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Just posted: Our Sony NEX-7 in-depth review

By dpreview staff on Dec 14, 2011 at 00:50 GMT
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Just posted: Our in-depth review of the Sony Alpha NEX-7. With its 24MP APS-C sensor and high-resolution EVF encased in a compact body with lots of external controls, the NEX-7 is one of the most desirable cameras of the year for the enthusiast photographer - on paper at least. But at a body-only price around $1000, it's far from cheap. So does it live up to the expectations and hype? Read our 28-page in-depth review to find out.

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Sony Alpha NEX-7

Comments

Total comments: 339
12
mpetersson
By mpetersson (Dec 14, 2011)

A very nice comprehensive review. It does strengthen my resolve to keep my preorder for the NEX-7. I have wavered a few times because of the cost, but now I'm pretty sure that it will be the perfect camera for me, hopefully for a few years to come.

1 upvote
rurikw
By rurikw (Dec 14, 2011)

Someone mentioned the idea of the body as a digital back. That's sound thinking. You don't attach lenses to bodies but bodies to lenses. Why should modularity be a privilege of medium format >10k€ cameras? You could build your ideal body out of parts too, by attaching (minimum) 1) a sensor 2) a screen 3) a control module. Then your could build your ideal GUI on the web and download. My choice of hardware would look a lot like the nex-7 but with a properly articulated screen.

0 upvotes
sesopenko
By sesopenko (Dec 14, 2011)

The 5n is a little more "modular" like you're describing it due to the EVF being separate. But the Nex system is the closest to the old 645 modular designs to date. APS-C body. EVF. phase detect lens adapter. myriad of different lenses that can be used with various adapters. It's quite modular.

0 upvotes
Digital Lurker
By Digital Lurker (Dec 14, 2011)

Interesting camera and excellent job on the review. Just a bit hard on my budget.

Looking to move up from my 7-year old point&shoot. Sony NEX-5N is currently at top of my list, but also looking into Panasonic GX1 and the Oly PEN-P3.

Seems most of the recent in-depth camera reviews on dpreview have been Sonys. Hoping to see reviews on the above options soon. Also the Nikon 1 line.

Again, my thanks to dpreview for the great job....

0 upvotes
burnymeister
By burnymeister (Dec 14, 2011)

FYI, I've owned almost every m43 camera and the 5N sensor is much better. Unfortunately the lens situation with the NEX system is the problem right now... As I'm sure you already know! :D

0 upvotes
Digital Lurker
By Digital Lurker (Dec 14, 2011)

Yes, thank you. I have seen rumors of new lenses. Do you know of any rough time frame for availability.

0 upvotes
burnymeister
By burnymeister (Dec 14, 2011)

Well, the 24mm Zeiss is pretty much here and the 50mm f/1.8 is the fastest stabilized zoom available and almost here as well. Other than that you're stuck with slow zooms or the strange 30mm macro. It'll improve, but I had to wait over a YEAR for the 55-210 to actually show up since it was announced. Sony needs to speed up it's lens deliveries now that it has a kick a__ camera to mount them on. The experiment is over, we want out lenses! :)

1 upvote
Weistling
By Weistling (Dec 17, 2011)

No auto focus lock button???????????? What the hell?
They have a button that could easily have been given that option and all we get is a button that allows us to switch between mf and af but not actually use it as a af lock. This is crazy. If they don't fix this with firmware then this doesn't even come up to the standards of enthusiast camera. Who the hell doesn't use focus hold button?

0 upvotes
abolit
By abolit (Dec 14, 2011)

Nah,..I don't want it. Got my Nex5N with EVF. Can't justify the upgrade.

1 upvote
MP Burke
By MP Burke (Dec 14, 2011)

The NEX-7 looks like a very good camera and the review is right to give prominence to the comparative shortage of lenses.
A year ago I was looking at the NEX system and was put off by the relative lack of lenses, particularly the lack of a compact super-wide zoom. Using a super-wide zoom designed for an dslr via an adaptor negates the size advantages of the mirrorless camera. After all, the same sensor and viewfinder can be obtained in the cheaper SLT-65.
Until Sony produces a comprehensive range of lenses specifically for the NEX, the suspicion remains that they think of it as a second camera for people who already have a dslr.

1 upvote
burnymeister
By burnymeister (Dec 14, 2011)

The same SENSOR is available in the SLT-65 but that doesn't mean the same RESULTS or shooting experience. But of course that is different for everyone.

1 upvote
damienlee
By damienlee (Dec 14, 2011)

Yes, as enthusiastic as the review is, I am also glad I didn't pre-order it.

A camera in this class, with no AEB suitable for HDR, is a complete dealbreaker.

2 upvotes
Andrew Elliott
By Andrew Elliott (Dec 14, 2011)

At 81% this is a truly great camera... only slightly worse than the Pentax K-5!
If the K-5 wasn't marked down so much for cost (launch price) it may have got 86% or more...

2 upvotes
wb2trf
By wb2trf (Dec 14, 2011)

I know dpr took some criticism for the presentation of noise issues when comparing different sensor resolutions. It seemed to me that this review reflected a judicious handling of that issue. Congratulations.

