Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sony Brings The Hurt

Sony's non-stop steamroller of innovation goes unabated. They have approved, apparently internally, production of a hybrid mount that will accept both E and A mount lenses. This unifies both the NEX and the Alpha systems in a way that neither Canon nor Nikon has done, even though it was an obvious advancement. Sony is playing for keeps.

This revelation has all but guaranteed that I will jump from Canon to Sony. While Canon's super telephoto lenses are amazing, their wide-angles are sub-par, and the 1DX has become, the more I think about it, a purely whelming camera. It is evolutionary in the blandest sense of the term. Sony is dancing around with revolutionary, and that's a lot more exciting.

Granted, I have a great deal of flexibility. I am not a working photographer. I earn very little money with my work. I think that if any of that were true, I would stick with Canon, but it is not. I am an enthusiast. My most expensive lens cost less than $2,000, and ergonomics and go-anywhere mobility is of great concern to me. Also of great concern is how flexible and dynamic my system going to be going into the future. In this regard, both Canon and Nikon have worked very hard to make sure that their systems are not flexible and dynamic.

That is why I jumped onto Micro 4/3 so early on. With two major companies behind it, I was expecting rapid and exciting development. Obviously, that has not happened, but it at least appeared that way in the beginning.

Even more exciting is what this development portends: a dual system of mirrorless and translucent mirror technology. This is fantastic. As I mentioned, I'm a bit underwhelmed by the sharpness and noise characteristics of their SLT cameras and would rather not have the mirror there. Ideally, they would give me the ability to simply move the mirror out of the way, but this is cool, too.

Thus, we have an incoming A-mount, Full Frame camera that will also accept E-lenses in a cropped mode. It's unknown if this will be a mirrorless camera. The optical characteristics of A-mount lenses seems to indicate that it must be, or it must have some internal corrective optics. What is known is that the design will skew toward the NEX style, which implies mirrorless.

Regardless, this is incredibly exciting news. It shows that, finally, a camera company has the balls to really shake up the market.

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