Sony has made public the much rumored NEX-7 high-end, enthusiast mirrorless compact camera. It manages to squeeze vast amounts of the A77's capabilities into a body barely bigger than the existing NEX models. It packs a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor and 2.4M dot OLED electronic viewfinder into its magnesium alloy body and yet still finds room for a pop-up flash and Alpha hot shoe. It may be one of the most expensive mirrorless models we've yet seen but it's also currently unmatched, in specification terms, by any of its peers. This is clearly Sony's response to its discovery that it's not just upgraders from point-and-shoot compacts that are interested in this type of camera.

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Press Release:

SONY UNVEILS UNIQUE “ALL-IN-ONE” COMPACT INTERCHANGEABLE LENS CAMERA WITH 24.3 MEGAPIXEL RESOLUTION

New NEX-7 Combines superb imaging, high performance and full palette of creative options

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 24, 2011 -- Sony is taking professional quality imaging and artistic shooting options to new levels with the introduction of the new α NEX-7 camera.   Styled in magnesium alloy for strength and designed with a unique blend of classic and modern inspiration, the new compact interchangeable lens model weighs only 10.3 ounces (291g).
“For Sony, the new NEX-7 represents innovation in its purest form,” said Kelly Davis, vice president of digital imaging at Sony Electronics. “Speed and style meet performance and control, creating a shooting experience unlike anything in market today.”

The NEX-7 camera features a new Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor with 24.3 effective megapixel resolution – highest in its class -- that complements the latest generation of Sony’s BIONZ®  image processing engine.

This unique combination of sensor and processor technology delivers flawless image and HD video quality with very low noise and exceptionally fast shooting responses. An ultra-high sensitivity range extends from ISO 100-16000, making it easy to capture clean, low-noise images in dimly lit interiors or exteriors.

Response is accelerated even further by a shutter release lag of approximately 20 milliseconds– the fastest of any interchangeable lens digital camera (as of Aug 2011). In speed priority continuous mode, the NEX-7 camera captures fast-moving action at up to 10fps (AF/AE is fixed) – the world’s fastest burst shooting speed of any mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (as of Aug 2011).

The NEX-7 model offers extensive, direct control over creative settings via an intuitive new TRINAVI control interface, important for enthusiast and professional photographers.  Two control dials on the top of the camera are complemented by a control wheel, giving users three customizable, manual controls and the ability to create images with the flexibility and precision of an advanced DSLR camera.

The NEX-7 model is also the world’s first interchangeable lens camera (along with new α77, α65) that features an integrated XGA OLED TruFinder™ viewfinder for precision framing and focusing.  The viewfinder provides a bright, detail-packed, high contrast view of still images and video, with approximately 100 percent frame coverage and a wide field of view that rivals pro-grade optical viewfinders. On-screen grid lines, various shooting parameters and a level gauge can be displayed to assist with accurate framing.  With the XGA OLED TruFinder™, the NEX-7 model realizes the ideal of a compact, rangefinder style camera with an eye-level, through the lens viewfinder.

The XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ viewfinder is complemented by a three-inch Xtra Fine LCD™ display that can be angled up to 90-degrees up or 45-degrees down for easy viewing in any shooting position. TruBlack™ technology assures superb detail and contrast, while dramatically reducing on-screen reflections.

At the touch of a button, the NEX-7 camera shoots smooth AVCHD Full HD movies with high-quality stereo sound. Support for the new AVCHD Progressive (Ver. 2.0) format allows users to capture Full HD video at 60p (progressive) frame rates. for beautifully smooth, detailed video footage. 24p video shooting is also available. The Tracking Focus feature lets users select a target object on screen and focus on it accurately, even if it is moving.

Additionally, manual focus is now possible during video shooting. Enthusiasts can also enjoy full control over creating the perfect video image with Program, Aperture/Shutter Priority and all-Manual modes (P/A/S/M) – just like the most advanced DSLR cameras. Stereo audio quality is improved, with revised circuitry that lowers noise levels, especially when shooting quiet scenes.

First introduced on the NEX-C3, Picture Effects enables easy “in camera” production of sophisticated artistic effects without the need for a PC or post-processing. The camera features 11 modes and 15 effects, including new HDR Painting, Soft Focus, Miniature and Rich-Tone Mono. A generous palette of other artistic imaging functions includes 3D Sweep Panorama™ mode, Soft Skin, Auto HDR, Handheld Twilight and Anti Motion Blur Modes.

The NEX-7 camera includes an integrated flash system and also features an Auto-lock Accessory Shoe for advanced shooting applications, both of which are firsts for Sony’s E-mount line of cameras. The shoe supports the full range of Alpha flashes and monitors, as well as adaptors to accommodate studio lighting.
The LCS-ELC7 soft carrying case combines a snug-fitting body case and leather lens jacket to help protect the body and lens from scratches and dust. It’s complemented by the STP-XH70 shoulder strap, made of the same material.

Pricing and Availability

The α NEX-7 ultra-compact interchangeable lens digital camera will be available this November in a kit with an exclusive black 18-55mm zoom lens for about $1350, or as a body-only for about $1200.  
The new camera and all compatible lenses and accessories will be sold at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) as well as other authorized retailers throughout the Sony dealer network. 

For “sneak peak” videos of the new products, please visit www.sony.com/cameravideos.

