Sony dSLRs and NEX system
NB. I Don't sell cameras or lenses, prices here are just to help you plan your system and although accurate at writing may change.
Sony digital SLR cameras are based on the Sony / Minolta lens mount and flash system and thus are generally ONLY compatible with lenses and flashes designed for these systems.
fortunately for Sony users, Sony has partnered with Carl Zeiss to provide high quality lenses and Sony, being one of the largest electronics manufacturers, is at the forefront of digital sensor design and indeed sells its sensors to other dSLR manufacturers such as Nikon.
unfortunately for Sony users, the lens mount and proprietary flash system place them in a minority marketplace, and thus unless you have a particular reason for choosing Sony such as already having quality Minolta lenses and flashes, or needing features not found elsewhere, I would be more inclined to suggest a Canon, Nikon or Olympus system.
having said this though, your purchase of a Sony system will more than likely allow you to take great quality photos, it's just that I prefer a bit more versatility if I am buying a system.
in 2008, Sony a really trying to make a full on assault on the entry-level and advanced amateur end of the dSLR market, but they are pitted against some really good cameras such as Olympus E510 and Canon 450D at the budget end, and against the Olympus E3 and Nikon D300 at the semi-pro end.
so let's see what they have on offer, and remember, for the size sensor they are currently using (ie. 1.5x crop sensor) there is no significant advantage in going to 14mp instead of 10mp and indeed there may be significant disadvantages as the more pixels mean smaller pixel size and thus less dynamic range and more digital noise at high ISO, and, unless you are using the best quality lenses, you may not actually be getting much more detail from a 14mp sensor and you end up with larger file sizes to store.
finally, remember that all current Sony models have a 1.5x crop sensor BUT it seems the majority of lenses are just re-badged legacy 35mm full frame lenses not really designed for the 1.5x crop as the DT ones are, and many seemingly over-priced.
this makes me think that Sony will dump the 1.5x crop sensor format and replace it with their new full frame sensors.
I presume the DT lenses are only for cropped sensors in which case you might need to sell them when the full frame cameras come out - Sony's website says nothing of all this - let the buyer beware.
12.2mp, 11pt AF with a single double cross centre point, 4EV IS, aluminium chassis, weatherproof, 3" VGA LCD, HDTV output, wireless remote control, CF and Sony memory,
16-105mm f/3.5-5.6 (24-160mm) kit lens
doesn't match the Olympus E3 on the following:
weatherproofing - you can pour a bottle of water on the Olympus E3
IS - Olympus is 5EV
AF speed, low light performance and action performance - Olympus uses all double cross points not just one.
kit lens - the Olympus is a beautiful 24-120mm eq. f/2.8-3.5 lens - a much faster lens optically and in AF.
live preview - Sony decided not to include live preview
articulating LCD screen - with no live preview, the Sony didn't have use for one
remote TTL flash system
14mp version of the alpha 300
now this is a unique camera following on from the now extinct revolutionary Olympus E330 in that it offers fast AF in live preview mode via a second sensor in the viewfinder and it has a tiltable LCD screen to make the most of this, but in addition it also offers 2.5-3.5EV image stabiliser and 10mp and a sensor dust cleaner, all of which are the main features of the nice Olympus E510 albeit that the 510 has marginally better IS and unless Sony have changed their sensor cleaner, a better sensor cleaner.
unfortunately it is much heavier than the Olympus E510 and does not have a good range for AE bracketing which will limit its utility for HDR work.
like the E330, it has a small viewfinder image but should be brighter than the E330 due to its different design.
10mp, 2.5-3.5EV IS; 2.7" LCD;
532g w/o battery;
no live preview;
does not have the feature set to match the Olympus E510 or Canon 450D.
24.6mp full frame; 9pt AF; 850g; IS but no live view or movie;
10mp 1.5x crop entry level;
10mp 1.5x crop
14mp 1.5x crop
12mp 1.5x crop;
14mp, 1.5x crop, CCD shift IS, dual live view as with the alpha 350
7fps if focus and exposue locked, otherwise 5fps
auto HDR mode
up/down articulating 3" 920K LCD
no mirror lockup or DOF preview buttons
599g w/o battery; no movie mode;
jpeg output not the best, need to shoot RAW; limited customisation options;
"budget" 24.6mp full frame; RRP $US2000; IS but no live view or movie;
14mp DX with 7fps, live view, movie.
