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Sony NEX-7 high-end APS-C mirrorless camera first look

By dpreview staff on Aug 24, 2011 at 05:09 GMT

Sony has announced the much leaked NEX-7 enthusiast-targeted mirrorless interchangeable lens 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. Working samples of the NEX-7 have not been made available to the press anywhere in the world, so we have not been able to prepare a hands-on preview. However, we have seen and handled an early pre-production unit and have interrogated Sony about its operation. We have used this to prepare an overview of the camera, which we will expand to a preview when cameras with functioning firmware are available.

MSRP (Body only) $1199
(With exclusive black 18-55mm lens) $1399

Sony NEX-7 first look

When Sony introduced its brand-new range of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras in May 2010, the company was very clear about who it thought would buy the NEX-5 and its near-identical-twin NEX-3. Small cameras with APS-C sensors, we were told, would appeal to compact camera users who wanted to upgrade but would be intimidated by the bulk and perceived complexity of an SLR. The cameras were a sales success (especially in Japan), and their influence on this sector of the market has become increasingly clear, with Olympus's PEN E-PL3 paying extensive homage to their key design features, and Panasonic stripping-down its GF line from the enthusiast-friendly DMC-GF1 to the distinctly beginner-orientated DMC-GF3.

In practice, though, it wasn't just beginners buying these cameras. Many enthusiast photographers have been equally attracted to the promise of excellent image quality in a small, highly portable camera, fuelled by the ability to adapt almost any lens to fit. To its credit Sony has taken note and steadily increased the NEXs' appeal, with successive firmware updates to improve usability and add features.

Now, with the NEX-7, Sony is specifically targeting those advanced users with a camera whose key spec reads like it's come straight off an enthusiast's wishlist. First up is the new 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, shared with the co-announced SLT-A77, that enables true 1080p60 video recording. Then there's the EVF that's been squeezed into the compact body (and also shared with the A77) - the 2.4M dot OLED unit is the highest resolution yet seen in a stills camera, and has an eye sensor for automatic switching with the rear LCD. Rounding off the additions are a built-in flash and Alpha-type hotshoe, all in a body that's about the same size as the Olympus PEN E-P3.

The NEX-7 also expands on the existing interface, adding two dials on the top plate that can be used to control a wide variety of functions, plus a conveniently-placed button beside the shutter that's used to cycle through their functions. The familiar rear dial and three 'soft' keys on the back of the camera are retained, as is the handy tilting rear LCD.

Outline view With NEX-5N overlaid

The NEX-7 uses a new shutter arrangement, with an (optional) electronic first curtain. In other words, the camera no longer has to close the shutter then open it again to start the exposure, and according to Sony this decreases shutter lag from 100ms to just 20ms. This isn't completely new technology - Canon's live view capable DSLRs have been using it since the EOS 40D of 2007 - but it's very welcome to see it implemented in this type of camera.

Further indication, if any were needed, of the NEX-7's serious intentions is provided by the co-announced Carl Zeiss-branded E 24mm F1.8 lens (also known as the SEL24F18Z). This offers a field of view equivalent to a 35mm lens on full frame, and places the NEX-7 squarely up against the likes of the Fujifilm FinePix X100 (with its fixed 23mm F2 lens), as well as the E-P3. The NEX-7 will also be sold with a black version of the standard E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS kit zoom.

Sony NEX-7 specification highlights

  • All-new 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor (shared with the SLT-A7 and A657)
  • ISO 100-16000
  • Built-in 2.4M dot OLED EVF with eye sensor
  • Electronic first-curtain shutter (cuts response time from 100ms to 20ms)
  • 'AVCHD Progressive' 1080p60 HD movie recording with built-in stereo mic
  • Tilting rear screen
  • Three-dial user interface
  • Built in flash and Alpha hotshoe
  • Infra-red remote control receiver
  • Microphone input socket

New E-mount lenses

Alongside the NEX-7 (and the updated NEX-5N), Sony has also announced three new lenses. As well as the Carl Zeiss E 24mm F1.8 mentioned above, there's an image-stabilized E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS telephoto zoom (SEL55210), and another fast prime in the shape of the E 50mm F1.8 (SEL50F18). While the latter is, in our opinion, a slightly curious focal length for a brand-new APS-C format design (we'd prefer to see a fast portrait lens in the 60-70mm range), there's no denying the fact that inexpensive 50mm primes have proven very popular with DSLR users.

