As popular as it has been since the latter part of last year, Sony has its A3000 mirrorless camera listed as discontinued on its official Australian site.

Instead, the site now has a listing for an A3500 mirrorless camera for $500. Although it seems to be the same, if not very similar to its predecessor released just six months ago.

Why Sony needed to discontinue the previous model and replace it with a near identical camera, newly named, is unclear.

READ: Sony A3000 hands-on: Cheap body, NEX lenses 

The Sony A3500 features a 20.1-megapixel Exmore APS sensor capable of 1080p video and 3.5fps continuous shooting. It is being sold with an 18-50mm f/4-5.6 lens at $500.

The only apparent upgrade to the camera, other than the name, is listed as a phase-detection auto focus. The footnotes on the listing simply say: "phase-detection AF, limited lenses will be compatible initially. Expansion is planned by body firmware update." Since this is a software update that is still due to arrive, the A3500 appears to be identical to the A3000 model that went before it.

We've contacted Sony to find out more and will update this story when a reply arrives.