Sony: Full-frame NEX to arrive this month
Rumours of the expected full-frame E-mount NEX camera from Sony are coming thick and fast. There are said to be two distinct cameras, the A7 with a 24MP sensor and the 7r with a denser sensor between 32MP and 36MP but without anti-aliasing filter. The cameras are said to be slightly larger and heavier than the NEX-7 and RX1 and will feature a centrally mounted EVF, probably the familiar 2.4MP design seen in the NEX-7 and, as an accessory, in the RX1 lineup. A new range of full-frame lenses from Zeiss will be launched at the same time as the cameras. Existing E-mount Sony and Zeiss lenses from the NEX series will work on the A7s but will not fill the full area of the larger sensor because they were designed for APS-C.
This announcement will be of particular interest to Leica fans because, for the first time, the Sony will provide an opportunity to use Leica lenses (with an adapter that already exists) at their correct focal lengths. Up to now admirers of Leica glass have had to put up with either MFT (crop factor of 2) or APS-C sensors (a less drastic 1.5 crop) which increases the focal length. For instance, a semi wide-angle 35mm Leica lens on an Olympus OM-D is equivalent to 70mm.
I can see this new camera being popular as a second body among Leica users. In fact, if the image quality is as good as that of the RX1 and RX1R, I fear Leica's expensive M will have very serious competition. More likely, however, the arrival of the A7s will increase interest in Leica lenses among general photographers. It is likely to create increased demand for older Leica lenses.
All in all, the Sony announcement, rumoured to be on October 16, will be a big event in the camera world. I can see one of these new Sonys, if only the body, featuring in my wish list.