When Sony took over the DSLR development of Konica Minolta in 2006 the company decided to use the Japanese system name α (="alpha") of Minolta's AF mount cameras and lenses since the new Sony DSLRs got the same autofocus lens mount (image of the mount, see Minolta Dynax 9).
In 2010 Sony introduced the Sony α NEX compact digital still cameras for interchangeable autofocus lenses, supplied with the new Sony E-mount which they share with Sony's flagship NEX camcorders. The Sony α NEX Camera Mount Adapter allows to mount the most Sony α system lenses but not most of the old Minolta α system lenses. The adapter only accepts α lenses with internal autofocus motor-drive. Thus the Sony α system is a camera system which comprises 2 different autofocus lens mounts.
The Sony α33/α55 "SLT" cameras (single lens translucent cameras) proved that the old Minolta AF mount is also good for smart non-DSLR digital system cameras. But some of the old lenses once designed for the Minolta AF mount won't work with the SLTs, especially not with lenses made by Sigma.
|Sony α 230 image by HaarFager (Image rights)|
Sony α system[edit | edit source]
... camera bodies, ...
- Sony α 850/900 advanced DSLRs with 24x36mm (35mm) image sensor and α-mount
- Sony α 700 advanced DSLR with APS-size image sensor and α-mount
- other Sony α DSLRs with APS-size image sensor and α-mount
- Sony α 33/55 "SLT"s with APS-size image sensor and α-mount
- Sony NEX compact cameras with APS-size image sensor and E-mount
... lenses ...
|SAL35F18 DT 1.8/35 SAM image by U. Kulick (Image rights)|
- Sony SAL ... α-mount autofocus lenses
- Sony SAL ... SAM/SSM α-mount autofocus lenses with internal focusing motor
- Sony SAL ... ZA α-mount autofocus lenses made by Zeiss
... and lenses for use only with APS-size image sensor
- Sony SEL ... E-mount autofocus lenses
- Sony SAL ... DT α-mount autofocus lenses
- Sony SAL ... DT ... SAM/SSM α-mount autofocus lenses with internal focusing motor
- Sony SAL ... DT ... ZA α-mount autofocus lenses made by Zeiss
The α lenses can be used on the old Konica Minolta DSLR bodies.