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

chrisgibbs

Photosection
Apr 30, 2020
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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

NYT chief photog Doug Mills was one of the first converts to the A9. Dave Burnett has been shooting Sony for a while too.

If you know any Unit Stills guys (filmset photogs) they've been FUJI & SONY mirrorless for as long as they've been available, no Sound Blimps required anymore, a win-win for them.
 
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Gazwas

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Sep 3, 2018
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Big statement move from Sony that just happens to coincide with the week before they announce the very long awaited low light, high ISO eating PJ’s reporter come photographers wet dream camera in the all encompassing A7SIII. Its one way to steal the thunder from the R5’s 30th July release day in that the AP side stepped Canon’s first professional mirrorless camera in favour of Sony.

Canon is not the darling of the YouTube generation and its looks like they are loosing footing in the press world with stories like this. Considering journalists are getting younger and younger which means by default Sony fans, this is not the message Canon needs at the start of its professional mirrorless journey.
 
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herein2020

Run | Gun Shooter
Mar 13, 2020
267
364
When I switched from Nikon to Canon (5D Mark 3), the A7/R was fresh to the market and gave me brief pause, but it was not the right decision at the time. Sony FF Mirrorless was not serious until the A9. Now with the arrival of the R5, worthy of the RF-L lenses, I plan sale of all of my EF gear with my first RF lens in the mail, wondering if this AP move is the beginning of a dark era for Canon. How will this account switch change Sony's development patterns?

It has been said time and time again, Sony is pulling on Canon with mirrorless what Canon pulled on Nikon with AF and OIS. This is the seismic result 7 years after the fissures formed.

Today, we have the cameras that Canon really needed much sooner, I don't mean to sound ungrateful but Canon is now paying the price for not responding sooner, maybe they couldn't have responded sooner? EF Legacy was too heavy? Maybe the R5 under it's heavy wraps just couldnt have been developed quickly enough to stem the threat.

Will Canon pick-up up the pace? Or will it give up and lean back on it's other business units to earn profits? They still have only a handful of native RF lenses, the system is not complete while most EF-RF adapters are out of stock on B&H/Adorama/Amazon. Sony has been the talk of the internet for years now, countless enthusiasts have switched now a major account has followed suit. First time camera buyers with some money look no further than A7III, Sony's momentum is now validated and tremendous and this is only the first account that will turn to Sony with video becoming ever more important. All because of Sony Semiconductor.

I just hope our piles of cash in RF lenses is going to a system that will still be growing in 10 years; Sony is required to grow now (or will these major accounts leave them reliable and complacent?). The R5 is a solid statement that Canon will not give up but we need a lot of "R5"-like moves in these next few years. All of the sudden Canon is fast becoming the underdog.

It is a bit disturbing that Associated Press is dancing around like some cheap advertisement supplement for a major corporation. Sony must be shelling some serious money and promises for all of this. And media is in a state of decline right now, money is tight while distrust is ever mounting. Meanwhile, DPR is right there covering this switch like an inauguration, executive interviews and all. It's all just too well orchestrated to seem truly genuine. Just how long will this exclusivity last?

I agree 100% and as much as I love some things about Canon when it came to mirrorless video they frustrated me to the point that I bought a GH5 when I really needed a gimbal camera. Either Canon got too complacent or they truly did not have the technical agility to answer Sony's mirrorless challenge.

I know this is a Canon forum so people are really downplaying this news but the 2nd and 3rd order effects are what's going to hurt Canon more than just the deal itself. Of course a lot of news is filmed on cell phones and its easy to say the AP deal isn't a big deal, but marketing really is; and Sony will now have a steady stream of it coming from the AP that I am sure they will use for years to come.

I know nothing about the AP, I'm not even sure that they had a single official camera vendor before this, but I'm sure somewhere in the deal Sony will get to use their logo and marketing on images produced all over the world by professional photographers for years to come; which could have the domino effect of influencing the younger generation who will in turn also lean towards Sony. And if Sony does start to make real profit in this segment they will in turn invest more R&D to improve their reliability, weather sealing, ergonomics, and menu systems.

It is comical when users on this forum state they need a camera without video features because they think the camera will cost less yet stories like these continue to prove that video is very important in this day and age. If you read the full press release the deal is more than just photography, it includes their professional video line and 5G, and around the Internet there is emphasis on how Sony's hybrid offerings and mirrorless video features are already used by many in the AP. The feedback alone from this many pro shooters will give Sony the telemetry from pro users that they need to greatly improve their cameras.

I feel like even if Canon had approached the AP and tried to offer a deal that Canon's lack of a history of hybrid mirrorless would not have done them any favors when video journalism is required as well.
 