Further lens options - LA-EA2 Alpha mount autofocus adapter

To further expand the range of lenses that NEX owners can use with full functionality, Sony has also announced the LA-EA2 adapter that promises fast autofocus with all existing Alpha mount lenses. This uses the company's SLT technology, with a fixed 'translucent' mirror and built-in phase detection AF sensor, plus an AF motor for 'screw-drive' lenses. Somewhat reminiscent of Leica's old 'Visoflex' system for its M-mount film rangefinders, the rather bulky housing also has its own tripod socket for use with larger lenses. The LA-EA2 includes the same 15-point AF sensor as the SLT A65 and original A55.

The Sony LA-EA2 NEX-to-SLT adapter promises fully-functioning fast phase-detection autofocus with all Alpha-mount AF lenses - something no other mirrorless system can quite match

While this certainly expands on the range of lenses accessible to NEX owners, we're not entirely convinced of its real-world practicality (especially as, at $399, it's not cheap). We have a sneaking suspicion that it only exists to show that the NEX can be used with more than the handful of native E-mount lenses, rather than being a big seller. It seems likely that most people who own a range of Alpha lenses will already have SLRs to use them on, increasingly supplemented by 'real' SLTs. And perhaps the biggest attraction of mirrorless camera over SLRs is compactness, which rather goes away when using AF lenses with such a large adapter. But for those who bought a NEX and then discovered that they really wanted an SLT after all, it could well come in handy, and we can see potential for videography.

Tri-Navi control system

The NEX-7 features three control dials. Here you can see the interface the default controls for Aperture Priority mode with Aperture Value on the left-hand dial, Exposure Comp. on the right and ISO on the rear dial.

The pre-production NEX-7 units shown to journalists (including ourselves), featured NEX-5N firmware, making it impossible to make sense of how well the NEX-7's 'Tri-Navi' three dial control system works. Given that the existing NEX interface isn't ideal for the kind of committed enthusiast photographers that the NEX-7 is aimed at, it's clear that the most important aspect of the NEX-7 is how well it's been implemented.

We have, however, discussed this interface extensively with Sony and can provide the following exclusive detail about how Tri-Navi will work:

Default 'Exposure' control settings:

The default exposure options are predefined and cannot be adjusted. No matter how many additional functions you choose to assign to the control system, these are always available.

Exposure mode: Dial 1 Dial 2 Dial 3
Program Mode Program shift Exposure compensation ISO
Aperture Priority Aperture value Exposure compensation ISO
Shutter Priority Shutter value Exposure compensation ISO
Manual exposure Shutter value Aperture value ISO

Beyond this, you can choose up to four sets of controls that can be applied to the dials (from a choice of 6). When using the camera, pressing the button on the front shoulder cycles between the sets you've selected, in the order you've specified.

Pressing the button on the front of the camera takes you away from the default, exposure settings and then cycles through up to four other sets of commands that you can assign to the three control dials.
This screen shows the function of the NEX 7's control dials in the 'D-Range' preset. Dial 1 controls the extent of DRO or HDR, Dial 2 controls exposure compensation and Dial 3 defines which of the two functions you're using.

