Final Update: The Sony a7III it is.
Update (2/26): All indications are Sony will announce the a7III this afternoon during their livestream. Still no firm specs besides what’s referenced below.
It looks like Sony will manage a surprise on February 26 at the WPPI in Las Vegas. Rumors surround the announcement of an ‘entry to mid-level’ alpha series camera. Yeah, that narrows it down.
Let’s take a look at conventional wisdom at what it could be. While Sony needs to get the Sony a7sIII out in the wild, the company’s video-centric camera doesn’t smack of ‘entry’ or even ‘mid’ when it comes to their lineup.
With the a7rIII already out in the wild, the popular opinion would immediately point towards Sony announcing the a7III. Spec wise is completely up in the air as Sony is playing it close to the vest. It will borrow heavily from the a7rIII and a9 before it with features stripped to hit the old a7II price point.
Potential specs include a 24MP sensor, 7 fps, joystick, the Z battery, touchscreen and 4K video. On the autofocus front, rumors have it at 425 contrast points with 167 phase detection. Price is rumored at $1899.
A Sony a7III makes the most sense due to the a7rIII release. The remaining a7 cameras will get an upgrade. It’s just a matter of when.
Another popular segment are Sony APS-C fans. And it’s actually been a bit since Sony released an a6000 update. What remains to be seen is, does Sony consider the a6500 a true flagship for its crop sensor market? If so, can the rumored a6700 be considered entry? Mid-level sure, but it doesn’t strike me as a marketing term Sony would use if they choose to go headlong against Fujifilm in the crop sensor market.
Spec wise, most rumors are wild speculation. Expect it to borrow heavily from the Sony’s recent full-frame releases. Better autofocus, battery, video, etc. One hope is it gets a dual card slot. Show crop sensor users the ecosystem is here to stay.
One potential camera which fits the mold closer to the ‘entry’ versus ‘mid’ is an a5300 release. Speculation is Sony may start dipping back into the entry-level mirrorless camera market.
It would also shore up an exposed flank over what Canon and Nikon may present. Statements from both have both developing a pro mirrorless, but it would be a nice surprise if they went after Sony at lower price points. It’s an area to watch. Competition breeds innovation.
The other wildcard alpha camera that fits the entry to mid-level rumors is a potential a77III. An a-mount camera versus an E-mount. While most look towards the e-mount market, Sony has a way of throwing curveballs. When you think the A-mount is slowly fading away, they drop a new one on you. It definitely fits the mold of the rumors for February 26th. It’s the lack of any real rumors surrounding the platform putting it firmly in the wildcard category.
What do you think? Which camera will Sony announce at the end of the month? My thinking is the a7III, though I’d love to see an a6700. Regardless of what’s revealed, Sony is on track to keep their blistering release schedule.
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