I was reading the reviews of the LA-EA5 on Sony.com...

Started Mar 23, 2021 | Discussions thread
Lensmate Veteran Member • Posts: 7,316
Re: No, they won't.

toughluck wrote:

SQLGuy wrote:


13 reviews, less than 2 stars average.

Maybe if more people write, or upvote, reviews complaining about the lack of wider support for screw drive lenses, Sony might get to hear that... since it's on their site.

No, they won't. I'm sorry to say this, but it's not how Sony operates. Sony apparently ignores criticism on principle.

Review bombing like this reeks of terrorism and nobody should cater to terrorists. Before you accuse me of playing the devil's advocate, let me explain.

I don't know whether the decision to only support screw drive focus on A6600 and A7R4 (and now A1) was due to technical difficulties, time constraints or pure marketing, but it was clearly mentioned in Sony's marketing materials and on Sony's support site. I don't know why people are ignorant of these limitations. Maybe they're impatient and don't want to waste time finding out, maybe they can't understand plain English, maybe it's something else. Either way, Sony is pretty up front with regards to what LA-EA5 is capable of.

As for the reason why only those two bodies were supported initially with screw drive AF and only support for A1 was added since, there are three broad categories, here with supporting and contradicting evidence:

MARKETING: Sony wants to promote the highest price APS-C and FF cameras which brings them more money and will offer full support for LA-EA5 to new cameras only going forward.

+ it's what companies do
+ lack of clear communication apparently supports this
+ adding support to A1 seems to carry it further
– Sony has a history of adding features to old cameras via firmware
– A7C was released after LA-EA5
– A7S3 was released shortly before LA-EA5

TECHNICAL: There is something about the sensors and/or AF processing in cameras that support screw drive with LA-EA5 that other cameras lack.

+ A6600 and A7R4, let alone A1 are the most sophisticated cameras Sony offers
+ A7C shares the sensor and AF processing with A73, so it was clear why support for A7C wasn't added.
– A6600 shares the sensor with A6400.
– A92 had by far the most sophisticated AF system of E mount cameras and a bespoke sensor and it's not supported

TIME CONSTRAINED: LA-EA5 was seemingly rushed to production.

+ Sony just needed one APS-C and one FF camera to work with it to get it out of the gate. As soon as support was added, they released it.
+ Support for A7R4 was required because it is the highest resolution E mount body so it takes the most advantage of sharpness.
+ It doesn't support video AF.
+ This appears to match their marketing materials since they tout compatibility with Zeiss 85 and 135, without giving much thought to other lenses.
+ This explains why some cameras were omitted that should be supported: A73/A7C because it would need extra work, A7S3 because it's video-oriented, A92 because it's not oriented for stills work.
+ If Sony added support for older cameras, they might not have enough time to support the latest ones. So supporting A7C/A73 means a very broad customer base, but no time to implement AF with A7R4. Similarly for A7R3. This takes away time to develop firmware for the latest cameras.
– Limited support for A7R4 is baked in with the initial firmware. This shows that the LA-EA5 was being developed for a while and kinks were worked out on the A7R4. (This could also be supporting evidence that shows it take a lot of work to fine tune the adapter.)
– There's no clear reason why it was rushed. Monster LA-EA4r is not much of a threat, since it requires people to get an LA-EA4 in the first place and it's never going to be manufacturer-supported. Discontinuing A mount was not necessary at this time, it could have carried on for a few more months.
– Sony should have released or at least announced updates that support screw drive AF by now.

I think that time constraint has the highest likelihood. Marketing advantage and avoiding dealing with technical issues on older cameras is just an extra perk. They may or may not add support for older bodies in the future, but then again, they may forgo it.

In closing, I think that negative customer reviews won't achieve anything. Not with most companies, but especially Sony.

Good points!

-Martin P

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