Sony’s new trio of Vlogging lenses raises a question: where are the cameras?


Sony is back on the scene with three new lenses for its E-mount camera system, a family of consumer cameras built around the APS-C sensor format. All cover wide angles of view, making the E 10-20mm F4 PZ G, E 11mm F1.8, and E 15mm F1.4 G perfect for vloggers using the company’s newest APS camera, the first ZV-E10 video.

(Photo: Jim Fisher)

The E PZ 10-20mm F4 G is a fine motorized zoom with internal zoom, a big plus for use on gimbals. It’s among the widest angles available for the system, but ditches the optical stabilization feature included with the E 10-18mm F4 OSS still on sale in favor of a motorized zoom. Its price is $749.99 for US customers and $949.99 in Canada; for more details, we have a full hands-on review.

Sony E 11mm F1.8 on ZV-E10

(Photo: Jim Fisher)

The E 11mm F1.8 is only slightly narrower, but offers a bright f-stop for use in dimly lit and out of focus backgrounds. ZV-E10 owners will certainly appreciate it for gimbal-free handheld recording – the camera’s digital stabilization crops video to remove jitter – and its $549.99 price tag is close to budget for the camera. equipment; Canadian customers will pay CA$749.99. You can read more about the lens in our review.

Sony E 15mm F1.4G on ZV-E10

(Photo: Jim Fisher)

Finally, the E 15mm F1.4 G costs $749.99 ($949.99 in Canada) and is by far the most premium of the trio. Its extra-bright f-stop is great for the soft bottom look, though I’d recommend it more highly to vloggers using a gimbal with the ZV-E10 given its viewing angle. For stills, it works well as a normal wide lens, with a slightly wider angle than Sony’s E 16-50mm base kit zoom. There’s a lot to like, including an aperture control ring; you can read more in our review.

Sony APS-C camera problem

All three lenses will ship in July, good news for creators using Sony’s E-series lenses, a line that has been largely ignored in favor of the full-frame FE-series, in part because FE lenses are perfectly usable. with APS sensors. Before today, the most recent versions of the E lens were from late 2019. If you’ve been waiting for a new lens for ZV-E10 vlogging or taking photos with your a6400, you’re in luck.

But what if you don’t have a Sony camera yet? Your fortunes have changed, there are simply no E-mount cameras with APS-C sensor commercially available. The ZV-E10, the top choice for video makers, went out of production in December and major photo retailer B&H says an expected wait time of two to six months if you order one today. The a6100 and a6600 are also out of production and out of stock at retail.

It’s also not possible to buy our editor’s award-winning a6400 at this time, but we expect that to change in the future. Sony announced that it was resumption of production(Opens in a new window) of the mid-range model just a few days ago, but it’s unclear how long it will take for it to return to store shelves.

sony a6600

We rated the Sony a6600 well, but the camera is no longer available at retail. (Photo: Jim Fisher)

The new lenses are a good sign for the future of the system – it would be odd if Sony put its development efforts behind them without planning to follow up with refreshed camera bodies. But for now, they’re restricted to creators who already have a compatible camera.

And it’s high time for an update. We loved the autofocus updates Sony made to the line starting with the a6400 version, but were surprised to see the company stick with a sensor that was considered aging in 2019 when the last batch of a6000 series enclosures has been released. The a6400 and a6600 offer class-leading autofocus, but their sensors read slowly, so the all-electronic shutter modes aren’t as usable for action, and video can show shutter distortion. rolling.

Next Generation Wishlist

We can’t fault Sony for failing to predict an ongoing global pandemic and the continuing waves of repercussions that come with it, but we will fault it for sticking to existing components for its most recent releases. As attractive as the new lenses are, they cannot serve as an entry point for new owners of systems without cameras for sale, and current system owners are underserved by camera housings that are now lagging even those with the most recent model. .

Recommended by our editors

We are not in the business of predictions, but there are a few table stakes basics that we would like an update on. A refreshed sensor and image processor are paramount – more pixels aren’t a strict requirement, most creators don’t need more than 24MP, but a faster sensor readout would be a boon for imaging electronic shutter and video.

Canon EOS R7 and R10

Canon has just added the EOS R7 and R10, both with APS-C sized sensors, to its EOS R system. How (and when) will Sony respond?

A little more diversity among body styles wouldn’t hurt either. The rangefinder-style a6000 family is great for smaller lenses and handheld use, but we’d like to see an optional SLR-style model for use with longer lenses; the a6600 is an outlier in body style among its peers. A stacked CMOS image sensor would also be a big help – Sony pioneered these chips and used them with great success in full frames like a1 and a9 II, but the technology hasn’t been passed down to its APS-C customers.

We’ll have to wait and see what Sony does with its APS-C system, especially as competing options improve. Fujifilm has just announced its first stacked CMOS camera, the X-H2S, the first with a next-gen sensor, and the rest of its current lineup uses a 26MP imager that’s a newer generation than what Sony has in the a6000 family and ZV-E10.

Meanwhile Canon, which took full-frame lead from Sony with its superb EOS R series, has just added APS-C sensor options in the form of the EOS R7 and R10. The Micro Four Thirds cameras are also worth checking out; the OM System OM-1 and the Panasonic Lumix GH6 are particularly attractive to enthusiasts and professional content creators.

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