Presets: Dial 1 Dial 2 Dial 3
Focus Focus Area Mode Move AF point left/right Move AF point up/down
White Balance Select WB preset Fine-tune WB in Amber/Blue axis Fine-tune WB in Green/Magenta axis
D-Range Extent of DRO or HDR Exposure Compensation Off/DRO/HDR
Creative Styles Select Creative Style Preset Adjust image parameter (Sharpness/
Saturation/
Contrast)
Select image parameter
(Sharpness/
Saturation/
Contrast)
Picture Effects Select Picture Effect Adjust effect parameter (where applicable) N/A
Custom Option1 Option2 Option3

The exciting option for us is the 'Custom' setting. As you might expect, this allows you to specify which function you want on each dial. There's only one Custom slot, so you can only create one personalized 'set.'

There are nine settings that can be applied to the dials and, once assigned to a dial, is removed from the list of available options for the other dials. There is also the option to assign no function to any given dial.

Available options: • Exposure compensation
• AF Mode
• ISO
• Metering Mode
• White Balance
• DRO/HDR
• Creative Style
• Picture Effect
• Quality
• Not Set

For settings that usually have multiple options (such as the different extents that can be applied to HDR and DRO), all these options are available as a long list to spin through, when assigned to a dial. This differs from their behavior when they appear as one of the presets.

Although we are not in a position to assess how well this system will work when out with the camera, taking photographs, it does sound promising. Our immediate thought was that we could assign Quality to the left dial, DRO/HDR to the right dial then Exposure Comp. to the center dial, so that it's easy to drop into JPEG-only shooting, shoot an HDR shot, then quickly flick back to Raw shooting (something we've found rather time-consuming on other Sonys).

We will, of course, write more as soon as we have a camera.

467
I own it
206
I want it
91
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 355
123
RRJackson
By RRJackson (Aug 25, 2011)

@obican Here's the problem with that line of thinking (for me, at least). I've got a D700 that I'll use when I can carry a large camera and lens. There are a lot of places where you aren't allowed to carry what's commonly referred to as a "professional camera." Usually that means you can carry a point and shoot, but nothing with interchangeable lenses. With a small pancake something like the Panasonic, Olympus or Samsung offerings might slip by. An NEX with a big beer can attached to it won't fly, though.

1 upvote
obican
By obican (Aug 25, 2011)

I had a Canon FD 50/1.4, 70-210/4(both f/4 all the way) and a TS-35/2.8 Tilt Shift, all in Canon FD mount. If I wanted to buy them now, they'd cost about 500€. All are excellently sharp lenses, only they suffer from purple fringing when wide open. And I have a Tilt-Shift :) which is cool.
Also I have 18-55 and 16/2.8 kit lenses. If I wanted to have a equilvent set in 4/3, I'd pay about the same as a Nikon set because most of those cheap lenses wouldn't be practical on 4/3(50mm would be 100mm etc). Instead, I'd just invest in a Nikon set AND buy a NEX and use all those Nikon lenses on my NEX :D Why not? Also it would allow me to take my Nikon Body with me OR take the NEX with me, and use all the same lenses(D series).

I usually take 50, 16 and the TS with me. 50 and 16 are pocketable, TS is usually attached. No bags. People hardly take notice because it's always under my arm, pointed down, hiding. When taken out to shoot, it does it quickly. Usually only problem is that it's SO loud.

0 upvotes
obican
By obican (Aug 25, 2011)

Actually, if you think about it, you'll see that the whole "the lenses are too bulky" discussions are mostly pointless.

Yes, the body is so tiny. Yes, even the lens mount is larger than the body itself.

The problem is, you're thinking it as a pocketable camera. Stop trying to shove it into your back... pocket and get a shoulder strap(actually included). Then you'd notice that when on a strap, NEX will be pointing DOWN. When it's on your shoulder, even a VERY large lens like 80-200 2.8 will be no problem to carry around because it will be pointing down AND the camera is already smaller than the lens itself.

What's more? Don't compare it with any 4/3 camera because it has a much larger sensor, so that it's meaningful to use your old lenses on this. A Canon FD 50/1.4 will be dirt cheap and it'll act as a very useable 75mm lens, not a 100mm it'd be on a 4/3.

And about that AF adapter, has anyone noticed how cool it'd be using that on a NEX Camcoder? All Alpha lenses, in AF, in video.

