Rumor: Sony High-Megapixel Full-Frame DSLR Being Tested in the Wild

Canon isn’t the only one that’s reportedly testing multiple high-megapixel full-frame camera prototypes: Sony is as well. Rumors that Sony will soon be joining the high-megapixel DSLR/SLT war are heating up. sonyalpharumors writes that prototypes are already in photographers’ hands:

[I have now] heard about three different Sony Full Frame prototype cameras. And I mean really completely different! Not three version of the same concept. I am still working on the details of these cameras but I can anticipate that one of these is the High End A1x (not the definitive name) High Megapixel camera. That is due for a 2013 release. And photographers are already testing it on the field!

The latest rumor back in October was that there were at least two models: a 36MP one and a 50MP one. The 36MP variant may be the same Sony sensor found inside the Nikon D800 — a sensor that received the highest score ever handed out by DxOMark. Sony sensors have been very highly regarded as of late, so the company should be a serious contender in the high-megapixel war — at least based on image quality.

  • Ghill Tochon

    Are we ready for a new megapixel war??..:)

  • Craig Dickson

    I have no confidence in any of the rumor sites. I don’t know why you bother posting this stuff here. Anyone who really knows anything has signed an NDA.

    Would Sony really be so imitative as to call their new full-frame camera the A1x when Canon recently introduced the 1Dx and Nikon used to have one called the D1x? Sony historically has not organized their model numbers the same way as Canon or Nikon. They both use a single digit for their pro models, and larger numbers for lower-end cameras (aside from Canon’s Rebels, which have names like “EOS 650D” in most of the world, but for some reason are called things like “Digital Rebel T4i” in the US). Sony, on the other hand, has tended to use larger numbers for higher-end cameras (A900 vs. A350, for example).

    As for megapixels, we’ve long since passed any reasonable limit based on what most people really need. How many of the thousands of DSLRs sold every year ever take a picture that will be printed at a size larger than 16×20″? Very few, I would guess. But a 12 MP camera is perfectly fine for that. More MP gives you more freedom to crop, but otherwise just uses up more of your storage space and slows down your camera.

    Then there is also the delusion in some quarters that monstrously high MP makes a full-frame DSLR equivalent to a medium-format camera. No, it doesn’t. Resolution is not the only difference between formats.

  • jasper122

    sony = good sensor.. but unfortunately the cameras around it are no competition for a canikon system.

  • jasper122

    i have a epson 3880 printer and i want more MP then i get from canon at the moment…. nuff said.

  • Ken

    This at the same time as their pooh-poohing casual DSLR users? Just seems … weird.

    Yes, I know it’s different price points, et al., but still a bit of a head scratcher.

  • Craig Dickson

    No, I think they’re being consistent. Many casual shooters who buy entry-level DSLRs would be better off with a mirrorless camera. But the high-end DSLR shooter (assuming he actually has a reason to buy a high-end DSLR) is in a different situation and has different needs.

  • Mauricio Matos

    They killed their high end market when they went with a electronic viewfinder. They can have as many megapixels they want.

  • Sergei Zhukov

    This is simply not true. I stayed with Sony for a99 and like it a lot. a99 allows me to achieve critical exposure accuracy BEFORE I even take the shot.

  • JoeNoName

    Maybe you are not familiar with SAR website, those of us who are know and trust the rumours because Andrea has proven to be trustworthy, discrete and accurate when posting rumors.

    1) A1X (posibly square format)
    2) NEX FullFrame (Long time known)
    3) Unknow 3rd Camera (Alpha or RX?)

  • Mauricio Matos

    Well, I know a few people who used the A900 and A850 and they simply dumped them when Sony went the EVF route. Of course this will not happen with 100% of the users but I can’t see many professionals (I know this market is not professionals only but they are the ones who spend serious money on a high end system) preferring an EVF over a big, bright, full frame optical viewfinder. There are other problems with the Sony bodies as well, like not being able to shoot tethered.

  • jens

    Sony has not intention for the High End Market like the Nikon 4D or Canon 1D – a Spokesman from Sony told me at the Photokina 2012

  • Michael

    Sony keeps releasing these cameras in hopes of becoming a pro supplier, forgetting that without a system that’s available world-wide it can’t compete. I can rent a Canon or Nikon lens anywhere in the world, but Sony – not going to happen.

