Now we see through a glass, darkly...
- Apr 5, 2016
It will not be a competitor for the A9 series. The R5 already does that. The R1 will be a true heavy duty, hardcore/built like a brick outhouse allweather/all conditions workhorse. And as such will be priced substantially higher than an A9
I don't know what it's like in Australia for full-time shooters who are typically the market for 1-Series bodies (or their Nikon counterparts).
But here in the U.S. the news agencies that once issued such gear to their full-time staffers have eliminated most of those staff positions and now hire the same guys to freelance while expecting them to provide their own equipment. Pulitzer Prize winners that once held staff slots at the same employers for decades are now freelancing (or retiring) as those staff positions no longer exist.
The price difference between the Canon/Nikon 1-Series types of cameras and the Sony α9 series is substantial enough that many freelancers are going with Sony strictly on price. It's not like the α9 can't get shots that are "good enough". The latest α9 is better than anything anyone had prior to around 2012. In an era when even current events/sports/PJ photographs have become commodities that are now worth pennies on the dollar to what they were once worth, price is becoming more and more a consideration for many shooters for whom it once was not. The R5 will likely stem that tide, but only because those shooters are now buying R5s instead of α9s to use in place of the 1-Series bodies their clients no longer provide to them. Either way, the pool of professional R1 potential buyers is drying up rapidly.