updated 04:15 pm EST, Fri December 24, 2010
Sony NEX may get translucent mirror
Sony may bring the translucent mirror technology from the Alpha A33 and A55 to a more compact camera that might sit between the current Alpha and NEX lines. A recent US patent filing has shown a camera with the technology, which allows faster focusing in a mirrored camera, but without an optical viewfinder like a normal Alpha camera. The mirror could even have a dynamic reflectivity that lets in more or less light to trigger the autofocus sensor in low light conditions where it might otherwise not get a lock.
Which of Sony's camera divisions would get the results of the patent aren't as evident. The camera would be much smaller by not needing an eyepiece, but a mirror would by definition make it much thicker than the current NEX line. Alphas may be more likely as the example would be just large enough to accept Sony's full A-mount lenses and not the E-mounts needed for the NEX-3 and NEX-5.
Patents don't necessarily translate to production cameras, but the similarity to the existing translucent mirror cameras indicates that Sony has already taken the concept more seriously than others. Most companies time camera launches around other camera events and sometimes general technology introductions, but a CES unveiling could be too soon without any evidence of concrete leaks. [via Sony Alpha Rumors]