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Keith_Reeder

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Feb 8, 2014
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Considering [professional] journalists are getting younger and younger
And fewer and fewer to the point of irrelevance...
which means by default Sony fans
Hah! Seriously?

Aside from it being complete speculation - sorry, you have no idea how old PJs are these days, or what they prefer to shoot with (still plenty of Canon kit at major sporting, news and political events, I've noticed) - you're effectively claiming that AP went this way because it was kewl..!
this is not the message Canon needs at the start of its professional mirrorless journey.
All - all - it is, is a deal that was tendered, bid on and signed before the Canon R5 became public knowledge.
 
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RunAndGun

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Dec 16, 2011
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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.

Freelancers can continue to shoot on whatever they like, only the staff photogs are being moved to Sony. There are probably at least 250-300 AP staff photogs across the world and thousands of freelancers. There are at least two staffers where I live. Larger areas will have even more.
 

nchoh

EOS RP
Apr 3, 2018
310
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Calgary
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.

Interesting point. Which leads me to think that in about 2 years time Sony will have a line of cameras that can take the beating.
 

nchoh

EOS RP
Apr 3, 2018
310
196
Calgary
I think you are confusing "it's not a big deal from a financial perspective" and "it's a big deal from a marketing perspective." Most people who would agree that it is a big deal for marketing purposes. But, in terms of the actual number of cameras and lenses being sold, it's not a big deal because the crash of the photojournalism market is a decades-long phenomenon that makes the crash of point-and-shoot cameras look like small potatoes.

I don't think it's a big deal from a marketing perspective either. It is one thing to see a the whole sideline with big white Canon lenses. It's very different when a single AP photographer is lost in a mass of other news photographers taking photos with Canon or Nikon gear. Other than the announcement, nobody will remember that Sony is the exclusive supplier of camera gear for AP.
 
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RunAndGun

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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.

I knew what they were shooting on(Canon), but I’ve worked in TV for over two decades and known some of their staff photogs for the same amount of time.
 

RunAndGun

EOS RP
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Dec 16, 2011
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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.

I think you’re reading into that too much and putting words into someone’s mouth. You can still like something without preferring it over something else.
 

unfocused

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There are at least two staffers where I live. Larger areas will have even more.

I'm surprised by that. I live in a state capital city and when the AP Capitol Bureau photographer retired a few years ago, they eliminated the position. I think the AP Bureau is down to one reporter and the entire statehouse press corps has probably shrunk by 75% in the last decade. The few remaining reporters are expected to shoot web video on their phones. The local paper still has a couple of staff photographers but they are way down from what they once where and they were once known nationally for their photojournalism. Most of the reporters and photographers I knew have either retired, changed careers or gone into public information/public relations.
 
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yestostills

I'm New Here
Mar 16, 2020
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Please keep this in mind. As a former news videographer, who worked for the larger news stations, where Sony offered giveaway prices on video cameras to maintain market share when it came time to upgrade. Using the same ploy in the new digital print media platform.
 
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Keith_Reeder

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I knew what they were shooting on (Canon), but I’ve worked in TV for over two decades and known some of their staff photogs for the same amount of time.
I knew it was Canon too - but it's just not something that comes up, because it's not that important to most people.
 

unfocused

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I don't think it's a big deal from a marketing perspective either. It is one thing to see a the whole sideline with big white Canon lenses. It's very different when a single AP photographer is lost in a mass of other news photographers taking photos with Canon or Nikon gear. Other than the announcement, nobody will remember that Sony is the exclusive supplier of camera gear for AP.
I agree, but would say it's a big deal because Sony can make a big deal out of it. They will be able to say that "this" Pulitzer prize winning photo was shot with Sony, as inevitably an AP photographer will win a Pulitzer. Not that magazine print journalism matters as much anymore, but Sony will certainly be buying lots of ads in photography oriented publications highlighting AP photographers and their prize winning photos. It's as big of a deal as Sony wants it to be. If they don't promote it, then yeah, it's not a big deal, but certainly they are doing this so they can promote it.
 

Keith_Reeder

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They will be able to say that "this" Pulitzer prize winning photo was shot with Sony, as inevitably an AP photographer will win a Pulitzer.
They could, but what does it get them really?

Not much, I imagine - or Canon would do/have done the same, given that plenty of Pulitzers have gone to Canon shooters.

They don't push this, because PJ isn't a significant "influencer" for most people. Canon will mention that this, that or the other Ambassador is a Pulitzer Prize Winner, but nothing much apart from that .

It's part of a company's marketing arsenal, but it's not common currency, and it doesn't carry much weight in reality. True for Canon, and it'll be true for Sony.