The End of A-Mount: Sony Has Finally Discontinued The Last of its DSLRs
Sony appears to have finally and quietly discontinued the last of its DSLRs. The a99 II, a77 II, and a68 cameras show as “no longer available” through dealers and have been removed from the company’s official website.
First reported by Sony Alpha Rumors, Sony’s full list of cameras on its official website no longer shows any A-mount DSLRs and the a99 II, a77 II, and a68 are no longer available to purchase from dealers. It is not clear when exactly these products were phased out, only that they are now unavailable.
Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This official phase-out of A-Mount cameras should not be a surprise, as Sony has not made much mention of the mount at all over the last several years. The most recent news that involved Sony’s DSLR mount was in September of 2020 when it announced an adapter that would bring the company’s mirrorless autofocus performance to A-Mount lenses via an A-Mount to E-mount adapter. Called the LA-EA5, the surprisingly compact adapter promised to deliver “full support” for focal-plane phase-detection AF, wide-area focal phase-detection AF coverage, real-time Eye AF for both humans and animals, and real-time Tracking and AF/AE tracking for SSM/SAM lenses at up to 11 frames per second (dependent on camera model).
It is likely that this adapter was designed to make the transition to mirrorless easier for Sony DSLR holdouts as the company transitioned away fully from supporting A-Mount. Before this adapter, the last notable announcement for A-Mount was in 2016.
The Sony a77 II was launched in 2014 and even back then, there was an overwhelming sentiment that Sony would soon abandon the format. At the time, the a77 II impressed with its 79 autofocus points, 15 of which were cross-type, which when paired with the translucent mirror technology built into Sony’s SLTs, meant 12fps for up to 60 high res JPEGs with continuous autofocus.
The a68 was launched in 2015 with 4D autofocus as its most highly-touted feature. It used 79 AF points and is what the company called at the time the world’s highest among interchangeable cameras with dedicated phase-detection AF sensors.
The a99 II will go down as the final DSLR produced by Sony. It was announced in 2016 and featured a new backside-illuminated full-frame 42.4MP Exmor R CMOS sensor with a special “gapless-on-chip” design for improved light gathering and fast data readout. It was also the first time the company integrated 4D autofocus into a full-frame sensor.
In 2015, there were reports that Sony had no plans for the A-mount system going forward. Surprisingly, the a99 II made its debut the next year which seemed to indicate that Sony wasn’t going to abandon the format, but it seems that either company direction, poor sales, or other factors have finally led to the A-Mount’s demise.
Image credits: Background of header photo licensed via Depositphotos.