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

unfocused

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Good marketing move by Sony. Good cost saving move by AP. Unfortunately they don’t have many staff photographers left anymore and this won’t affect stringers, freelancers or staff photographers on papers that are members of AP, who make up the bulk of photojournalists today.
 
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privatebydesign

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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.
I don’t believe that for a second. Yes Sony is bigger by a long way but it’s profitable businesses are life insurance and semiconductor manufacture, neither benefit from a collaboration with a news agency. Canon and Nikon have a very long history of supporting many photo intense events including the Olympics on many occasions, along with the big news agencies, National Geographic etc etc. Sony, going by previous history, would liquidate their camera business at the drop of a hat if they saw a strategic advantage to it and don’t forget in the scheme of things their camera division is not a high income or high profile part of the corporation.

Obviously the deal is worth more to Sony than Canon and Nikon because they won the tender.
 
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Keith_Reeder

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It is a big deal in terms of marketing.
Yes, but that's all it is. It proves nothing about Sony cameras' "superiority".

As I pointed out on another platform, the press release says this:
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.
All of that happened without any help from Sony.

So as long as people keep this in perspective - it's a marketing coup, but it's nothing to do with AP making a choice based on "better" camera equipment - fine.
 

Keith_Reeder

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Agree. This is an important symbolic move even if Sony is losing its shirt in the process.
You're grossly overstating its significance. Did anybody care about (or even know) what AP was using before the announcement?

In a day or two they won't care about this, either.
 
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reefroamer

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Maybe AP have some great Canon gear to sell off now?
Believe me, it’s probably had the crap beaten out of it. I was an AP reporter years ago, working alongside AP photogs. Those cameras get a beating. We'll see how the Sonys hold up to that kind of abuse. They can’t afford to have stuff break down in the field.
 
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Keith_Reeder

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Believe me, it’s probably had the crap beaten out of it. I was an AP reporter years ago, working alongside AP photogs. Those cameras get a beating. We'll see how the Sonys hold up to that kind of abuse. They can’t afford to have stuff break down in the field.
I imagine that part of the deal will be "over supply" by Sony to cover off reliability questions: not necessarily because I have reason to believe that Sonys are flimsy, but because I've always had the sense that Sony itself sees its cameras as "disposable".
 
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HikeBike

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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.

Hold up. They preferred the ergonomics of a Sony over those of a Canon? I...can't fathom that to be true.
 
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reefroamer

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Good marketing move by Sony. Good cost saving move by AP. Unfortunately they don’t have many staff photographers left anymore and this won’t affect stringers, freelancers or staff photographers on papers that are members of AP, who make up the bulk of photojournalists today.
Exactly.
 

Keith_Reeder

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Hold up. They preferred the ergonomics of a Sony over those of a Canon? I...can't fathom that to be true.
To be fair, that's not quite the message: "liking the way it felt" is hardly gushing praise for Sony ergonomics, it just suggests that they're tolerable.

I mean, I like carrots, but they're never my first choice when I'm pulling dinner together..!

;)
 
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ahsanford

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Hold up. They preferred the ergonomics of a Sony over those of a Canon? I...can't fathom that to be true.


Agree, but it's likely more than just grip, buttons and menu systems. For example: the 5-series never had a tilty-flippy, which is pretty huge for video and non-eye-level shooting positions.

- A
 
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tiggy@mac.com

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Believe me, it’s probably had the crap beaten out of it. I was an AP reporter years ago, working alongside AP photogs. Those cameras get a beating. We'll see how the Sonys hold up to that kind of abuse. They can’t afford to have stuff break down in the field.

I once strung for the AP (about 25 years ago) briefly and a few other nationals. You do NOT want to buy a used camera from any of those guys. I don't think they were deliberately trying to harm their cameras (film back then), but if harm had to come to a camera to get a better shot, harm was going to find its way to that camera.

As a stringer, I was using my own personal camera (Pentax K1000), so I was the camera wuss in the area. Of course, it got stolen anyway.
 
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Dj 7th

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This is good for Sony especially in the PR area. They entered the mirrorless game early and this might be some level of benefit for their early plunge. I really do not see this as a preference for Sony, Nikon or Canon. The decision was made a while ago to explore mirrorless and a year ago, Sony was the major mirrorless company.
I think the lesson here is the advantages of mirrorless in the photo and video journalistic work.
 
