Hmmm. Earlier today, both Zeiss and Schneider announced plans to manufacture lenses for the Olympus/Panasonic-brainchild Micro Four Thirds (MFT) mount for ILC (interchangeable lens) cameras. Hours later, a note from Sony has popped up in my inbox stating that it will open its competing E-mount specification up--free of a license fee--to all lens and adapter makers, starting in April.
When you think about it, Sony really didn't have much of a choice. Whatever inroads MFT has made in the market is partly attributable to the availability of lenses and adapters for legacy lenses. But it's also worth it for those lens and adapter makers because there's more than one manufacturer's body that can take 'em. Sony may be opening up the spec for lenses, but at least for now it will remain the sole manufacturer of E-mount bodies. It will be interesting to see what impact the lack of a license fee has on manufacturer incentives given the smaller pool of consumers. Especially since there are only three products that currently support that mount: the NEX-5, the NEX-3, and the NEX-VG10.