0 upvotes
Einmalumdiewelt
By Einmalumdiewelt (Dec 14, 2011)

Reading the review, I am glad that I didn't pre-order it.
My main concern were also the lenses. And in the end, if you have to use a camera strap or bag for the size, you might as well take a DSLR. But that's just me...

Good to see though where camera's are going in the future and I am glad that Sony dares to innovate once more.

I debated heavily with myself for2 weeks and ended up with the D7000 + 2 prime's and a zoom.

4 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Dec 14, 2011)

It seems to have weaker AA filter than nex5n

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Dec 14, 2011)

By the way DPR, where is the Samsung NX200? I didn't see a mention of it in the review (or have I missed it?) while it is more of a competitor than the Panasonics and the Olympuses. Is there gonna be a in depth review of the NX200?

8 upvotes
645D
By 645D (Dec 14, 2011)

Yes, I guess NX200 shall be in the next review to come. Please address the RAW file size issue and any solution to it.

1 upvote
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Dec 14, 2011)

Sony designers finally realized they needed to make the BODY a bit bigger and taller than the LENS MOUNT. It just looks awkward on the Nex 5 and Nex 3.

2 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Dec 14, 2011)

Lovely little machine... For those who only need one versatile lens, like say a 18-200mm, and can't stand the bulk of a DSLR, it's perfect. But it is almost double the price than the already great NEX-5N and I wonder if that much extra resolution, some more control dials and an integrated EVF and flash worth that much extra money. I'd keep it simple and go for the NEX-5N instead.

0 upvotes
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (Dec 14, 2011)

Of course, when you put the 18-200 on it the entire package is virtually as big as a DSLR. If I'm going to buy a compact camera, it's because I want to carry less weight. The NEX series really doesn't succeed in that respect because the lenses are as big (or bigger) and heavy as their DSLR counterparts.

Great camera, lousy lens selection (in quantity, quality and size). Thanks, but no thanks.

5 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Dec 14, 2011)

Is the 18-200mm really that big? In the pics it looks rather slim... And anyway, even with that lens the camera is nowhere near as bulky as an equivalent DSLR, like say the A77. I think there's a fairly big market for these mirrorless systems.

3 upvotes
burnymeister
By burnymeister (Dec 14, 2011)

There are other reasons to buy mirrorless than just size. There's the OPTION of a smaller package (think 16mm or other future pancakes) and the lack of AA filter. Also adaptability for ALT glass and video optimization to mention a few...

0 upvotes
rgarijo
By rgarijo (Dec 14, 2011)

What mirrorless has to do with the lack of AA filter?

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (Dec 14, 2011)

First, the NEX has an AA filter, Perhaps weaker than some, but that seems to be true of the GH2 as well. Otherwise, m43 offers every advantage bunny mentions, as WELL as lighter weight. And the GH2 appears to be better for video. Lot's of lens options, too, both native and legacy.

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Dec 15, 2011)

I think the GH2 is a lot bigger, closer to a DSLR than this little fella...

0 upvotes
Jon Ragnarsson
By Jon Ragnarsson (Dec 14, 2011)

Looks actually like a very nice camera... But Sony needs to pay some overtime for its lens designers. But I believe that it is going to get better in 2012.

4 upvotes
AvanGarde
By AvanGarde (Dec 14, 2011)

The fact the didnt test it with kit lens is disappointing, prime is for sure way sharper so results are bit skewed.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Dec 14, 2011)

They would have ended up having to repeat the test with new, future lenses.... and they did emphasize the quality you can except from the kit lens.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Dec 14, 2011)

All interchangeable lens cameras are tested with the best possible lens because they're testing the camera, not the lens. They've already tested the kit zoom, see the lens reviews section!

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/SonyNex5Nex3/page7.asp

0 upvotes
tireur
By tireur (Dec 14, 2011)

No cable release??? Not for me as professional photographer. And the lenses...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Dec 14, 2011)

I don't think that this series of cameras is intended for the professionals anyway!

4 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Dec 14, 2011)

Use IR remote

2 upvotes
didida do da do da do da
By didida do da do da do da (Dec 14, 2011)

The studio comparison tool says nothing about which lens was used.
I'd really like to know that since the samples are much less impressive then 100% RAW crops I found at other websites.

Do you know?

0 upvotes
NorthwestF
By NorthwestF (Dec 14, 2011)

They do say what lens was used. It's Sony's A-mount 50mm F1.8 with LAEA1 adapter.

3 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Dec 14, 2011)

Going to an adapter ($, size) and picking a second cousin lens without AF does not make the standard studio scene shooting very representative. Still, taking a quick look the -7 pics are nothin' much at JPEG/800. Just one example: the blue VW's color looks very diseased with infectious white spots and it also acquired squarish artifacts. At ISO 800? Not for my car.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Dec 14, 2011)

The A-mount 50mm does AF on Nex, both with LAEA1 (slow AF) and LAEA2 (fast AF).

