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The Camera Market is Down to Two 35mm Format Contestants: Sony A1 and Canon TBD

There are lots of posts on sites that received advance info on the Sony A1 detail its stunning capabilities.

With the Sony A1, the photography market just changed overnight (and for video too). It’s the camera to have, for numerous reasons.

There are two brands left in the mirrorless space that have a chance to survive. The miles-ahead leader is Sony, and then there is Canon.

Sony A1

Canon has deep corporate pockets and might have more advance stuff in the pipeline. But Canon now has its work cut out for it just to catch up to the Sony A1 on both technology and lens line and ecosystem support (and no 3rd-party lenses!). Why invest in a system that is way behind with far fewer lens choices, rather than the leader?

Both companies recognize that the still-photo market is worth pursuing, but also that the video market is prime territory. Sony has tackled both of them supremely well in the Sony A1, but the Canon EOS R5 remains a video-centric camera with stills photography as an adjunct.

Dead-end camera systems:

  • Nikon is doomed barring a major shakeup and cash infusion and technology agreement—plenty of engineering talent, but plodding along with stale leadership and a tiny fraction of the vast technology trove of Sony, and lacking the deep pockets of Canon.
  • Leica M is years behind on technology, has lost much of its lens line production, and has been abandoned by even the most ardent fans. Leica L-Mount and its awful haptics are years behind on technology, with market share that is a rounding error. Nor is it the realm of possibility for Leica to source sensors and other technology to keep up.
  • Sigma’s full-frame L-Mount mirrorless cameras (greatly delayed) don’t even exist.
  • The L-Mount Panasonic S1R is an excellent camera but a market flop. Panasonic could possibly compete with Sony, but it would take major investment and Panasonic seems to mulling an exit from the business judging by its inaction.
  • Olympus was mismanaged and failed, and is in new hands, but is not even in the contest (no full frame).
  • Pentax is a zombie camera company.

Important to my B&H loaner support — buy your Sony A1 via the links on this site when pre-ordering starts Jan 27 at 10 AM EST.

Sony A1 and Experia 5G for fast imaging transfers
Sony A1, rear view
Sony A1, front view
Sony A1, top view
Sony A1, rear oblique view
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