The Not New New Model

Sony today dropped two new full frame mirrorless cameras into the market, the A7R Mark IIIa and the A7R Mark IVa. 

The only two changes to the previous non-a models appear to be an upgraded rear LCD (now 2.4m dots, up from 1.4m), as well as updated USB 3.2 capability (5Mbps transfers). The LCD change drops the CIPA battery numbers by 10 shots for each camera (not significant). 

I believe this is the first of perhaps many “parts shortages” issues we’re going to see over the coming year. Camera companies, like everyone using electronic parts, are scrambling to balance their supply chains with their production. Sticking higher specification LCDs into models that fetch top prices frees up more of the lower specification LCDs for the lower-priced models, in all likelihood. 

I’ve elected not to split out new models and just add comments about the “a” variants in the data pages.

Meanwhile, the fact that we got an A7R Mark IIIa means that the Mark III is still being actively made (the Mark II didn’t get a change). So, in essence, Sony has two “current” A7R models priced US$700 apart. How long that will last, I don’t know, but it does seem to indicate that Sony has adopted the old Nikon tactic of leaving previous generation models in production at lower prices. Companies do this to make a product line look broader and to have more price points at which to capture a sale. 

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