This year has already launched one of the world’s best video cameras in the form of the Sony ZV-E1, but that’s far from the end of its ambitions – with new rumors predicting it could release four more mirrorless cameras by the end of 2023.
Sony Alpha Rumors, which has a pretty strong track record for predictions, has laid out what it thinks will be the next four models from the tech giant. And they include the Sony A9 III, which the site has previously tipped to be the “fastest camera ever made”.
What would ‘fastest’ mean in this context? Traditionally, a camera’s ‘speed’ refers to its maximum frame-rate in burst mode – and the current Sony A9 II is still one of the best here, managing to shoot at 20fps blackout-free (which means you get no flickering in the viewfinder with each frame).
But the A9 II has since been matched and in some ways surpassed by the Nikon Z9 in this regard, with Nikon’s flagship even offering a 120fps mode (albeit one that only captures 11MP JPEGs, rather than raw files). So it seems it’s time for the Sony A9 III to again take the record, just in time for the Summer Olympics in 2024 – and Sony Alpha Rumors is predicting that it’ll be the fastest mirrorless camera around for burst mode, autofocus and sensor readout.
The rumors site has predicted that the A9 III will be announced sometime between November 2023 and January 2024, but what other cameras are on the cards? Fortunately, there appear to be some more affordable ones en route, including an intriguing “high-resolution” model. Here are the four rumored cameras, along with our early thoughts on them.
1. Sony high-end APS-C E-mount camera
- Rumored to launch on July 12
- Could be the long-awaited Sony A6700 or A7000
This is the camera that amateur photographers have been waiting years for – and it sounds like Sony is preparing to finally launch a Sony A6600 successor.
Earlier suggestions have predicted that the camera, rumored to be called the Sony A6700, will be an all-rounder that combines the 26MP APS-C sensor seen on the pro-friendly Sony FX30 with the AI-powered autofocus skills seen on the recent Sony ZV-E1.
If that’s true, it could be a fine new option for street and landscape shooters, given the wealth of lenses available for Sony’s E-mount – and a great option for everyday or family snapping.
Other rumored specs include seven stops of in-body image stabilization (which means you can leave the tripod at home) plus the ability to shoot 4K/120p slow motion video (albeit with a small 1.19x crop). There’s no rumored pricing yet, but the A6600 launched for £1,400 / £1,450 / AU$2,400 back in 2019.
2. Sony A7C II
- Rumored to launch between September-November
- Could have new 33MP full-frame sensor and improved EVF
The Sony A7C was the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera when it was announced back in September 2020 – and while we liked its travel-friendly size, our Sony A7C review was less keen on compromises such as its underwhelming viewfinder.
It looks like Sony is planning to fix some of those drawbacks with a sequel that could follow a few months after the rumored A6700. The rumored specs include a 33MP full-frame sensor paired with a Bionz XR and AI processing unit, like the combo we saw on the Sony A7R V.
Other improvements are expected to include a 4K/60p video mode, 10-bit color depth with the S-Cinetone grading profile, and an improved 3.69-million dot viewfinder with a 120fps refresh rate.
If the A7C II does include all of those new tricks with Sony’s class-leading autofocus, it could be an incredibly powerful little hybrid camera for those who are looking to keep their camera gear small and light.
3. New high-resolution Sony camera
- Tipped to launch between September-November
- Rumored to be the ‘first of its kind’ and not a direct successor to current models
This is definitely the most intriguing model of the four rumored Sony cameras – with Sony Alpha Rumors only sharing that it will be a full-frame camera with a high-resolution sensor.
The site also predicted that it will be the “first of its kind” and “not a replacement for any currently available E-mount camera”. So what could it be? There are three main possibilities.
One is a new play on the Sony RX1R II concept, which was a fixed-lens full-frame camera in a small body. That would make it a rival to the Fujifilm X100V, which is currently almost impossible to buy, and the Leica Q3.
Or the other possibility is a high-resolution version of the rumored Sony A7C II, which would be ideal for travel and landscape photographers. Given that Sony Alpha Rumors has predicted that this mystery camera will likely launch at the same time as the A7C II, this seems the most likely scenario – but we’re looking forward to seeing more rumors and leaks.
4. Sony A9 III
- Rumored to launch between November-January
- Expected to shoot at 30fps and have AI-powered autofocus
The camera giants have traditionally used the Summer Olympics to duke it out with their new professional models – and it looks likely that the Sony A9 III will be Sony’s main ‘athlete’ at Paris 2024.
Apparently delayed due to chip shortages, the A9 III has been tipped to again take the record for mirrorless camera shooting speeds with a 30fps mode that effectively lets you shoot bursts of video, only with each frame being a full-frame raw photo. Great news for shooting sports, less so for your storage space.
Elsewhere we can apparently expect the A9 III to take some of the best bits from Sony’s recent cameras, including the AI-powered autofocus tracking of the Sony A7R V and the 9.44-million dot EVF from the Sony A1.
Naturally, you can expect a high price tag, with the A9 II giving us an idea with its launch price of $4,500 / £4,800 / AU$7,299. But that’s the price of Olympics-level performance.