We are used to see Sony release new cameras at a tremendous pace. Each and every year we have a new camera. The A7II has been released just a year after the A7, same for the A7r/ A7rII and A7s/A7sII. The A7rII is literally a flagship for Sony as it encompasses all the new technologies Sony has been working on the past few years, especially with the 5 axis stabilization combined with the world premier full frame back-lit sensor. Until the A9 has been announced on April 19th, 2017. The A9 is clearly a game changer. I know I know, we have been saying this for every single A7 that has been released the past couple years. But the A9 has a different flavor. The high-end professional flavor that was missing in the mirrorless world and that just put an end to the endless debate between DSLRs and mirrorless bodies. It brings the credibility, especially in terms of focusing capabilities, that mirrorless needed the most. That is not all of course but one of the main feature that will definitely kill DSLRs. One can still argue on the size of the body being too small for his/her hand but the fact is that performance wise, the A9 buries its competitors, including the kings Canon 1DX and Nikon D5, and icing on the cake, it is up to $2000 less expensive than its famous competitors. We’re not going to detail all the great features housed by the A9 as there are plenty of reviews out there for that but instead, I’d like to imagine what the A7markIII would be like, now that the new A9 flagship has been announced and shows what Sony has been up to. That tells us a little bit more on the way Sony is taking.
But would it be accurate or fair? As a matter of fact, comparing the A7III that will be the entry level to the A9 that is the high-end pro model could be sort of… inappropriate. But we can expect Sony to introduce some of these new technologies to the newer bodies in order to ensure to stay ahead in the mirrorless run, or even in the Full Frame interchangeable cameras since Sony just took over Nikon in that field recently. In the past, Sony has always introduced the A7 then A7r and quickly after the A7s series, we can reasonably expect the next body to be the A7III.
However, it is important to note that the A7II was released in January 2015, a little bit more than 2 years ago which means that Sony decided to change and slow down its pace in renewing its cameras and instead work on the lenses offer. It is a good and a bad thing some would say, I will let you be the judge. But in my opinion, this is a very good thing. First, it will settle down the image of the cameras and they will lose less value over time, making them appear more credible and valuable against CaNikon competitors, and second, it shows that Sony is focusing more on developing the E-mount lenses, bringing more credibility to the system. Knowing this, we can assume that this system will reach maturity by the end of 2017 ( especially since Zeiss declared to iLHP being ready to release 2-3 others E-mount lenses in 2017). Considering the success of this system, third party manufacturers will also get more involved and start to make lenses as well. Sigma, for instance, has been stressed a lot in the past few months by A7 consumers and prosumers to produce their ART series for the E-mount. From the latest developments, it sounds like Sigma will soon release some E-mount lenses, which will add up to the already Sony and Zeiss offer as well as Rokinon/Samyang and some others.In total, that is more than 50 lenses that are available for the E-mount system. And the professional G-Master series is growing quickly, introducing the 100-400mm G with the A9 for sports photographers.
Sony will obviously keep innovating. This will not end here. They literately attacked Canon and Nikon by creating a new market and taking a significant share of the whole DSLR/mirrorless market. They’re now targeting their professional market, exactly where no one else could compete, not even close. Without a doubt, Canon and Nikon will react within a year or two, at least they should! Sony knows this and is obviously working on the A7II successor that we might be expecting for January 2018 if they want to stay ahead of the game.