0 upvotes
didida do da do da do da
By didida do da do da do da (Dec 14, 2011)

ah, ok, found the little gear wheel symbol

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 14, 2011)

We have always tried to use 50mm lenses on all systems because they tend to perform very well, giving you a clear understanding of what the camera is capable of. The only exceptions are cameras with built-in lenses and the Nikon 1 System, for which no adapters were available.

0 upvotes
kev777zero
By kev777zero (Dec 14, 2011)

NEX-7 is an awesome camera, but I think the delay & the existence of NEX-5N at half the price & similar performance keeps this camera from become the epic holy grail for enthusiasts

1 upvote
brkl
By brkl (Dec 14, 2011)

Sure, because Holy Grails are known for being affordable.

4 upvotes
kev777zero
By kev777zero (Dec 14, 2011)

exactly; I could spend $600 on NEX-5N & $600 on a vacation getting shots instead of $1200 on NEX-7 & taking comparison tests at home ;)

seriously though, the thailand delay does kill this camera a bit; by the time it's available for everyone, there'd be new cameras coming out from m4/3, samsung, & sony themself

2 upvotes
Klipsen
By Klipsen (Dec 14, 2011)

Sony will lose a lot of Christmas sales, that's for sure; but a high-end model like the NEX-7 will not be replaced within a few months of its release. Just look at how long it took between the A77 and the A77. There were around ten entry level models during that period.

0 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (Dec 14, 2011)

Wow I just checked the image output RAW and Jpg. Very, very impressive!

1 upvote
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Dec 14, 2011)

For example? Compared to what?

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Dec 14, 2011)

Look at the detail on stamp, the faces. It's best on any APSC till ISO 1600.

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Dec 14, 2011)

Till ISO 1600, is the key here. Then it gets whalloped by Sony's 16mp sensor in 3 other cameras that use it. And this is just STUDIO comparisons, real life noise shows handily at ISO 400, too much for my taste.

1 upvote
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Dec 14, 2011)

"Top-plate dials indistinguishable by touch"

Really...? One dial is on the left, the other dial is on the right. Is it really that difficult to feel the correct dial with your thumb and operate in real world situations?

17 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Dec 14, 2011)

Except for the production of a larger range of good E-mount lenses - it seems Sony have done their best to take almost every good suggestion made since the release of the first NEX into account when designing this flagship NEX 7.

Hope a full range of the sort of E-mount lenses this camera deserves follows asap.

Meanwhile I'm ordering one and an F-mount adapter to use as a small digital back for all my AIS and AFD Nikkor lenses when I dont want or need to use a DSLR.

2 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Dec 14, 2011)

really can't believe the conclusions on IQ for the NEX 7. The IQ above ISO 800 is mediocre even when using ACR 6.6. What is the point of 24Mp if you have to resize to 16MP to get a decent result. Did the reviewer even look at the high ISO results. Even at ISO 800 it looks worse than the GH2 which has higher pixel density. The 7D is ridiculed by some for it's noise and it's got nothing to worry about.

If you stick to ISO 400, NEX 7 looks like a great camera, but I expected far more. Should have just used the 5N sensor and dropped the price by $100.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
KingDon
By KingDon (Dec 14, 2011)

No it doesn't. 7 looks better, much better, more detail.

1 upvote
Sosua
By Sosua (Dec 14, 2011)

The point of 24MP is printing, and if you have ever printed large before you will have a solid workflow in place and value detail over a little color noise - NEX-7 is the APS-C king.

9 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Dec 14, 2011)

@thx, look here to see why DP is right about ISO 1600 to 3200 http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonynex7/page27.asp

0 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (Dec 14, 2011)

Check out the Luminous landscape on the IQ of the NEX7, particularly compared to the NEX5, they come to different conclusions to you, and more in line with DPR, Particularly in print.

2 upvotes
Mike Ronesia
By Mike Ronesia (Dec 14, 2011)

I'm not a big fan of Studio scene comparison (RAW). It seems like you can always find a spots on the image that look better for some cameras and then find another spot that looks better for others. It's a tool, but it's not gospel.

2 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Dec 14, 2011)

I think the hair is the toughest test for 'detail' (not horizontal, not vertical, rapid depth change). Take a looksee at hair right next to the blue clock. -7's matted, much worse than P3 even at ISO 800.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Dec 14, 2011)

Did you check the difference in DOF before reaching that conclusion? The hair is already OOF.

1 upvote
Klipsen
By Klipsen (Dec 14, 2011)

One point of 24 Mpix that you have to resize above ISO 800 is: You don't have to from ISO 800 and down.
Under the right conditions you get 50 % more resolution, and that cannot be bad.

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Dec 14, 2011)

Ok, I downloaded RAW's from the Sony and 7D at ISO 3200 and processed them in ACR 6.6. What I find is at ISO 3200 the Sony is a bit noiser at the pixel level than the 7D, but both were very good and still retained detail. I then resized Sony to 7D size and applied light sharpen and they were very similar.

So I take back what I said. However, I'm confused to why the results on page 16 are so bad.

