BREAKING NEWS: Unique Photo to carry Sony products!

Categories: News News & Announcements Tech Talk Feature

FAIRFIELD, NJ. August 11, 2010 - After several customer requests, hard work crunching numbers, and doing product research, Unique Photo be carrying a large variety of Sony digital imaging and video products this September. This is indeed the secret that I have been promising since last week. I am not sure exactly which models we will be carrying, but I gave my input and I can promise there will be a complete line of the new NEX mirrorless cameras.

As soon as I can get my hands on the Sony NEX-3 and NEX-5, I will be sure to give them a rigorous test run.

So why Sony?  We already carry a full line of Canon, Nikon, and Olympus cameras and lenses.  I thought Sony made Playstations and TVs, not cameras.  Well that's not entirely true, we have been following Sony products for a very long time and decided now was the right time to bring them in to our store.  Here is a brief rundown of the products Unique Photo will be carrying come September.

To us this was a no-brainer.  For a very long time we have only carried Canon video products and don't worry Canon video shooters, we will continue to carry and support a full line of Canon video cameras and accessories.  However it is impossible to ignore Sony's large market share in video.  Many professionals and amateurs alike use Sony video cameras.  It was by far the most requested product in our showroom.  I was not told specifically what models we will be stocking, but expect a variety from small HD Handycams to big-time professional HD camcorders.  As our Sony customer base grows, so will our line of products and accessories.
Just like it is impossible to ignore Sony's incredible reputation with camcorders, it's hard not to get excited about Sony's newest series, the NEX mirrorless cameras.  If you are unclear about what a mirrorless camera is, check out our reviews of the Olympus E-P2 and E-PL1.  Right now Sony is the only company that makes an EVIL (another word for mirrorless which stands for "Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens") camera with an APS-C sized sensor.  Theoretically this should give an advantage in image quality over a 4/3s sensor which is what Olympus and Panasonic are using in their popular EVIL cameras.
The NEX-5 shoots full AVCHD 1080p video, something no other mirrorless camera can boast.   Additionally both cameras feature 3" 920k resolution LCD displays.  The tilt-screen of the NEX-5 is another interesting feature, but I'm just impressed with the size and resolution.  Both cameras can also fire off at a DSLR like 7 frames per second.  To me that sounds awfully close to the specs on the Canon EOS 7D.  Don't take me out to the shed for a beating just yet, I'm not saying the NEX-5 replaces the need for the robust 7D! It's just impressive that so many similar features (including the APS-C sensor) are now available in such a small camera.
Again, I will be doing a full rundown of both NEX cameras and the available lenses when they arrive in our warehouse.  In fact I might camp out the night before, just like many Playstation 3 fans did!
To be honest I was pleasantly surprised to see the spec sheets on Cybershot cameras.  In the past I had foolishly assumed that Sony Point and Shoot cameras would be very basic and only designed for the most amateur consumers.  However, Sony actually offers a very high quality range of compacts, just like Canon, Nikon, Fuji, and Olympus.  For example their new flagship, the TX-9 is an extremely slim camera with a gorgeous 3.5" touch screen, Carl Zeiss optics, a sweep panorama feature, and the ability to shoot AVCHD 1080 video!  Sounds pretty serious to me.
An illustration demonstrating the Sweep Panorama feature (Image courtesy of Sony USA)
For zoom junkies there is the DSC-HX1.  It proudly features a 20x zoom, 10 fps shooting at full resolution, sweep panorama, 1080p (30fps) video, and an impressive 3" LCD screen.  Any camera has to be judged based on it's files and real life shooting, but these specs seem very impressive.  Some may be surprised to find out that this camera sports a sensor with "only" 9 Megapixels.  Well let's bust that myth once again.  First of all remember the 14.7MP Canon G10?  There's a reason the G11 used a 10 Megapixel sensor.  The image quality is much better on the G11 because of the lower noise levels at higher ISO settings.  It's also important to mention that the Sony DSC-HX1's sensor is a CMOS sensor, so I expect to be floored by the low light results.
There will be other Cybershots coming to Unique Photo, but as I've mentioned, I am not entirely sure which models.  Since Point & Shoots are replaced so frequently, it will be important for us to see what Sony comes up with this Summer.  I am sure they want to impress everyone at Photokina and PhotoPlus this fall.
Alpha DSLR
Nikon used the Sony a900/850's sensor in their flagship D3x
Before I started working at Unique Photo, I was oblivious to how hard it is to run a photography business.  While I know we are doing an excellent job, it just isn't feasible to carry every single product that every manufacturer makes.  Unfortunately Unique Photo will not be carrying the Sony alpha series DSLR cameras and lenses initially.  As it stands right now, their alpha series line is in limbo.  There are some very impressive cameras and lenses, but they are all due for an upgrade soon.  If we purchased the current models, they would be sitting in our warehouse until we cleared them out for much less than we purchased them for.  While it may seem inconvenient to some customers, we will be able to carry more products in the long run if we don't have old products sitting around and making us lose money.  Please understand I am a photographer too and I would love to see every product in our store instantly, but we are keeping the bigger picture in mind.
I am personally very optimistic. With Photokina and PhotoPlus coming up this fall, Sony is expected to release FOUR new alpha series DSLR cameras.  If these become popular, I am sure we will start to carry the alpha series.  Let's not forget Sony works very closely with Nikon.  Nikon is expected to release two new cameras this fall, both with Sony sensors in them.  Additionally the Sony cameras are expected to feature some Nikon patented AF technology.  I wouldn't be surprised if all six cameras from Nikon and Sony do very well this holiday season, so we will be keeping close tabs on that.  There is also a new 30+ Megapixel full frame sensor that Sony is rumored to be developing alongside another 24 Megapixel sensor with improved noise from the a900.  You can rest assured that we will do our best to carry these cameras if Sony truly produces a competitive product.
So that wraps it up for our big Sony announcement.  Let us know what Sony cameras (current or future) you are excited about!