now. Which means at the time of writing the SAR admin was almost certain about there being two full frame Sony cameras coming soon (then something happened to downgrade it one step to SR4).

The interesting little tidbit (because this gives a clue as to what products these will be) is it will be “soft announcement”. What is meant by “soft announcement”, SAR says:

It means almost no reviewer or press will get the camera before the announcement and the little info shared will come directly via Sony Japan. Just like it happened with the Sony A7II.


Hmmm… this rules out it being an A9. Or even being a breakthrough A7r mk2 with a 50 megapixel sensor.

This is my theory on what they are (as SAR admin says one is definitely E mount, and the other he doesn’t know if it is  E or A mount):

One camera will be an A5 (a lower end FE camera than an A7, and without an EVF) or an A7s mk2 with only an update that is a small refresh (such as sticking with more or less the same A7s, but adding internal 4K. But no IBIS, as a A7s with internal 4K *and* IBIS would lead to a bigger announcement than this). My hope is the latter of the two happens, but if doesn’t happen at least that means I can keep on hoping the A7s mk2 will be a *BIG* upgrade! (10bit 4K internal, S-Log3, user LUTs displayed, FHD 150fps, IBIS, PAL/NTSC switchable, better battery life, no clip limit, etc…. one can dream!) Plus would be kinda nice to see a Sony A5 announced, as a cheap FE option. (likely priced similar, or even less, than the soon to be announced Sony A7000?)

As for the other full frame camera from Sony, I suspect this could be the Sony A99 mk2. As it would make total sense for them to make that be a soft announcement, as it will allow them to keep their A mount users (kind of) happy for a couple more years but at the same time not allow a new A mount camera to steal too much thunder away from their main focus which is now FE mount cameras. 

Another smaller possibility for their 2nd camera is it isn’t an interchangeable camera at all (though SAR didn’t mention that possibility), and it is a Sony RX2 (or rather a Sony RX1 mk2).  Though this strikes me as unlikely.

Of course yet another possibility that can’t be ruled out is the rumor is wrong! Could instead be a more mundane A7000 and RX100mk4 announcement with no new full frame cameras in sight! (well… relatively mundane, I’m still very keenly looking forward to see what Sony delivers with the A7000! Hoping for a camera so great I’ll be pre-ordering it. And I won’t be bothered at all if no new full frame cameras are announced, as I do prefer the APS-C / Super 35mm sweet spot. Or even Micro Four Thirds is a very nice happy medium size)

Which first camera for photography for a newbie?

Over on a poster asked about what camera to get, and as my reply was fairly lengthy I thought I’d make it a blog post for my site too.

Two big choices you need to make:

Point and shoot (or bridge cam) vs interchangeable lens camera.

Personally, I’m all for interchangeable lens cameras! But they’re not for everybody, you have to be willing to spend a lot more (the cost of my camera bodies are rather minor compared to what I’ve spent on lenses) and carry the extra weight for the extra lenses. So if you’re only going to use kit lenses, I wouldn’t bother. I’d get a P&S/bridge camera instead.

Most (nearly all!) P&S or bridge cameras are pieces of sh*t IMHO rather rubbish! (just stick to your cellphone instead)

However… in recent years, a few of them are quite decent and really nice!

The key ones to check out (because they all have a 1″ sensor, or even a bit bigger in the case of the LX100) are:

  1. Sony RX100 series (mk1/mk2/mk3)
  2. Sony RX10
  3. Panasonic FZ1000
  4. Panasonic LX100

Personally, my P&S is a Fujifilm XF1, which has a bit smaller sensor than 1″ (but still bigger than most others), but has some other nifty features and I picked it up for next to nothing (much cheaper than even the cheapest one of those I just listed). Only US$150, perfect for taking with me when I might risk damaging/losing the camera with me (such as on nights out….).

Then, if instead you decide to get an interchangeable lens camera, you have to make the choice of:

Mirrorless vs DSLR.

From my perspective, mirrorless is very clearly the future. DSLR is only holding on barely in a few upper ends of various niches, and because of inertia (which is a BIG factor! But not so much for you, as you’re starting from scratch).

Thus as a person starting out, I highly recommend mirrorless be at the top of the list.

So then to determine, what system?

Micro Four Thirds is the oldest mirrorless system and thus the most well established mirrorless system BY FAR, others are not even close (Micro Four Thirds is the only system with multiple manufacturers backing it. Most people don’t realise, it is even more than just Panasonic and Olympus!).

Sony E mount is the next most well rounded system.

So I’d highly recommend just picking from one of those two, m4/3 or E mount.

Though Fujifilm is worthwhile considering too if you’re a hipster and like that retro styling. Personally though, I find them lagging behind in areas vs Sony/Panasonic/Olympus. As for the others, don’t even waste your time giving a second look at Canon/Nikon/Pentax’s mirrorless offerings!

Currently, I reckon the specific models which are offering the most amazing bang for the buck are: Sony A5100 (or A6000 if you want the EVF) and Panasonic GX7 (or Olympus OM-D E-M5). Personally I am using the Sony A5100 as one of my main cameras, I picked it up for just US$320. Also, I used to have the Panasonic GX1 (picked that up for just US$199! Back in mid 2013, an amazing bargain for then).