Imaging Resource has posted parts of an interview they conducted with Sony Digital Imaging's senior technology manager Mark Weir, explaining the reasoning behind abandoning the NEX brand, which has comprised their familiar line of mirrorless cameras since 2010.
Weir explains that Sony originally meant for NEX cameras to be referred to by the Alpha name, unifying them with their DSLR line. Alpha has always been part of the NEX model names, appearing in symbol form on each camera body. But it took Sony a bit by surprise when customers ignored the Alpha part, with NEX taking over as the line's primary identifier. Uh oh!
It wasn't until the recent announcement of the A5000 that Sony corrected this naming debacle by dropping the NEX completely, and emphasizing that all their interchangeable lens cameras, both A-mount and E-mount, are Alpha cameras.
This recourse would make sense if it had been done earlier on, but it seems like Sony is throwing away a huge amount of name recognition in ditching the NEX moniker. Customers with little background knowledge of camera systems often gravitate toward those whose names they have heard before, and to press a reset button on such a recognizable line seems unwise. Furthermore, Mark Weir insists that using Alpha to identify all interchangeable lens cameras emphasizes the compatibility between A-mount and E-mount lens systems. But this is misleading, because they aren't actually compatible with each other. You need to pay for a $300 adapter to put an A-mount lens on an E-mount body.
Whether or not all this naming business matters to you, I think we can all agree that if Sony brings forth thoughtful and high-quality products, the name they put in front won't matter one bit. [Imaging Resource]