This is still a rumor coming from a leaked image, but it looks like one of the most accurate information up to now. This is the confirmation of the tilt-and-swivel mechanism holding a large LCD screen. It was rumored, but the mechanism seems quite clear and precise. Good news for this new camera (expected in July 2011).
It’s quite certain that this is not a pre-series or a prototype but a model (enlarging the function/feature rotating button shows what is probably only a rough prototype of this part). But who cares?
As is quite obvious on the photo, there is a second camera and it appears that it could be named Alpha 65 or A65. This is the real surprise since -visually- this is a simplified A77 (the LCD seems to be tilt only and the rest looks very similar except the viewfinder/flash gap line) as Sony has been already used to in the past, but the name is breaking the few Sony conventions for cameras in a similar range since they started using two figures (A33, A35, A55, etc.) for the Alpha series. It may not mean anything specific; maybe just a glitch in the Naming Group of the Marketing Department…
The main questions are:
- Is the Alpha 65 going to use the Alpha 77 big 24 MP CMOS sensor? The naming would point to a somewhat smaller sensor, but it’s still pure guessing.
- Most certainly, the A65 will have a reduced sensitivity range (probably not reaching the ISO 102,400 that everybody is hoping to see on the Alpha 77, if they keep the same sensor).
- Will they use the same viewfinder AMOLED viewfinder LCD? I would bet on “yes, the same” according to my sources who suggest that the current viewfinder will be obsolete for Sony in July (Don’t read me wrong: Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) is a 101% certainty for these two cameras).
The presence of two cameras also raises questions about pricing. We all know that the EVF is helping Sony reduce costs, increase continuous shooting speeds and ease fast AF even in video modes; But Sony may be trying to keep a relatively large margin on the Alpha 77 by giving it a little brother which would be shooting for rock bottom prices. At first, Sony may have the possibility of keeping high prices (high margins, big revenues) on the A77 with bargain prices on the A65. When Nikon presents a competing product (the Nikon D400 in September? or October?), Sony will be ready to reduce margins (and prices) kicking Nikon where it’s most painful: Price.
If I’m right, the Sony Alpha 65 will be the camera to buy this Summer and the top-performance Alpha 77 reaching its real price potential only at the end of the year (but expect a tremendously deep price fall, then: Both will fly below 1000€).
By Jove! Things are going to be interesting. The next meeting points will be:
- Sony official release of the Alpha 77 and Alpha 65 in early July
- Nikon counter-attack in September: Nikon D400