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Author Topic: Sony A900 replacement?  (Read 13879 times)
wolfnowl
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« on: March 27, 2010, 01:44:11 AM »
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I'm not trying to start a new rumour, although that may be too easy to do.  And I don't have any concrete information, but... I've been considering the Sony A900 camera, and I was in a camera shop in Victoria a few weeks ago asking about price.  The clerk told me they had discontinued them and couldn't get me one.  I e-mailed Sony Canada and they informed me that the A700 has been discontinued, but the A900 has not.

Yesterday I was in a different store and they had an A900 there, on sale for $200 off.  I asked the clerk how long they were going to be on sale, and she informed me that they're selling this one on clearance, so when it's gone, it's gone, because Sony is 'apparently' bringing out a replacement.

What to do... hmmm...    

Mike.
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K.C.
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2010, 02:27:18 AM »
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SONY announced their plans for 2010 at PMA:

http://tinyurl.com/yd3nzxy

I bought A850 and the CZ 24-70. They're wonderful to work with and IQ is superb.

I have the 5DII and 7D as well. I use the SONY over the Canon's any time I can.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2010, 03:30:46 AM »
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Hi,

I don't have the impression that a replacement for the A900 would be imminent. It is possible that a minor revision could be around, perhaps with Live View. For most uses the Alpha 850 may be a good alternative. The two omissions are 98% viewfinder and 3 FPS (100% on the A900 and 5 FPS).

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: wolfnowl
I'm not trying to start a new rumour, although that may be too easy to do.  And I don't have any concrete information, but... I've been considering the Sony A900 camera, and I was in a camera shop in Victoria a few weeks ago asking about price.  The clerk told me they had discontinued them and couldn't get me one.  I e-mailed Sony Canada and they informed me that the A700 has been discontinued, but the A900 has not.

Yesterday I was in a different store and they had an A900 there, on sale for $200 off.  I asked the clerk how long they were going to be on sale, and she informed me that they're selling this one on clearance, so when it's gone, it's gone, because Sony is 'apparently' bringing out a replacement.

What to do... hmmm...    

Mike.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2010, 05:03:22 AM »
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Hi,
Well I have to say that Mike's wondering is apropriate.
I've heard very good critics from the A900 and A850 users, (starting from this website) and I thought that it would be very nice to have other choices than CaNikon.
But the "sad" reality is that thinking long term, CaNikon are the most reliable 35mm FF players.

Let's take the second-hand market for example. Here in Spain and also in France, there is a huge volume of accessories, lenses etc...in the second-hand market from Nikon and Canon. The volume of opoprtunities from Minolta, Sony is much discrete, and the lens range is limited. That is a point.

The CaNikon buyer knows that their gear's offers are stables and that the lenses you invest in, will always be served by constant up-dated bodies.
The vague comunication from Sony is not very encouraging, and it is possible that they might be interested in develloping other market (EVIL).
So, yes, wonderfull gear, but when it's time to buy I would wonder about the future of that system in the time.

I've been very attracted at one point by the Sony, unfortunately, if I had to invest in a FF 35mm now, I'll choose Canon or Nikon: no hassle, no worries, and an enormous amount of lenses and accessories new and second-hand for any kind of purpose.
That is a very important factor.

Fred.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 05:07:17 AM by fredjeang » Logged
pegelli
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2010, 06:23:50 AM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
I've been very attracted at one point by the Sony, unfortunately, if I had to invest in a FF 35mm now, I'll choose Canon or Nikon: no hassle, no worries, and an enormous amount of lenses and accessories new and second-hand for any kind of purpose.
That is a very important factor.

Fred.

Don't want to disagree with you (because you make some fair points) but still provide some data on the flipside.
In the end everybody will have to make their own choice on their own grounds.

This is what I see on the flipside of your points:
- In body SSS makes all lenses (even 20 year old Minolta ones) stabilized, once that becomes an option your choices become a lot bigger. Which other brand has a stabilised 85/1.4 for low light, a stabilized 200/2.8 prime .....?
- There is quite a big 2nd hand Minolta/Sony lens offering on e-bay and craigslist
- If you don't trust that there is a quite active 2nd hand forum with good reputation for fair deals (and virtually no scams) on Dyxum.com
- In Paris the 2nd hand shops on boulevard Beaumarchais are reported to stock an abundence of 2nd hand A-mount lenses, I have seen some in shops in Belgium as well.
- In the end, once your lineup is complete how many lenses do you really buy and need?
- Except for the Nikon D3x no other FF has the detail and resolution of the A900/850

I think Sony now is clearly established as #3 in the DSLR market, but still some way behind Canon and Nikon
Will they ever become #2? Sony says yes but I think it's a long shot and very tough road as neither Nikon or Canon are sitting on their hands either.
Will they withdraw from the DSLR segment? I think unlikely. They've invested heavily in lens and body development and are constantly growing so barring something that's blindsiding me I think they're here to stay.
I see their interest in EVIL development as positive. Both Canon and Nikon do P&S, Bridge and DSLR so I would be really surprised if they would't want a bite of the EVIL pie as well, especially looking at the success of the M4/3 that Olympus and Panasonic started.

