Sony shows commitment to NEX mirrorless, Translucent Mirror; updates ten cameras and three lenses


posted Friday, February 8, 2013 at 6:04 AM EDT

If you own one of Sony's Alpha SLT or NEX-series camera bodies and lenses made in the last couple of years, there's a pretty good chance new firmware awaits you on the company's support website. (Links to all the updates are at the end of this article.)

In one of the more comprehensive firmware releases in recent memory, the company has updated no less than ten camera bodies and three lenses. Every single SLT-series Translucent Mirror camera released since October 2011 is included, and so are the NEX-series mirrorless cameras back to September 2011. Three lens models -- two primes and a zoom -- are also receiving new firmware at the same time.

The Sony A99 and several of its Translucent Mirror siblings now support automatic compensation with more lenses. The A99 also extends Dual AF support.

So, what's new in the latest firmware? The SLT-series updates -- available for the SLT-A37, SLT-A57, SLT-A65, SLT-A77, and SLT-A99 -- all add support for automatic compensation when using the following lens models:

  • Sony SAL100M28 100mm f/2.8 macro lens

  • Sony SAL50M28 50mm f/2.8 macro lens

  • Sony SAL85F28 85mm f/2.8 mid-range prime lens

  • Sony SAL18200 DT 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 high zoom lens

  • Sony SAL20F28 20mm f/2.8 wide-angle prime lens

  • Sony SAL28F28 28mm f/2.8 wide-angle prime lens

For the Sony A99 only, the update also adds Dual AF support for the following lens models:

  • Sony SAL24F20Z 24mm f/2.0 wide-angle prime lens

  • Sony SAL85F14Z 85mm f/1.4 mid-range prime lens

  • Sony SAL135F18Z 135mm f/1.8 telephoto prime lens

  • Sony SAL70300G 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 telephoto lens

  • Sony SAL70200G 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom lens

  • Sony SAL35F14G 35mm f/1.4 wide-angle prime lens

  • Carl Zeiss SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens

  • Sony SAL100M28 100mm f/2.8 macro lens

  • Sony SAL50M28 50mm f/2.8 macro lens

  • Sony SAL85F28 85mm f/2.8 mid-range prime lens

  • Sony SAL300F28 300mm f/2.8 super telephoto lens

The Sony NEX-6 now supports six more lenses for Fast Hybrid autofocus.

For the NEX-series cameras, meanwhile, the NEX-5R and NEX-6 now support six lenses for Fast Hybrid AF:

  • Sony SEL1018 10-18mm f/4 wide-angle zoom lens

  • Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 prime lens

  • Sony SELP18200 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 telephoto lens

  • Sony SEL30M35 30mm f/3.5 macro lens

  • Sony SEL50F18 50mm f/1.8 mid-range prime lens

  • Sony SEL18200LE 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens

The SEL-30M35, SEL-50F18, and SEL-18200LE lenses will also need their firmware updated before Fast Hybrid AF can be used. The latter model will need to be returned to Sony for the firmware to be updated, according to the Sony Japan website.

For the NEX-7, NEX-5N, and NEX-F3, support is added for automatic compensation when using the SELP1650 lens. The NEX-7 and NEX-5N updates also enable immediate retraction of the lens when the camera is switched off.

Sony's NEX-5N gets the most tweaks, with its new firmware adding exposure bracketing, improving autofocus stability, and more besides the lens-related tweaks.

Finally, the NEX-5N firmware update also improves autofocus stability, adds a three-frame 1-3 EV bracketing function, and updates the raw file format to allow distortion correction with Sony's Image Data Converter software version 4.2 or later.

The various updates can be found from Sony USA at the links below: