It seems to me there’s a huge difference between Canon and Sony marketing styles these days. I have a picture in my head of Canon executives wearing black suits and sitting around the boardroom sipping glasses of sake, smoking cigars and thinking they have Canon lens buyers by their EOS mount balls.
To be fair this is a problem that goes back decades in photography; camera bodies come and go but good lenses last for decades. Glass insures brand loyalty which explains why Canon thinks they can price the 5D MK III at $3,500 USD and put a price tag of $5,500 (originally $6,500) for the C100, a camera that competes with the $4,000 Sony FS100.
Sony couldn’t adopt the EOS mount on cameras like the A99 due to the excessive flange distance necessary for SLR style cameras. That kept a lot of buyers away from Sony’s first full frame cameras. Sony fixed that problem in the mirrorless NEX series and FS video camera series with the E-mount. There is good reason to be able to use your EOS mount lenses with Sony’s new full frame cameras. Sony’s 24 megapixel model will be under $2K USD and the 36 megapixel one will be just under $3K, so there’s some powerful motivation to adapt Canon lenses to Sony cameras.
The same $399 Metabones adapter will allow EOS lenses on Sony’s new mirrorless full frame cameras, the A7 and A7R. The benefit is the Metabones is a “smart” adapter, so EOS lenses work quite well. EOS glass, a full frame camera and no need to pay the $1,000 premium for a 5D MK III. That borders on revolutionary.
With Sony’s E-mount you’re no longer married to the mount we bought into when we started buying lenses, no longer dependent on old manual Nikkor lenses or other manual lenses that will work on most anything with the proper adapter. If you have Canon or Zeiss ZE or some other electronic lenses dependent on electronic control of the aperture via a knob on a camera, you can use those lenses on the new Sony A7 or A7R, as well as on any Sony NEX still or video camera. All it takes is a Metabones “smart” adapter.
That is the beauty of the mirrorless camera system. The short flange distance means any lens with the right adapter will work. This, to me, is the brilliance of Sony design and marketing. Sure, they are coming out with full frame lenses for the A7, some already ready for the December release of the new cameras, and they would like to sell us those lenses. However, they recognize that many of us have EOS mount lenses. The E-mount allows us to stick a Metabones “smart” adapter on any of these cameras and use our EOS lenses. With the Metabones, my FS100 thinks it’s a Canon.
The OIS on the 24-105 works just as it does on a Canon camera and so does the aperture—controlled by the little wheel on the side of the FS100. Same for my NEX-7. I can stick on the Metabones and use all my lenses. Or, I can stick on the Nikon-to-E-mount adapter I also have and use my ancient manual Nikkors.
This is why I like Sony’s new full frame A7 cameras: the E-mount frees me from dependence on what Canon wants to sell me. If I want a new full frame camera that does great stills and video, I don’t have to spend $3500 for a MKIII. I can do the same thing for a lot less money.