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tiggy@mac.com

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Hold up. They preferred the ergonomics of a Sony over those of a Canon? I...can't fathom that to be true.

If you count the silent shutter as part of the ergos, then it makes perfect sense. I still haven't gotten rid of my A9II, and right now it's the best PJ camera I have. I'm hoping the coming R5 bests it, but as it is now, that silence is critical in some journalistic situations.

The "feel" of the new Sony cameras is much better with their ergonomic improvements. Not quite Canon, but if the Canon is a 1DXIII and sounds like a jet engine, then well, yeah. The cameras mentioned in the article were all ergo updated ones. This doesn't, of course, fix the intolerable menus. It is true that PJs are apt to keep to some specific sets of settings, without needing to do those 10-minute treasure hunts into the menus for the obscure feature now and again that the amateurs do.

It's not unthinkable that for their use they liked Sony better as of July 23, 2020. If the R5 is as good as I hope, there may be some forehead slapping, though, come July 30.
 
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davidhfe

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Hold up. They preferred the ergonomics of a Sony over those of a Canon? I...can't fathom that to be true.

Ahhh the wording of a press release. "really like" does not mean "prefer"

If you gave 10 photographers each of the following:
- A9
- A7R
- 1DX
- R5
- Z7

They'd "really like" all of them. And they should—they're all great cameras! What would they "prefer" -- who knows? These sorts of statements are always really carefully worded for reasons just like this :)

Edit: Keith beat me to it.
 
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Keith_Reeder

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This is good for Sony especially in the PR area.
Oh, nobody's disputing that - it's just difficult to see anything meaningful in the decision beyond it being useful marketing for Sony.

Even SAR recognises that it's all about marketing:

 

nchoh

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I don’t believe that for a second. Yes Sony is bigger by a long way but it’s profitable businesses are life insurance and semiconductor manufacture, neither benefit from a collaboration with a news agency. Canon and Nikon have a very long history of supporting many photo intense events including the Olympics on many occasions, along with the big news agencies, National Geographic etc etc. Sony, going by previous history, would liquidate their camera business at the drop of a hat if they saw a strategic advantage to it and don’t forget in the scheme of things their camera division is not a high income or high profile part of the corporation.

Obviously the deal is worth more to Sony than Canon and Nikon because they won the tender.

Yes, Sony would drop a business line at the drop of a hat if it decided it didn't fit the corporate plan. But when the corporate plan calls for a certain direction, it will invest. Consider also that Sony has movie studios and games which are all somewhat related to vision. The knock on effect to all the related Sony businesses is much more than to Canon or Nikon.

Yes, the deal may be worth more to Sony than to Canon, but more importantly, the cost benefit to Sony is much higher than Sony than for Canon or Nikon.

IMO.
 

mpmark

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good, hopefully I'll get my R5 sooner rather then later as AP wont be jumping the line.
 
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Eclipsed

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not much point in having your gear use for video work when CNN and the likes won't report on the protests that are STILL happening, unnamed ununidentified THUGS dresses as soldiers making ilegalarrests cops pepper spraying MOTHERS etc..

Who could forget how the Miranda decision interpreting the US Constitution secured us the essential rights:
  • Identification for the police arresting you (shown to your pals at the time of your arrest).
  • Arresting officers prohibited from wearing military-style clothing.
(Clothing and your inability to dox arresting federal offercers does not make an arrest illegal. Legality depends on what happens before (the pretext, probably cause, reasonable suspicion, etc.) and after (humane treatment, right to a speedy trial, right to counsel). Not worrying worry-warts is not a right.

Meanwhile: AP sucks - who cares?
 
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goldenhusky

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Imagine if the news was "AP Photographers will only shoot with Canon gear going forward" CR servers will go down, now that this is Sony "It is no big deal" It is a big deal people. This is why people like me were saying Canon needs to innovate, get in to mirrorless space fast enough and should lead the pack interms of technology. The Canon Defence Forces on the Internet called us Sony Fanboys. I for one not a fan Boy of any company. Canon makes extraordinary lenses and great bodies just work. The Sony cameras I have has to be reboted once in a while during a shoot (very rarely though), Suddenly will say there are no images on the card when there are a few hundred images. There is always some nuances with Sony and then the ergonomics and then the touch sceen which Sony never seems to get it right but for auto focus, image quality, value for money, etc Sony has surpassed Canon a while back. With R5 I thought Canon woke up but guess what it is difficult to get rid of the old habbits.
 
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