Sonya Alpha 600 Review

on Sunday, October 26, 2014
Recently I received information from an apparently well informed gentleman about an upcoming A600 DSLR from Sony. I'm not normally in the rumor business here but I wanted to share this with readers mainly because of the source of the rumor. I also think it's directly related to a highly debated topic and therefore newsworthy. Yes this is about an actual DSLR rumor, not a rumor about an SLT model. This person who shared this information has given me inside (and secret) information in the past, but has not contacted me in about 2 years. Unlike information shared previously to me, this time I've been told I can share it. Based on this persons past reputation with sharing highly detailed information... it caught my interest. Here's what I was told, summarized and broken down: Supposedly this model will replace the existing A580 DSLRand be at a slightly higher price point, but lower than the A65.This camera will fill the gap between the upcoming (and rumored) A57 model and the current A65SLT for those who prefer a traditional DSLR. 

I was told that for now Sony's reaction to gathered marketplace demand is to keep traditional and non traditional DSLRS in the fold, but that only two OVF DSLRS would stay in the lineup. Priority is now given to SLT but that OVF are not yet out of the lineup. At least not yet. Apparently this is a pretty sudden switch in strategy, according to him. The A600 is supposedly designed to be more affordable at the production level but does not skimp on features, and is designed for enthusiasts based on their demand. The design decisions were cost cutting without sacrificing much of what enthusiasts desire in a DSLR- good for Sony and good for the traditional consumer. Loose specifications I received for the possible A600 are as follows: 
  • New body design, similar to A65 in size 
  • Larger brighter OVF than the A580 (still penta-mirror, cost savings) at .92x magnification "w/data overlay" @ 97% coverage 
  • Similar live view system as the A450 (away goes the second sensor and mechanisms that cost extra money), more traditional main sensor live view with faster contrast detect AF than previous Sony DSLRS, this time for all lenses 
  • updated 18.4 mp APS-C CMOS sensor (See update this has now changed) -up to 8fps capture with full metering and af capabilities (A580 could do only 5fps with metering/af) 
  • same battery as A580, A65, A77 -new "wide coverage" 15 point AF system (new type with 5 cross type sensors) 
  • full 1080p HD video will be included (no specifics on this)
  • Dual card slots (no specifics on type) -New pop up flash (not sure how this will work, assume bounce and regular?) -
  • Silver and Black model (depending on territory) 
  • New quieter mirror box mechanism and shutter 
  • First curtain electronic shutter mode 
  • Moisture/dust preventive measures (but not moisture or dust resistant) 
  • 3 custom function buttons 
  • Updated Quick Navi Menu interface (assume like A65's which isn't true quick navi like A900/etc.) 
  • Dual control wheels, rear is scroll and click type 
  • Due this year before fall Now again this is a rumor I received- but the way in which it was worded sounded legitimate enough to share. 

Normally I ignore these kinds of emails when then come in. The specifications are indeed interesting and conceivable to me- yet despite the sources reputation, I always hold on things being fact till I see something in the flesh. Again- I'm reporting this because this person has given me credible inside information in the past (the type unfortunately I had to keep secret), and gives the rumor credence I suppose, based solely on his accurate information (and pictures sent) in the past. I was also told that originally the A600 had already been designed, then scrapped. But because of higher than expected demand for an optical viewing path alongside the demand for EVF, the project that was initially scrapped was brought back to life. To me this sounds a bit too good to be true, but it's reasonable to assume I suppose that Sony could produce both EVF and OVF DSLRS until such time as a viable replacement for both comes to fruition. Also, the numerical name of the DSLR makes complete sense, both as a replacement for the A580 DSLRand for the tradition of past "6" series cameras. The A65is a tweener model, a lot bang for the buck, the A600 seems to be the optical equivalent of that cameras hierarchy- optical or electronic choice for A-Mount users. Could it be? Sony are going to provide a choice afterall in the mid range segment? Rumors on SAR state there will be an A900 replacement with an OVF maybe one in the mid range too isn't so crazy. I'm both skeptical and optimistic about this rumor based on the source and current Sony strategy. I really don't see this happening personally, but I do hope its true though! I would love to be wrong about what Sony are going to do in the future and for them to pull a 180 like this. Would a move like that endear traditional users back to Sony? Tough question but surely it would pique their interest at the very least. Last thought I have on this subject is just an excerpt from an interesting interview that my buddies at Imaging-Resource conducted with Mark Weir from Sony USA : The excerpt that peaked my interest is when Dave Etchells asks Mark if Sony would respond to the market if there were a cry out for traditional DSLRS: "DE: So if you see a large, angry mob of customers coming demanding a conventional SLR... Sony would respond." And Mark's answer was: "MW: I think Sony always keeps their customers in the front of their minds." The question remains at just how much outcry (if any) Sony have heard or noticed and if indeed there was enough to keep at least two optical path "traditional" DSLRS in Sony's Alpha lineup. Apparently according to the source, there was. I guess that remains to be seen. If I hear more about a supposed A600, I will report it. I've been told an update about this rumored camera will come in the future, more specifics about the camera that I'll be allowed to share. Interesting, to say the least. Guess we'll see what happens.


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