What happens when a manufacturer desperately wants rapid market share gain and mass adoption of its full-frame mirrorless cameras? You get a hard-to-refuse offer that instantly gives you cash for ANY camera in ANY condition. That’s right, Sony is giving away $300 if you trade-in your old camera. And when I say old, it could be a broken/non functional film camera that is not worth a penny, or a dead point and shoot that you have had in your drawer for years and never had a chance to dump it. With the already aggressively priced Sony A7 and A7R cameras, giving access to a full-frame A7 camera body at $1700, this $300 credit makes the A7 the cheapest full-frame camera we have seen to date, at under $1500 price tag. Clearly, Sony is not looking into making money from this rebate program and just wants rapid adoption of its brand new technology. When I originally shared my thoughts about the potential impact of the Sony full-frame mirrorless system on Nikon and Canon sales, a number of our readers criticized me for what I wrote and argued that there was no threat for the big two. Well, judging by what I hear so far in terms of sales and adoption, even among our readers, Sony is doing really well. And seeing how the Nikon D610 got a $100 off just after a month of its launch tells me that Nikon is definitely adjusting its pricing in response and Canon is pretty much doing the same with its 6D line. As Sony continues to expand its market share, I am sure we will be seeing price drops across the industry from all manufacturers. This is definitely good for us photographers, since healthy competition is always a good thing that drives innovation and decreases prices. With mirrorless having less components and bulk than a DSLR, it will be an interesting battle to watch for the next few years.
I have not had a chance to review the Sony full-frame mirrorless system yet (mostly due to lack of time and too much other gear to review), but my initial reaction to it was pretty average, with mixed feelings. While the image quality, the Sony/Zeiss lenses and the technology are phenomenal, I was not particularly happy with a limited lens selection, battery life, response time / lag, bad and scattered menu design, shutter vibration (A7R) and a few other minor annoyances. My overall impression was that the camera system needed another iteration, with hopefully improved changes to particularly the shutter on the A7R and the menu system to be really good for my taste. So if you are ready to work with these issues for the sake of having truly amazing image quality, the A7/A7R are of great value, especially with this trade-in program.
How does it work?
So how does this trade-in program work? Basically, you go to this Sony trade-in page and put the camera you want to trade-in under the “what would you like to sell” section, then pick the search result that comes up. The database of cameras is pretty extensive – even my old Nikon FG camera was there (and I got offered $50 towards it). On the next page you specify the condition fo the camera and if you happen to have all the cables and accessories that came with it, you will get more added to the “additional value” field. You then add it to the basket and use the regular procedure to check out. After you send your camera to B&H, they will assess your camera and if the quote estimate matches the camera condition, you will get a credit in a form of a B&H gift card to apply towards purchasing the A7 or A7R cameras.
And if you would rather just get some savings by buying one of these cameras and some Sony/Zeiss lenses, Sony has an additional rebate going on that can save up to $650 when bundled with lenses and a flash.
If you are planning to take advantage of this offer, we would love to hear from you. Please let us know what you are planning to trade in and which Sony camera you are planning to buy!