So I agree at low ISO the sensor is capable of superb detail, however, it'll need lenses not available to gte the best and the advantage over other sensors is lost at high ISO, but it does better than I expected. I would be able to use this at ISO 3200.

0 upvotes
GMaximus
By GMaximus (Dec 14, 2011)

Nice try, Sony ^)
Nice try.

0 upvotes
ksgant
By ksgant (Dec 14, 2011)

I'm sorry, I guess it's me, but this is like the other offerings by Sony, just a noisy mess. While I applaud the form factor and them trying to approach the digital camera form in a new way, I just can't get past the IQ and bad handeling of noise.

But as I say, I seem to be alone in that regard as it's getting praised all over the place...with people seeming to just look past the noise.

4 upvotes
Sosua
By Sosua (Dec 14, 2011)

? Its got better IQ than any other APS-C camera on the market. You are comparing to a D3S?

2 upvotes
ksgant
By ksgant (Dec 14, 2011)

Really, ANY other APS-C camera? Better than a Nikon D7000? Canon 7D? Where are you getting that from because I must have missed it. When I look at comparisons all I see is noise noise noise.

I'd be interested in seeing where you're finding that it's better than any other APS-C. I don't see it from this review at all though.

3 upvotes
Sosua
By Sosua (Dec 14, 2011)

I own a D7000 and NEX-5N the NEX-7 has essentially the same total noise performance and more detail up to about 800-1600 - this affords you luxuries when actually printing your images. If you just want to look at images at ISO 6400 and 100%, perhaps a D3S would be the ticket and an F1.4 lens.

7 upvotes
BBViet
By BBViet (Dec 14, 2011)

The NEX-7 has higher DxO Mark rating than D7000 and 7D, so there is merit in the conclusion.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
brkl
By brkl (Dec 14, 2011)

Which non-Sony APS-C sensor has better noise characteristics?

4 upvotes
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (Dec 14, 2011)

I have to laugh at all the comments about the advantages 24 mp gives you in printing. Unless you're routinely printing at 20x24 or larger, you'll see no real advantage compared to any other APS-C camera.

2 upvotes
ksgant
By ksgant (Dec 15, 2011)

As I said, I guess it's just me. Also, just because a website like DPreviews or DxO gives something a high rating doesn't mean I just turn off my brain and take what they say as gospel. This won't be the first, nor last time that I see the data a website like DPreviews lays out and come to a different conclusion than they do.

If the IQ of the NEX-7 is the best there is in APS-C sized cameras, it's not evident in the data here nor the sample images. But hey, what do I know...

As for what other APS-C Sized camera has better noise characteristics? Lots. Are you people just ignoring the data here or what? Go above 800 ISO and the NEX-7 just starts to get more and more embarrassed. I mean, it's blatant. Yes, BLATANT. If this is okay for your work, then so be it. But please stop pretending that you don't see the differences. Look at this review and compare it to the D7000 or the 7D for instance. Or hell, even the Pentax K5.

I just don't get it. And I'm obviously alone in this thinking.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Digicam Newbie
By Digicam Newbie (Dec 14, 2011)

Great review... Thanks.

However; six of your last seven detailed reviews have been Sonys. Will you continue reviewing other brands? Would love to see more balance.

Thank you.

3 upvotes
KingDon
By KingDon (Dec 14, 2011)

That's because Sony released more cameras in 2011. Canon didn't release any DSLR 2011. Nikon only released D5100 and it was reviewed. Pentax released nothing major in 2011 except Q. Nikon 1 was released after Nex-7 so review is probably due after Nex-7 too.

11 upvotes
Digicam Newbie
By Digicam Newbie (Dec 14, 2011)

What about Canon 1D, Nikon 1 Series, Panasonic GX1, Olympus P3, Panasonic FZ150, ... Would love to see these compared to the Sonys.

2 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Dec 14, 2011)

Canon 1D was released in 2001! http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos1d/

3 upvotes
sotirius
By sotirius (Dec 14, 2011)

He meant 1d X which was released this year

0 upvotes
zstan
By zstan (Dec 14, 2011)

You do know the difference between 'announced' and 'released' right?

9 upvotes
Garp2000
By Garp2000 (Dec 14, 2011)

The Nikon 1 is released and available. The SONY NEX 7 is *not* available. The Canon 1Dx is announced. "You do know the difference between 'announced' and 'released' right?"

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Dec 14, 2011)

As of today, the NEX 7 is actually being delivered in very limited amounts.

0 upvotes
zstan
By zstan (Dec 14, 2011)

@garp200

i'm referring to the 1DX...

0 upvotes
putomax
By putomax (Dec 14, 2011)

... where was it...???... that i put the sticky pack of 5€ bills for a something very special ... should be around here ... let's see ... next to the bucket of 1€ coins for perfect 12-600mm f2.8 (stabilized of course) zoom lens?... no, it's not here ... maybe inside the unbearable heavy box we build this summer for carrying all our toys... uhmmm, empty as usual... well... i would check the drawers but i bet gina has "cleaned" them ... okay, i guess i must learn how to live and leave without this thing… now, all wisdoomed and all, i'm having hot chocolate!!!

