Sony rumors 2021
Sony rumors swirled and swirled and swirled, last year, and almost all came true. The biggest one, of course, was the phenomenal Sony A1 that brings 50.1MP stills, 8K video and unparalleled 30fps burst shooting.
Amusingly, one of the most longstanding Sony rumors has now been fulfilled not once but three times – with the long awaited Sony A7S III hitting the market again as a cinema camera in the form of the Sony FX6, and again as a hybrid Alpha / Cine Line camera in the Sony FX3. And it also stealth-launched updated versions of the A7R, in the form of the Sony A7R IIIa and Sony A7R IVa.
Of course, the next long-in-the-tooth camera that needs updating is the Sony A7 III – but that's not all that Sony has up its sleeve…
Sony A7R V
The Sony A7R V could be arriving in 2022 with a record-setting 102MP image sensor, as the latest reports that suggest Sony is locked in an arms race with Canon to deliver the world's first full-frame 100MP sensor.
It was already a safe bet that the Sony A7R V would pack a sensor with greater resolution than the 61MP boasted by its predecessor, the Sony A7R IV – particularly since the new Sigma fp L also features a 61MP sensor. However, with rumors that the Canon EOS R5S will be a 100MP camera, it appears that business has just picked up.
Sony already has a 102MP full-frame image sensor, the 6K-capable IMX555CQR, which could easily be adapted for the Sony A7R V – and you can expect that Sony will incorporate its usual pixel shift technology to quadruple the resolution when used for still life setups.
Sony A7 IV
Another model for the middle of the A7 range, some specs have leaked for the replacement to the popular all-rounder A7 III – which is rumored to be announced, if not released, in October. It looks like the Sony A7 IV (not to be confused with the popular Sony A7R IV) is going to be a little more advanced than predecessors, thanks to the Sony A7C.
Its expected to have a slightly bigger and more comfortable body than the A7 III. Spec-wise, rumors so far talk of a 3.68M-dot EVF, a 1.44M-dot LCD, a newly developed 30-32MP sensor with faster readout, 4K 60p video with no overheating, Dual SD and CFexpress Type A card slots and 5-axis in-body stabilization with Steady Shot active mode. In a welcome addition, it should also get the revamped and improved menu system from the A7S III. Its price is expected to be about $2,499.
Sony ZV-1 II
It looks like the vlogging-oriented Sony ZV-1 will be getting some high-end tech from the A1 in an effort to satisfy the needs of young creators.
"They want to shoot high quality pictures and video, but they might not know how to use conventional cameras," said Masaaki Oshima, deputy senior manager of Sony's Camera division, in an interview with DP Review. "The key is to integrate our high technology in a simple, easy-to-use way. So the high-end technology that we developed for the Alpha 1 will be developed further and modified, simplified [and implemented in] ZV-1-type products."
We've already seen Sony deliver crazy pro-level camera features in more junior products, such as bringing the Sony A9 II's 20fps burst shooting in the Sony Xperia 1 II. So could we be seeing 30fps or even 8K video in the Sony ZV-1 II? We hope that the manufacturer does a better job than it did with the recent Sony ZV-E10, a vlogging camera with an articulating screen that doesn't support touch control.
The Sony verdict
What we think: Having dropped a new flagship bombshell and refreshed its aging A7S line, the A7 IV feels very much next in line for announcement – though if the rumors are true about the A7R V, this could cause a seismic shift in the industry. And with content creation having exploded even further over the past year, thanks to the global pandemic, further innovating the new ZV-1 line to appease young vloggers seems like a very open goal.