Professional photographers depend on their cameras for their livelihood. The cameras need to work in all kinds of unexpected situations, and consistently bring in top-notch images and videos. They need to be supremely reliable in the field. That is why when the Associated Press switched to exclusively use Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras last July, it was such a big deal: It gave Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras a stamp of approval from pros who had for what seems like forever relied on Nikon and Canon full-frame DSLRs before. It also signaled in a big way that mirrorless had arrived.
Now, it is the turn of another press agency, the PA Media Group (formerly the Press Association) — the largest press agency in the UK and Ireland with over 90 staff photographers and video journalists (they’re hiring) — to choose Sony’s Alpha mirrorless cameras, lenses and Cinema Line Camera FX3 as their preferred choice photographic equipment.
Cited as key reasons for that choice: silent shutter mode, remote capture, remote shooting, being able to control cameras and send images quickly and efficiently to the newswire, superb lenses, brillant sensors, being able to shoot stills and videos from the same camera, and first-class support.
Sony’s silent shutter, superb lenses and brilliant sensors, … first-class support from the Sony team in the UK,… having both stills and video cameras from the same manufacturer simplifies the workflow and colour balance across both genres.
— Martin Keene, Group Picture Editor at PA Media Group
This is the second press agency that has chosen not to wait for Nikon and Canon to introduce their flagship full-frame mirrorless cameras later this year (or the next), but to forge ahead with Sony. Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras have already been in the hands of professional photographers for a number of years, have proven themselves in the field, and Sony has built up a comprehensive system of quality lenses, accessories and even drones around their mirrorless cameras — something that Nikon and Canon are only now starting to do in the mirrorless market. In this race to own the full-frame mirrorless space, we are still waiting for the Nikon Z9 and Canon R3 & R1 to leave the starting line. However, this is not a sprint but a long-distance race and, as we have seen during the Tokyo Olympics, a come-from-behind racer(s) can still surprise everyone at the finish line.
SONY BECOMES KEY CAMERA SUPPLIER FOR PA MEDIA GROUP
19 Aug, 2021
With over 90 staff photographers & video journalists working for PA, based in the UK and Ireland, the process for switching has begun and kit lists are made up of Sony’s full-frame mirrorless Alpha™ camera series, including the Cinema Line Camera FX3. These will be paired with a broad selection from Sony’s E-mount lenses including several G Master™ models – FE 24-70mm F2.8GM, FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS, FE 135mm F1.8GM and the FE 400mm F2.8GM OSS. The PA team members have been receiving their kit personally along with a product setup support from the Sony UK Pro team.
Being the largest press agency in the UK and Ireland, the PA team provides images from key events throughout the year including major annual sporting events through to the biggest news stories and momentous official events and engagements.
With developments in the quality of still and video technology and specifically the introduction of Sony’s full frame silent shutter mode and remote capture it has meant that journalists and photographers have been able to adapt and shoot in situations not possible before – for example silently during broadcast – a key requirement for official engagements, where most recently the Sony Alpha 9 II has been used. Remote shooting is becoming a more common requirement, so being able to control cameras and send images quickly and efficiently to the newswire, is key for success. Along with a close working relationship with the Sony UK Pro team, it is for these reasons that Sony imaging kit was selected as the preferred choice.
Regular training and support will also be available for the PA team to ensure that this continues, and to keep them at the forefront of what Sony imaging technology can deliver.
“We are extremely honoured to announce this collaboration with PA Media, the largest press agency in the UK and Ireland. We are incredibly proud to be working alongside them to deliver best in class photography and videography for news and sports to their clients,” said Yasuo Baba, Director Pro Business, Sony Europe, “The partnership and on-going relationship will not only help us develop our camera system further but allow us to better serve their professional photographers and video journalists in future, giving them the opportunity to capture, transmit and deliver imagery in ways they never could before.”
Martin Keene, Group Picture Editor at PA Media Group, said: “Sony’s silent shutter, superb lenses and brilliant sensors, along with the relationship that we have built-up with them over the past few years made the switch an easy choice.
In addition, we have had first-class support from the Sony team in the UK to make the swap and ensure that our photographers can go out and use the kit the next day. Having both stills and video cameras from the same manufacturer simplifies the workflow and colour balance across both genres.
It’s a big investment, but the opportunity to have all of our team using the same brand new, state-of-the-art kit is both rare and really worthwhile, and will make a real difference to the quality of the pictures that our customers see.”