Sony opens up E-mount specification to lensmakers

Starting in April, Sony will offer the E-mount specification fee-free to potential lens and adapter makers.

Sony's E-mount lens
As with SLRs, lenses make the system and Sony needs a lot for its NEX ILCs. CNET

Hmmm. Earlier today, both Zeiss and Schneider announced plans to manufacture lenses for the Olympus/Panasonic-brainchild Micro Four Thirds (MFT) mount for ILC (interchangeable lens) cameras. Hours later, a note from Sony has popped up in my inbox stating that it will open its competing E-mount specification up--free of a license fee--to all lens and adapter makers, starting in April.

When you think about it, Sony really didn't have much of a choice. Whatever inroads MFT has made in the market is partly attributable to the availability of lenses and adapters for legacy lenses. But it's also worth it for those lens and adapter makers because there's more than one manufacturer's body that can take 'em. Sony may be opening up the spec for lenses, but at least for now it will remain the sole manufacturer of E-mount bodies. It will be interesting to see what impact the lack of a license fee has on manufacturer incentives given the smaller pool of consumers. Especially since there are only three products that currently support that mount: the NEX-5, the NEX-3, and the NEX-VG10.

About the author

Lori Grunin is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering cameras, camcorders, and related accessories. She's been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 1988.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (photos)
The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)
Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)