Rumor: Sony to announce 4 new cameras with 14MP and 16MP APS-C sensors

Rumors surfaced today that Sony will release four new cameras with 14MP and 16MP APC-S sensors and guess what? One of the expected new feature is AF during video recording. Sounds familiar? The rumored Nikon D3100 DSLR is also expected to have continuous AF during video recording. My initial report about the D3100 having a 10MP sensor is probably wrong and Nikon may use this 14MP sensor from Sony.

The good news is that the Nikon D90 replacement was rumored to have a 16MP sensor and this could be the new 16MP sensor from Sony (tweaked by Nikon of course - this is the first 16MP sensor from Sony). Another description of the new Sony sensor is that it has a "very good high ISO" - the Nikon D90 replacement is also expected to have improved high ISO.

More details on the new Sony cameras after the break:

  • Sony A55 16MP 10FPS EVF-1.44M 1.1X magnification 95% AVCHD full HD
  • Sony A33 14MP 7FPS EVF-1.44M 1.1X magnification 95% AVCHD full HD
  • SonyA560 14MP 7FPS MF recording AVCHD full HD
  • Sony A580 16MP 7FPS MF recording AVCHD full HD
  • Announcement is expected in August, in stock in September.
  • All new models are expected to have DOF preview, panorama/3D, ISO 100 (base), 15 AF focus points and AF during video recording.

The question is who will release the first DSLR with continuous AF during video recording. I bet it will be Nikon.

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  • Really hope to get more news on the D90 replacement….cross finger..

    • Anonymous

      Why would the D90 replacement have a base ISO of 100? Isn’t 200 standard across the line?

      • twoomy

        Base ISO of 200 is “normal”, but there’s always the exception like the D2X. Some of us old-school landscape shooters would love an ISO 100.

        • The invisible Man

          The reason why the base is 200 ISO it’s because you don’t gain any noise reduction between 200 and 100 ISO.
          I use 100 ISO sometime when it’s too bright (I live in Florida) but still whant to use the lens wide open (the shutter speed would go over the 1/4000s with ISO 200-400)

          • For D300s, I think there’s quite a bit of noise at ISO200. For ISO100 or LO 1.0 they did some tweaks to bring down the noise. In fact, I don’t think D300 or D300s is that great in noise performance. Maybe my expectations were too high 🙁

            • I like the D300 @ISO320 ~640, and ISO500~800 for b&w

            • Were your expectations too high or your skills not up to the level of the machine? I’m not making a judgement- just asking to see where you’re at. I’ve had the opposite experience. I think the D300 has excellent low-light capabilities. It’s not up to D3/D700 levels, but it’s much better than any of its predecessors. If you upgraded from a D90, then perhaps that could be an issue as you wouldn’t gain much (if any) photo quality-wise. Usability-wise, etc., a lot better.

              One of my friends is a professional shooter in Tokyo. He just upgraded to a D700 from a D300 in January this year. He says he only upgrades after he’s worn the previous camera out. At no point had I ever heard him complain about the abilities of the D300. The only thing coming from him were beautiful night shots out of Tokyo.

              Not saying that your opinion is wrong- just trying to narrow down any possible issues. I’m surprised that you were disappointed. What was your previous camera?

            • I concur. The d90/d300/d300s sensor is optimal noisewise at 200. That’s why 100 is a tweak. It’s slightly less dynamic range.

              And I’d say there’s a stop and a half difference between the d300 sensor and the d700. But the d700 is more forgiving of lenses.

              Of course there are lots of other issues that could come into play, since not everyone works with an optimal work flow. Are you working form jpegs or raw? Are you using Adobe processing or something else? Is your monitor properly calibrated? All of these things can contribute to differences in the perceived image quality.

              I work with Adobe software in a calibrated color environment. That is how I evaluate these things. People using NX (which is really crap compared to the CS5 raw engine) may see different noise/color characteristics. The Adobe suite is tight enough that I use it for cmyk. I wouldn’t try that with anything else. Well, ok, I have. And it doesn’t work.

              Sorry, not to start an argument about what’s best but, are you using Adobe software with a calibrated monitor?

        • Richard


        • Joe R.

