Will Sony’s medium format cameras be the next big thing?
According to some reports, Sony is considering removing Fujifilm from the medium format camera space. I’m sure there are people who doubt that can happen. Personally, however, I’m on the fence. Years ago, no one thought Sony would take over Minolta. Years later, people didn’t take them seriously when the Sony a7 series came out. Then when the Sony a9 hit the scene, things really changed a lot. What I’m saying is that in a world where no one could have predicted a global pandemic, that shouldn’t discourage us. So, could a Sony medium format camera arrive in the future?
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Here’s the thing: I’d say Sony should focus on its issues first before entering the medium format camera space. Which problems? Well, there are a lot of things they need to fix and things they could innovate a lot more. I just finished using a macro lens for an exam and didn’t have a CPL filter small enough to fit it. It made me think that, yes, I can fix it in post, but wouldn’t something like a digital CPL filter be cool to have in the camera? OM system cameras have Live ND, so why can’t Sony put in a digital CPL filter?
And there are other things. So, let’s list some of the things they could do before a Sony medium format camera hits the market:
- Their new accessibility feature doesn’t really help the visually impaired photographer
- Their menu is not a great touch interface at all.
- Their auto focus on animals and birds should be merged
- All the stuff they got rid of with the Sony Play Memories store should be restored to the cameras. Things like in-camera multiple exposure, non-contact shutter, etc.
- With all the technology built into their cameras, why can’t they set up a solid flash system that fires over the camera’s wifi or bluetooth?
These are just a few of the things I think Sony could and should do. The photography can be done entirely in the camera, but they can make their tool more apt to fulfill this mission.
So why would Sony make a medium format camera? Well, it has to do with the traditional marketing lies that have been told from the start: that we all need a bigger sensor. Most photographers these days would do their job perfectly well with an APS-C sensor. But many photographers go full frame. That, and medium-format sensors are getting cheaper. So a Sony medium format camera might hit the market because Sony wants to market the idea of having something bigger and better.
If so, then hopefully we could have a true 645 medium format camera. But I don’t think that will happen. In fact, I think 645 sensors could be dead for the foreseeable future. There are no cameras that go out with them. And when they hit the market a while ago, they were incredibly expensive.
By the time a Sony medium format camera hits the market, it will mostly have to find a way to compete with Fujifilm. And for the sake of the market, I hope Fujifilm really makes progress with things like its autofocus. If companies found a way to make sensors and medium format lenses work so fast that they could photograph the Olympics, I’d be really impressed.
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