Again, I'm not arguing your points, but trying to provide a different and supplementary perspective.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 06:33:37 AM by pegelli » Logged

pieter, aka pegelli
fredjeang
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2010, 06:44:42 AM »
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Quote from: pegelli
Don't want to disagree with you (because you make some fair points) but still provide some data on the flipside.
In the end everybody will have to make their own choice on their own grounds.

This is what I see on the flipside of your points:
- In body SSS makes all lenses (even 20 year old Minolta ones) stabilized, once that becomes an option your choices become a lot bigger. Which other brand has a stabilised 85/1.4 for low light, a stabilized 200/2.8 prime .....?
- There is quite a big 2nd hand Minolta/Sony lens offering on e-bay and craigslist
- If you don't trust that there is a quite active 2nd hand forum with good reputation for fair deals (and virtually no scams) on Dyxum.com
- In Paris the 2nd hand shops on boulevard Beaumarchais are reported to stock an abundence of 2nd hand A-mount lenses, I have seen some in shops in Belgium as well.
- In the end, once your lineup is complete how many lenses do you really buy and need?
- Except for the Nikon D3x no other FF has the detail and resolution of the A900/850

I think Sony now is clearly established as #3 in the DSLR market, but still some way behind Canon and Nikon
Will they ever become #2? Sony says yes but I think it's a long shot and very tough road as neither Nikon or Canon are sitting on their hands either.
Will they withdraw from the DSLR segment? I think unlikely. They've invested heavily in lens and body development and are constantly growing so barring something that's blindsiding me I think they're here to stay.
I see their interest in EVIL development as positive. Both Canon and Nikon do P&S, Bridge and DSLR so I would be really surprised if they would't want a bite of the EVIL pie as well, especially looking at the success of the M4/3 that Olympus and Panasonic started.

Again, I'm not arguing your points, but trying to provide a different and supplementary perspective.

Hi,
You're very welcome to arguing and contrasting my points.
Actually, I think that your points are very solid and to take into consideration.
The thing that worries me really, is the vague comunication from Sony with their pro FF 35mm.
What you say on the Boulevard Beaumarchais is true, (on Beaumarchais you find anything anyway).
No doubt that Sony is perfectly capable of producing the best tools, and even in video capabilities, overperformed Canon.
But where will put their efforts, and for wich market? That is my concern.
I think they should be much clearer in their comunication because they might produce a "worry effect" and loose some potencial buyers that look for stability in that particular segment.

Fred.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 06:47:10 AM by fredjeang » Logged
feppe
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2010, 06:55:33 AM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
The thing that worries me really, is the vague comunication from Sony with their pro FF 35mm.

Not sure what you mean by vague communication - below quite detailed plans for 2010 from the link above, which is much more than we've heard from Canon (I don't follow Nikon rumors).

My experience with Sony is that when they enter a market they're in it for the long haul, and are willing to take on considerable financial challenges in the growing stage. As a Canon shooter I'm keenly looking forward to the next generation of Sony cameras.

Quote
Mainstream DSLR range to grow further
Sony also confirms that the current α range will continue to grow with the introduction of further new mainstream DSLR models using the newly-developed Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and integrating HD video function with AVCHD format.

Shown in concept mock-up form at PMA is a successor to the α700, Sony’s acclaimed mid-range camera body that has found favour with ‘prosumers’ and enthusiasts.

New DSLR lenses from Sony
The α family of over 30 interchangeable lenses and teleconverters is set to grow with the addition of exciting new models.

Shown in advanced pre-production form at PMA is the Distagon T* 24mm f/2 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss wide angle lens. Scheduled for launch in 2010, this bright, wide angle prime is an ideal choice for reportage, naturally lit interiors and other quality-critical handheld shooting applications.

Displayed as a mock-up on the Sony booth, the newest lens to carry the G Lens name is a bright, high-power Super Telephoto 500mm f/4 G with class-leading optical performance.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2010, 08:14:35 AM »
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Hi,

I guess that EVIL is actually a good thing. BUT we need better electronic viewfinders and I'm quite concerned about performance in darkness.

