Preview: Sony Alpha NEX-C3
Lens, Flash & Firmware 04
New Lens and Flash
The NEX cameras use E-mount lenses, which before today consisted of a 16 mm F2.8 pancake lens, a 18-55 mm F3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens, and a 18-200 mm F3.5-6.3 superzoom lens (not counting the 16 mm fisheye and 20 mm wide-angle adapters). As the NEX uses an APS-C sensor, the crop factor is the same as its Alpha DSLR brethren, at 1.5x. To use the bigger Alpha DSLR lenses, the LA-EA1 mount adapter is required. Note that due to its small size, the NEX doesn't have in-body image stabilization. Instead, it relies on lens-based stabilization. Earlier this year, Sony announced that it'd disclose the basic specifications of the E-mount without any fee to third-party lens and mount adapter manufacturers from April onwards. Carl Zeiss and Sigma have since expressed their interest. We certainly hope to see more E-mount lenses down the road.
Sony claims that the newly announced 30 mm F3.5 macro lens is the world's lightest (138 g) life-size macro lens for an interchangeable lens camera. It features a 1:1 magnification ratio and a minimum working distance of 2.4 cm; and uses one ED glass and three aspherical lens elements.
The optional HVL-F20S has a GN20 power rating and sports an adjustable head. Like the bundled HVL-F7S, it screws onto the accessory terminal. It draws power directly from the camera, so no battery is needed.
Version 04 Firmware
Last but not least, a firmware upgrade will arrive by the end of June for the NEX-3 and NEX-5, and will add the new Picture Effect and Peaking functions to both cameras. The NEX-C3 is slated to be in stores from July 2011.