It’s now official: Sony, as a camera company, has made it into the big league. The Associated Press, with journalists in nearly 250 locations in 100 countries compiling about 3,000 photos and 200 videos each day, has announced that they are selecting Sony as its only camera vendor, and will equip its photo- and video journalists globally with Sony cameras and lenses exclusively.
This is a game changer for the AP and will give us way more flexibility into the future.
– Derl McCrudden, deputy managing editor for visual and digital journalism
A wide variety of Sony’s imaging solutions products will begin delivery immediately, including the full-frame mirrorless Alpha cameras, 4K XDCAM video cameras and an assortment of Sony’s 57 E-mount lenses including G Master models.
Reasons given for this exclusive reliance on only one vendor, and on Sony’s selection as that one vendor, are:
- AP’s video journalists and photographers will for the first time be equipped with the same brand of cameras, allowing for seamless collaboration among the news agency’s journalists.
- AP visual journalists will be able to share Sony’s cameras and lenses, as well as the images they capture, to produce a news report unhindered by technical limitations.
- The new mirrorless technology in Sony’s cameras allows for a completely silent operation, meaning AP’s photojournalists can work in environments without interrupting the scene around them “with that annoying shutter sound.”
In an interview with dpreview, J. David Ake, the Director of Photography at The Associated Press, also gave the following reasons:
- Sony cameras have super-fast autofocus and are light weight.
- AP’s photographers overwhelmingly liked the way the Sony equipment worked and felt, and the image quality.
- The ability to have the color quality and the image quality close to the same between stills and video so that a stills photographer can help out a video colleague with B-roll.
- The ability to pull a frame grab from a 4K video camera with the same basic feel as a photograph from a stills camera.
- The ability to use the same lenses for stills and video filming.
This could be said of any other major mirrorless camera vendor, so this is an incredible coup for Sony, but not surprising seeing that its A7 series, A9 series and lenses, have ranked very high among professional photographers who have ditched bulky DSLRs for Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras. What is so incredible is that the AP has not deemed it worthwhile to wait a little more seeing how both Nikon and Canon have now entered the mirrorless camera category seriously and in earnest. It is a good thing that they have already started moving toward mirrorless, otherwise an announcement like this could induce heart attacks. Expect Nikon and Canon to go after their own sponsors for their forthcoming flagship mirrorless cameras.
How big is this deal? AP is considering equipping each of its “few hundred” photographers and videographers with four to five lenses and a couple of camera bodies, and estimates that it will probably take them a year and a half to complete this switch worldwide. The standard camera will be the A9 II for news and sports stills and portraits, and the A7R IV for videography.
Expect to see the Sony mirrorless cameras in the hands of AP photographers and videographers in full force during the US elections in November, and the Olympic Games (whenever it can be held).
And I think mirrorless is going to turn out to be a really big change, too. The fact that these cameras are very fast, very quiet and very light will allow us to go places and do things that we haven’t done before.
— J. David Acke, Director of Photography
If anyone is still toying with the mistaken notion that the DSLR era is not over yet (hint to PENTAX), this news should put that to rest.
From its acquisition of Minolta in 2006 to now being recognized as having the best full-frame mirrorless cameras, Sony has come a long way. What is perhaps not well known is that before Sony purchased Minolta, the latter first merged with Konica in 2000 to form Konica Minolta. In 2006, Sony purchased the imaging business of Konica Minolta. It took Sony 14 years to be recognized as not only a major player in camera design and manufacture, but one of the best, if not currently the best in full-frame mirrorless cameras. I wonder if the imaging business of another company (Olympus) might perhaps have a similar fateful journey.
AP to equip all visual journalists globally with Sony imaging products
July 23, 2020
Sony Electronics Inc., a global leader in imaging, and The Associated Press, the trusted global news organization, announced today a new collaboration that will make Sony the exclusive imaging products and support provider for AP news photographers and video journalists around the world.
With journalists in nearly 250 locations in 100 countries, AP provides factual, compelling journalism in all formats, including 3,000 photos and 200 videos each day. The news agency has a distinguished history of powerful visual journalism, winning the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography — AP’s 54th Pulitzer and 32nd for photography — and garnering recognition from the Royal Television Society for excellence in video.
A wide variety of Sony’s imaging solutions products will begin delivery immediately, including the full-frame mirrorless Alpha™ cameras, 4K XDCAM video cameras and an assortment of Sony’s 57 E-mount lenses including G Master™ models.
“We are extremely honored to announce this collaboration with The Associated Press, an organization with an incredible history in journalism that continues to raise the bar for global news reporting and delivery,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “The Associated Press is a universally trusted brand for news information in the world. We are honored to equip AP’s journalists with our technology and support, giving them the opportunity to capture, transmit and deliver imagery in ways they never could before.”
“Sony’s history of innovation aligns well with AP’s, and with our vision for the future of visual journalism,” said Derl McCrudden, AP deputy managing editor for visual and digital journalism. “AP is committed to providing the best imagery to our member news organizations and customers across the globe. Adopting Sony’s cutting-edge equipment and technology allows us to do that, by enabling our photographers and video journalists to be faster and more flexible, ultimately creating better visual journalism.”
When the transition to Sony is complete, AP’s video journalists and photographers will for the first time be equipped with the same brand of cameras, allowing for seamless collaboration among the news agency’s journalists as they tell the world’s stories in whatever medium is right for the moment.
AP visual journalists will be able to share Sony’s cameras and lenses, as well as the images they capture, to produce a news report unhindered by technical limitations.
“The new mirrorless technology in Sony’s cameras allows for a completely silent operation, meaning our photojournalists can work in environments without interrupting the scene around them,” said AP Director of Photography J. David Ake. “This is a huge leap forward in photojournalism.”
In addition to delivery of product, AP and Sony will work together to improve workflow and efficiency of field operations, including testing of 5G capabilities.
Sony offers 5G through its Xperia™ product line, which uses technology from its cameras, professional monitors, and audio devices.
Read more on our blog: http://apne.ws/kQhh8eU
About Sony Electronics Inc.
Sony Electronics is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America and an affiliate of Sony Corporation (Japan), one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world, with a portfolio that encompasses electronics, music, motion pictures, mobile, gaming, robotics and financial services. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Sony Electronics is a leader in electronics for the consumer and professional markets. Operations include research and development, engineering, sales, marketing, distribution and customer service. Sony Electronics creates products that innovate and inspire generations, such as the award-winning Alpha Interchangeable Lens Cameras and revolutionary high-resolution audio products. Sony is also a leading manufacturer of end-to-end solutions from 4K professional broadcast and A/V equipment to industry leading 4K and 8K Ultra HD TVs. Visit http://www.sony.com/news for more information.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. More than half the world’s population sees AP journalism every day. Online: www.ap.org