  • Iam Skycake

    That’s just plain stupid. With an EVF you can zoom in and see way more detail and clarity than the best optical viewfinder. Sony has nailed it with NEX7 and other cameras.

  • Iam Skycake

    There are a lot of ‘legacy’ users here that just don’t get it. The NEX7 is a Leica killer and well known photographers are now using Sony. Silly comments like “too many pixels will slow down your camera” are pure insanity when the SONY feeds 10+ frames a second and I not once have ever waited for my camera or needed to reboot it. The FFNEX with a 36 or 50mp EXMOR (when it comes) will be the dream camera for every serious photographer.

  • Mauricio Matos

    Well, it seems that 99% of professional photographers are stupid, then :)

  • Dave Melges

    Yes, Mauricio, a large percentage of professional photographers are, NOT STUPID, but critically unaware.

    They’ve been working with the same style camera, an SLR, for a long time, and don’t understand how to best make use of a Live View shooter.

    I’m not guessing at this…I teach people to shoot, and getting a LONG TIME shooter to try a TRUE Live View camera is like pulling teeth, but the truth is, there’s no fair comparison, SLR is simply an outdated dinosaur with no practical remaining value except for sports shooters, and for that, the days are severely numbered. But for artistic photography, it literally DESTROYS Canikon.

    The a99, as an ARTIST’S tool is night and day better than it’s competition, and if you take a minute to check, even yesterday’s review from DPReview confirms that Sony now dominates pretty much everything but the extreme high end market….not that the a99 can’t take just as good pictures as the cameras occupying the stratosphere….but in it’s own niche, vs. the 5DMIII and the D800, Sony outscores them both.

    Sony’s a57 is significantly better in USABILITY, particularly as an artist’s tool, than the Nikon and Canon counterparts, and AGAIN, DPreview rates the Sony higher than Canikon.

    The NEX system is by far and away the the most powerful, useful, complete compact interchangeable lens system…it’s just not even close.

    The best point and shoot? Sony RX100.

    The best unique, high end model? The RX1

    The fastest growing market share in interchangeable lenses? Sony
    The fastest growing market share overall? Sony
    Camera of the Year from Pop Photo two years in a row? Sony (a55 and NEX7)

    The camera more National Geographic shooters are switching TO, from Canikon? Sony.

    Don’t just repeat what photographers USED to say….shoot the a99 for two days…but use the EVF, and shoot in full manual mode, because that’s how you start to understand the VALUE of TRUE Live View.

    …and yes, if Sony decided to release a high mp camera, it’ll be the best, just like they’ve achieved in every other category of camera over the last 3 years. Why? Because they’re track record in photography recently suggests it, AND, just like when they decided they wouldn’t release another FF camera until it was magnificent, they’re putting very long months in on the next FF cameras they release.

  • Dave Melges

    As long as it’s split, it’s not a war to worry over…the first mp race SLOWED image quality improvement.

    Now, all the major manufacturers have embraced the value of developing high count and low count cameras…a good example being Sony briefly touching on 24mp for APS-C and then reeling it back to make the best 16mp sensor ever…one that’s being used in 8 or 10 cameras.

    Sony could easily have released the a99 as a 36mp camera……the proof is that they made the sensor in Nikon’s version….but they decided pure IQ was more important, and they SPLIT their efforts to go low AND high, not putting out the high count until they have it nailed.

  • 1LifeSoLiveIt

    Well, yes you cannot rent a Sony A-Mount lens anywhere but the luck is, there are brilliant Minolta lenses that are still very strong against Canon L-Series lenses and these are cheap! I am using Sony A-Mount for almost 7 years now and used lots of Minolta lenses. They are cheap, they are versatile and rugged. I think the biggest mistake Sony made, they EOL’ed most of these lenses to introduce their own variants (that are not that successful).

  • Babble

    Many pros are just conservative. They spent a lot of money on their high end cameras and they don’t see the need to change until their camera breaks. Normal amateurs will upgrade much faster because they spent a lot less. Those consumer cameras are often more versatile than the older high end ones. My Sony SLT – A55 will take 10 fps + panorama + HDR at 16 MP.