2 upvotes
julieng
By julieng (Aug 25, 2011)

I really don't know where that "pocketable holy grail" comes from. Boring stuff in reality. I wear tight jeans, even a GF-3 with the 14mm panckacke on is not pocketable.
If size does matter, for whatever the reason, in general a m43 set-up will be smaller. In that regard, the bulkiness of lenses is meaningful. Now, size is not always that critical, its up to you to choose your compromise.

As fas as sensor size is concerned. Yes, FoV equivalence for a 50mm lense will be 75mm with shallower DoF instead of 100mm on a m43. But why on earth would 75mm be more meaningful? This is a bold statement.

As for video, AF is not a killer feature. This is a world of MF. Top of the hill Zeiss cine lenses work on both systems and without AF. End of the debate.

Don't get me wrong, the NEX-7 is highly compelling and for more than one reasons. There is no need to fall into a NEX vs M43 battle to be excited about what Sony brings on the table!

1 upvote
DLBlack
By DLBlack (Aug 25, 2011)

Looks like it will be a very good camera. Now all that is needed several high-end lenses to go with it.

1 upvote
Carlos Henrique
By Carlos Henrique (Aug 25, 2011)

Besides the high price, the only drawback for this camera so far is a good small prime lens like Fuji's on X100. Wouldn't Sony or Zeiss be able to make good small lenses at 10, 24, 70mm?

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Aug 25, 2011)

Maybe a company will finally develop dedicated APS-C primes and fast zooms, besides Pentax. Nikon has never fully developed their line. Sony now has all the reasons to do that and forget the lofty FF sector, leave that to C/N.

0 upvotes
CKDexterHaven
By CKDexterHaven (Aug 26, 2011)

Exactly. 15/f2.8 and 25mm/f2 would do it for me.

0 upvotes
Robert Hoffman
By Robert Hoffman (Oct 14, 2011)

Yup, a 25mm f/2 would really make my day.

0 upvotes
CKDexterHaven
By CKDexterHaven (Aug 25, 2011)

Get a me a SMALL 30mm f2, and it's "the cat's."

Does anyone know if you can use the EVF in monochrome/B&W? With or without picture effects enabled? Being able to preview that way would be amazing.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 25, 2011)

You can on the A77, so there's no reason to expect the NEX-7 to be different in that respect.

0 upvotes
MarcMedios
By MarcMedios (Aug 25, 2011)

This is absolutely fabulous! A real street camera! Viewfinder. Fast focus. Interchangeable lesnes. Great news.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Aug 25, 2011)

Agree, thsi could be the ideal street camera, let's see how the EVF works. I never liked the excessive smallness of the NEX line, this is different.

1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Aug 25, 2011)

$1199? First the tiny $899 E-P3 Kit, now the tiny $1199 body-only. And the public will buy it. Let's face it. They have us all figured out. We have met the enemy, and he is us.

2 upvotes
razorfish
By razorfish (Aug 25, 2011)

The best thing is there's NO F***IN' TOUCH SCREEN! Putting touch screens on these advanced cams is the worst dead end in photo history. Like the GH2, totally let down by this useless and annoying feature.

0 upvotes
burnymeister
By burnymeister (Aug 25, 2011)

I find the touch focus an incredibly useful thing. For example with macro / flower shots I can first compose the scene then simply touch different areas of it to focus. Very handy and at large apertures with narrow DOF it works far better than the focus and recompose technique (and faster too).

1 upvote
jpr2
By jpr2 (Aug 26, 2011)

exactly!! and when focusing with VF a touch screen would be useless anyway :(

0 upvotes
olyflyer
By olyflyer (Aug 25, 2011)

Maybe it is time for me to have a serious look at this camera... I liked the NEX ever since the NEX3, but the lack of built in VF stopped me from showing a serious interest, but now with this new camera it is different... The only thing I don't like (from what I read so far) is that stupid Sony specific flash shoe. Why can't Sony use the industry standard established a very long time ago is behind my comprehension.

