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Sony's NEX-5 single-lens direct view camera with external stereo microphone accessory attached. Photo provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Sony US posts NEX, Alpha mount adapter updates
(Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 18:30 EDT)

Sony Electronics Inc. has now released firmware updates for its NEX-3 and NEX-5 single-lens direct view cameras in the US market, along with an update for the related Alpha mount adapter.

The version 03 updates, which became available in certain of Sony's other global markets a week ago, bring a range of important user interface refinements to the NEX-3 and NEX-5, as well as allowing manual control over apertures during movie recording. They also allow autofocusing when using a variety of Sony's Alpha-mount lenses on NEX-series cameras using the LA-EA1 mount adapter, once the adapter firmware itself has been updated to version 02.

In full, the list of changes in the Sony NEX firmware v03 is as follows:

  • Adds "Soft key Settings" to the "Setup" menu to allow customization of the soft keys

  • Adds the "Menu start" function

  • Adds two more settings to the "MF Assist" function

  • Improves menu item selection using the Control Wheel

  • Changes the aperture setting function so the setting is maintained when using "Background Defocus Control" or "Aperture Priority" movie recording modes

  • Adds support for auto focus with A-mount lenses (see Supported A-mount Lenses below)
    Note: This feature also requires a firmware update for the LA-EA1 Mount Adapter (Mount Adapter sold separately).

  • Adds a function to enlarge the image when "Release w/o Lens" is set to "Enable

A PDF manual update describes changes in the updated NEX digital camera firmware in more detail. Alpha-mount lenses supporting AF on the NEX-series cameras are as follows, and Sony notes that AF speeds will vary, and may be significantly slower than with an E-mount lens:

SAM Lenses

  • DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM (SAL1855)

  • DT 28-75mm F2.8 SAM (SAL2875)

  • DT 55-200mm F4-5.6 SAM (SAL55200-2)

  • DT 30mm F2.8 Macro SAM (SAL30M28)

  • DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18)

  • DT 50mm F1.8 SAM (SAL50F18)

  • 85mm F2.8 SAM (SAL85F28)

SSM Lenses

  • Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM (SAL1635Z)

  • Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM (SAL2470Z)

  • Distagon T* 24mm F2 ZA SSM (SAL24F20G)

  • 70-200mm F2.8 G (SAL70200G)

  • 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM (SAL70300G)

  • 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM (SAL70400G)

  • 300mm F2.8 G (SAL300F28G)

Separate firmware downloads are available for NEX owners using the Windows and Macintosh platofrms. Download locations are as follows:

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