E mount Alliance

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Goethe Senior Member • Posts: 1,173
E mount Alliance

I have been a Sony mirrorless shooter for years, starting way back with the NEX 7 a few months after it was released. From that very first experience I believed mirrorless tech to be the way cameras would go for the future. In all those years I have waited for Canon and Nikon, the supposed big dogs of the industry, to take mirrorless tech seriously and put out competing products with Sony.

Well, that has only just now happened. And whether they actually 'compete' or not is questionable. From this you can probably gather I am not terribly impressed with what the 'big dogs' were finally able to huff and puff out of their product labs. They have obviously been reluctant to enter the ML market seriously for years and the new R and Z pretty much reflect that in their different ways.

If you are a leader in the industry you should be out innovating your biggest technological competitor. In this case Sony. I just dont see that happening. You should also be able to out produce your biggest production capable competition. In this case....

Surprise. L Mount Alliance.

I think the LMA just snuck up on everyone. Nobody saw those three powerhouses joining together to leverage their corporate strengths on the new, emerging FF ML market. There is one word I keep using over and over to describe the advantage the LMA will have over all their competition.


Its just a fact, but three companies producing multiple bodies with multiple sensor types, sensor sizes and multiple lenses that all work natively on all those bodies simply bring something to the market that nobody else has. This is going to be Micro four thirds on full frame steroids.

For instance, in just a year after the launch of the Panasonic FF cameras the LMA will have somewhere around 30 native lens options available. In just the first year. Thats impressive to say the least. In that same time we will most likely see a FF Sigma Foveon camera and possibly a Leica SL Mk II.

But to get back on my original track a little bit, my point was I dont think Sony has too terribly much to worry about from Canon and Nikon in the mirrorless arena. Sony clearly has the lead when it comes to lenses. Sony is clearly more comfortable innovating in this segment then Canon and Nikon are (for instance, Canon struggles to get its Eye AF to work on more then one shot at a time but Sony is already working on using AI to make Eye AF work on animals and wildlife). Sony created the FF mirrorless sandbox and obviously owns it. Canon and Nikon are now the interlopers and need to catch up.

But...the LMA thing.

I think the LMA posses a much larger threat to Sony then either Canon or Nikon ever will in FF mirrorless. The power of those three experienced companies fleshing out such a (supposedly) capable lineup is a force to be reckoned with. I mean, c'mon...Leica lenses on a Foveon body. Panasonic video capabilities with Sigma Art lenses. The possibilities are there to be very attractive to a huge swath of photographers. You can buy into the L mount system knowing that there are things available you may not want or may not be able to afford right now, but you may want them or can afford them down the road. Sure, I'll make do with that Art 50/1.4 till I can afford the Summicron.

In light of this I am wondering if it might be wise for Sony to think about an E mount alliance. What do you think of this? What are the perks and negatives?

Personally this thought popped in my head yesterday while I was replying to another thread. But Ricoh/Pentax arent looking like they have much of a future right now. What if Sony, Zeiss and R/P all made a formal agreement to build lenses and bodies around the E mount?

Sure, Zeiss sorta has a thing with Sony now anyway. But they have shown a desire to make thier own camera with the new model they just came out with. Think of a sweet little Zeiss rangefinder style camera with the E mount. But Richo/Pentax would also be able to bring some cool E mount bodies to the table while dedicating their lens production capabilities to help flesh out the E line with some quality E Takumars. All in an effort to stave off what the LMA will have in a just a couple of years time.

All this is just pie in the sky of course. But do you think an E mount alliance might have benefits? If so, who do you think should join. There is no right answer but its always fun to speculate.

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