Anyway... Excellent work Sony and good luck with the sales.
Looking forward to the full review.

0 upvotes
spidermoon
By spidermoon (Aug 25, 2011)

The flash shoe cames from Minolta. Sony bought the well known camera maker Minolta few years ago.

0 upvotes
Tormenborba
By Tormenborba (Aug 25, 2011)

for the same reason they didnt adopt mp3 and thay tried to push their ATRAC, for the same reason they used memory stick instead of sd cards and so on...

1 upvote
Dazed and Confused
By Dazed and Confused (Aug 25, 2011)

"for the same reason they didnt adopt mp3 and thay tried to push their ATRAC, for the same reason they used memory stick instead of sd cards and so on..."

What reason would that be? They like throwing money away and annoying their customers?

0 upvotes
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Aug 25, 2011)

Sony should learn the lesson taught with their beta home video system over the most popular VHS one. As a matter of fact, all these annoying non standard flash hotshot, memory stick (vs SD), ATRAC (vs MP3) will hurt Sony's sales rather than help.

0 upvotes
SchorschB
By SchorschB (Aug 25, 2011)

Because there is no industry standard. Every manufacturer has different contacts for different purposes in different positions.
The way it is now, all Sony/Minolta flash shoe accessories will fit. Without adapter. And, so will all Metz flashes.

2 upvotes
tompabes2
By tompabes2 (Aug 25, 2011)

as a matter of fact sony does not use memory sticks anymore, sonyericsson phones now use micro usb, atrac is gone many years ago and sony walkmans can read mp3...
Every manufacturer has its specific flash shoe, so why should we blame Sony and not the others?

0 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Aug 25, 2011)

Beta home video is not a fair comparison. A flash hot shoe will not fall out of use because it wasn't licensed for porn.

0 upvotes
Tormenborba
By Tormenborba (Aug 25, 2011)

tompabes2: maybe because 90% of DSLR users out there have a nikon or a canon and NOT a metz flash and a Minolta. as simple as that.
And how many years be4 they accepted mp3 that was already a standard and sd that was already a standard?

0 upvotes
marcofoto
By marcofoto (Aug 25, 2011)

I think now everything depends on how good is the evf here!

0 upvotes
Jim Ku
By Jim Ku (Aug 25, 2011)

weather sealing?

0 upvotes
SDF
By SDF (Aug 26, 2011)

No. Only on A77 and A65

0 upvotes
Jim Ku
By Jim Ku (Aug 25, 2011)

bambam!!!

0 upvotes
patoth66
By patoth66 (Aug 25, 2011)

Now we awe talking!!)))

0 upvotes
nikheat
By nikheat (Aug 25, 2011)

Im liking this more than the A77, get a 24/1.8 and a 50/1.8, the adapter to allow me to use my other A-mount lenses if I wish.

I will definitely give this a try when it comes out, if the UI is better than the NEX5 UI, Sony might actually get some money from me for the first time in well over a year.

2 upvotes
Jens_G
By Jens_G (Aug 25, 2011)

The Nex 5 UI is actually pretty awesome, post firmware updates. So much so that i'm in no rush to replace mine with a Nex 7. Although I'm definitely getting the 24mm Zeiss!

0 upvotes
S.A.
By S.A. (Aug 25, 2011)

Everything about this camera looks so awesome. I want it. Really do wish they had used the 16mp sensor...
Hope the IQ and high ISO performance impresses.

4 upvotes
Kenneth Margulies
By Kenneth Margulies (Aug 25, 2011)

Elegant. Bravo! Apple pushes technology in smart-phones and Sony in cool cameras. If the DPREVIEW judges the Nex 7 as positive as the specs indicate, then I will take the plunge. I am also waiting for the iPhone 5 release before the end of the year. It's going to be a fun time technology-wise!

0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Aug 24, 2011)

Sony innovation leading the way - comeon CANIKON, you are being left behind, where is your morrorless solution?

