Next Generation Alpha. The Sony Full Frame Mirrorless DLSR and the Evolution of the Pro-shooter…

The march of technology continues relentlessly like the beat of a military drummer, affecting every aspect of our electric lives. Photographic equipment is no exception especially when a company such as Sony is pushing hard to capture market share.

The rumour mill is churning with speculation of Sony’s next generation full frame cameras, pro-shooters that are pushing camera technology past its current limitations. Pushing the sensor resolution to 50 megapixels while trying a number of radical design changes should ensure Sony’s new pro-shooters captures everyone’s attention at the very least.

The upcoming CES (Consumer Electronics Show) should see Sony demonstrating some of the new models; the more radical designs may not make the cut. None the less Sony should have some very interesting new hardware on show in Las Vegas (January 8-11 2013)


The D/SLR professional full frame camera has long been ruled by two camps, the yellow and red, Nikon and Canon. Producing professional cameras without compromise has won both camps a seat at the head of the table. Now Sony wants in  at the table.

Sony alpha 99

According to various rumours working their way through the internet’s pipes Sony is already in the testing phase with its next generation full frame hardware. Website sonyalpharumours suggest that three very different pro-shooters are in the hands of a lucky few for testing, all incorporating Sony’s next generation full frame sensor technology.

Of the three next generation prototypes the first is said to include a 50 megapixel full frame (35mm) sensor, while the second includes a 36 megapixel eye. Most interesting of all is the mystery mirrorless pro-shooter, the third prototype. With full professional functionality and interface the only question remaining is can Sony deliver a digital viewfinder that profession photographers will be willing to use?

Rumours also suggest Sony has prototype hardware that has the anti-aliasing removed. There is no word on whether Sony is upgrading or simply dropping this functionality.

The Sony RX-1 full frame camera
The Sony RX-1 full frame camera

Here at Highpants we suspect the new mirrorless pro-shooter will be the love-child of the a99 and the RX-1. The RX-1 is a fixed lens camera but with the form and function of the full frame interchangeable lens camera. The Sony alpha 99 is currently the flagship camera in Sony’s range, this is one exceptionally good pro-shooter and may be one of the last mirror based pro-shooters to be released by Sony. The RX-1 is a great indication of direction while the a99 is the foundation, spec wise at least, that the next generation will emerge from.

Until recently camera technology has progressed using the slow lane. Sticking to the left and never indicating camera manufacturers have been happy to do battle over megapixels and size while the technology behind the scenes remained fairly static.  With the mobile phones, android smart cameras and completely new technology such as the Lytro camera tech has now entered the fast lane.

Sony is also in the fast lane trying to perform and overtaking manuever. Pushing the camera technology envelope hard, trying to take market share with the age old tradition of innovation. We will have to wait till CES to see how mind blowing the next generation Aplha will be, here at Highpants the anticipation is building fast. Change is blowing in the wind, is the day of the mirrorless pro-shooter fast approaching?

Reference: SonyAlphaRumours
Reference: Pocket-lint
Reference: Ubergizmo
Reference: CES 2013


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