Sony now sits alongside Canon as one of the world's biggest mirrorless camera brands, but in recent years it's strangely ignored one important person – the hobbyist photographer. Well, according to rumors, that's about to change in the next few months with the launch of a new APS-C camera.
The usually reliable Sony Alpha Rumors says that "a trusted source told me there is definitely a new APS-C E-mount camera coming right before or max early summer". This means we should see the "new high-end model" arrive sometime before July.
While further details are scarce, there are apparently two possible contenders for this new model – a Sony A6700 (which would replace the aging Sony A6600) or a pricier Sony A7000 that could effectively be a baby version of the Sony A1 flagship.
For photographers who've been waiting years for a Sony APS-C camera, either would be brilliant news. The last time Sony released a hobbyist-friendly camera aimed at photographers, rather than videographers, was in September 2019. That would make it an almost four-year wait for Sony fans, during which many will have understandably jumped ship to the best mirrorless cameras from Canon or Fujifilm.
Sony has certainly been busy releasing new cameras in the past year or so – we've seen the Sony A7R V, Sony ZV-1F, Sony FX30, and Sony A7 IV, along with several new lenses for both full-frame and APS-C cameras. But a new photo-centric, APS-C body with all of the latest autofocus, menus, image stabilization, and battery tech has been a glaring omission – until this year, it seems.
While these are just rumors at this stage, the reliable source and the certainty of the claims suggest that any casual photographers with a collection of E-mount lenses –or any hobbyist snappers who are looking to buy a new camera – should hold off for the next few months and see what APS-C treats Sony finally delivers.
Analysis: The long wait is nearly over
Cameras with APS-C sensors are traditionally favored by street photographers, landscape shooters, or anyone who can't justify the cost or overall weight of a full-frame camera. That makes the rumored Sony A6700 or A7000 a potentially exciting launch - so why has Sony waited so long?
While it seems like a strange omission, it's likely a practical response to big changes in the camera industry. As the best camera phones have started to scale heights that simply weren't possible a few years ago, the demand for cheaper photo-centric cameras has softened since the Sony A6600 launched in 2019.
Meanwhile, the huge growth area for camera manufacturers has been in providing the best YouTube cameras for the ever-expanding creator economy. That's where Sony has been focusing with the Sony FX30 (an APS-C video camera) and, in particular, its ZV series of cameras for vloggers and video learners.
The good news for photographers who favor Sony, or already have E-mount lenses, is that Sony doesn't appear to have abandoned them completely. Instead, it seems Sony has simply been prioritizing its video and full-frame models, which means we could finally see the company's class-leading autofocus (and other treats) come to a photographer-friendly APS-C camera soon.