HomeRecommended cameras and lensesRecommended accessoriesBest low-light lenses for SonyLens Reviews'A' mount lens chartLens accessories reviews and lens comparisons page'E' system page'E' mount lens chartQuick lens evaluation pageSony/Minolta AF lens price guideSony DSLR/SLT pageFAQs pageFlashes etcMiscellaneousAboutContactUseful links

Please consider buying your photo (or other) goodies through my B&H link!  It won't cost you any more money, and it helps me to continue adding to the site.  I've been buying from B&H for years, and have been very pleased with their service.  They have the most efficient and convenient return policy, along with the best prices.  Thanks for your support!

 

For UK and European Union buyers; B&H can automatically calculate the "to the door" delivered price of your item including VAT, customs and tariff charges etc.

March2010/km185x155-nm.jpg

 

 

 

You probably clicked on this page because you're trying to find the right Sony camera and related equipment to help you take better pictures, but may not really know what to choose.  Below is a list of items that I find particularly useful, and personally recommend, because I own most of them.  This isn't my personal wish list, it's stuff I use on a daily or weekly basis. I also find the products below offer a high degree of value---price vs performance, both for the novice, and photographers at the intermediate and pro levels.  

 

This page will be updated often, as newer and better cameras and equipment are released, and older models are discontinued.

 

 

2012/g1xlensrc2.jpg

The Canon G1X is the best pocket zoom camera period.  I bought my review copy, and use it for everything except professional work, well actually I have used it for paying photography, such as Real Estate, and find it really works well, as good as a DSLR, although the 28mm equivalent starting length is a little long sometimes.  This camera would be perfect for people wanting to learn the finer points of photography as it works great in 'auto' mode, and has a sharp lens, low noise, and beautiful colors.  No need to shoot RAW and waste time fiddling with settings that won't make the picture any better.  Spend your time on composition and lighting, and let the camera make the other decisions.

 

Check price      Review 

2012/NEX7rc.jpg

 

The Sony NEX-7 is an excellent camera, with only a few lenses available right now good enough to match the 24mp sensor; I've listed all the lenses I think are worthy below.  I wouldn't bother with the 18-55mm kit lens, you'll probably be disappointed if you look closely at your images.  The NEX-7 is arguable the best performer of all current Sony cameras, and is the hottest selling camera in Sony's history; but Sony desperately needs to bring more high quality lenses to the line up. 

 

Body only    with kit lens

APRIL2011/nex16rgp.jpg

 

The Sony NEX 16mm F/2.8 is a super small lens, and allows you to put the camera in your pants pocket.  It's not tack sharp at any aperture, but it does a good job considering the size.  There are a couple of neat accessories for this lens too, like the fisheye adapter, and wide-angle converter, which covers 12mm, or the equivalent of 18mm. 

 

If you just want a pancake wide angle lens, get the much sharper 20mm F2.8.

 

Review                    More info

2012/cz2418rc.jpg

 

The little Sony CZ NEX 24mm F/1.8 is a top notch lens, one of the best performing Sony lenses I've ever reviewed.  This one is a must for your NEX-7, with an equivalent focal length of 36mm (in 135 film format), it makes a great landscape or  low-light walk around lens. 

Review                    More info

2012/sn5018boxrc.jpg

 

The Sony NEX 50mm F/1.8 OSS is another top quality lens for your NEX camera, it will handle 24mp better than Sony's full frame 50/1.4.  The CZ 24/1.8 and 50/1.8 OSS are currently the only two Sony NEX lenses that are optically good enough for the NEX-7.  Hopefully, more will come soon.

 

Review                    More info

2012summer/rok8mmftxsm.jpg

 

This NEX fisheye lens is the best I've ever tested period!  The mid-sections and corners are quite sharp even when used wide open, which is great---most fisheye lenses are mushy outside the centers unless stopped down hard!  It's a manual use lens, but read the review to find out how easy it is to use.  For 'E' mount system only.

 

Review                    More info

Janfeb2011/SAL35F18rg.jpg

 

The Sony DT 35mm F/1.8 is my favorite prime lens period.  If you only have enough money to get one good lens for your APS-C camera, this is it.  This lens is so good it would be a bargain at twice the price.

 

Review                    More info

2012/s1650mmrc.jpg

 

The Sony DT 16-50mm F/2.8 is my number one pick for a medium zoom, and may be the only lens you'll need if you're not a big zoom person.  Excellent image quality, and fast F/2.8 all the way.  A great alternative to the more expensive (and slower) CZ 16-80mm F/3.5-4.5.

 

The differences between the CZ 16-80mm and the 16-50mm are very small, the only real thing is the longer focal length for the CZ.  For me it's a toss-up as to which one a person should get.  If you do some low-light shooting, and like wide to medium focal lengths, I'd recommend the 16-50mm.  If you mostly shoot in daylight, and like the longer end, get the CZ 16-80mm.

 

Review                    More info

Janfeb2011/DT50F18rg.jpg

 

The Sony DT 50mm F/1.8 provides very good image quality, is small and light, and most importantly, inexpensive.  If you look at your images all day on the computer blown up to 100%, go with the more expensive Sony 50mm F/1.4, as seen farther down the page.

 

Review                    More info

2012/t70300rc.jpg

 

Here's a lens that performs (optically) as good as the Sony version, for half the cost!  You don't get the focus hold and limiter switches, but it does have a quiet ultra-sonic (SSM) type focusing motor. If you're on a budget, this lens is far more economical than Sony's 70-300mm G SSM, a result of Sony pushing the lens price envelope a bit too much in my opinion.  Also, I've been hearing from readers that the SSM system on the Sony 70-300mm may cease to function for no reason at all.  I can confirm that as my brand new review copy worked all of five minutes before it broke!  Buy this lens from a reputable dealer (allows returns) and I'd recommend it over the Sony with no reservations.

 

Review                    More info  

Janfeb2011/400rg.jpg

 

The Sony 70-400mm F/4-5.6 "G" is my favorite super telephoto zoom lens period, and is far superior in image and build quality to any other Sony zoom lens, bar the Sony 70-200mm F/2.8.  It is expensive, but worth every penny in my opinion.

 

Review                    Original version   Version II

APRIL2011/tam70200kit.jpg

 

The Tamron 70-200mm F/2.8 is a super alternative to the more expensive Sony 70-200mm F/2.8.  Image quality is about the same on each lens, although the Sony has a better build quality and faster focusing.  If you're interested in optical performance only, the Tamron is a great buy, and will save you a bunch of money.

 

Review                    More info

Janfeb2011/s50rg.jpg

 

The Sony 50mm F/1.4 makes a great landscape or walk around lens, and is the least expensive full-frame fast lens in the Sony line-up.  A classic that should be in every photographer's bag. 

 

Review                    More info

JUNE2011/sig50hsmsdsmss.jpg

 

The Sigma 50mm F/1.4 is much bigger and heavier than the Sony above, but much sharper at large apertures.  If you require very sharp centers at F/1.4-2.8, the Sigma is your lens, it's stunningly sharp in the centers at F/1.4.  If you're a landscape shooter, and will be using smaller apertures, there isn't much difference between the Sigma and Sony.

 

Review                    More info

Janfeb2011/SAL85F28rg.jpg

 

The Sony 85mm F/2.8  is small, light-weight, and easy on the pocket book.  Don't be fooled, this cheap lens provides excellent image quality, and would be a welcome addition to your bag of goodies, either full-frame or APS-C.

 

Review                    More info