The way I see it EVIL solves a lot of issues with the SLR concept. What we see now is just the beginning.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: pegelli
I see their interest in EVIL development as positive. Both Canon and Nikon do P&S, Bridge and DSLR so I would be really surprised if they would't want a bite of the EVIL pie as well, especially looking at the success of the M4/3 that Olympus and Panasonic started.
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pegelli
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2010, 08:39:50 AM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
But where will put their efforts, and for wich market? That is my concern.
I think they should be much clearer in their comunication because they might produce a "worry effect" and loose some potencial buyers that look for stability in that particular segment.

Well everybody will probably hear what they want to hear in it, but I think feppe's quotes aren't that unclear. No company will release more specific info until they're ready.

Also I attended a Sony Demo day in the Netherlands where Sony gave a presentation about their market and future vision.
From a body perspective they clearly see 3 segments:
- beginners (2xx/3xx series)
- mainstream (4xx/5xx)
- advanced amateur (7xx/850/900)
They stated that they want to further develop all these 3 segments as technology and possibilities progress. So contrary to some internet speak they clearly said the A4xx/5xx was not the new beginner (ex P&S or bridge shooter) segment. Also they said they're not (yet) intending to enter the real pro market and currently see the A850/900 and further developments as their top tier. Never say never, but currently I don't think they're ready or willing to compete with the 1DMk4's and D3's.

Re. lenses I can say they're aware of the gaps in their line up and said they were working on their new releases (this was before they announced the new 500/4 and 24/2) and would release a few new lenses every year for the foreseeable future.

Obviously people can claim this is still less than Canon or Nikon have to offer, but personally I would be more worried about Pentax and Oly then Sony's staying power in the DSLR segment.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 08:40:50 AM by pegelli » Logged

pieter, aka pegelli
fredjeang
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2010, 10:32:43 AM »
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Quote from: pegelli
Obviously people can claim this is still less than Canon or Nikon have to offer, but personally I would be more worried about Pentax and Oly then Sony's staying power in the DSLR segment.
Totally agree.
Pentax has gone MF, and they probably won't release a 35mm ff. Maybe something like the 7D. Oly FT is dead in that segment and they are in MFT.

Fred.
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K.C.
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2010, 04:38:18 PM »
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Remember also that SONY left Minolta basically intact. So development is slow but methodical and they'll enter the pro market as it deems profitable. Wise in my opinion. Why chase the big three when you don't need to.

They have the exclusive for CZ autofocus DSLR lenses locked up for several years. The current CZ/SONY lineup will grow and then we'll see new bodies introduced.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2010, 12:23:42 AM »
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Quote
SONY announced their plans for 2010 at PMA:

http://tinyurl.com/yd3nzxy

Thanks for this, I hadn't seen it.  The announcement is a little vague (emphasis mine):

Quote
"Sony highlights digital imaging strategy at PMA

Ultra-compact new camera with interchangeable lenses, APS-size sensor and AVCHD; more additions to α DSLR line-up

   * Ultra-compact new α camera with interchangeable lenses in development for launch 2010
    * Additions to mainstream α family and mid-range successor to α700

    * New lenses in development including Distagon T* 24mm f/2 ZA SSM 24mm, new Carl Zeiss wide angle lens and Super Telephoto 500mm f/4 G Lens

February 2010: At PMA this year, Sony confirms plans to further expand the appeal of its digital imaging range. Additions to the α (”alpha”) range of DSLR cameras will be joined by a new product concept that makes high-quality imaging accessible to an even wider audience of photographers.

Ultra-compact camera with interchangeable lenses and APS-C sensor
In 2010 Sony will introduce a new ultra-compact camera with interchangeable lenses that teams “any time, anywhere” convenience with DSLR picture quality. Exhibited in early concept mock-up form at PMA, the camera features a newly-developed Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor. It will also support HD video recording using the efficient AVCHD format. Shown in mock-up form alongside the compact, easy-to-use new camera is a selection of compatible interchangeable lenses.

Mainstream DSLR range to grow further
Sony also confirms that the current α range will continue to grow with the introduction of further new mainstream DSLR models using the newly-developed Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and integrating HD video function with AVCHD format.

Shown in concept mock-up form at PMA is a successor to the α700, Sony’s acclaimed mid-range camera body that has found favour with ‘prosumers’ and enthusiasts.

New DSLR lenses from Sony
The α family of over 30 interchangeable lenses and teleconverters is set to grow with the addition of exciting new models.

Shown in advanced pre-production form at PMA is the Distagon T* 24mm f/2 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss wide angle lens. Scheduled for launch in 2010, this bright, wide angle prime is an ideal choice for reportage, naturally lit interiors and other quality-critical handheld shooting applications.

Displayed as a mock-up on the Sony booth, the newest lens to carry the G Lens name is a bright, high-power Super Telephoto 500mm f/4 G with class-leading optical performance."

