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The mythical cheap Sony full frame camera

We’re probably less than a week away from a product announcement from Sony. New rumors have appeared regarding a new cheap full frame offering. If Sony were to announce it next week, here’s what I believe it should look like.

Price

This is the most important feature of the camera. Many believe Sony will price the new camera just under $1000. If it’s meant to convince buyers with compelling features, the price should at least be $1200. $1300 isn’t bad either.

The APS-C problem

Sony has three APS-C cameras on sale. The a6100 costs $600*, the a6400 is $800*, and the a6600 will ask $1200* from your wallet.

A $1300 Sony full frame camera (I’ll call it A5 from now on) would render the a6600 redundant if it were to have the same specs as the APS-C camera. For those who don’t know, here’s what the a6600 offers:

  • 24MP APS-C sensor, 11fps Burst Mode;
  • 4K at 30fps (from a 6K readout), Full HD at 120fps, Picture Profiles;
  • In-Body Image Stabilisation;
  • Audio-in and audio-out;
  • 425 phase detect autofocus points, 425 contrast detect autofocus points, Eye-AF (photo and video modes), Animal Eye-AF;
  • 2,359,296 dot viewfinder
  • Flip-up display, with touch-to-focus capabilities;
  • One UHS-I card slot;
  • microUSB and microHDMI ports;
  • Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi (slow);
  • NP-FZ100 battery.

For Sony to say “you can have a full frame camera with the same features as the a6600 for just $100 more” would be truly amazing.

There’s also an A7III problem. The specs above are mainly in line with what the current cheapest new full frame Sony offers. And it costs $1800*. For Sony to say “you can have a $500 cheaper full frame camera, with nearly all what the A7III has to offer” would again be truly amazing. It would also mean two things:

  • Sony is once again prepared to excite the photography community with a well rounded camera at an excellent price point. They did the same thing when the A7III was announced;
  • The Sony A7IV promises big upgrades.

Features

So what should the rumored Sony A5 give its fans? Some have speculated Sony should cater to photographers and offer a stripped down body aka no video features whatsoever. That would be a mistake. Here’s what I’d like to see in the Sony A5:

  • A 24MP IBIS full framesensor is a more than likely feature. It’ll bring 10 fps bursts, 4K at 30 frames per second, 120fps Full HD and picture profiles;
  • One UHS-I SD card slot;
  • Audio in and out, microHDMI and USB-C (I’d really like them to drop microUSB) and the same slow WiFi;
  • A flip-out screen;
  • The current autofocus features;

If Sony manages to cram all these features in a $1300 A5, we can safely assume backorders will become certain.

Would you buy a Sony A5? What features would you like it to have?

*body only version

By Dan Pandrea

Man With A Camera. Romanian, copywriter, content editor, photography enthusiast, and an electronic music fan.

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