Sony E-mount interchangeable lens spec goes public in April

Sony opted not to use the Micro Four Thirds standard for its NEX interchangeable lens cameras, instead developing its own E-mount system, and now it plans to open that technology up for third-party lens manufacturers. As well as allowing for third-party E-mount lenses for use with the NEX-3, NEX-5 and NEX-VG10 cameras, it will also allow for mount adapters for other manufacturers' lenses to be attached to Sony's models.

So far, Sony has managed to persuade Carl Zeiss, Cosina, Sigma and Tamron to at least give a thumbs-up to the specifications being made public, though not all have said that they'll actually be making lenses. Only Tamron has gone beyond "endorsing" the publication, in fact, though we're guessing that won't be the case for long.

Sony expects to begin disclosing the E-mount specs from April 1 2011, though they'll need to pass a "predefined process of approval" and sign a license agreement first.

Press Release:

Sony Discloses Basic Specifications of the "E-mount" for Interchangeable Single Lens Cameras without Fee 08 February 2011

Sony Corporation announced today it will disclose the basic specifications of its "E-mount" for interchangeable single lens cameras, without fee, to manufacturers of lenses and mount adaptors, starting April 1st, 2011.

This opens the way for manufacturers of various lenses and mount adaptors to effectively develop products conforming to "E-mount" specifications.

Users of the Sony's "NEX-3", "NEX-5", "NEX-VG10" and other "E-mount" compatible Sony digital imaging products to be launched in the future will now be able to use interchangeable lenses from both Sony and various other manufactures, while they will also be able to attach non-Sony lenses to their Sony digital imaging products via a mount adapter.

Sony believes the growth of digital imaging products employing the "E-mount" will further increase the enjoyment of photography and video shooting among an even wider range of users.

These basic specifications will be disclosed to manufactures of lenses and mount adaptors following a predefined process of approval and the signing a license agreement with Sony.

As of today, the decision to disclose basic specifications of the "E-mount" has been endorsed by the following companies.

Carl Zeiss AG

As an independent lens provider, Carl Zeiss welcomes the disclosure of the "E-mount" specifications by Sony. It helps manufacturer's product development, benefits customers and therefore assists in establishing "E-mount" as a new, healthy and strong system on the market.

Cosina Co., Ltd.

Cosina Co., Ltd is excited by the potential of Sony's "E-mount" which enables to a large-size image sensor to be incorporated in a compact, interchangeable lens camera. We have high expectations for the "E-mount" with its aims to create a new photography culture, and express its assent to Sony's decision to provide information related to "E-mount".

Sigma Corporation

Sigma Corporation fully supports Sony's decision to disclose basic "E-mount" specifications. We believe this move will spur the further growth and diversification of camera system across the industry, provide photo enthusiasts with a wealth of choice and enrich in their photographic lifestyles.

Tamron Co., Ltd.

Tamron Co., Ltd endorses Sony's decision to disclose basic "E-mount" specifications.

We aim to offer our customers new solutions and unprecedented photo-shooting enjoyment through the manufacture and sale of "E-mount" lenses.