August 29, 2021

Alphatracks

Sony and Minolta SLR Weblog

Sony Alpha 100 — what color do you want?

I was browsing images in the Sony Style news web site and noticed that several of the Alpha 100 images were listed as Sony Alpha 100 Black. Hmm… why would Sony need to describe the A100 as black, unless there were other colors available? I also noticed in several places it was labeled as the A100B. Curious, I tried a Google search for A100B. That failed miserably, since there appears to be a Teac SL-A100B turntable and that item filled up the bulk of the first several pages of search results. Even adding the word Sony didn’t help, because there are many sites listed in Google that carry both Sony and Teac electronics components — and these were at the top of the heap.

Undeterred, I searched for the term Sony A100S, figuring silver was the most logical alternative to black for a digital camera. Sure enough, I got a number of results — almost all in Japanese. Almost at the very top, I found this page at http://store.yahoo.co.jp/kitamura/4905524339611.html showing both a silver and black A100 sitting side by side. There is also a image of the A100 where the body looks dark gray. That image is probably the silver A100 photographed under poor lighting conditions — although it is just possible that Sony could also offer a gray A100.

I can’t read Japanese, so I have no idea what it says on the page. It is apparent, however, that in Japan you will have the opportunity to purchase the A100 in either silver or black finish. I have no idea if the silver model will be offered in the US. Actually, in most of the pre-release photos, the body of the A100 looks dark gray. Almost black, but not the rich black of past Minolta SLRs or of the Nikon and Canon offerings. So possibly there will be gray, silver and black options.

The Canon Digital Rebel is available in both silver and black, so maybe Sony intends to follow Canon’s lead and give users the option of choosing a finish.

My first SLR was a Minolta SRT102, and like the vast majority of these cameras the finish was silver, with black on the film door and body grip area. I also bought a used SR-7, which is finished in the same fashion. All the rest of my film SLRs were “Pro” black — not sure why a pro camera has to be black, but that is the term often used to describe black finish on the camera.

My XE-7 is full black, while its cousin the XE-5 was offered in silver and black. Mikko Niskanen’s XE series web site offers a number of photos of the Minolta XE series in various two-tone finishs. Of course Minolta offered several silver-plastic bodied film SLRs near the end of the Maxxum line. My Dimage 5 and it’s big brother the Dimage 7 were silver only, but they were followed by the Dimage 7I series, the A1, A2 and the A200 — all in black.

Of course the Maxxum 5D and 7D dSLRs were only finished in black — at least as far as I know.

So, if a silver A100 was offered in the US would you buy one? Or would you prefer black? Or gray?