Advanced interchangeable lens camera systems like the NEX from Sony are never entirely open or closed. Rather, they incorporate standards where they must and innovate everywhere else. Let’s consider the main components of interchangeable lens camera, and identify which generally are proprietary and which are standardized.
Your tweets about your NEX have intrigued me a bit…I get tired of lugging my Nikon D90 around with my kids, yet I find the quality of most point-and-shoot cameras terrible…so the NEX seems like an interesting compromise.
The VCL-ECU1 Ultra Wide Angle Converter is an interesting but not indispensable tool for the NEX camera owner. On the plus side, it brings a little flexibility and functionality to the otherwise limited 16 mm pancake prime. On the other hand, the 12 mm combination that results is not all that useful in everyday shooting, and the VCL-ECU1 is pretty bulky in the bag. Still, with a street price of less than $100, the VCL-ECU1 is not a bad buy for the NEX owner who already has the two popular kit lenses.
The Sony 18-55 mm tele-zoom remains my favorite NEX lens for its flexibility. Given this, I would definitely buy the SLR Magic 35mm lens before Sony’s overly wide 16mm pancake prime. But the SLR Magic would not be a good choice as the only lens on a trip. It’s a fun and fairly cheap toy, not a real photographic tool.