16mp DX with 7fps, live view, movie.
SLT 14mp DX with 6-7fps, full time live view, movie, fixed mirror
SLT 16mp DX with 6-7-10fps, full time live view, movie, fixed mirror
Lenses for the Sony dSLRs:
Carl Zeiss lenses for Sony:
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2 SSM
introduced in 2010; ?$US2000
Carl Zeiss DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Vario-Sonnar T:
24-120mm range but a bit slow optically - the Olympus ZD 12-60mm f/2.8-3.5 at the same price is a faster lens.
CZ 85mm f/1.4 Planar T:
128mm eq; nice portrait lens but pricey - you could get a Canon 85mm f/1.2L lens for that sort of price!
CZ 135mm f/1.8 Sonnar T:
202.5mm eq. focal length, could make a great astrophoto lens but have not tested it
much more expensive than a Canon 135mm f/2L lens, can it be that much better?
Sony DT lenses designed for digital:
Sony DT 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6:
Sony DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens:
Sony DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3:
27-375mm eq.; $A899
Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM:
consumer level quality introduced in 2010; only 170g;
Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM:
consumer level quality introduced in 2010; only 175g; full frame
Sony legacy lenses from 35mm Minolta days:
Sony 20mm f/2.8:
30mm eq; $A999;
Sony 28mm f/2.8:
Sony 50mm f/1.4:
Sony 24-105mm f/3.5-4.5:
35-158mm eq; $A899
Sony 75-300mm f4.5-5.6:
113-450mm eq.; $A399
legacy macro lenses:
Sony 50mm f/2 macro:
75mm eq; $A849
Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro:
150mm eq; $A1249;
legacy Pro G-Series:
Sony 35mm f/1.4 G:
52mm eq; $A2499 - this is one expensive "standard" lens
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G:
105-300mm eq; $A3199;
Sony 300mm f/2.8 G:
450mm eq; $A11,299;
legacy specialty lenses:
Sony 500mm f/8 Reflex mirror lens:
750mm eq; $A1299
Sony 16mm f/2.8 fisheye:
but is this fisheye on 1.5x crop cameras??
Sony 135mm f/2.8 Smooth Trans Focus:
200mm eq; soft focus portrait lens;
$A2099; now largely redundant with digital imaging and Photoshop
Sony NEX mirror-less camera system:
introduced in 2010 to compete with the incredibly successful Olympus/Panasonic Micro Four Thirds camera system which was the first of the digital mirror-less interchangable lens camera systems.
uses 1.5x crop DX size sensor and even shorter sensor to lens mount distance
uses new E-mount lenses
can use Alpha-mount dSLR lenses via the LA-EA1 adapter, but no AF possible at all - what were they thinking?
Sony NEX 3:
ultra budget cheap version of the NEX 5
no AVCHD video and only a poor quality 720p MP4 video at 29.97fps at a very compressed 6 or 9Mbps
Sony NEX 5:
budget entry level model similar looks to, but smaller than the Panasonic GF-1
14mp sensor with sensor dust protection but no built-in image stabilisation as with Olympus Micro Four Thrds cameras
AVCHD video 1080i 50/60fps at 17Mbps
1080p MP4 video 30/25fps at a poor quality 12Mbps
exposure compensation only +/- 2EV
shutter speed 30sec to 1/4000th
920K LCD but no EVF
self timer only 10sec (no shorter option)
no built-in flash or even a hotshoe - must use a special proprietary external flash
this is not a photographer's camera (no EVF, hotshoe and limited external controls), nor a videographer's camera but just a entry level introductory camera
NEX E-mount lenses:
Sony E16mm F2.8 pancake
equates to a 24mm field of view on a 35mm film camera
optional VCL-ECF1 16mm equiv. fisheye adapter, which attaches to the bayonet mount of the 16mm F2.8 pancake lens.
optional VCL-ECU1 20mm equiv. ultrawide adapter which attaches to the same bayonet
Sony E18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS stabilized kit zoom
Sony E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS stabilized superzoom
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