0 upvotes
KingDon
By KingDon (Dec 14, 2011)

DPR used A-mount 50mm F1.8 instead of E-mount F1.8. I assuming that means the A-mount version was doing better in studio shots?

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Dec 14, 2011)

"The E 50mm F1.8 OSS looks promising on paper, but we haven't had a chance to use one yet."

(The Conclusion page)

4 upvotes
Kenneth Margulies
By Kenneth Margulies (Dec 14, 2011)

Bravo!!! A home run for Sony. Waiting for Amazon to email me that the Nex 7 is available for sale. Love or hate Sony and their cameras, Sony is to be commended for raising the bar.
Sony, and indeed all camera manufacturers, need to follow Apple's lead and simplify the user interface. Too many cameras are still working off 35 mm SLR film camera design, though the NEX 7 breaks new ground and Sony deserves kudos for the dial system developed for the camera. Perhaps cameras should be designed more like an iPhone or iPad's controls...perhaps voice control as the iPhone is controlled by the Siri voice interaction??? Who knows how we will be recording images in 20 years???

7 upvotes
Jabba23
By Jabba23 (Dec 15, 2011)

I don't think I want to be talking to my camera when I take a picture. And, I think the camera on the iPhone is an over simplification. There is pretty much the shutter button, the flash, grid line and camera switch. These cameras are meant to be more than a point an shoot , I think intuitiveness is what we are looking for here or just plain old customisability beyond what has already been given. That video recording button is going to annoy me to no end.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Dec 14, 2011)

I think I'll stick with my 7D for real AF and 8fps at full res. I think I'll stick with my 5DII for the low light and shooting with primes. And both for the selection of lenses. If I want something smaller, I'll get a camera that fits in my pocket.

5 upvotes
BBViet
By BBViet (Dec 14, 2011)

"I'm driving a Hummer. If I want to save gas, I'll get a bicycle, who cares about these cars with high miles-per-gallon?"

21 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Dec 14, 2011)

cute, but not even close.

0 upvotes
BBViet
By BBViet (Dec 14, 2011)

Close enough for people who only consider things in their opposite ends.

9 upvotes
burnymeister
By burnymeister (Dec 14, 2011)

Hmmm. A lot of folks seem to be stuck on the fact that somehow mirrorless == small. There are other reasons to go mirrorless than size!! The new Sony FF camera will be large, and mirrorless. And probably awesome too. I'm such a fanboy. :D

2 upvotes
HeezDeadJim
By HeezDeadJim (Dec 14, 2011)

@BBViet: The NEX series misses the "opposite end".

You're missing the point of many of us that want a "pocket-able" alternative. We will accept trade-offs: more noise, no/useless OVF, etc.

But we want it smaller. Not a "fit-in-a-fanny-pack" small. The NEX's lenses and primes defeat the whole purpose of the NEX small footprint. I'm not going to spend $2000 on a camera body and attach bulky, 1st party mediocre lenses. You can use an adapter to use fast glass, but that makes things even more bulkier.

Right now (until Sony gets more faster/pancake/prime lenses), other smaller size cameras are looking tastier. To counter your analogy: If we drive Hummers, then the NEX is handing us a 4-wheeler with a Hemi. Too big, we'd like the speed and compactness of a Honda motorcycle, please.

3 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Dec 14, 2011)

If I have to carry a bag, I may as well have all the quality and capability of my DSLR. If I don't want to carry a bag, I'll need something that fits in a pocket. Even if it's a large pocket.

I can see how the NEX appeals to people who are intimidated or just put-off by the geek factor of a DSLR. Also the NEX looks more discrete, but that's about all I can say for it.

0 upvotes
Art Vandelay II
By Art Vandelay II (Dec 14, 2011)

There is a HUGE difference in carrying a 3lb DSLR in your bag vs carrying a NEX-7 in a bag. You can throw a NEX-7 in a messenger pack and not even realize its back there, but try walking around a city for miles with a Canon 7D pounding against your spine and you'll sure wish you had a lighter camera. In order to comfortably carry a camera the size of a 7D around you'll need a dedicated camera backpack. Thanks, but I'll pass on that one.

As far as AF speed goes. I've happily shot for years, primarily in manual focus, so I really have no idea what the fuss is about. I don't take photos of speeding race cars or kids playing soccer. I have no desire to "spray and pray" at 8fps then sort out the mess later. I really think many people need to learn to slow down and focus on what they're doing instead of relying so much on technology to compensate for their lack of skill.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Dec 15, 2011)

I do that now with my 5DII or 7D. But you have a point about being able to throw your camera into a multi-purpose bag. Fine, but for the NEX system, there is precisely ONE interesting lens available. The rest are lame, slow zooms. I'd rather carry an X100.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Jabba23
By Jabba23 (Dec 15, 2011)

I had the Nex-5 in Japan in March, a wrist strap and my jacket pocket was all that was needed. I had a carry bag for it for when we were moving around but for city exploring carrying it in hand or the jacket pocket was all that was needed and this was with the 18-55 attached. It's pocketable and I made the conscious decision to stay away from the dSLR's and the gear and weight of those things. For travelling this is the system I want and for street shooting with manual lens, this thing is perfect. Party shots I'll slap on the 16mm and snap away. The system is versatile enough. Just have to use the imagination

0 upvotes
Nate21
By Nate21 (Dec 14, 2011)

the viewfinder is amazing but do to the lack of good primes or vast selection of lens i will stick with the micro 4/3rds. But still congrats on the well reviewed camera and ratings.

