(source and image from Sony Alpha Rumors)
There has been speculation since at least august of last year that Sony was working on the creme de la creme of the Nex system, what is rumored to be the all new Nex9 full-frame mirror-less Sony Nex, and now this rumor has heated up with the recent announcement that Sony has indeed signed on for Zeiss to make 3 new E-mount lenses for full frame scheduled for release in early 2014. Couple this with the rumors that full frame Nex prototypes are already about and being tested this makes me very excited. It is rumored that Sony is in the final stage of development and that there are 2 prototypes making their rounds being tested, one with the already established fantastic 24.3 mp Sony full frame sensor found in the all new RX1 and A99, and another prototype with an all new 30-32mp sensor. The people in the know suggest that Sony is leaning towards the established 24.3mp sensor with upgraded dynamic range and faster phase detect AF.
For the neigh sayers who dispute that the E-mount cannot cover full frame, please direct your attention to Sony’s line of camcorders using the e-mount, namely the newest addition the VG-900, a full frame pro-sumer camcorder using Sony’s proprietary e-mount. This coupled with the announcement of the full frame e-mount Zeiss lenses scheduled for 2014 only bolsters the rumors that the new Full Frame Nex is almost upon us. I would like to personally speculate that the new Nex’s designation will be the Nex9 as this seems to fit with Sony’s numbering process. The Nex3’s seem to sit squarely in line with that of their SLT A38 similarly the Nex5 seems to sit in line with similar tech and sensor to the A58 and thusly the same goes for the Nex7 and the A77. This leads me to speculate that the new Nex will in fact be a Nex9 bringing it in line with the Sony A99 full frame SLT and VG-900 full frame camcorder.
It is said that the new Nex full frame is a bit larger than the nex7 the current king of the Nex’s with a similar body design. Apparently it will have a crop mode so current e-mount aps-c lenses can still be used on it as well as all new full frame Zeiss lenses. It is also rumored that the new Nex will carry some all new key technology that we have yet to see in any Sony cameras to date.
For me this just gets me giddy with excitement. I have fallen in love with the Nex system ever since Lisa and I bought the original Nex5 when it was first released, and again with my purchase of the upgraded Nex5n. It’s lenses are great, It is a fantastic performer, it is light and small, you can carry it any where and due to the small flange distance, you can also use a plethora of old legacy manual focus glass on it to get shots full of character you just cannot achieve with modern glass and you can even get the Sony Alpha A-mount adapter that lets you use all of their fantastic Alpha full frame glass and even have it auto focus on the Nex, it truly is an amazing system. There have really only been 2 drawbacks for me. In the past there was no viewfinder you always had to shoot using the tilt screen, this never bothered me too much as I find myself shooting it from the hip much like you would an old Hasselblad, however sometimes I feel somewhat disconnected from the process and crave an eye level finder. This was corrected in the Nex7 and now the all new Nex6, effectively a Nex5n with a built in EVF. The final problem for me was the APS-C sensor, don’t get me wrong both the old 14mp and the new 16mp sensor have been outstanding performers for giving me phenomenal rendering at all times however it is the 1.5X crop factor that gets to me a little in the end and the slightly long depth of field (in comparison to full frame). So I have dreamed and dreamed of Sony one day releasing a full frame Nex, one that gives me all the portability of the Nex line and the versatilely of the e-mount short flange distance with the added bonus of all my great lenses being their actual focal length and giving me their true depth of field, combine this with what is believed to be about 1 stop of extra light gathering power of a full frame sensor over an APS-C and you have one huge advantage over the previous APS-C Nex’s. Top this off with Sony releasing 3 new full frame e-mount lenses and all of a sudden you start looking at a very mature system that can rival the best of the best and even rattle a few cages, maybe this truly could become the ‘poor mans Leica’? This is the move that Sony could make that would truly revolutionize the camera world forever.
I will keep you all updated as I hear more as we get closer to 2014. We can only hope all this rumor mongering comes true.