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There's a conflicting report from Max that shows buffer clearing in about 35-36 seconds using UHS-II. It could be that Tony was using the card writing to the slower card slot.
After thinking about it for a while, the a9 seems to murky the waters a little bit. What could an a7iii be released like? The a9 seems to be a good overall camera, solid at most things, killer at AF. The a7iii would be what.. have less FPS? Worse ergonomics? What could they price it at? $2,500 and you would possibly cannibalize a9 sales.
Also thinking about it. What...Show more →
I don't think it murkies the water all that much. The A9 is a different sort of camera because of its stacked sensor and therefore fast sensor read out that allows an electronic shutter to be the primary shutter. Don't expect that type of sensor in the A7 II--it is too new, too expensive, and requires too much computing power. Expect the A7 II to have a primary mechanical shutter and much slower sensor read out so that they can use a less expensive sensor. Also keep in mind Sony will want to compete with the entry level Canon, Nikon, and Pentax FF cameras. That will hold the price down. I expect similar price but with a better sensor and quite a bit of trickle down from the A9. The Pentax K1 cost just under $1,800 and has a 36mp sensor that is quite good. The Nikon D750 costs just under $1,900 and has a very nice 24mp sensor (a bit better than the A7II sensor). The Canon still sells the 6D for just under $1,600 with an older and not so good 20.2mp sensor. The A7 II competes in this neighborhood. It costs just under $1,600 at this point and has an older 24mp sensor. I think this tells you where the A7 III is likely to come in. I would be surprised if it costs more than $2,000--I would expect just under that, and I would expect a 36mp sensor that tops the 36mp sensor in the Pentax, which is a Sony Exmoor 3rd generation, so I would expect either the 36mp Exmoor 4th generation that is in the Nikon D810 or if they can produce it cheaply enough a 36mp BSI (i.e., 5th generation Exmoor sensor). The A7r II has a 42mp BSI if they go with the BSI route which may be best for competition with the others, then expect an A7r III to follow pretty quickly. With either 4th or 5th generation Exmoor, they would also do a better job of on sensor PDAF and improved AF, but nowhere near what the A9 can do. Such an A7 III wouldn't really compete with the A9. It would only do 5 fps. It might have a silent shutter, but only with very slow sensor readout so it would be more limited in its use. It would not do video well most likely, although Sony might surprise us there. It would have nowhere near as good of AF. I do think we would get the bigger battery from the A9, maybe the 2 card slots, the joystick, and maybe the touchscreen. But don't expect the zero black out EVF. The EVF might get a bit better, but the viewfinder experience will be much better in the A9.
I expect soon after this camera Sony will bring out the A7r III. I expect this camera to be a landscape high mp monster, but I don't expect 70mp as many people suggest. This camera competes with the Nikon D810 which has a 36mp Exmoor 4th generation sensor which sells for just under $2,800, the Canons 5Ds(r) which has a 50mp sensor a bit worse than 3rd generation Exmoor sensors which sells for just under $3,500, and in some ways with the Fuji GFX miniMF camera that sells for just under $6,500 and the Pentax 645Z which is also miniMF and sells for just under $7,000. I looks for a camera somewhere in the ballpark of the Nikon and Canon in price. I expect it to have an Exmoor 4th generation sensor and I expect it to be about 60mp. This would let the camera compete well with the Canon--it would be much better--and with the Nikon as well. Although, I would not be surprised if the Nikon D820 (or 850 or whatever they number it) has a very similar sensor. It also lets the camera compete well with miniMF cameras as well. It would shoot at about 4 or 5 fps. It would have decent AF, but nothing like the A9. I wouldn't even expect a silent shutter on this camera as 4th generation Exmoors aren't even BSI, so way behind the A9 in that department. Don't expect zero black out time in the viewfinder either although I do expect an upgrade in the size of the EVF and the quality as competing with the Canon and Nikon OVFs is important for this camera. I do expect the bigger battery, 2 card slots, and the joystick, as well as the touchscreen. This will be a very popular camera at this price point and should help Sony snag market share. I expect them to care more about market share that sheer profits, but I could be wrong. Sony could go a different route and make a 70mp A9r for about $6,000 with a fantastic viewfinder, but slower fps, much better flash capabilities and a camera more geared for studio pros. This camera would be aimed at competing with the miniMF and MF cameras in general. I don't think this market is big enough for Sony to care to develop such a camera--at least not yet. But if they do develop an A9r look for it to compete with miniMF cameras and not with the Canon 5Ds and Nikon D8XX cameras. It will be the A7r III that competes with those cameras.
Finally there is the A7s II. The upgrade of this camera is the hardest to predict. It doesn't really have any competitors. Unfortunately for me, the upgrade for this camera is the one I will probably get. I suspect because there is no competition here they will go upscale and ask a high price. I expect an A9s and no A7s III. It will likely be an awesome camera, however. Expect a variant of the stacked sensor in the A9, that will allow very fast sensor readout and 6K video directly read from the whole sensor and 4K video read from the Super 35 area of the sensor. Expect a great viewfinder with no blackout, dual cards that read quickly enough to record a lot of video internally (but probably only the 4K 35mm part of the sensor and not the 6K video). The joystick, touchscreen and other niceties of the A9 can be expected too. The cost will be quite a bit. At least $5,000 I suspect, but it will be a stills camera with no peers for video and it will shoot fast and although in some ways won't be able to do what the A9 can do (don't expect the same level of AF for example and will probably only shoot stills at 10 fps), it will be able to get you a lot of the way there. It will have very good slog and other profiles for video as well.
So, that is how I see things sorting out. Sony will be able to be competitive against a huge share of the market as they move forward and mirrorless does appear the way of the future, to me at least. I think DSLRs will stick around for another 5 to 8 years as big forces in the market until the computing power gets good enough that the full promise of the A9 can be realized. Even then expect a smaller niche DSLR market for those who love the viewfinder.