9 upvotes
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Dec 14, 2011)

even the tri-navi system works the best.

2 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (Dec 14, 2011)

Nex has the same selection of lenses as M43. You can get an adapter for an mount.

0 upvotes
Garp2000
By Garp2000 (Dec 14, 2011)

Without AF and without IS. LOL, you are not even comparing apples to oranges. For m43 there are a lot of nice ww lenses and primes.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
burnymeister
By burnymeister (Dec 14, 2011)

I have to agree on the lens situation. The problem I found with m43 is that even with great lenses, a disappointing sensor will betray them more often than I'd like (i.e. E-P3 + 12mm or 45mm).

2 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Dec 14, 2011)

The Samsung NX range also has a nice range of lenses, including some great quality pancake primes. And apart from the lack of a viewfinder, the NX200 is comparable to or better than the NEX-7 in most respects.

If you're looking for an alternative to the NEX-7's bulk, the criminally ignored NX200 is certainly worth a look.

1 upvote
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 14, 2011)

burnymeister: sensor size is important, but it's just part of the story. I have an Olympus E-P1 and I've taken virtually noise-free night photos with it, some of which I'm particularly proud of. Certainly we're not talking point-and-shoot sensors when it comes to 4/3 and m4/3! The excess of noise, compared to an APS-C sensor, is really negligible. I know it - a friend of mine, who has a Canon 1100D, and I have taken night photos of the same subject some weeks ago: same configurations, same shutter speed, same focal length, same tripod. My photos are no worse than my friend's when it comes to noise. I'm not saying m4/3 sensors have better performance than APS-C ones: I'm just saying there's too much hype about sensor size.
That said the NEX7 is a highly desirable camera, and it's what Olympus should have done if they weren't too busy covering losses fraudulently. Shame about the paucity of NEX lenses, though...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jabba23
By Jabba23 (Dec 15, 2011)

I had a look at the NX200 and there is something about them that just offends me. Ergonomically I don't think they are even there yet compared to the Nex. They do have great little lenses though but then this and the 5n are a camera you can hold onto as the system matures, it's not like you are going to go out and buy the next iteration of this next year are you?

0 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (Dec 14, 2011)

Re the noise comparisons with the A77 it would be interesting to see how using the A mount adapter on the Nex 7 affects things.

Dpr seem pretty certain it is the light loss from the Slt mirror that causes worse a77 performance (presumably because the sensor on the A77 has the gain turned up to get a given sensitivity to compensate for the light loss).

Using the adapter would prove this was the case if the noise performance then matched the A77's.

If it still out performed the A77 then that would point to other factors obviously.

I am also curious as to why Dpr see such a big difference when I thought the SLT mirror did not deflect that much light?

Just how may stops difference is the noise performance between the two and does it match the how many stops of light loss the SLT introduces?

If the noise performance difference is greater than the specified loss of stops the SLT mirror results in, then either Sony is lying about that or Dpr need to look for another explanation.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Dec 14, 2011)

Even if the measured difference was more than the specified half a stop (1/3 of the light), that doesn't mean it's automatically all because of that mirror. Just look at the difference between the A55 and A35 using the "same" 16MP sensor, with the A35 being newer but showing more noise.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
KingDon
By KingDon (Dec 14, 2011)

Why do you need DPR? Look at Dxomark, A55, A580, Nex-7, A77, A65, A35, Nex-5 ,, all these cameras are on Dxomark. You can easily calculate the difference using dxomark scores.

0 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (Dec 14, 2011)

I don't ned to do it but Dpr do. Dxo will test differently to Dpr so we are not comparing like with like.

In my opinion it is a bit glib of Dpr to say the difference is due to the mirror if the difference does not match the light loss of the mirror. In fact that would simply be a totally incorrect conclusion to draw unless they could prove the mirror lost moe light than it does.

There must be other factors at play so saying it is all down to the mirror on the A77 is not right and not scientific.

Mind you most review sites are not when it comes to it.

0 upvotes
Ibida Bab
By Ibida Bab (Dec 14, 2011)

$2000.00: is this a joke?

6 upvotes
Astro8
By Astro8 (Dec 14, 2011)

I pre-ordered it.

7 upvotes
cactusgeorge
By cactusgeorge (Dec 14, 2011)

>$2000.00: is this a joke?
Why the big surprise? We've known the price for months now. Samy's price is $1,348.00 with 18-55mm kit lens. IF you can get it.

