Well its the day after Christmas and the new cameras are out and about.
After all the leaks there isn't much we either didn't already know or at least strongly suspect so and understand that there isn't much excitement in this release but actually I'm pretty happy.
1. A850. essentially an A900 with some very small bit missing for a 26% price reduction. The first 'new'(ish) FF under 2k. I love that.
2. A500/550. A nice little pair of cameras that might not be cutting edge but offer a good balance of features, move forward a little from where Sony had been before and show that Sony is sticking around for the long haul. One interesting, and a little disappointing, thing is that in an effort to squeeze new features and old features into these bodies it appears Sony has lost their way a little in ergonomics. Well thats based on the DPreview hands on preview at least.
Hey - while I'm hear I'll take a little credit that my guesses on pricing and features for these cameras was pretty close as discussed here.
Some interesting things for me:
3. Sony has shown its happy for its price ranges to overlap - ie the cheapest 5XX is near as dammit to the priciest 3XX, the priciest 5XX is similarly close to the 700. This is good news, it suggests that any future A7XX series wont be constrained to stay away from the A850 and an uber APS, Nikon D300s competitor is possible.
4. Sony has a new 14 Mp CMOS chip capable of supporting 7FPS, main sensor live view and ISO 12800 that was not announced to the world by the sensor division and did not appear in a Nikon. That is a clear indication that the balance of influence on the Sony sensor division is shifting away from external customers.