In a prior post I spoke about the spectacular angst of the Sony shooter and the special anger we can feel towards our own mount. Another manifestation of this unique relationship with our mount is a really pronounced sensitivity to rumours.
The Sony Alpha community is riven with concern that at any moment our "parent" will decide that the passion is gone and walk away. So like uncertain children we are constantly searching for signs that we are still loved, that we are still the ones Sony wants to please. So we pounce on anything, any little error in a web site menu, any obscure reference in a firmware referencing system, any reference in an interview.
Well we are getting pretty hot under the collar right now. Word is that three new camera's are getting close. They are the A500, A550 and A850.
Tomorrow I might spend a bit of time guessing precise specs but fro now this is basically how I think its likely to work.
1 the A500 will be the A700 shrunk a little, cleaned up a little, etc
2. the A550 will be the A550 with an upgraded sensor.
so far nothing novel. But,
3. the A850 will be an uber APS body, using the A550 sensor but perhaps with features that actually take it well past the A900. With a D300 like price pushing towards $1800-1900. This gives Sony a vehicle to get advances in AF, metering, video, LV - god knows, onto the market in a form that doesnt detract too much from the A900 which remains the king of the hill simply by virtue of being FF.
4. We wont get a 7 series for a while - the Sony line-up will look a bit like the Nikon set-up with a similar gap between the A550 and A850 as the D90 and D300. Simply recycling the 7 series would create all sorts of problems as people would be confused as the new 7xx would cost up to double the price of the 700 it replaced.
Of course I'm almost certainly wrong.