Sony has apparently filed a design patent [Google translated] for a compact 35mm full frame mirrorless (tentatively dubbed the Alpha α5?) in the body the size of the Nex-5 and using the E-mount. Don’t know if they have succeeded yet or if it’s just their pre-emptive attack to lay claim to all future compact 35mm mirrorless designs.
If When they do succeed to build the alpha 5, then all the heated discussions about DX vs FX, APS-C vs 4/3 vs 1-inch,… will probably become moot.
Of course, someone will point out that the real benefits of a smaller sensor are the smaller lenses, and they’d be absolutely right. In fact, we are just now starting to see really small 4/3 mirrorless, and it’s all good news. But, can lens manufacturers make smaller and lighter 35mm lenses? As small as 4/3 lenses? Before we answer in the negative, let’s remember that technology has a way of making liars of all of us [and I include myself] who once lustily sang the “It just can’t be done…” tune.
And while some respected pros among us are heatedly discussing the pros and cons of a smaller sensor, Sony will quietly make the compact 35mm mirrorless… simply because it can.
Of course, who cares what size the image sensor is as long as the image quality is there? But improvements in 35mm image sensors may also make moot all the discussions about whether we need sensors with better low noise/high ISO characteristics. For are you going to complain when you can shoot at ISO 6400 and above without worrying about noise? When you can have dreamy shallow depth of field in your portraits without resorting to post processing? Etc. etc.
Welcome Sony alpha 5.