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Sony To Licence E-Mount Lenses

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Launched last May as the fourth format of compact system camera, Sony’s NEX range claimed to be the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable single lens cameras and Sony is now ready of allow everyone to join the party.

Sony has announced today that it will disclose the basic specifications of its E-mount, without fee, to manufacturers of lenses and mount adaptors, starting from 1 April. In a move that will surely worry other formats such as Panasonic and Olympus’s Micro Four Thirds system, Ricoh’s GXR and Samsung’s NX10, Sony will disclose these basic specifications to manufacturers of lenses and mount adaptors following a predefined process of approval and the signing a license agreement with Sony.

The NEX range of cameras are currently compatible with E-mount and A-Mount lenses from Sony as well as older Minolta Dynax lenses by way of an adaptor. This move by Sony has been embraced by a number of lens manufacturers already including Carl Zeiss, Cosina and Sigma. “Users of the Sony’s NEX-3, NEX-5, NEX-VG10 and other E-mount compatible Sony digital imaging products to be launched in the future will now be able to use interchangeable lenses from both Sony and various other manufactures, while they will also be able to attach non-Sony lenses to their Sony digital imaging products via a mount adapter,” Sony said today.

In what is becoming an increasingly competitive marketplace, Sony will hope that this move will make its system more attractive to potential customers. Ricoh last week announced it would be doing something similar by making a GXR Lens Mount Unit, which will make the GXR system more adaptable. We welcome the competition in the area, which will hopefully lead to a reduction in prices in the coming months.

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