          I use Lo1 on my D300 on occasion (since I don’t have any ND filters). I’m not arguing against ISO 100. My question is this:

          If it’s got a *base ISO of 100* doesn’t that sort of imply that it won’t be very good at higher ISOs? I’d be pissed if the D90 replacement sucks at 1600.

          At this point I’m hoping the D90 replacement is equivalent in ISO performance to the D300 but with “proper” video. If it where, it may be a D300 replacement for me.

      • PHB

        Low ISO is pretty handy with fast lenses. I find I am hitting minimum ISO more than max. Time was when ISO 100 was the fast film…

        But the camera manufacturers have agreed that the low ISO quoted will be the best noise handling. Which makes sense since most people would want to know when reducing ISO will make noise worse. You can go lower, there are extended range stops, but they are telling you that there is a cost.

        I really cannot see the D3100 going to 14MP. Nikon would recycle the 12MP sensor in preference. A range that would make sense to me is:

        D3100 – 12MP
        D5100 – 14MP plus flip out screen plus better focus
        D7000 – 16MP plus the D300 autofocus plus other goodies.

        D700s – 12MP FX with new video and focus. $2,000
        D700x – 24MP FX $4,000
        D4/D400 – 18MP

        D4x – 36MP or 48MP

        Nikon and Sony share a fab but not technology. Some parts of the sensors will be common, others will be heavily tweaked.

        48MP is glossy magazine resolution, the end of the MP race for most purposes. Beyond that people will use stitching.

        • Political Machine

          PHB, i agree with you…

          your roadmap seems pretty accurate to me. Just don’t know about that d4x part.

        • With you except for two points: I don’t think anybody is getting 1080p out of the 12mp sensor. So it’ll either be higher than 12mp or it’ll be 720p. Sony doesn’t have an 18mp sensor, so that’s right out. If they have a 16mp, we’ll see it in some sort of Nikon.

          Other point: Glossy mags might benefit from 48mp, but they don’t show more than 12mp really. The halftoning gives the illusion of more res than it has. Just how the tech works.

          Unless you’re talking about something with 16″x20″ pages. Even then, that’s not 48mp worth of info. It’s easier to make 48mp look sharper on a page that size, but even the best offset doesn’t put down 48mp at 32″x20″. Current laser on ra4 printers are that tight, but nothing that lays down ink is.

        • One thing you don’t include in your list:

          D3100 – 12MP
          D5100 – 14MP plus flip out screen plus better focus
          D7000 – 16MP plus the D300 autofocus plus other goodies.

          D700s – 12MP FX with new video and focus. $2,000
          D700x – 24MP FX $4,000
          D4/D400 – 18MP

          D4x – 36MP or 48MP

          or at least clarify is a D300 relpacement (if it is to happen prior to D400). I am assuming from other rumors that the “D7000” in your list is the D90 replacement. However, I much prefer a weather sealed body after I had a D70 die in the rain (fortunately it came back to life the next day after slowly drying).

  • Serpiente

    I was thinking the same when I read it.. I think both Nikon and Pentax will use a 16MP Sony-sensor for their upcoming cameras. Lets hope it will be good!

  • Paul

    What does “MF recording” mean for the A560 & A580

    • Enesunkie

      Manual Focus?? 🙁

  • The invisible Man

    Great job peter !

  • Gra

    All these increases in mp suggest D3x successor will probably be a monster…

    • Thom Hogan seems to think otherwise. Might check up on his site ( Seemed like a reasonable argument.

  • QuBe

    At first, I was so rolleyed about this, they nearly got stuck in the back of my head.
    But then I thought, no wait, this is good.
    Yes DSLR mfgs, glut the market so were even more awash in a sea of cameras with minute model differences. Drown us in enough digital shooters to choke a galaxy of whales. Yeasss….
    Then, you’ll have no choice but to slash your prices….just to stay alive.
    He he he….$1299 D700 coming soon to a store near you. 👿

  • Now the bad news is that, according to Tom Hogan, Sony might want to drop FX (full-frame A850, A900, and D3x) sensors…


    • Not a chance.

    • And for the record, that’s about as silly as the rumors just a few short years ago that Apple was going to start selling Windows XP in the Apple Stores and installing it on Macs from the factory. Silly, indeed.

