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Sony teases ‘new concept’ Alpha series camera set to launch next week

With four words, Sony Japan has disrupted its popular mirrorless Alpha series by teasing a newcomer. On Sony Japan’s Alpha series page, the header simply reads “new concept is coming” above the Alpha series symbol and the date: September 15 at 10:00, which translates to 9 p.m. ET on September 14. A video premiere is already scheduled on YouTube for the same time.

The vague announcement provided little detail but is already generating significant buzz.

New concept Alpha is coming on Sep 15th 2020 | Sony

Sony has proven to be a camera brand that’s not afraid to experiment and push ahead on new innovations. The initiator of the full-frame mirrorless craze, as well as innovations like stacked sensors and class-leading autofocus tracking technology, Sony was the first to launch several features that are now becoming widespread.

Sony’s Alpha series encompasses the popular A7 line of full-frame models aimed at professionals and serious pros, as well as the sports-focused A9 line and the more budget-friendly ASP-C series, the A6000. The “new concept” suggests the upcoming gear is outside the norm of the existing options, though how far outside that norm is unclear.

What Sony doesn’t have — that Canon and Nikon now do — is a more affordable, entry-level full-frame, which is exactly what rumor sites are suggesting next week’s announcement will reveal. Sony’s budget full-frame cameras are simply older models that the company continues to sell new. Photographers can pick up the Sony A7 II with a kit lens for under $1,000 right now, for example. 

Canon and Nikon, however, now both have new budget-friendly full-frame mirrorless options in their lineups. The Canon EOS RP reuses old tech and truncates some features, but offers full-frame for $1,000. Nikon’s Z 5 is priced a bit higher but has more in common with the midrange Z 6 outside of more limited autofocus, fewer video features, and a less robust build.

Sony fans are no doubt hoping that a “new concept” is more than truncated features to get to a lower price point. In the past, Sony hasn’t been afraid to experiment with oddball cameras, like the RX0 series, the tiny, boxy cameras made for multicam setups.

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