Rumor: Sony to Launch ‘Extraordinary’ E-Mount Camera with a Moving Sensor


No doubt there are both Sony fans and detractors reading this right now. But if there’s one thing even the detractors can’t say about Sony at the moment, it’s that the company isn’t innovating.

Sony’s upcoming lens cameras (SmartShots?) are so out there CNET didn’t even believe they were real, the rumored full-frame NEX camera has the mirrorless crowd abuzz, and now, it seems the company has yet another “extraordinary” invention on the way.

Details are still extremely limited, but according to sonyalpharumors, Sony is planning to announce an e-mount camera with a moving sensor. That’s right, much like the Contax AX (pictured above) that allowed you to autofocus manual lenses by moving the film plane itself, the new camera is said to have a sensor that moves along the Z-axis (meaning towards and away from you).

Here’s a look at how the Contax AX worked:

The moving film plane in the Contax AX was meant for focusing purposes, with the added benefit of acting like a 10mm extension tube via a special Macro Mode. SAR’s sources claim that the sensor in the Sony camera will offer approximately 18mm of focus adjustment.

Additionally, SAR claims that the moving sensor will allow the camera to “fully support non-Sony lenses,” which should tempt Nikon and Canon owners who have a lot of Nikon and Canon glass sitting around to switch over. Obviously, you’d still need an adaptor in order to attach a Canon and Nikon lens to a Sony E-Mount camera.

As always, rumors are just rumors until the press release arrives, but SAR seems extremely confident that this camera is on the way (and soon). Keep checking back and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as more details emerge.

(via sonyalpharumors)

Image credits: Contax AX by Ignis.

  • piergi

    Nex FF = Canon and nikon will be dead

  • JoeNoName

    Nex system is really versatile, and is proven to be even more. This makes me wonder if A mount will be merging with E, which seems so.

  • Ramón

    Is there a weather proof professional level NEX camera? Not talking about the image quality, they are good, but something I could take to the jungle or Afghanistan and it would make it back in one piece.

  • tertius_decimus

    Hint: I will not buy anything non-DSLR and there are many who shares this approach. Weight and bulk are not deal-breaker for many, so there’s no point for saying smth. will die. It won’t.

  • Zos Xavius

    Mirrorless offers many more benefits overall than DSLR. The only thing a DSLR has over mirrorless is resolution in the viewfinder. I like DSLRs too, but its not hard to see the benefits of a full frame camera that can mount nearly any lens from any system and take advantage of the full image circle.

  • nikonian

    I disaree. For me size, weight, durability, and more mechanical parts as opposed to electronic are some of the perks of DSLR’s. Each camera has its own perks…

  • Zos Xavius

    I love DSLRs and hate sony, but must admit that a FF NEX with fast AF on any lens attached would be nearly magical in a lot of ways. I shoot on a tripod a good deal of the time and use live view quite often. So the viewfinder isn’t such a huge concern. Focus peaking would help a lot actually. Something like this would approach being a universal camera. You could mount M39 to Canon L glass and everything in between and even get AF and sensor based stabilization. Something the industry has never really seen before outside of crop sensor cameras which are not ideal to use with FF glass and so far have been MF only. As long as they give it half decent ergonomics there will be a huge market for this. Pair it with M glass (or even some pentax pancakes) and you could have a rather compact full frame camera

  • Norshan Nusi

    Battery life needs to be better for mirrorless to work all day.

    Most DSLR has long battery life to use all day.

    Even without battery grip.

  • TheGloriousEnd

    Oh my gosh. Please yes. This needs to be the next mirrorless trend!!
    think how much higher quality the lenses could be built….

  • kassim

    z-axis sliding sensor + speedbooster.. wow.

  • t k

    Sony should just release some retro themed cameras branded as Minolta…

  • loppa

    want to see some of your junge and warzone work XD

  • Jason

    At the moment, NO. Sony does not offer an all weather camera body and not in the NEX line. If you want a high quality, excellent performer for outside or all weather shooting, better get a Pentax.

  • Jason

    So dont buy one. Enough said.

  • Jason

    No at all correct. Way too many variables in play here regarding battery life between a DSLR and a mirrorless. Battery life is such a non-issue for photography anyway. Haven’t you ever shot film? Remember changing film every 24-36 shots? How is this any different than having an extra battery for shooting over 500 shots a day? None, except 1 battery gets you what 20 rolls of film did. Batteries are cheap, small and any photographer worth his salt has an extra for each body.

  • Jason

    Check out what Hasselblad is doing with 100% Sony bodies. Laughable.

  • Mike

    Who cares about Hasselblad?!
    Sony has Minolta’s stuff, it would only get them some more buyers if they stick a big ol’ glorious Minolta logo on the latest fad retro design.

  • Mike


  • JoeNoName

    this will never happen.

    All Sony are Sony branded except Play Station. Keep it real.

  • Cinekpol

    or A-mount Sony gear.

    Sony doesn’t have any plans for making fully professional E-mount camera. Just look at the E-mount lens line-up. There isn’t anything with f/1.4 aperture, not even basic 50. According to SAR Sony’s plan is to focus A-mount on professional gear, while E-mount will stay as a small size and/or low-end cameras.

