Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G review

The Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G sets the new standard for APS-C format Sony E-mount cameras

5 Star Rating
Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G
(Image: © Matthew Richards/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

A top-quality, fast standard zoom for APS-C format Sony cameras has been a long time coming. Sony’s E PZ 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS is a little lacklustre, even for a ‘kit’ zoom, and while the Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS offers a sizeable step up in handling, image quality, zoom range and all-round performance, it still lacks the fast f/2.8 constant aperture rating that’s often preferred by enthusiast and professional photographers. This new 16-55mm f/2.8 G ticks all the right boxes for a top-flight standard zoom.


  • +

    Mostly excellent image quality and performance

  • +

    High-end, weather-sealed construction

  • +

    Fast and constant f/2.8 aperture


  • -

    Heavy barrel distortion at 16mm if uncorrected

  • -

    No image stabilization

  • -

    Pretty pricey

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Discerning full-frame shooters generally opt for a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens as their go-to zoom for general shooting. That's great for Sony A7 and A9 cameras. but what if you have an APS-C format A6000 series body? The new Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G is an almost exact equivalent, with an ‘effective’ 24-82.5mm zoom range and the same f/2.8 constant aperture rating.

It's designed to give owners of one of the Sony A6000-series of mirrorless cameras a high-quality kit lens option – including a wide, constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout of the range. It is one of two new lenses specifically designed for Sony's APS-C family of mirrorless cameras, which currently includes the A6000,  A6100, A6300 , A6500 and A6600

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.