5 upvotes
Tormenborba
By Tormenborba (Aug 25, 2011)

I have a Canon DSLR and I am waiting too... even if I'd be kinda skeptical in using the 70-200 f2.8 II usm with a camera like this...

0 upvotes
Ehrik
By Ehrik (Aug 24, 2011)

Finally someone listened regarding the placement of the EVF. I hope it sets a trend.

0 upvotes
SDF
By SDF (Aug 24, 2011)

Dear DPreview, please provide the hands on soon. I cannot wait!

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Aug 25, 2011)

They've already said that no press or camera websites have a working nex7 unit ANYWHERE in the world!

0 upvotes
Paul_B Midlands UK
By Paul_B Midlands UK (Aug 25, 2011)

What a drop dead gorgeous looking NEX this one is, my sister has the NEX 5 and for sure I am having the 7 to replace my aging portable camera the Ricoh GX100 (and maybe I won't take out my Pentax K-7 quite as much). The blows the 4/3s cameras out of the water big time.

0 upvotes
sesopenko
By sesopenko (Aug 24, 2011)

Mirrorless. That means they could probably manufacture symmetrical lenses for this mount. Zeiss Biogon, anyone? :D

0 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (Aug 24, 2011)

Those types of lenses typically will have issues on digital sensors - vignetting and color casts at the corners. This is why the Leica M8 and M9 required special microlenses over the sensor that redirect more light to the corners. yet they still have issues and the files from wide lenses often require firmware or software correction.

At some point perhaps this issue can be overcome but I think it helps explain why the 24mm 1.8 lens is so large.

0 upvotes
rondom
By rondom (Aug 24, 2011)

Anyone with any information on the shutter noise?

1 upvote
Jens_G
By Jens_G (Aug 25, 2011)

Electronic first curtain shutter. Much less noise and shutter lag.

0 upvotes
gordon lafleur
By gordon lafleur (Sep 8, 2011)

Looks like a great alternative to my lovely but oh too sluggish x100, but only if they intoduce some fast primes f2 at least, but hey, why not f1.4?

0 upvotes
gordon lafleur
By gordon lafleur (Sep 8, 2011)

So what is with the stupid 24mp sensor, does ANYONE out there want 24mp? I dumb my 5d11 down to 9mp most of the time as I just don't want to deal with those huge files. Give me about 10 or 12mp and another stop of low light capability.

1 upvote
spoorthy
By spoorthy (Aug 24, 2011)

IF the new 24mp sensor is just as good as the 16mp sensor of last year, then imagine what they could have done if the crated a all new 10 or 12 mp sensor?

4 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Aug 25, 2011)

Err, look at the ISO 1250 photo in the a77 gallery. Yuck, lots of detail smearing. Classic sony.

0 upvotes
flektogon
By flektogon (Aug 25, 2011)

Exactly! Sadly, Sony is repeating their megapixel madness, which they started with 16 Mp sensor used in their P&S cameras.

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 25, 2011)

I really don't think this is similar to cramming 16mp in a tiny p&s sensor. Like the 18mp sensors on the smaller GH2 and T3i, there should be a big enough surface area to handle 24mp easily.

I didn't pixel peep enough to see any noise but if there is smearing, I doubt it is from the 24mp.

0 upvotes
BG_CX3_DPREVIEW
By BG_CX3_DPREVIEW (Aug 24, 2011)

oh, and by the way, it flies too...

0 upvotes
pixelsensible
By pixelsensible (Aug 24, 2011)

Sony has got everything right, EXCEPT, for the senseless pursuit of megapixel count. This is the Big Fat Fly in the ointment. Increasing the pixel density can only lead to deterioration of image quality. Going from 14MP on the NEX-5 to 24MP on this one, means an increase of 71% in pixel density.

The days of getting consumers to sheepishly believing that more (MP) is better are long gone and over! I hope Sony wakes up to this fact! Stop kidding itself and conning the consumers! With its reputation, Sony can easily reverse this most stupid trend in the history of mankind.

