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Sony vows new full-frame Alpha, adds 500mm lens and roadmap

updated 11:30 pm EST, Wed February 8, 2012

Sony makes ambitious plans at CP Plus 2012

Sony took its time at the CP+ camera show to outline much of its future Alpha and NEX roster. The company promised a full-frame Alpha camera to replace its long-in-tooth A900. No details were given to DPReview or others at the show, although Sony's frequent sensor partnership with Nikon could point to a camera based on the D800's 36.3-megapixel sensor.

In the shorter term, both Alpha and NEX photographers were given the option of a very long-range G series telephoto lens, the SAL500F40G. The 500mm, f4.0 glass comes in a dust- and rain-resistant body and has image stabilization as well as a silent autofocus motor. Sony expects a sharp, accurate image with 11 lens elements (three extra-low dispersion) and a nano coating to cut down on internal light artifacts.

Although pitched as ideal for the Alpha A77, the lens should work with a NEX camera through an adapter. Sony ships the 500mm G in late March, and while pricing isn't available, its nature as a build-to-order lens hints at a price well into the thousands of dollars.

Those who shoot with NEX lenses only were given a peek into Sony's roadmap for 2012 and 2013. This year, the E-mount system should get new standard zoom, high-magnification zoom, and wide-angle zoom lenses, along with a large aperture standard (single distance) lens. Moving to 2013 will net a new G series high-performance standard zoom, a mid-magnification zoom, a middle-range telephoto, and a pancake prime lens.

All eight new lenses would significantly expand the ecosystem for the NEX lineup, which right now has just seven lenses and misses out on the diversity of wide and telephoto lenses found in full DSLR systems. The 2013 lens range would bring it up to 15 and cover most common shooting situations.

by MacNN Staff



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