UPDATE: Sony has discontinued all A-mount lenses in Japan, performing the last rites for the system. The move comes six months after it delisted all A-mount cameras in the USA.
As with was the case in America, no official announcement, final farewell or fond memories were shared by the manufacturer; Sony just quietly pulled the plug.
• Read more: Best Sony cameras (opens in new tab)
"All A-mount lenses are no longer sold at the Sony store," wrote Kukoku, which spotted the move. "With the end of the long-standing A mount for both the camera body, the E mount has become one of Sony's unique cameras."
UPDATE (05 Aug 2021): Sony has confirmed that it is no longer selling its A-mount cameras in the United States, but will continue to sell them in other countries such as Japan – and they also continue to be listed by Sony in the UK.
The manufacturer delisted its remaining A-mount cameras – the Sony A99 II (opens in new tab), Sony A77 II and Sony A68 – from its US site back in April. However, all three cameras still remain on sale via Sony's UK site – and now Sony has confirmed that it will keep selling certain models (namely the A99 II) in Japan and other regions.
When asked by IT Media News (opens in new tab) why it is still selling the A99 II in Japan, Sony replied, "Because there are a certain number of customers for A-mount cameras." It did, however, state that, "We recognize that there is more demand for E-mounts (than A-mounts). We will continue to pursue the '1 Mount' strategy to unify E-mounts from entry-level SLR cameras to commercial cinema cameras."(opens in new tab)
ORIGINAL STORY (05 May 2021): Sony has quietly put the final nail in the coffin of its A-mount camera system, as the last remaining DSLRs have been removed from its website – and have correspondingly been listed as discontinued by retailers.
At the end of April, it seems that Sony calmly led the Sony A99 II, Sony A77 II and Sony A68 cameras into the back yard and gave them the Old Yeller treatment, delisting them from the interchangeable lens cameras on the company website.
Concurrently, the A99 II was also listed as "no longer available" on sites like B&H, where its siblings were already long gone (as spotted (opens in new tab) by Sony Alpha Rumors).
The news comes as little surprise, since the Sony A99 II was the last A-mount camera released – and that was way back in 2016. While Sony stated in 2017 (opens in new tab) that it would continue to develop A-mount bodies and lenses, the writing has been on the wall for the system for some time.
Indeed, the last A-mount-related development came last year, when the manufacturer announced the Sony LA-EA5 (opens in new tab) mount adapter to use A-mount lenses on E-mount camera bodies with the best performance (including phase detect autofocus and real-time Eye AF for humans and animals).
This, it seems, was the last bridge to get A-mount users to cross over to the mirrorless realm.
It marks a sad but inevitable end for Sony's DSLR era. The A99 II is still a formidable camera, boasting a 42.4MP image sensor, 4K video, phase detect AF and 12fps continuous burst shooting, all of which gave the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II (opens in new tab) and Nikon D5 (opens in new tab) a run for their money. Of course, it's no match for today's Sony A1 (opens in new tab), Sony A9 II (opens in new tab), Canon EOS-1D X Mark III (opens in new tab) or Nikon D6 (opens in new tab).
Every dog has its day, though, and in 2021 that day came for the A99 II and the A-mount. Thanks for the memories!
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