Sony's last line of DSLRs offered some competitive specs to the camera market. They also introduced a new technology with its translucent mirror allowing live auto focus during live view capture. This is a first for DSLRs and serves to vastly improve both live view photography and videography as well. In fact, there are many things to love about Sony DSLRs other than their lack of offerings, and although Sony may be reliably new to DSLRs, they have a huge competitive advantage. They have also released several teasers ofcoming models, certain to pave the way for future DSLR success.
The Sony Advantage
Sony already creates some of the best lenses on the market. Additional lenses branded through the company Carl Zeiss, have great build quality and stunning optics at all levels. Sony has also been creating lenses for their video line of camcorder for decades offering some of the best results in the industry. As a result, Sony does not need to improve its image when it comes to lenses, although they still have some room to improve their offerings. Many of the typical zoom lenses offered by Canon, Nikon and Sigma are unfortunately not yet available for Sony cameras and hopefully Sony will fix this shortly.
Not only does Sony already make great lenses, they also make great sensors. In fact, almost all of the sensors in Nikon cameras were made by Sony, including their newly introduced D7000 and D5100 which have gotten great reviews. As a result, Sony already has unbelievable quality sensors just waiting for a Sony branded camera to place them in. Add to that Sony's new translucent mirror technology and other color toning capabilities, there is no doubt that Sony DSLR cameras will be capable of great looking photographs.
As if Sony has not completed enough already, they also offer some of the best professional video cameras on the market. As a result, Sony could potentially position itself next to Canon as a leader in HDSLR video. Canon currently edges Nikon in this department, largely because of Canon's current line of video cameras and experience with the technology. Canon's current issue however has been its ability to auto focus during live view shooting which has put a damper on casual use of video. However, with Sony's translucent mirror technology, full live view autofocus could have employed fixing one of the largest caveats with HDSLR video.
While Sony still has a way to go, especially in terms of professional camera availability, Sony has been advertising its coming A77 as the camera to beat. I am looking forward to see what Sony has in store for the marketplace and quite possibly the A77 could offer some stiff competition to the Nikon D7000 and Canon 7D. Canon and Nikon will likely still hold the market for full frame pro bodies such as the 5D mark II or the D700, however, Sony is expecting to compete more directly in this market as well.