By the end of 2008, the Konica Minolta heritage still shone strong in Sony’s Alpha DSLRs (not that this was a bad thing); however, it was benefiting in a major way from Sony’s superior marketing capabilities and brand recognition. It was the fastest growing brand in the DSLR market from 2006 to 2008, and seized the third largest share of the market, behind only Canon and Nikon, within two years of the introduction of the A100.
Unlike the giants like Canon and Nikon which have been building their products for decades, in just 8 years Sony has turned their purchase of Konica Minolta into a significant range of pro-sumer cameras that can really stand on their own.
While many other companies have been satisfied with slapping incremental improvements onto faux-retro bodies and calling it innovation, Sony embodies the “try anything once” mentality. In a matter of just eight years, Alpha cameras sped through their awkward Dad-driving-you-and-your-date-to-prom teenage period, and developed a spirit and character all their own, based largely on embracing the technological cutting edge.
Judging by the reviews of the A7 and A7s, I anticipate many new photographers and even some of the Canon and Nikon pros will take a serious look at Sony.