Sony Nixes Low End, Older Cameras out of Chip Desperation

Nov 22, 2021 | News, Sony

Lacking chips to churn out the older model cameras, Sony is triaging its manufacturing to focus on the new and higher-margin cameras. The A7II and A6400, as well as the A6100 cameras will be made no more. Also nixed are the ECM-B1M shotgun mic and the PXW-Z190 camcorder.

That these cameras were still being made was already a nod to the older strategy Sony pursued to keep older designs on their product lists in order to efficiently provide price stratification. Without having to design completely different budget options, they could have a high end and low end of product categories simply by continuing to make the old stuff. Sony started to move away from this strategy slowly as it fleshed out its product line to provide newer budget models.

Sony new fab plant for camera sensors

Sony will benefit from the consolidation by having more of the smaller, common chips that populate cameras by the dozens made available to their newer models, but it will also free up production lines for the production of model-specific sensor chips. The A6100 and A7II are very old cameras, with sensor chips that are just plain old. Sony is one of only two major camera makers that make their own sensor chips. These older ones are not being used in other Sony products, and may be used only in increasingly rare third party hardware.

The picture at left is of Sony’s new fab facility.

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