Not only the A850, but the A500/550 seems pretty overpriced to me atleast. You can forgive the A850, being the cheapest FF camera, but the A500/A550 could have been so much more meaningful if the prices were just more realistic. I mean, pricing the A550 close to the D90 (one of the best selling DSLR cameras of 2009 globally) was just a bad idea from the get go, IMHO.
I don't mind playing armchair CEO, since we aren't suggesting anything unreasonable plus, I'm practicing for the real thing
If Canon and Nikon can do it, why not Sony? As for Pentax, they don't seem to have the overheads that Sony has, and indeed they seem to be focused on a niche that suites them very well, and may be very profitable for them. They have some nice bodies and even nicer glass and seem more or less content to maintain usage levels of their system.
Not even Sony compact cameras are doing well, which says that their seems to be a systemic failure somewhere, be it in marketing or, more likely, product development. Sony was doing a lot of things right:
- They released the A100 to much acclaim and commercial success.
- They release the A700 which was also much acclaimed, and I would think it was also a huge financial success.
- The A200/A300/A350 gave a view of things to come, but they also did well and competed well enough.
Those cameras contributed significantly to Sony at some point having 10% of the DSLR market. But then came:
- The A230/A330/A380: Just gross mis-estimations of epic proportions that were just rehashes in a much smaller, less usable body (from reviews, never held it).
- The A900: Technically brilliant, exceptionally well made, wasn't competitive with the 5D which was slightly cheaper and seemed to offer more (and was the reigning champ in any case, so why Sony felt they could offer slightly less, feature wise, and charge more, and win is beyond me).
- The A850: Same as the A900, but still too expensive, and at one point was more expensive than the A900, which was beyond stupid.
- The A550/A500: Offering too little for what was being charged. These would have been great 2 yrs ago, but certainly not now.
So, 2010 needs to see a couple of things:
- Do it early. Don't wait till the competition has a chance to trump you by releasing something "better" 2 weeks later.
- Price according to whats being offered in relation to the competition. Don't think that 7FPS can make up for a lack of video in marketing terms, it just won't.
- Release the bleeping A7xx already and make sure it is the right camera. If you mess this one up, believe me, the Alpha brand may indeed be finished. So many people are waiting for this, and so many people will leave the system if it does not deliver and run straight into the embracing arms of the 7D.
- Listen to your users, fire whoever is giving you advice and forget about whatever stupid focus group your using. Clearly, these people dont have a clue.
- Work harder on reaching out to the community and STOP TRYING TO LUMP CYBERSHOT WITH ALPHA! You can't do it, and you shouldn't do it even if you could!
Yeah, its a rant. Yes, I know nothing about marketing, but neither does Sony
, so my recommendations would be just as valid