Industry News: AP Photographers will only shoot with Sony gear going forward

Canon Rumors Guy

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In a pretty stunning move, one of the world’s largest news agencies has signed an exclusive agreement with Sony to use only their cameras for photojournalist work. This has usually been dominated by Canon and Nikon gear.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but I imagine the AP did get a pretty good deal on the switch. Both Canon and Nikon have aggressively pursued professional news agencies in the past decades, and this looks to be similar in nature.
From the Associated Press:
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...
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ahsanford

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Can you merge threads? :)


- A
 

privatebydesign

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To me it sounds more like a marketing decision by Canon and Nikon in that they don’t see the ‘deal’ as worth the cost. I’d expect to see a lot more retraction of sponsored/supported/subsidized photography moving forwards.
 

Sharlin

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Curious to know what the actual photogs think of this
Apparently this

AP Director of Photography said:
We tested cameras from several manufacturers in really harsh zones from the Arctic to the rainforest, to hostile environments, to hurricanes. The overwhelming response from the photographers was that they really liked the Sony equipment: the way it worked, the way it felt, and the image quality.
 

ahsanford

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Curious to know what the actual photogs think of this


I just chatted on Twitter with a PJ working at our city's largest paper about this news, and apparently 11 out of 16 of the paper's PJs/video producers are primarily shooting Sony now.

- A
 

Keith_Reeder

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Pros are happy to use whatever works - they're generally entirely brand agnostic, and will shoot with whatever they're given as long as it's up to the job.

He was hardly going to say "we thought they were crap", was he?

;)

All this means is that Sony have given AP a good deal - probably something of a loss leader, for the publicity.
 
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Hector1970

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I presume AP probably put up a tender to supply camera gear to get the best price. Canon and Nikon probably decided not to go all out to win it and Sony did.
The photographers will have to learn to use it - they won't have decided on it.
The Sony gear will be more than up to the job anyway. AP are probably leasing the gear at a great price.
Canon as a brand has depended heavily on its pitch side visibility. Sony are probably trying to attack that.
AP is probably a loss leader for Sony.
 
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but if an AP PJ decides to continue to shoot on his/her on gear, whatever the brand, that's no problem. It''ll be that if a PJ uses AP-supplied gear that it will be all Sony. Do we know how many full-time PJ use company supplied gear vs their own? When I shot for my college paper we basically all used our own gear.
 
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davidhfe

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Found this snippet super interesting:

We will get some a7R IVs for the videographers
I personally get caught up a ton on the photo "news" cycles, YouTube, etc, but at the end of the day the AP decided that an 8 bit 422 camera that only has bin or crop modes is enough to get the job done. Puts the hype cycle in perspective.

(Either that or the deal includes A7S3s and they just can't say it until they're released)
 
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YuengLinger

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Yep, just a business decision, nothing more and not a big deal, really...
It is a big deal in terms of marketing. There are many more "citizen journalists" active now with their own websites and blogs. They buy cameras, and they help feed the marketing machine.

This was a smart move by Sony and probably worked out quite nicely for AP too. I doubt Canon marketing-execs are saying "not a big deal." Hopefully they are working on other opportunities that can help promote Canon in this extremely competitive and complex business environment. For those of us who do appreciate Canon and have bought in, competition is important, but a healthy, prosperous company is essential.
 

nchoh

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To me it sounds more like a marketing decision by Canon and Nikon in that they don’t see the ‘deal’ as worth the cost. I’d expect to see a lot more retraction of sponsored/supported/subsidized photography moving forwards.
Sony is much larger than Canon by several factors. Sony also has several business lines that would benefit from this agreement. All in, Sony would probably benefit a lot more from such an arrangement than Canon. Certainly marketing is part of any such strategic decision, but I think it is mostly due to the fact that Sony has muscle that Canon simply cannot match.
 

ahsanford

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It is a big deal in terms of marketing. There are many more "citizen journalists" active now with their own websites and blogs. They buy cameras, and they help feed the marketing machine.

This was a smart move by Sony and probably worked out quite nicely for AP too. I doubt Canon marketing-execs are saying "not a big deal." Hopefully they are working on other opportunities that can help promote Canon in this extremely competitive and complex business environment. For those of us who do appreciate Canon and have bought in, competition is important, but a healthy, prosperous company is essential.

Agree. This is an important symbolic move even if Sony is losing its shirt in the process.

Curious: AP's biggest rival is... Reuters, I assume? Are they exclusive to any manufacturer?

- A