4 upvotes
sedentary_male
By sedentary_male (Dec 14, 2011)

A real contender I can imagine the difficulties including the GXR Mount A12 with Leica glass in the review.. sigh

0 upvotes
RRJackson
By RRJackson (Dec 14, 2011)

It's a pity there aren't better lens offerings from Sony for the NEX system. It's a very nice camera with no compact high-quality optics to make it worth owning.

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Dec 14, 2011)

Even the kitlens does quite a good job, see the first 2 samples at the end of the review. Let alone the 50 and 24 primes or top quality glass from third parties using focus peaking.

5 upvotes
Sosua
By Sosua (Dec 14, 2011)

Just slap on a Leica and you're away laughing. Samsung have a pretty good 30mm F2 pancake, but that's about it unfortunately.

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Dec 14, 2011)

He probably wasn't comparing the Samsung tho.

0 upvotes
RRJackson
By RRJackson (Dec 14, 2011)

I actually own the Samsung. I preferred the handling of the NEX offerings, but the 30mm f/2 pancake was too appealing to pass up. If Samsung brings out the 55mm f/1.8 that's on their roadmap I'll be completely happy. With the pancakes the Samsung is very compact. I own a D700 that I'd carry at times when bulk isn't an issue, so the Sony just didn't appeal to me. Although it would be great if they'd make some compact lenses for it. Even their 16mm pancake isn't very compact and isn't all that impressive optically.

0 upvotes
fatdeeman
By fatdeeman (Dec 14, 2011)

It's far from perfect but the kit lens is actually very good circa 30mm, which makes for an even weaker case to buy the 30mm macro!

0 upvotes
RRJackson
By RRJackson (Dec 14, 2011)

The kit lens is bulky, though. That's the whole point.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Dec 15, 2011)

The 16mm is about as compact as any competing pancake from other brands....

0 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Dec 14, 2011)

Well done Sony. PopPhoto "Camera of the Year" two years in a row and now DP awarding Nex 7 Gold award and declaring Nex 7 as the best "best APS-C camera yet", regardless of size. I can't wait what Sony will offer in 2012!

5 upvotes
Dennis
By Dennis (Dec 14, 2011)

Where do they declare it the "best APS-C camera yet" ? (Hint: That's a rhetorical question, I know where you got the quote from, but as usual, you've stripped out context to make it sound better).

8 upvotes
Pink Edwardo
By Pink Edwardo (Dec 14, 2011)

Don't you ever get tired of tooting your own horn? NEX 7 is a good camera but not the greatest on earth as you seem to think. You just love the awards! Have em in a frame on your desk at home?

5 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Dec 14, 2011)

only in terms of "image quality in APS-C".

1 upvote
Garp2000
By Garp2000 (Dec 14, 2011)

How can a camera with a mediocre 18-55 zoom and two available primes be „best APS-C camera yet“? Last time I checked, I needed lenses to take picture.

2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Dec 14, 2011)

Make that 3 primes as of today (not counting the fish-eye and wide angle adapters that go directly on to the 16MM).

0 upvotes
gingerbaker
By gingerbaker (Dec 14, 2011)

You need lenses?

The question is "Using an adapter, are there any lenses one can't use with a NEX-7?"

0 upvotes
roblarosa
By roblarosa (Dec 14, 2011)

It seems like a big mistake not to offer touch screen focus and touch screen shutter when Oly is doing it with the E-P3 and Panny with the G3, etc.

1 upvote
Jogger
By Jogger (Dec 14, 2011)

I suspect many people will buy this to use as a digital back. And why not, its got all the right parts.

3 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Dec 14, 2011)

Well it's no Leica but yeah. That focus peaking is the stuff.

1 upvote
citrontokyo
By citrontokyo (Dec 14, 2011)

Nice camera. Nice sensor. If the lenses catch up, it'll be tough to beat. The EVF and tri-navi are a huge deal on such a small camera. At least it is for dslr users like myself, who prefer to take photos that way.

On another note, it looks safe to say that the sensor, if adopted in the next version of the Pentax K-5, will make that camera pretty kick-a$$ too.

1 upvote
SDF
By SDF (Dec 14, 2011)

Bravo!

1 upvote
S.A.
By S.A. (Dec 14, 2011)

Shouldn't have gotten that number considering the auto focus system/price. Autofocus is fundamental. It should be considered as one of the most important features, just behind image quality. The rest is icing. Especially when you are reviewing a 1300 dollar system. The camera doesn't deserve that number. 81 and gold my azz.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
micksh6
By micksh6 (Dec 14, 2011)

Agreed. If autofocus is worse than current micro4/3 cameras it doesn't deserve such rating, especially considering its price.
And why poor autofocus is not even mentioned in conclusion or cons?
Page 13 says "In our assessment the NEX-7 is being outperformed by current Micro four Thirds cameras in this respect", "It's not as blisteringly quick as the latest Micro Four Thirds cameras such as the Olympus PEN E-P3" but rating chart on the last page shows almost the same value for "Metering & focus accuracy" as EP-3

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Dec 14, 2011)

They also stated the extremely short shutterlag compensates somewhat for the total time to get the shot after pressing the shutter button.