  • Conan

    awesome~~but how about d700 replacement?gonna use the same full frame sensor from sony too?

  • Jonathan

    What kind of stupid name is D3100? Call the D3000 replacement a D4000, the D5000 a D6000 and the D90 the D9000!

    • spidercrown

      number is running out. use it carefully 🙂

      • Merv

        No one will care about the numbering scheme if the camera far exceeds or disappoints expectations

      • Zorro

        spidercrown wrote: number is running out. use it carefully 🙂

        I have plenty of numbers that I can let Nikon have in exchange for one free copy of each camera that uses one of my numbers.

        • I will help you with the numbers if you get an extra copy for me.

          • Zorro

            David, you can have the FX models.

          • Zblorg

            Hey, if you guys have trouble try a random number generator that nikon probably used.

    • I did not make up this name – D3100. The D90 replacement could be called D8000:

  • Now it might get confusing. With the general public chasing megapixels, they will flock to the D3100; Nikon will make alot of sales. But the questions for many of us is what will happen to the pro and prosumer cameras like succeessors to the D300s and D700. Also What will the D4 have?

    • I hope the current D700 price will come down some more.. it is almost within my budget now.

      • Simon

        I’m waiting right there with you David…fingers crossed.

  • Bart

    Does Nikon still give a shit about the pro’s ?! Where’s D4 , D300s and D700 replacement ?!

    Screw it , i’m ordering the D700 tomorrow. Waited long enough.

    • Segura

      If you are ordering a D700 instead of a D3s, you didn’t have the money to begin with. I mean the D3s was just released less than a year ago, still hard to get. And D300s replacement, well that was released a year ago, and you are asking for a replacement? Funny you chose to go with the 2 year old camera instead of the newer ones.
      And Nikon does give a shit about the pro’s, I doubt you are one or you would have had a D3x,D3s,D700 by now or even the D300s instead of complaining. So what do you shoot with now?

      • Up_Yours

        Maybe the guy’s coming from the Canon side, hence he’s waiting for a better deal with new Nikon pro-grades.

    • The invisible Man

      I would wait photokina…….
      Also I received a tip one month ago for the D700 at $1995 end of August (no warranty on that info).

    • Enesunkie

      Ahh, D4 will be here Summer 2011 and D400 will be here… Summer 2011. Any sooner and it would be someones wishful thinking, NOT Nikons timeline for product releases. Now the D700 is anybody’s guess, There’s no preceeding
      models to make and esimate but being it’s two years old now, it ‘s due for at least adding an S to the end of any time now. … And a pro would have gone out and gotten a D3S, not wait for a camera that doesn’t exist.

  • ambo

    finally … “very good high iso” sound promising… cross finger for more d90 replacement rumors… keep it coming plssss

  • Gary

    I’ve said it before, but continuous AF video recording will be a major breakthrough in dslr’s and be very popular with consumers.

  • Q

    So, wait a minute. Electronic View Finder. As in the ability to show a live RGB histogram in the view finder???

    I had a Canon SX10 and loaded CHDK on it to add all kinds of options in the EVF, including a live RGB histogram. I was indispensable in setting up shots.

    Well, not indispensable, as I moved to the D90. But, it was much better to see a live histogram than to have to take a shot and then check it.

    If the D90 replacement could do that, I will bite.

  • Rafael

    man.. enough DX bodies … how about a D700 replacement .. but even commenting on this , feels useless


  • Q

    type above: “It” not “I”

    Point is, even if it was an EVF and Nikon didn’t use it to add a live histogram, it would still set the stage for this to potentially happen in the future. With CHDK you could move it to the place on the screen you wanted, change the battery indicator to an a %, see the selected focal length adjust live. All kinds of stuff.

    I wish someone would develop a CHDK type hack for Nikon cameras. Nikon needs to start a developer community around Nikon by allowing more access to adjust the firmware.

    • Rob

      Yes +.

  • SimonC

    This is really good news. 16MP is the perfect balance between resolution and high ISO. My guess is that it’ll do ISO 12800 same as D90’s 6400.

    This also means that the D400 replacement will use either a newer Sony sensor with even better IQ or a Nikon-designed one. (I bet the latter)

    Let’s hope the AF is improved as well.

  • D800


    D800…… please……….