  • Cinekpol

    Woh… man… battery life is barely a beginning of a long list of issues current mirrorless cameras got.

  • Cinekpol

    Doesn’t seem so. According to SAR Sony plans to focus A-mount development on more professional gear and a new branch of mirrorless A-mount cameras will be released in 2014. Along these there might be SLTs with improved AF-D mode (IMHO the greatest improvement in AF technology since dual-cross sensors were invented).
    On top of that few new professional lenses will come out. :)

  • Cinekpol

    This won’t work well with speedbooster. That adapter is very sensitive to the optical formula – not just of the lens itself, but also a distance between SB rear lens and sensor. So any more significant shifts will result in a great loss of sharpness and/or chromatic aberrations (especially longitudinal chromatic aberration) – but it of course depends very much on a lens used.

  • Cinekpol

    Sony doesn’t have a copyright for Minolta name. Konica-Minolta is still alive.

  • Cinekpol

    Troll -> that way ->
    Get some facts before posting.

  • JoeNoName

    yep, but its canibalization at maximum, why 2 systems when 1 can take it all?

    There is no differentiation on segments of those 2 systems, now that E Mount is going DSLR style and A Mount going mirrorless.

  • JoeNoName


  • kassim

    Oh man, that’s a bummer. Probably even worse on lens with a floating element. Let’s see if Sony can deliver.

  • kassim

    True. I read that they are about to make 43rd lens. Probably just rumor.

  • Norshan Nusi

    Because most mirrorless uses EVF.
    Which highly impacted its battery life.

    Most NEX series has terrible battery life. The higher SLT series is better though. Presumably better circuitry and processing will help too.

    Higher capacity is better but most mirrorless cameras are relatively compact, therefore using smaller batteries to fit in.

  • Norshan Nusi

    I did use film, but I wasn’t machine gunning around with it.

    I prefer to have long battery life for one charge.
    For example, you can travel for a longer time before recharging.

    It is in fact amazing when I went for a simple shoot, keeping the camera back into my bag, 4 days later I still can shoot without frequently recharging.

    Shorter battery life will impact the battery age too.

    In the end, the battery expires faster and needs replacing.

  • Cinekpol

    I would say that it is possible. All the time since 2006 Konica-Minolta has been manufacturing small optics for JVC (and likely other companies as OEMs), so m4/3 is the closest system to what they have been doing for all these years.
    Add on top of that a fact that if KM got any ban for releasing lenses – it’s likely only applicable to DSLR lenses, because in 2006/2005 when a contract with Sony was negotiated – thing called “mirrorless” didn’t even exist, and KM still had a contract obligations with JVC, so they kept a right of manufacturing lenses as such.
    Than when Minolta engineers moved to Sony they likely just hired some new people and over time they might want to expand their business seeing potential customer base.

  • Cinekpol

    Only problem is that “one system” cannot take it all. There’s next to none native E-mount lenses comparing to what’s available on A-mount. Heck – there’s even next to none when you compare them to K-mount (how many pancakes does the E-mount have? 3? 4? 2? K-mount got more of these manufactured currently, not to mention all of the legacy pancakes – and pancake lenses are bread&butter of mirrorless). With current release speed it’d take ~10 years for E-mount to catch up with A-mount, not to mention overtaking it.

    Differentiation right now is in target customer. If someone is serious about photography – A-mount is his only choice with it’s lenses and accessories. Heck – there’s plenty of photography disciplines that are next to impossible on E-mount while can be easily done on the A-mount. Add on top of that a fact that A-mount lenses are as much as 50% cheaper than their E-mount equivalents – AND there is a large market of used lenses for A-mount which nearly doesn’t exist for E-mount, so at the end of a day – A-mount is cheaper for more serious photographer who wants to invest in a system, not just stay with kit lens (perhaps +1 prime).

    On the other hand though E-mount is perfect for casual photography, where you have 1 or 2 lenses and want to pack your body into a women’s bag. It’s also a dream-gear for street photography having small bodies, and an option to adapt some of most legendary street-photo lenses. Also keep in mind that in street photos you almost never use f/1.4 aperture, so lack of bright lenses won’t be any obstacle.

    Finally – E-mount isn’t “going DSLR-style” – right now there’s just one camera that’s a direct clone of HX-series superzoom compacts, and we don’t even know if there will be any follow-up (I would bet that there will be something though) – however still a main domain of E-mount will be in small, flat bodies (you’ll see when NEX-FF gets released), while the main domain of the A-mount will be larger, more ergonomic bodies.

  • R O

    For the weight and bulk you save in a pair of mirrorless bodies and an array of lenses versus a DSLR set-up, you can carry a couple dozen of batteries. I find one or two extra will suffice. Third-party batteries cost about as much as a beer at the pub.

  • Norshan Nusi

    MIrrorless bodies and lenses are more expensive than DSLR system…

    That might change in the future though.

  • nikonian

    Of course most serious photogs who get one of these will try that. I personally like Sony myself although disappointed in their switch to evf. The a900 was one of the best Dslr’s Ive used hands down only below the Nikon D3s/D4 and the Canon 5dmk3