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With the market for mirrorless cameras firmly established, the battle between camera brands is now increasingly focused on lenses. A mature camera system is one that has the greatest range of lenses and accessories across a price range. It is here that different camera manufacturers are taking different approaches. Lenses lock a photographer into a particular camera system and therefore lenses can be a good cash cow for manufacturers. For consumers, an increase in choice offers them more options at different price levels.
At the time of writing, Sony has the largest number of lenses for its mirrorless camera system. For those who cannot or will not spend premium money on Sony glass, sister company Tamron has a whole range with the FE mount. A number of Chinese and Korean manufacturers also make both manual and autofocus lenses with the Sony mount. A similar approach has been followed by Fujifilm and Nikon with lens giant Sigma also joining in. The odd man out is Canon, which steadfastly refuses to license its mount and has, in fact, stopped Viltrox and Samyang from marketing lenses with the Canon mirrorless mount.
Which is the strategy likely to succeed? One could argue that Canon’s approach will deprive its users of cheaper, constantly improving lenses. On the other hand, patent rights are important and need protection. Only time will tell which approach will succeed in the market place.
H. S. Billimoria