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Will Sony Medium Format Cameras Be the Next Big Thing?

There are some reports going around that Sony is considering squeezing Fujifilm out of the medium format camera space. I’m sure there are folks that doubt it could happen. Personally, though, I’m on the fence. Years ago, no one thought that Sony would take over Minolta. Years after that, folks didn’t take them seriously when the Sony a7 series came out. Then, when the Sony a9 hit the scene, things really changed a lot. What I’m saying is that in a world where no one could’ve predicted a Global Pandemic, this shouldn’t throw us off. So could a Sony Medium Format camera be coming in the future?

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Here’s the thing: I’d say that Sony should focus on their problems first before getting into the medium format camera space. What problems? Well, there’s a lot they need to fix and things they could innovate a lot more. I just got done using a macro lens for a review and didn’t have a CPL filter small enough to fit it. It made me think that, yes I can fix it in post-production, but wouldn’t something like a digital CPL filter be cool to have in-camera? OM-System cameras have Live ND, so why can’t Sony put a digital CPL filter in?

And there are other things. So, let’s list a few of the things they could do before a Sony Medium Format camera hits the market:

  • Their new accessibility feature doesn’t really help the visually impaired photographer
  • Their menu isn’t a great touchscreen interface at all.
  • Their animal and bird autofocus should be fused together
  • All the things they got rid of with the Sony Play Memories store should be restored to the cameras. Things like in-camera multiple exposure, touchless shutter, etc. 
  • With all the tech packed into their cameras, why can’t they set up a solid flash system that triggers via camera wifi or bluetooth?

These are just a few things I think Sony could and should do. Photography can be done fully within the camera, but they can make their tool better able to fulfill that mission.

So then, why would Sony make a medium format camera? Well, it has to do with the traditional marketing lies that have been told since the beginning: that we all need a bigger sensor. Most photographers these days would be perfectly fine doing their work with an APS-C sensor. But a lot of photographers upgrade to full-frame. That, and medium format sensors are becoming cheaper. So a Sony Medium Format camera could hit the market because Sony would want to market the idea of having something bigger and better. 

If that’s the case, then I hope we could have a true 645 medium format camera of some sort. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. In fact, I think 645 sensors could be dead in the foreseeable future. There are no cameras coming out with them. And when they hit the market a while back, they were so incredibly expensive. 

By the time a Sony Medium Format camera hits the market, it will have to majorly find a way to compete with Fujifilm. And for the good of the market, I’d hope that Fujifilm really makes strides ahead with things like its autofocus. If companies figure out a way to make medium format sensors and lenses work so fast that they can photograph the Olympics, I’d be really impressed. 

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