Nowhere in there do they say they're going to replace the A900, and the e-mail I received back from them said essentially the same thing.  Still, the one camera store I asked said they couldn't order any and the other has their one in-stock body on clearance.  We're still less than 3 months into 2010.  That's what had me wondering.

Mike.
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If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2010, 05:14:31 AM »
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Quote from: wolfnowl
Thanks for this, I hadn't seen it.  The announcement is a little vague (emphasis mine):



Nowhere in there do they say they're going to replace the A900, and the e-mail I received back from them said essentially the same thing.  Still, the one camera store I asked said they couldn't order any and the other has their one in-stock body on clearance.  We're still less than 3 months into 2010.  That's what had me wondering.

Mike.
That's exactly my feeling too. There is no cristal clear position. Mmmm...it smells a lot like Sony finds not very rewarding this segment and will concentrate step by step in another one.
CaNikon still have glory days for awhile IMO.

Fred.
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Thomas Krüger
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2010, 06:15:22 AM »
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Zeiss has a whole range of manual focus wide angle lenses - but not with the Sony/Minolta attach.
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feppe
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2010, 06:48:09 AM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
That's exactly my feeling too. There is no cristal clear position. Mmmm...it smells a lot like Sony finds not very rewarding this segment and will concentrate step by step in another one.

Neither does Canon or Nikon - we have no clue whatsoever when 5D MkIII will come (if ever), or what will be the specs of the next generation of high-end Nikons. We don't even know when they will presented.

So singling out Sony because they don't announce their plans ahead of time is unfair, as they are doing the exact same thing as the incumbents. And as I pointed out above, they are well ahead of both Canon and Nikon with advance communication.

Besides, we've seen that advance announcements of products can really hurt you. The Pentax 645D was vaporware for years, and even when it was announced in Japan only there were a few but very noisy people on this board crying about the injustice of getting advance notice of a product.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2010, 08:13:38 AM »
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Manual focusing is not really easy, especially on a camera without Live View.


Best regards
Erik


Quote from: ThomasK
Zeiss has a whole range of manual focus wide angle lenses - but not with the Sony/Minolta attach.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2010, 06:32:10 PM »
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I think the reason Sony is singled out is because the a900 and a850 are missing significant features that IMHO make them second-tier compared to Canon/Nikon.

For me the big one is live-view. I would have seriously considered leaving Nikon for the a900 back on initial release if it had live-view, but that's a deal-breaker for me. Not including it was just stupid (as was their reasoning for not including it).

Sony also lacks a prosumer model with full-frame video, something a lot of people are interested in these days (not me though).
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2010, 07:16:05 PM »
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Hi,

This thread was started by Mike who could not place an order for an A900, but told that a replacement was on way. Also it seems that the A700 was laid down without replacement even if Sony is said to work on a new APS-C camera at the same level.

I guess than Sony misscalculated on EVIL cameras and the need of LV and video and needs time to add those features.

It is very well possible that Sony will release a slightly updated A900 soon. They would not pre announce it because that would kill sales on the present model. The sensor they use now is certainly capable of LV but "Bionz" (the signal processor) may be not. This is of course speculation.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: EPd
I am baffled about the constant calls for newer cameras from Sony while the A900 isn't 1.5 years old yet and the A850 is not even one year old. These are cameras at the top of the pyramid of high-end DSLR's by today's standards. These are not cameras that need to follow each season's latest fashion, like cheaper ones do. Not Canon, nor Nikon have introduced more top models at a higher pace ever, so why worry about Sony, which is just beginning in this sector. Japanese manufacturers in the imaging field, but especially Sony, have always used Photokina (the biggest and most important trade show for imaging products in the world) to introduce their new flagships (for the longer Sony track in this: look at their broadcast video camera section). This is a Photokina year. So if you use plain simple thinking it is not likely that Sony will introduce an A900/A850 replacement before September 21st, 2010. http://www.photokina-cologne.com/
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 11:20:00 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

K.C.
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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2010, 09:37:54 PM »
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Quote
As a Canon shooter I'm keenly looking forward to the next generation of Sony cameras.

As a Canon shooter I'm keenly enjoying that I bought the SONY and CZ lenses.
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K.C.
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2010, 09:41:39 PM »
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Quote
This thread was started by Mike who could not place an order for an A900, but told that a replacement was on way.

It is very well possible that Sony will release a slightly updated A900 soon. They would not pre announce it because that would kill sales on the present model. The sensor they use now is certainly capable of LV buy "Bionz" (the signal processor) may be not. This is of course speculation.

One guy in some camera store says he can't get one. Maybe he can't get another one because there aren't any in the channel, but there will be in another month. All the major vendors have them in stock, supply is not an issue if you have capital.

I gotta laugh at how people hear what they want to hear.
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