  • John

    Well, my plan has been to get something small like a D90 (excellent stills camera + video) and maybe, just maybe trade up to an FX body (i.e., D700) from my D300.
    The only thing holding me back was the not very good video capabilities of the D90. The m43 GH-1 was looking pretty good, but I really don’t want to have another lens system.

    Now if it truly has 16MP – good decent noise 16MP – and video that has less jello effect and AF during capture, then I’m sold (Oh yes, and a flip TO THE SIDE LCD screen – not the flip down one of the D5000). It would be nice if it had a BIM, but that will probably be the D8000 or something like that.

    Now that switch from my D300 to the D700 – that will be hard to do for sure! I can barely afford the D700 let alone having 3 camera (or can I . . .).

    I eagerly await the month of August!


  • Jacobus

    I hope they will announce the D90 soon. Hopefully late august or early september… This is good news.!

  • Whadabaut new/updated lenzez?

    Sick and tired of new megapixel cameras, even 12mp hogs down my computer and hard drives :(.

  • James

    > My initial report about the D3100 having a 10MP sensor is probably wrong

    I hope not. A fig for megapixels; I’m hoping for unusually good high ISO performance.

    • not afraid about NEW better iso ballanced 10 mp sensor in low-end camera (not possible – economy). it will have the same well known sensor (10 or 12 mp). only firmware could do better job.

  • Kingyo

    I had heard this past winter from a few pro D3s shooters that knew about the D4 being tested at their “photo wire service”. They said it was 16mp, but since I didn’t actually see it I was doubtful..I guess it makes sense now.
    I’m still waiting for the D700 replacement -or- D700s (with the AF during video recording capabilities that the D3100/D90 replacement would have)

  • bob

    testing the d90s……issues in video mode…..
    what’s that???

  • Rahul

    With 14MP sensor and a good video mode, how will Nikon be able to place D3100 below D5000 in the product line. From what I can see, D3100 is going to be better in specifications than D5000.
    I guess Nikon will have to omit video capabilities in D3100. This will sell even without video. Video capabilities would make more sense in D90’s and D5000’s replacement.
    If D90’s replacement gets low level capabilities of D700 then won’t it kill D300s?

    • Zupi

      I am finding it hard to belive (even stupid), that Nikon will make D90xxx that totally kills D300s.

      Only plus for Nikon D300s would be PRO build Q and 100% viewfinder and dual slot, but D90xxx will have lover price and a bunch of better specs. Who will buy D300s? Maybe an idiot, but sane person?

      Does not make any sence.

  • Thanks a lot Nikon for keeping the consumer level sensors ahead of the D300. I thought the strategy was to introduce new/better sensors in the upper level cameras and then let them “trickle down”. Not that the D300 is bad but I don’t understand letting it lag.

    • The invisible Man

      Most people don’t realise that digital cameras are more computers than cameras.
      Memory, electronic, sensors, processing, all thoses are evoluting very fast, as it is with personal computers.
      You cant’ ask Nikon to make a new D300 everytime the memory (buffer) is larger, the processor faster, the sensor more sensitive, etc….
      And it will be that way until DSLR come to maturity in about 5 years, then the delai between 2 models will be back around 4-6 years as it was before with film cameras.

  • C

    I don’t see any correlation for the sensors from Nikon and Sony. Nikon is designer while Sony is just manufacturer. Sony has plenty of 14MB sensors but Nikon has none. Especially when compared with NIkon’s sensor and Sony’s sensor, the PQ for Nikon is absolutely remarkably higher. Nikon has 3 types of excellent FX sensors but Sony has very weak FF sensors. Therefore, Nikon does not share their sensor technique to Sony.

    So I think thinking the relationship of Nikon & Sony is like thinking those of Nikon & Canon / Canon & Sony, it does not make sense. Nikon / Sony long production line told us they are totally different, so I think it is better to thinking Nikon / Sony sensor anymore.

    • Alpha

      Where have you been, this is not new news. Nikon has been using Sony APS-C sensors forever. By the way… The D3X Nikons flagship has Sony’s “weak” sensor in it.

      Get out from behind your D40 and learn something.

      • And apparently you haven’t compared images from the two sensors. Sony’s isn’t great. Nikon’s is leading the pack.

