How Sony is using Covid-19 to shift the focus of photographic solutions

Jinoy Jose P Chennai | Updated on July 15, 2020 Published on July 13, 2020

Mukesh Srivastava, Head Digital Imaging, Sony India

Covid-19 has forced the imaging industry to change its focus and take steps to ensure users get new products and services without fail despite the lockdowns. To know how post-Covid-19 realities are shaping the photography industry, BusinessLine spoke to Mukesh Srivastava, Head Digital Imaging, Sony India. excerpts:


How has Covid-19 hit the photography industry, and how is the industry responding to the new realities?

With social distancing norms in place, mainstream gatherings and events are on hold, and even in the near future, it seems that this will continue. However, it does not stop people from connecting and that opens up a completely new opportunity for live streaming solutions. Sony provides complete live streaming solutions with its wide range of products. Live streaming can be done easily using a single camera set-up with Sony Alpha series and professional camcorders. In case of large-scale events such as pop concerts, weddings and seminars, Sony provides a multiple camera set-up using switchers.

With social distancing going to be a norm going ahead, how are you going to ensure your products are attended properly?

An important aspect of Sony’s offering has always been excellent service support for customer satisfaction. In the current situation, we have been quick to ensure that we adapt and are completely geared up to deliver services with safety, quality, and care. All our service engineers are equipped with protective gear and Aarogya Setu app, and regular health monitoring of service and repair executives are being done; sanitisation is being conducted before and after repairs.

To ensure we are able to connect and provide service solutions to our customers through online medium, we have created a microsite that offers multiple solutions to end-users while they are home. To keep up with Sony’s ‘Stay home stay safe’ programme, we have created multiple DIY Troubleshoot videos across all the Sony categories. In the light of the current Covid-19 situation, we are taking precautionary measures and offering services on our online support platform like live chat, 24/7 Chatbot and FAQs ― it’s fast & easy to use.

Digital imaging has gone through several breakthroughs in the recent past. What are the latest trends in general safand what are the new offerings from Sony on this front?

Some of the latest trends that we have observed include a rise in OTT content creation, Vlogging and Live streaming. To cater to this demand, Sony has a wide range of products from industry-leading mirrorless cameras, professional/consumer camcorders, point and shoot cameras, accessories and vlogging equipment. We are confident to tap into these new avenues with our products. As far as live streaming is concerned, Sony provides a complete solution for live streaming. For vlogging, we have an array of products right from RX series compact cameras, to APSCs, full frames and compact camcorders for every vlogging need.

We recently initiated #CreateWithSony, a social media campaign to keep our alpha fans engaged during the lockdown, by hosting live sessions with Alpha Artisans and influencers. The campaign also encouraged the audience to explore their creative potential, observe little things around at home and capture them through camera lenses. We received a lot of content on miniature photography, macro photography, pet content, food vlog and indoor photography. The campaign garnered a combined reach of one millio, total impressions of 1.17 millio, engagement of 319k and 4k+ entries on Sony Alpha Instagram Channel.

Does artificial intelligence pose a threat to digital imaging? Or does it offer a helping hand?

Artificial intelligence is surely a helping hand. Sony has been working relentlessly to create innovative technologies and the Sony Real-Time Tracking takes AF to a new level. The system uses AI and “learned” subject information, including colour, brightness, distance and even facial and eye patterns to maintain focus, allowing seamless and true AF lock-on without the need to change AF modes. Once the photographer indicates the subject with half pressure on the shutter release, the system tracks it regardless of where it moves within the frame. Thanks to the Real-time Eye AF (for humans and animals), the camera automatically picks up the eye of your subject when visible in the frame. It’s a truly remarkable system that changes the game when it comes to speed and accuracy of AF technology. Constantly working towards offering the best of technology, we have also secured AI-based technological development in ‘Real time EYE AF for Video’ which is the most recent development.

Do smartphones pose a threat to DSLRs, especially to entry-level shooters?

Entry-level point-and-shoot cameras could be impacted due to smartphone. However, there seems to be no impact on the premium and Interchangeable Lens Camera segment as the target audience is completely different. People who are serious about photography understand the technical differences, and prefer to shoot from a camera instead of a mobile. Talking about the point and shoot range, Sony’s latest launch RX100M7 stands out with its 1-inch sensor and continues to be one of the top choices for those looking for quality compact cameras.

What are your new offerings ― products and technologies?

We are working relentlessly towards offering the best technology and Sony has always strived to offer industry-leading products with an outstanding and unique proposition. Reaching the peak of resolution, Alpha 7R IV having 61 Mega-Pixel and 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor, we have surpassed the expectations for conventional full-frame cameras. Thanks to Alpha 9 II’s incredible speed, continuous shooting is possible at up to 20 FPS and the electronic shutter system ensures black-out free shooting during this time. Talking about APSCs, Sony ensures that the complete range, including Alpha 6600 which remains our flagship model, as well as Alpha 6100, the entry-level APSC, is equipped with all the latest AI-based technologies.

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Published on July 13, 2020
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