1 upvote
CFynn
By CFynn (Dec 14, 2011)

@ S.A.
Fundamental? You can use your eyes.

Leica M9 has no autofocus. Zeiss ZF /ZE lenses have no autofocus. I guess these are useless products.

I use manual focus all the time on my Nikon DSLR - even though the viewfinder screen on that camera is not particularly good for it. The focus-peaking sound like a pretty good method for manual focus.

@micksh6 - "Metering & Focus accuracy" and "Auto Focus speed" are two different things. Olympus has better Auto Focus speed but is the focus accuracy better too? Maybe focus accuracy includes accuracy with manual focus as well as with auto focus. Metering accuracy is also taken into account in that figure.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Sosua
By Sosua (Dec 14, 2011)

Agreed - Autofocus is for noobs and sportshooters. Fortunately i'm neither.

0 upvotes
micksh6
By micksh6 (Dec 14, 2011)

@CFynn
"Metering & focus accuracy" is the only metrics related to focus in chart on conclusion page. "Performance" score may be related to that too but in this metrics NEX7 scores much higher than E-P3.

According to DPR accuracy suffers as well. If you read page 13, "The problem here, aside from speed, is accuracy - the camera has a tendency to focus on the background, so you may well need several attempts to get correct focus."

My point is that autofocus performance is important but it is completely ignored in conclusion and final score. People who read only the last summary page would not know about it, and I believe it's wrong.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Dec 14, 2011)

This camera is going to need excellent lenses and very good technique to get the most out of that sensor - I expect a large percentage of users will be using it mainly with manual focus prime lenses - at least until a range of Zeiss E-mount lenses are available.

For those who don't want to put in the work and attention involved in getting the most out of a camera like this a micro 4/3 camera, or a lower model NEX, may indeed be a better, and far less expensive, option.

BTW DPR have placed this camera in the "semi-professional class" - which is what their score is based on. It seems to be the only mirrorless system in this class.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
HeezDeadJim
By HeezDeadJim (Dec 14, 2011)

@CFynn: Yes, AF is fundamental, by today's standard. The OP never said anything about manual cameras/lenses being "useless". Nearly every camera has AF and are partly rated on how well they use it. That doesn't negate the quality of older or non-AF lenses, just when you WANT to use the AF feature.

Having digital inputs on an audio amp/receiver (optical, HDMI) is fundamental by today's standard. Does that mean old solid state or tube amps from the 60's or 70's are useless? Absolutely not (most even sound better). But they lack the digital inputs WHEN you want to listen to Blu-Ray movies or SACD.

"You can use your eyes"...that's assuming you have good vision to properly focus accurately. Not all of have perfect vision and wind up ending with the nose or ears in focus on shallow DOF (I personally use a 2x right angle VF for critical focusing).

0 upvotes
gingerbaker
By gingerbaker (Dec 14, 2011)

"According to DPR accuracy suffers as well. If you read page 13, "The problem here, aside from speed, is accuracy - the camera has a tendency to focus on the background, so you may well need several attempts to get correct focus.""

To be fair, that quote is for conditions of indoor lighting at low light levels, and using a particular autofocus focus algorithm. Not manual focusing and without flash focus assist.

Your post makes it sound like the camera has focusing problems under all conditions.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Bill1969
By Bill1969 (Dec 15, 2011)

I think it is overrated at 81%, DP trashed Canon 5DMkII because of the weak AF, yet they ignored it here..

0 upvotes
Micromegas777
By Micromegas777 (Dec 15, 2011)

Whatever the qualities of the sensor, the following makes the Olympus EP3 the better camera for me:

1. Touch screen - I used to do a lot of manual focusing with the EP1 (slow AF). With the touch screen, sharpness is where I want it to be. No issue with "camera tends to focus on the background"
2. Unmatched lens set-up: the old Panaleica 1.4/25 (my favourite), the 2/50 Oly Macro, the fast and lightweight 1.8/45 Oly, the 7-14 Panasonic and the 100-300 Panasonic. Sony doesn't even come close
3. No time for RAW - the Oly jpegs are perfect for me.
4. Cheap replacement batteries which perform like Original Olympus
5. The built in flash works nicely at short range, and it can control up to nine flashes remotely. Each group (3 flashes) can be directed separately (stronger/weaker flash - all TTL, of course. No simple slave mode). Use the FL-50, but also the tiny FL-300 is a great help. Very fast and reliable. Sony ?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
cactusgeorge
By cactusgeorge (Dec 14, 2011)

81%? Wow!

1 upvote
Alyssaly
By Alyssaly (Dec 14, 2011)

So wonderful~

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Dec 14, 2011)

81% of what ?

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Dec 14, 2011)

100. ;)

0 upvotes
cdembrey
By cdembrey (Dec 14, 2011)

The flash sync speed of 1/160 is borderline. Why not 1/250???

BTW all my "cherished legacy lenses" are Nikon, which work on my Canon cameras with an adapter.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 339
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