        • Sky

          It’s called: Postprocessing. You capture the output from sensor, then mess with it to create the picture. Sony wasn’t great in that matter, Nikon was. That’s why there’s such a huge gap you see.

    • Sky

      C – sorry to say but you are WRONG.

      Sony is both Designer and Manufacturer of DSLR sensors for most of Nikon cameras (not all, but most). For various reasons Nikon does not buy all kinds of sensors Sony produces – no wonder anyway, as Sony is an enormous company, Nikon doesn’t have resources to develop the processing algorithms for all the Sony sensors they’d put in. So Nikon just picks what’s best (whatever quality or cost-wise) and builds up all the electronics (stuff like A/D converters, nois removal, demosaicing for JPGs and so on). It’s simply easier to push sensor to the limits when you focus on this single one, not tons of sensors other company develops over the year.

  • Greg Webb

    The more I see of the next-gen rumours, whatever Nikon end up calling it I think we’re looking at a de facto D300s replacement, not D90 replacement – maybe with a bit of overall positioning tweaking, but… Nikon currently have three amateur and four semi-pro/pro bodies – that’s really quite a lot and the real overlap seems to be at the bottom (which may be where the money is but it’s still expensive overlap). Look 2-3 years out, is there really a need for low, medium and high spec amateur DX, and a semi-pro DX body in the same basic chassis as the semi-pro FX?

    Nikon are yet to release a 10-series body ahead of the 100-series body. The rumoured D90 replacement specs ( have, over the D300s,
    * More resolution
    * Better ISO performance
    * Higher frame rate
    * Better video
    And gains the stronger chassis of the 100-series – it’s far closer to the D300s than the D90 in spec.

    It also matches the ‘second camera’ rumoured in April – – which was marked as with an MB-D11 grip, in sequence with the D300/700 grip.

    My bet – the D90 and D300s lines are being amalgameted into a single model replacement to revert to a three model DX lineup with one high-end and two consumer models.

    • SimonC

      You guys aren’t thinking bold enough. What if the D300s replacement was even better than the D90 replacement? It’s not like D300s’ are flying off the shelves these days; I’m sure Nikon would take more profit from the D90 replacement. Plus, with competition upping the ante in MP and video, the D90 replacement would have to outdo them all. That already puts above the D300s in several areas.

      I think there is still a place for both bodies. D400 could add the radical AF rumored as well as the D3s/D4 high-ISO tech. Complimentary bodies.

      • Sky

        Nikon might develop uber-camera for D90 replacement and even more uber-camera for D300s. Whatever you’ll have money to buy it – remains a different matter 😉

    • Philippe

      That makes sense

      D90 + D300s will be D8000 or something
      (I read on nikonrumors, a few posts ago, that some body parts could be in steel)

      If it has metering for my older samyang lenses like the D300s, then that would be great. Also a 3,5mm jack would be nice.

      The price would be between D90 and D300s

      That would be a killer

  • I am so entertained by all the folks on here that know what Nikon is doing next. I mean, they aren’t guessing, they aren’t hoping, they are sure. I really do hope that Nikon comes out with a D4 10mp non-bayer camera just to see the fireworks that follow. More chaos than during WWII. But over a camera.

    • The world would collapse in upon itself. Space-time continuum would rip in half and pigs would be seen dancing with elephants in the skies.

      However, the high ISO users wouldn’t mind 😉

  • Very nice rumor

  • Anonymous

    I use the Nikon d300s and i have used it inside at ISO over 1000 and had to do very little noise reduction…so somebody must be doing something wrong…


    Why nikon won’t just combine those two variants into one awesome camera? look at tht 5Dmk2, it has high pixel counts and does 1080p vid recording. i think nikon had made a big fuckin’ mistak if they had to release those 2 variant of the d700. seriously nikon sucks big time. nikon is crap!

  • Anonymous

    Personally like many of you I am waiting for the D700 replacement. I hope that the nikon response to the 5dMk2 is a full frame sensor w/14-16 mp that takes the same batteries as the d700. I could care less about video… if I wanted that then I would simply purchase a video camera. The kicker for me is the price. I hope that nikon realizes that anything over 3k does not correlate with the cannon equivalent. I’ll be patiently waiting to see what happens…

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