RedShark News

03 Oct

This camera breaks the laws of physics

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Sony NEX-EA50EH Sony NEX-EA50EH Sony

Hot on the heels of Nokia's 808 PureView, a smartphone with an over-endowed 41 MegaPixel sensor that allows smooth, lossless digital zooming, comes the Sony NEX-EA50EH. It's definitely not a phone, but does share one fascinating feature in common

Sony's NEX-EA50EH has a sensor that is  much bigger than normal HD video resolutions. And that means that it can do stuff that looks like it breaks the laws of physics. You can zoom with a prime lens. That's right: you get all the advantages of fixed focal length lenses (better optical performance for example) without the disadvantages (not being able to zoom, for example).


Sony appears almost reluctant to mention this feature, burying it in the Features tab of the camera's product page:


In addition, using fixed focal length lenses users can simulate a zoom effect using the smart digital zoom function, ensuring fast-paced shots are never missed.

Digital zooming is normally frowned-upon because it degrades the picture, but this only happens if you start with an image that is the same resolution as your output. If you start from a much more detailed source and zoom in to your output resolution, as long as the image processing is good, you won't lose any quality.

Sony doesn't say how much you can zoom losslessly but it's probably quite limited. Nevertheless, this is a significant breakthrough for video cameras. We think it's another result of the exponential growth of technology, where we're starting to be able to do things that as recently as yesterday we thought were possible.

It makes you wonder what else is just around the corner!


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  • I just got the camera and yes, it doe zoom wir
    Th primes. I tested it with a 50 plus year old Angineux 35mm 2.8 (with e adapter) and it works without issue. IMHO, this will be a feature people will want because it also works with zoom lenses without loss of image quality, which means the zoom is, in effect, doubled. Will be testing this very soon. Form factor is surprisingly substantial, the build quality, very good. I think Sony has a winner here without question.

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David Shapton

David is the Editor In Chief of RedShark Publications. He's been a professional columnist and author since 1998, when he started writing for the European Music Technology magazine Sound on Sound. In his day job, David has worked with professional digital audio and video for the last 25 years.

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