On the back of my article entitled “My switch from a bulky dSLR to a sleek mirrorless camera”, one of the major complaints I heard with the mirrorless cameras is the lack of lenses and options around them.
Sony has made some effort in this department over the past few years, making the NEX series more desirable.
There are no less than 11 prime and zoom e-mount lenses, two lens convertors and two extenders available from Sony.
I expect the E-mount lens availability to increase from third party manufacturer as well.
Currently on sale in South Africa are 5 NEX cameras, the Sony NEX -F3/3N/5R/6/7, ranging from R 5500 – R 15000 with a kit lens either 16-50mm or the older 18-55.
These prices are well within the entry to enthusiast DSLR from other manufacturers.
As for specifications there is enough to cover most photographers needs from 16.1 to 24 mega-pixels and ISO100 to up to 25600 depending on model. Add to the mix a variety of features that are usually only available in either point-and-shots or DSLRs but rarely both.
As for the lens choice, this has also grown over the past few years to include a range that now covers from 10 to 210mm or a 35mm focal length equivalent (APS-C) of 15 to 315mm in zooms and starting from f/1.8 aperture in the prime lens range. Also available are a variety of 3rd party lenses from manufactures such as Zeiss, Sigma, Tamron and Rokinon.
Not to mention a various range for adaptors for Sony/Minolta, Canon, Nikon, Voigtlander and many other mounts making the NEX’s echo system more viable every day. Metabone for example is adding value with their adaptor that can add a stop to Canon lenses, even Lensbaby with the Tilt Transformer has something.
Another manufacturer that has seen the rise of mirrorless is ThinkTank Photo with their new range of bags, the Mirrorless Mover series.
The Sony Alpha NEX-5 and NEX-7 impressed me in the past, the additions of higher ISO capabilities on both the NEX-5R and NEX-6 up to 25600 and built in Wi-Fi, entry to mid range DSLRs may just make far less sense than a couple of years ago, given the size and weight convenience of mirrorless as well as a very reasonable 1.5 crop factor allowing for better depth-of-field and creative freedom.
The NEX-5R also adds a useful touch screen; something I thought would have been a gimmick – but this is a discussion for another day.
The next evolution for the NEX would be a full-frame sensor – and it’s not as far-fetched as you may think.
Here are some of the lenses on this platform:
– Sony 10-18 mm f/4 ZOOM
– Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 ZOOM
– Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 ZOOM
– Sony 18-200mm Powerzoom f/3.5-6.3 ZOOM
– Sony 55-210mm f/ 4.5-6.3 ZOOM
– Sony 16mm f/2.8 Prime
– Sony 20mm f/2.8 Prime
– Sony 35mm f/1.8 Prime
– Sony 30mm f/3.5 Macro Prime
– Sony 50mm f/1.8 Prime
– Sony Carl Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 prime
– CARL ZEISS Touit 12mm f/2.8
– CARL ZEISS Touit 32mm f/1.8
Sony is fast becoming a strong contender in the still camera space with the NEX mirrorless, in fact I see it compete with the bulkier DSLR format too for good reasons.