What if Sony’s a7s II…is not an a7?

by Hugh BrownstoneLeave a Comment

Hmm…the a7r II [B&H | Amazon] comes out and shocks us with internal 4K recording, 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS), and low light performance almost as good as the already-legendary a7s [B&H | Amazon] – and that’s on top of a 42 megapixel backside illuminated sensor. Sony could release a successor to the a7s at its current $2,498 price point, but what would it have to be to make sense – and what if it didn’t?

Yeah, OK, tea-leaf reading: this post is definitely about entertainment more than anything else.
Because it IS interesting to wonder – if you’ve got nothing better to do at the moment – about a number of facts swirling around the time of IBC:

1) Sony has reduced the price of its 4K recording FS700R camcorder again – now it’s just $3999 on B&H with Metabones EF Lens adapter (though only until September 30th)
2) Sony has discontinued its 1080p FS100 (it’s not even on B&H anymore) though you can still find it on Amazon for $2,999.
3) Sony has released a teaser about a “New FS camcorder.”
4) Sonyalpharumors has posted a more-than-noise level rumor of a Sony camcorder with the Sony a7s sensor and internal 4K recording.

I wonder…

1) Given the a7s’ video orientation, how could an a7s II NOT have IBIS?
2) How much more would Sony have to charge for IBIS in an a7s II?
3) At that point, how likely would customers simply move to what at that point would be an only slightly-more-expensive a7r II because of its internal 4K recording? After all, the a7r II saves the cost of an external recorder which still won’t record a 10-bit signal, because the current sensor can’t output one.

Here’s the thing.

With a growing hole in Sony’s camcorder lineup that seems about to be patched, and with pricing that of necessity makes a Sony a7s II somewhere near pointless (unless it gets to true 10-bit 4:2:2 output) while still leaving ergonomics and battery life sub-optimal, doesn’t it make more sense to anchor the bottom of Sony’s higher-end interchangeable 4K lineup with the a7r II and move up from there with a true camcorder well below the price of the FS7? Or: what if that camcorder comes in at or near the current a7s price point? Putting the a7s sensor in an FS700/100 replacement makes perfect sense for creating even greater economies of scale for that chip, while allowing exactly the kinds of improvements that would bring a pile of people over to the dedicated camcorder form factor without undermining the FS7 – and put tremendous pressure on both Canon’s C100 Mk II and C300 Mk II.

Just saying.

Hugh is the author of Apple’s iPhone: The Next Video Revolution. Follow him on Twitter (@hughbrownstone) or write to him at hugh.brownstone@3bmep.com

Sony Alpha A7r II Roundup

See our roundup of the Sony A7r II here – it includes all the latest news and videos

(SR3) Sony has a 4K camcorder prototype with same A7s sensor and internal 4K recording.

Sony A7s sensor

Sony A7s sensor. Photo Credit: Sony Alpha Rumors

Via Sony Alpha Rumors:

This comes via one of my highly trusted sources. He got news about a new Sony camcorder prototype having the same Sony A7s sensor and internal 4K recording. The source added that he doesn’t know yet when that camcorder will be announced. Let’s hope that is the new FS camcorder that Sony will announce on September 11.

Read this article at Sony Apha Rumors “Sony has a 4K camcorder prototype with same A7s sensor and internal 4K recording”

(cover photo credit: snap from Sony Apha Rumors)

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh is the founder of Three Blind Men and An Elephant Productions. He and the team write, direct, shoot, score, and edit web-centric films; conduct photo shoots; and write copy, white papers and blog posts. Hugh also writes screenplays (he recently optioned a TV pilot) and just published his first eBook (Apple's iPhone: The Next Video Revolution). If it's about telling stories, it's in their wheelhouse.

And always with the ambition of authenticity, humanity and wit.
Hugh Brownstone

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