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After the Nikon Z, EOS R and Panasonic Lumix S, should Sony be worried…?

We caught up with Sam Pilling on the Sony stand at The Photography Show 2019 to find out what Sony thought about all its new rivals in the full frame mirrorless camera market.

Q: Is Sony worried?

“We are clearly a generation ahead. Our A7 Mark II is about the same level as our rivals, we are now on generation III. We are market leading in combining silent shooting and autofocus in continuous operation. When the A9 launched we allowed people  to start taking pictures they couldn’t capture before. No other camera on the market performs in the way the A9 performs, even now."

Q: What about lenses?

“We have 31 native full frame lenses with a very strong commitment to increase that rapidly in the next two years – both for the high end user and the entry level enthusiast. We are not relying on adaptors!”

Q: Is Sony still making the A7?

“Yes. The longer we manufacture a camera, the more efficient, reliable and affordable the production process becomes.”

Q: So it’s still a strong seller?

“Why not go full frame mirrorless, when you can a full frame camera and 50mm lens for well under £1,000. Tomorrow we have a students day for fashion and photography students and the A7 is perfect."

Q: Sony was pretty quiet last year when all this was going on. Isn’t that a bit worrying?

“In the summer [of 2019] we will bring enhancements to the A7 III and A7R III based on consumer feedback. These are based on technology and feature improvements. We are delivering new features to existing users. A new version 5 update for the A9 will introduce brand new AI autofocus features. It adds the ability to recognise patterns for subject recognition and tracking.”

Q: So you’re happy with the way things are going?

“It’s a good time to be at Sony. We are enjoying it. We are the most successful in the market we’ve ever been. Three years ago, people came to see our products to try them out. Two years ago they came back and bought the products. This year they’ve come back to say how much they’ve enjoyed them and to buy some lenses. It’s that consumer warmth – people say let me show you this – weird accessories, pictures they love, custom settings  – it feels like a real Sony user community.”

So Sony seems pretty upbeat, despite all the attention-grabbing full frame mirrorless camera launches last year – and it's revealing nothing about any rumored new Sony A7000 model. And we have to say, the Sony stand was pretty rammed with visitors all through the four days of this year’s Photography Show.

Read more: The best Sony cameras in 2019

Read more:

Sony A7 III vs A7R III vs A7S II: How do they compare?
Sony A7 vs A7 II vs A7 III: How do they compare?
The best Sony lenses in 2019

Rod Lawton

Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio. Previously he has been Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. 

Rod's near-encyclopedic knowledge of cameras both old and new makes him an invaluable resource, whether we need to ask a question about transparencies or the latest X-Trans sensor. He owns all manner of cameras, from Nikon DSLRs through Olympus, Sony and Fujifilm bodies, and on any given day you'll see him using kit from just about every manufacturer.