Sony has announced the suspension of production of its α7 II, α7C, α6100 and α6600 as a result of inability to procure key parts due to the effects of global semiconductor shortages.

Sony’s α7C, a relatively recent addition to the company’s line-up, is one of four camera models that ceased production on 23 December. For this model, the suspension may be temporary if parts procurement recovers. (Source: Sony.)

The company has issued an apology for the action. This announcement follows an announcement on 19 November that production of the α7 II series and α6100 body (black) would cease. The latest news release has stated: since there is no prospect of future parts supply, 2021 Production will be completed on December 23rd. With regard to the α7C and α6600 cameras, the company is suspending orders from distributors and Sony stores. However, it has not formally issued a termination statement. Instead it stated: We will consider resuming order acceptance of the target product while observing the status of parts supply, and will separately inform you on the product information page.

The on-going shortage of semiconductor chips is affecting other manufacturers as well, with many recent models being released in relatively low volumes. There are also on-going shortages of other parts, such as LCD panels, stepping motors for lenses, pre-amps for audio and capacitors used in power circuitry. Shipping costs have risen as a result of the COVID 19 shutdowns, which have limited international flights. All these factors combine with general uncertainties associated with COVID 19 restrictions to create a ‘perfect storm’ for equipment manufacturers.

In addition we are seeing a definite move from DSLR to mirrorless cameras. Some older models remain on the market but they are often being discounted – sometimes heavily. The same is true of DSLR lenses, despite there being adaptors available for them to be used on mirrorless cameras. At some stage, manufacturers will likely to be forced to ‘clear the cupboard’ of older, less popular models. Sony appears to be leading the initiative yet again.