With four words, Sony Japan has disrupted its popular mirrorless Alpha series by teasing a newcomer. On Sony Japan’s Alpha series page, the header simply reads “new concept is coming” above the Alpha series symbol and the date: September 15 at 10:00, which translates to 9 p.m. ET on September 14. A video premiere is already scheduled on YouTube for the same time.
The vague announcement provided little detail but is already generating significant buzz.
Sony has proven to be a camera brand that’s not afraid to experiment and push ahead on new innovations. The initiator of the full-frame mirrorless craze, as well as innovations like stacked sensors and class-leading autofocus tracking technology, Sony was the first to launch several features that are now becoming widespread.
Sony’s Alpha series encompasses the popular A7 line of full-frame models aimed at professionals and serious pros, as well as the sports-focused A9 line and the more budget-friendly ASP-C series, the A6000. The “new concept” suggests the upcoming gear is outside the norm of the existing options, though how far outside that norm is unclear.
What Sony doesn’t have — that Canon and Nikon now do — is a more affordable, entry-level full-frame, which is exactly what rumor sites are suggesting next week’s announcement will reveal. Sony’s budget full-frame cameras are simply older models that the company continues to sell new. Photographers can pick up thewith a kit lens for under $1,000 right now, for example.
Canon and Nikon, however, now both have new budget-friendly full-frame mirrorless options in their lineups. The Canon EOS RP reuses old tech and truncates some features, but offers full-frame for $1,000. Nikon’s Z 5 is priced a bit higher but has more in common with the midrange Z 6 outside of more limited autofocus, fewer video features, and a less robust build.
Sony fans are no doubt hoping that a “new concept” is more than truncated features to get to a lower price point. In the past, Sony hasn’t been afraid to experiment with oddball cameras, like the RX0 series, the tiny, boxy cameras made for multicam setups.