Along with the recent announcement of the new Sony A6700 APS-C mirrorless camera (buy here), Sony also announced a new lens and microphone. The lens is the Sony FE 70-200MM F4 Macro G OSS II (buy here), a Mark II update to an old favourite with added macro capabilities.
The microphone is the Sony ECM-M1 Compact Digital Shotgun Microphone (buy here). It offers a unique and interesting design, with a switch that lets you choose from eight different pickup patterns and recording modes.
Sony FE 70-200MM F4 Macro G OSS II
With a maximum aperture of f/4 instead of the f/2.8 of its more expensive sibling, Sony FE 70-200MM F4 Macro G OSS II is generally designed for outdoor use. But as well as losing a stop on its aperture, it also loses some size and weight, not to mention a massively lower purchase price.
Sony says the new Mark II successor includes many improvements over its predecessor. Autofocus, stabilisation, magnification and sharpness have all seen a quality bump. And they’ve made it even smaller than the original, too. They’ve also added macro capabilities.
While it doesn’t go to 1x magnification, it does go to 0.5x with a minimum focus distance of only 26cm at the 70mm end of its focal length range. When using it normally, it has a field of view of 34° to 12° 30′ throughout its focal length range.
Sony FE 70-200MM F4 Macro G OSS II Specs
|Lens Mount||Sony FE|
|Angle of View||34° to 12° 30′|
|Minimum Focus Distance||26cmcm|
|Optical Design||19 Elements in 13 Groups|
|Diaphragm Blades||9, rounded|
|Tripod Collar||Removable and rotating|
|Filter Size||72 mm (Front)|
|Dimensions (ø x L)||82.2x149mm|
Price and Availability
The Sony FE 70-200MM F4 Macro G OSS II is available to pre-order now for $1,698. They’re expected to start shipping in mid-August.
Sony ECM-M1 Compact Digital Shotgun Microphone
This is an interesting one, for sure. Sony’s microphones have taken a very different design path than the typical microphones we use for on-camera use. Microphones like the Rode VideoMic NTG (buy here) and Sennheiser MKE 400 G2 (buy here) offer a more traditional design we’d expect to see from an on-camera microphone, but this just looks weird. It seems to work, though.
It talkes directly with your camera through the multi-function hotshoe. This means you don’t need to deal with swapping batteries, charging up an internal battery or having cables to send audio from the microphone to the camera.
Sony says that it contains “4 microphone capsules and unique beamforming and advanced digital processing technology”. These offer you eight different pickup patterns and recording modes. It’s able to isolate left, right, front and rear audio sources and is able to record each separately to a different channel.
Its eight different modes include superdirectional, unidirectional, omnidirectional, superdirectional (rear), superdirectional (front and rear), super directional (front and rear separate), stereo, and ultra-directional. On the side, there are also switches for noise cancellation and a low-cut filter as well as 0, 10dB and 20dB attenuation.
I’d love to check this out side-by-side against more traditional microphones like those mentioned above by Rode and Sennheiser. Unfortunately, I don’t shoot Sony, so I can’t. So, I await to see such a comparison when one inevitably arrives on YouTube. If it stands up to the standard – and significantly less expensive – supercardioid on-camera shotgun mic competition, I’d be keen to see if other manufacturers start to adopt a similar approach.
Price and Availability
The Sony ECM-M1 is available to pre-order now for $348. They’re set to start shipping on August 11th.