It looks like Sony’s finally killed off the A-mount camera system
Sony’s A-mount – or, to be more accurate, what was originally Minolta’s A mount – finally seems to have been killed off. As spotted by Sony Alpha Rumors, Sony has removed all of their A-mount DSLR and DSLT camera from their product database on the Sony website. Retailers around the world are also now showing Sony A-Mount cameras as “No longer available”.
It’s not an entirely unexpected turn of events, however. Sony’s gone full-on into its E mount line, and now that they’ve released an actual flagship mirrorless camera with the Sony A1, their lineup is pretty much complete and there’s really no need to hang on to those old legacy products anymore.
The A-Mount was first launched in 1985 to replace Minolta’s SR mount that was released in 1958 and was absorbed into the Sony collective during their acquisition of Minolta in 2006. But it’s been a few years since we’ve heard anything about the Sony A-mount system from Sony since the A68 was announced in 2015 and then released in 2016.
It’s unclear how long the A-mount cameras have been missing from the Sony website, but it was before April 28th, 2021 according to the oldest mirror of the page on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. The Wikipedia page for Sony A-mount cameras, however, lists the last three remaining A-mount cameras – the A99 II, A77 II and A68 – as all being discontinued in mid-2020.
As is often the case, no sources are cited for the discontinuation dates suggested and we don’t know if that’s when the cameras were delisted on the Sony website. But B&H had the Sony A99 II listed as “More on the Way” in May 2020 and “Back-Ordered” in November 2020. Today, B&H shows the camera as “No Longer Available“.
As I said, it makes sense. I expect the only thing stopping Sony from killing off the A-mount line sooner was the lack of a flagship camera in their mirrorless lineup. The A99 II was, still, essentially Sony’s flagship body until very recently. The Sony A1 now takes up that spot in the lineup and so the A99 II is pretty redundant. Well, more so than it already was.
A sad, but inevitable end to the Minolta legacy. At least as far as cameras go. Sony still lists a number of A-mount lenses as being currently available models on their website, but how long these will remain is unknown. It’s just a matter of time before those disappear, too.
[via Sony Alpha Rumors]
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.