7) Future hope:
To truly succeed in the camera arena, more is needed than just advanced sensor technology. There needs to be good customer support provided, a process of seeking regular feedback from customers/users to improve the functionality of the cameras. The traditional criticism of Sony has been that they are more focused on releasing new cameras (and sale of these) than supporting their existing users through regular firmware updates and the release of a more extensive range of native lenses for their E-mount system.
But from my experience thus far, it is safe to conclude that Sony are at least listening in part to users, as things have moved on since the Sony NEX-3, with refinements in usability and technology seen with each new generation of E-mount cameras released. Perhaps the remaining criticism is that Sony should have addressed some of these issues, and some remaining issues (listed below) a little quicker.
My hope is that Sony will consider the things I’ve listed for improvement below, to make us E-mount users excited again about using this system of cameras and lenses.
So what has Sony managed to achieve in the last few years with their E-mount system?
1) They have caught up in the megapixels war with the medium format cameras with their Sony A7R.
2) They have caught up in the continuous autofocus arena with fast frame rates with their Sony A6000.
3) With their newest camera Sony A7S, they are conquering the high ISO and low light, as well as 4K video.
4) They have come out with a few excellent lenses for the full-frame E-mount system: Sony FE 24-70mm F4 Zeiss OSS, FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss, FE 70-200mm F4 OSS G series.
5) They have refined the user interface of the E-mount cameras to make them more user-friendly.
What do Sony need to concentrate on now?
1) More lenses please: Full-frame E-mount super telephoto lens (300+mm) with OSS, a fast portrait (85mm) lens, as well as a FE wide-angle zoom lens and a macro lens. Their current FE lens lineup is no where near being complete.
2) Make their menus even more customisable, to cater to the needs of different users. Perhaps they could have an online downloadable customisability (an app perhaps) to add new features to the user interface, based on customer requests/needs. I for one would like to change how some of the buttons or functions work.
3) Allow for developers to come up with new Apps to add functionality to the E-mount system.
4) Provide existing users with regular firmware updates (like Fuji), which will build loyalty to the E-mount system.
If Sony can do these, the E-mount system will be an even more formidable alternative to Canon, Nikon, Fuji , Olympus, Panasonic and other camera systems. Sony already lead in the camera sensor market, and if they can spend some R&D on perfecting their camera menu systems (through customer feedback of what they want/need) and strengthen their lens lineup with more native lenses, then they could dislodge both Canon and Nikon off the top of the camera sales chart.
It is good to know that certain companies are realising that the Sony E-mount system is worth supporting by coming out with more accessories specifically for this system. We already have many very good adapters to allow use of lenses with the E-mount cameras. So it is good that other accessory makers are getting into the E-mount system.
1) Phottix have already released the Odin wireless flash trigger to give Sony cameras their only wireless TTL flash trigger system. For further details of this look at my previous post here.
2) Quantum flash which manufacture the Qflash system are in the process of beta-testing their Copilot wireless TTL trigger system for Sony. This should hopefully be out before the end of the year. So we should have at least 2 wireless TTL flash trigger systems for Sony.
3) Companies are coming out with wired timer remote controls for the Sony E-mount cameras, which will allow for time-lapse and astrophotography. I’ve bought the wired remote below, but will need to get the cable for my Pixel timer remote as well, as the JJC cable does not fully work with my Pixel remote.
Fingers crossed that we will have more things in E-mount to look forward to. That is why I visit www.sonyalpharumors.com daily, hoping to see some more Sony goodies being revealed.