Sony aims to beat Canon, Nikon in full-frame camera market - The Korea Times
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Sony aims to beat Canon, Nikon in full-frame camera market

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Models promote Sony's new full-frame mirror-less camera / Courtesy of Sony Korea" src='https://img.koreatimes.co.kr/upload/newsV2/images/150727_p11_sony.jpg/dims/resize/740/optimize' />
Models promote Sony's new full-frame mirror-less camera "Alpha 7 R II" during a press conference at the Westin Chosun Hotel in central Seoul, Monday.
/ Courtesy of Sony Korea

By Yoon Sung-won

Sony Korea pledged Monday to focus on the full-frame camera market, tapping into its global leadership in image processing sensor technology.

Full-frame imaging sensor technology is considered the crown jewel of a digital camera. As not many companies are capable of producing full-frame cameras due to their technological complexity, Japanese camera makers Canon and Nikon have led this flagship segment both at home and abroad.

Expectations are that Sony will seek to outperform Canon and Nikon, adding another blow after its success in the high-end compact camera and entry into the mid-end mirror-less camera segment.

"Sony will concentrate on full-frame cameras in the future," said Bae Ji-hoon, the head of Sony Korea Digital Imaging & Alpha Marketing Department, during a press conference in central Seoul, Monday.

"In the short run, we will target existing full-frame camera users and then attract those who use entry and mid-class models to upgrade their cameras in the long run, raising the popularity of full-frame cameras. To do so, we plan to boost our presence in the professional market such as photo studios and wedding photography."

The move came as the company's new positioning strategy amid the minus growth of the gross camera market, slowdown in mirror-less camera segment growth and the bipolarization of market demand.

"Besides the stagnant growth of the camera market, the entry-class segment of the lens-interchangeable camera market is slowing down drastically," Bae said.

On the contrary, the market for mid- and high-end cameras is continuing to grow.
The electronics maker said it aims to top the gross lens-interchangeable camera market, which includes mirror-less and digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, for the first time this year.

"We held a 59 percent share in the mirror-less camera market last year and have been the top seller of mirror-less cameras for the last five years," Bae said. "But we have never topped the gross lens-interchangeable camera market on a yearly basis. Our goal this year is to become the leader in this market for the first time."

The Japanese camera maker entered the mirror-less camera market in 2010 and released the world's first 35mm full-frame mirror-less camera "Alpha 7" in November 2013.

As the sales ratio of mirror-less cameras has exceeded that of DSLR cameras since 2013, Sony has improved its market presence in the gross lens-interchangeable camera market.

On Monday, the company unveiled its latest full-frame mirror-less camera dubbed "Alpha 7 R II."

The new camera has an "Exmor R" complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensor, which is the world's first back-illuminated sensor that can process up to 42.4-megapixel resolution.

Alongside the new sensor, Sony Korea said the new camera has advanced 399-point auto-focusing system and a 5-axis image stabilization technology to prevent image quality degradation, processing speed slowdown and image blur.

The Alpha 7 R II, which weighs 582 grams, is compatible with Sony's 13 FE-mount lenses. It also supports the company's Alpha-mount and E-mount lenses as well as Carl Zeiss products.

The new camera was priced at 3.5 million won ($2,999) and will be available on Aug. 11, the company said.




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