August 29, 2021

Alphatracks

Sony and Minolta SLR Weblog

Sony A100 discontinued: What will take it's place?

David Kilpatrick at Photoclub Alpha is suggesting that the A100 is no longer being produced by Sony. He goes on to speculate that Sony may have exhausted the run of sensors used by the original Alpha SLR and couldn’t produce any more even if they desired to.

Is the A100 at the end of it’s life?

Kilpatrick doesn’t end there. He is of the opinion that Sony will introduce some sort of replacement for the A100 along with the forthcoming Advanced Amateur dSLR.

This ties in with two or my earlier posts. First I noted that the A100 was out of stock at the Sony Style website and wondered how Sony could run out of their only dSLR at a time that most would-be buyers were holding off until they saw what Sony would offer next. Secondly I posted about the Sony Alpha test-drive being offered at children’s sports event n certain parts of the USA. It sounds like a great program, but the target market doesn’t seem to match up with that of the future Advanced Amateur dSLR.

In Kilpatrick’s scenario, Sony will off the A100 and introduce a similar replacement, possibly with less features at a lower price point.

All along I wondered why Sony was targeting the upper end of the dSLR market while so much of the action was going on in the starter-SLR segment. I’m happy to see pro and semi-pro Alpha models in the pipeline, but I wondered where Sony’s D40 fighter was.

Reports are circulating that Nikon went from a distant second to a strong first in worldwide SLR sales, supplanting Canon in the number 1 slot. How did they do that? My guess is on the strength of the D40 and D40X models, which are aimed at those just entering the dSLR market. Even the higher-range digital Rebel models couldn’t compete with the D40 on price. It’s an easy sale: I can buy a genuine Nikon dLSR for five hundred bucks.

Sony planning A100 replacement?

Most of the attention on Sony’s new dSLRs has focused on the Advanced Amateur or Flagship pro models. Sony has shown us the mockups, so we know they are coming. If Kilpatrick is right, they have also been quietly at work on a starter SLR model that can offer an upgrade path for those moving up from a point and shoot camera.

You and I probably aren’t the target market for such a camera. If Sony does go this route, they will be aiming at those just getting their feet wet in the world of dSLR photography.

That doesn’t matter. Anything that increases the number of A-mount camera bodies out there is a good thing. It makes Sony more of a viable brand in the dSLR arena and makes the Alpha line more attractive for after-market lens, flash and accessory manufacturers. Even more importantly. it will help establish Sony as major dSLR brand in the minds of the consumers.

For myself, I’m still more interested in seeing what the Advanced Amateur model offers. If Kilpatrick is right, however, it is comforting to think that Sony will be covering all the bases.