Sony Alpha NEX-7 Specifications

Price (with black 18-55mm zoom lens) • US: $1399.99
• UK: £ TBC
• EU: € TBC
Price (body only) • US: $1199.99
• UK: £ TBC
• EU: € TBC
Body material • Magnesium-alloy top and front
• Plastic back and battery casing
Sensor • 23.4 x 15.6 mm Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor
• 24.7 million total pixels
• 24.3 million effective pixels
Image sizes • 6000 x 4000 (3:2)
• 4240 x 2832 (3:2)
• 3008 x 2000 (3:2)
• 6000 x 3376 (16:9)
• 4240 x 2400 (16:9)
• 3008 x 1688 (16:9)
Sweep Panorama • Wide: horizontal 12416 x 1856 (23M), vertical 5536 x 2160 (12M)
• Standard: horizontal 8192 x 1856 (15M), vertical 3872 x 2160 (8.4M)
3D Sweep Panorama • Wide: 7152 x 1080 (7.7M)
• Standard: 4912 x 1080 (5.3M)
• 16:9: 1920 x 1080 (2.1M)
File qualities / formats • RAW (Sony .ARW 2.2)
• RAW + JPEG Fine
• JPEG Fine
• JPEG Standard
Movie AVCHD
• 1080 60i/p up to 28mbps (50i/p in Europe)
• 1080 24i/p up to 24mbps (25i/p in Europe)
MPEG-4
• 1440 x 1080 29.97fps 12mbps
• 640 x 480 29.97fps
Dust reduction • Coating on low pass filter
• Sensor-shift
Lenses • Sony E-mount
• Sony Alpha lenses, Minolta and Konica Minolta AF lenses via adaptor
(exclude power zoom lenses/tele-converters)
Image Stabilization 'Optical SteadyShot' system on selected lenses
Auto Focus • Contrast AF
• 25 multi-point
• Centre-weighted
• Flexible Spot
Shooting modes • iAuto
• Scene Selection
• Anti Motion Blur
• Sweep Panorama
• 3D Sweep Panorama
• Manual Exposure
• Shutter Priority
• Aperture Priority
• Program Auto
Scene modes • Portrait
• Landscape
• Macro
• Sports Action
• Sunset
• Night Portrait
• Night Scene
• Hand-held Twilight
Sensitivity • Auto (Range varies depending on shooting mode)
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200
• ISO 6400
• ISO 12800
• ISO 16000
Metering modes • Multi-segment (49 segment Honeycomb pattern)
• Center-weighted
• Flexible Spot
Exposure compen. • -2.0 to +2.0 EV
• 0.3 EV steps
Shutter Speed • Electronically controlled, vertical traverse, focal-plane shutter
• 30 to 1/4000 sec
• Bulb
Aperture values Depends on lens, 0.3 EV steps
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent (Warm, Cool, Day, Daylight)
• Flash
• Color temperature/filter (2500 - 9900 K)
• Manual (Custom)
• Manual (Custom set)
Dynamic range optimizer • Off
• DR0 (Auto, LV1 - LV5)
• HDR (Auto, 1EV - 6EV)
Color space • sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Creative Styles • Standard
• Vivid
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Sunset
• B&W
Picture Effect • Toy Camera
Normal
Cool
Warm
Green
Magenta
• Pop Color
Color
B&W
• Posterization
• Retro
• Soft High-key
• Partial Color
Red
Green
Blue
Yellow
• High Contrast Mono
• Soft Focus
Mid
Low
Hi
• HDR Painting
Mid
Low
Hi
• Rich-tone Mono.
• Miniature
Auto
Top
Middle (Horizontal)
Bottom
Right
Middle (Vertical)
Left
LCD monitor • 3.0 XtraFine TruBlack LCD
• 921,600 dots
• Angle adjustable 80 degrees up/45 degrees down
Flash • Internal manual pop-up flash
• GN : 6 meters
• Coverage : to 18mm
• Flash Sync: 1/160sec
Flash modes • Auto
• On
• Off
• Fill-flash
• Slow Sync
• Rear Sync.
• Red-eye reduction on/off selectable
External flash • Hot shoe
• Wireless, with opt/external flash
Viewfinder • Eye-level fixed XGA OLED, 1.3 cm (0.5" type) electronic viewfinder
• 2,359,296 dot resolution
• Magnification approx.1.09x
• 100% frame coverage
Drive modes • Single-frame
• Continuous
• Speed Priority
• 10 sec 3 or 5 images
• Bracket Cont 0.3 EV
• Self Timer
Continuous
shooting
• Continuous Shooting 3fps (for 17 Fine Jpegs, 13 Raw, 11 Raw+Jpeg)
• Speed Priority Continuous (~10fps)
Self-timer • 10 or 2 seconds
Connectivity

• USB 2.0 (High Speed)
• HDMI type C
• external microphone

Storage • Memory Stick Pro Duo
• SD/SDHC/SDXC
Power • NP-FW50 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (supplied)
• Battery charger included
• Optional AC adapter
Battery Life (CIPA) ~350 images (with EVF)
~430 images (with rear LCD)
Dimensions 119.9 x 66.9 x 42.8 mm (4-3/4 x 2-3/4 x 1-11/16 in.)
Weight (without batt or card) 291 g (10.3 oz.)
Supplied accessories Shoulder strap; Battery; Charger; USB cable (miniB); CD‑ROM; Flash