It's interesting to read that many of the people in this forum have purchased a NEX camera in addition to a DSLR, instead of a DSLR, or have even traded in their DSLR entirely. I myself recently purchased a NEX-6, hoping that it addressed the focus issues of the NEX-7. I've had a long series of Nikon DSLRs, most recently a D300. I like the size, weight and IQ of the NEX, but it falls short in enough areas to make me hesitant to invest further in the NEX system and keep my eye on a D400 (someday Nikon?) or D600. Today a NEX-7 body is more expensive than a D7000 body, Sony can't deliver less functionality at the same price point and survive in the market, they need to up their game or they will stay a niche vendor. I think this product line has real potential, but the competition will not stand still.
Here are some things that need to be fixed before we start going back to DSLRs, along with some suggestions.
1) Nikons and Canons have an eclectic collection of buttons, lever and dials, but they enable all commonly used shooting functions to be changed without touching a menu. The TriNavi and Fn are a good start, but need more work to enable all commonly used professional shooting functions to be modified quickly without ever going into the menus.
This is a challenge due to the compact size of the NEX bodies, but here is a suggestion. Triple the available customizable buttons by allowing each button to generate three triggers:
-- long click
-- double click-- single click
For example, I could set a button such that:
- one click: exposure compensation- two clicks: flash compensation- long click: flash mode
2) Fix the focus issues. I know this is hard, but they have to get fixed if the NEX cameras are ever to be used for anything besides landscapes and portraits. We can only make excuses for so long and miss so many shots before the frustration will drive us back to a DSLR.
3) Have an "advanced" menu mode where all menu options are available at all times. It's quite frustrating to go into the menus to set something only to find that item is disabled due to the current position of the PASM or TriNavi dial. I don't care about the current state of the dial, I want to change a setting and I know whether or not it's going to apply to the current mode.
4) Auto ISO limit: Auto ISO is great, to a point. We all have our own opinion of where that point is, at what level there is too much noise. Let us pick that point like I can on a Nikon DSLR with an Auto ISO limit.
5) Enable me to save at least four sets of settings for instant recall. I want to be able to instantly reconfigure the entire camera from say landscape to action by selecting my presets for the various options. Nikon currently has U1 and U2. Give me at least 4, and don't change what is stored until I specifically command it, Nikon totally blew this on the D300.
6) Faster start up time, it's frustratingly slow, particularly in conjunction with short battery life which drives me to shut off the camera when I would have left the Nikon switched on.
7) Don't cripple the wifi transfer, send full resolution images, or at least make it an option.
8) Put the Movie mode on the PASM / TriNavi dial and start/stop video with shutter release key. This will solve the accidental movie problem and free up another button for customization.
9) Better battery life. Obviously we don't want a bigger battery so you'll need more efficient displays.
10) The EVF shimmers with long lens (don't know why) and is simply no match for an optical viewfinder. Of course there will never be an optical viewfinder, but the EVF needs to be improved.
11) More lenses, particularly faster zooms.
12) IQ is excellent, the user experience is mediocre. Improve the shooting efficiency and spend less time on smooth skin and post processing in the camera.
Sony - Please address these areas. Study the way Nikon and Canon DSLRs interface with the photographer. Those cameras serve 80% of the professional photographers in the world and they represent years of evolution so look at what they do from the photographer's standpoint in terms of shooting efficiency. They allow the photographer to focus on the pictures, not the menus. The TriNavi is a nice innovation, but the whole package is not yet as convenient as a Nikon or Canon DSLR.
We want this product line to be successful! We want to give you our money. Help us!