Associated Press switches to Sony for all photo and video journalism needs


posted Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 9:37 AM EST


In a fairly major shift within the news photography world, the Associated Press, one of the world's leading global news agencies, announced today that they are partnering with Sony to provide both still cameras and video products for all of their photojournalism needs. The new agreement would outfit all of AP's photojournalists with Sony photo and video equipment, including Alpha mirrorless still cameras, 4K XDCAM video cameras and an assortment of E-Mount lenses.

Sony cameras have made a big push to break into the professional photojournalism space in recent years, and particularly so with the release of their top-end, pro-oriented A9-series cameras and the creation and expansion of their Sony Imaging Pro Support service. On an individual basis, several photographers over the years have switched completely to Sony or at least partially brought Sony cameras into their photo workflow, but this appears to be the first time a major international news agency has switched to a completely mirrorless camera platform.

"We are extremely honored to announce this collaboration with The Associated Press, an organization with an incredible history in journalism that continues to raise the bar for global news reporting and delivery," said Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics.

Sony cameras, and by extension mirrorless cameras in general, offer a number of advantages for photojournalism work. Not only are they relatively more compact than traditional DSLRs, but their ability to shoot completely silently is also a major benefit for press photographers, who often work in sound-sensitive environments such as press conferences. The silent nature also helps photojournalists document their subjects more discreetly.

"The new mirrorless technology in Sony's cameras allows for a completely silent operation, meaning our photojournalists can work in environments without interrupting the scene around them," said AP Director of Photography J. David Ake. "This is a huge leap forward in photojournalism."

Furthermore, AP's choice to switch to Sony products for both stills and video offers additional advantages. According to AP, this is the first time they are utilizing the same brand of equipment for both photos and video products and will allow their photographers to more easily share cameras, lenses and memory cards. It's a big shift for a major global news organization like AP, with hundreds of photojournalists around the world as well as historical ties and investments with major DSLR systems. At least as recent as 2016, Canon was the exclusive equipment partner of the Associated Press. 


"Sony's history of innovation aligns well with AP's, and with our vision for the future of visual journalism," said Derl McCrudden, AP deputy managing editor for visual and digital journalism.

According to AP Director of Photography J. David Ake, the AP is planning for the transition to Sony equipment to take between 18 months and two years, although staff training on the new Sony equipment could be initially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more about AP's switch to Sony equipment on AlphaUniverse.