Sony and the Associated Press just announced a new exclusive partnership, giving Sony a firm lead in the race to be considered the industry standard for photography and videography. Sony will begin distributing equipment including the full frame mirrorless Alpha series, 4K XDCAM, and a wide variety of lenses and accessories to journalists around the world.
For years, the photographic equipment arms race has dominated discussions between photographers (we’ve all experienced those die-hard Canon vs. Nikon arguments) and forced the leading companies to constantly re-envision and revolutionize their product lines. Now, with Sony becoming the exclusive equipment provider for the AP, hundreds if not thousands of professional photographers and videographers in 100 countries will cast their previous gear alliances aside in favor of Sony equipment.
“This is a game-changer for the AP and will give us way more flexibility into the future,” Derl McCrudden, the AP deputy managing editor for visual and digital journalism, explained in a video posted with the announcement. Among the reasons provided for the shift to Sony, McCrudden cited the ability to share gear among crews and the importance of maintaining a standard for cutting edge technology in the field. He went on to explain that because the rollout will include multiple camera models for videographers and photographers to choose from, AP members can utilize the best possible gear for each job rather than what they simply have on hand.
The AP’s Director of Photography, J. David Ake, was most enthusiastic about the silent shutter of mirrorless cameras and the related benefits of shooting unobtrusively. “We truly can become flies on the wall, without that annoying shutter sound interrupting the scene,” he said in the announcement.
The new partnership is certainly likely to shake things up in the photography industry during an already financially unstable time. Is this another nail in the coffin for Canon and Nikon? Let us know what you think about the AP's shift to Sony in the comments!
Lead image courtesy of AP: In this photo shot on Sony equipment, Georganne Moline competes in women's 300-meter hurdles at the Weltklasse Zurich Inspiration Games at Mt. San Antonio College, July 9, 2020, in Walnut, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)