Just take a leaf from Lumix LX-3, LX-5, Oly XZ-1 cases. Why has the "more is better" push been reversed in these cases ?

I can bet you, that a pic shot with this 24MP is going to turn out much worse than a 10MP shot that comes out from a Nikon D3000, and definitely worse than a 6MP shot that comes out from a D40!

The other Hard Truth is that a 6MP sensor is much cheaper than a 24MP sensor!

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Aug 24, 2011)

Take a look at the samples we've posted from the A77 if you're concerned about IQ from the new 24MP sensor.

1 upvote
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Aug 24, 2011)

Those silly guys and their 40+ MP medium format cams, who do they think they're fooling?! A 6MP MF sensor is where it's at! :)

The real question is: will this concern continue when and if Nikon starts employing their own version of the same sensor? I have a feeling that when the other big brands reach that number, then it will be just enough to get by!

1 upvote
Sosua
By Sosua (Aug 24, 2011)

Agreed - for low iso RAW files, the high resolution should be good for landscape and travel photographers. Similarly the high iso perfromance when printed will be better than the old 14mp sensor.

If you are more interested in looking at 100% high iso crops, whats the point?

1 upvote
khoss
By khoss (Aug 24, 2011)

I checked out the samples of the A77 and at iso 1250 it looks like a water painting

0 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Aug 25, 2011)

Pretty much true!
I've tested preliminary samples and the 24MP don't show more detail than the Panasonic GH2 or the 16mp Exmor.
This camera still has got every other thing right though!

0 upvotes
MarcMedios
By MarcMedios (Aug 25, 2011)

If it doesn't harm you, why are you so against more pixels. When I moved from 10 to 12 mp and then to 18mp I not only didn't see a fall off in quality, but rather, a huge increase.

0 upvotes
fauxlimey
By fauxlimey (Aug 25, 2011)

I was really excited when I saw this. Then I took a look at the sample pictures. Yuck. Purple fringing, pixel smearing... this is about making people buy new stuff, not about making better images.

0 upvotes
CKDexterHaven
By CKDexterHaven (Aug 25, 2011)

I don't hear anyone complaining that the Canon 5DMarkII is inferior to the previous version. This is not an LX-3 with a tiny sensor. APS-C sensors can handle this.

Besides that, it's a bit overreaching to insist it's a "senseless pursuit." I, for one, can easily use 24MP. I'm neither alone nor particularly unique in that respect.

Oh - how much did you want to bet?

If you prefer a 6MP sensor, you have a lot of options on the used/Ebay market.

0 upvotes
Midwest
By Midwest (Aug 27, 2011)

6MP? Those days are gone, gone, gone and thankfully so.

0 upvotes
Simon Zeev
By Simon Zeev (Aug 24, 2011)

The future is NOW!!
Add a full electronic shutter, a waterproof body & lenses up to 40m and this will be the ultimate camera for me.

1 upvote
AJFS
By AJFS (Aug 24, 2011)

Sorry to say, but I think that someone has already use that kind of technology... :P

0 upvotes
Salah
By Salah (Aug 24, 2011)

interesting! i like this camera

0 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Aug 24, 2011)

Now this is impressive. Would have been lovely with a full-frame sensor, perhaps using a Nikon-esque APS-C crop mode for the existing NEX lenses (with 24mp of real estate to spare it would have more than enough resolution). The sight of a Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 on the front of an NEX-7 would be absurd, but imagine a fast wide Leica lens on a full-frame, 24mp NEX-7. That would be something.

0 upvotes
MichaelSpotts
By MichaelSpotts (Aug 24, 2011)

I have to admit that when I heard the 10fps, I almost drooled. Video at Engadget,bottom of the page:

http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/24/sony-unveils-nex-7-24-3-mp-sensor-oled-viewfinder-1199-price/

I'm thinking this would be great for street shooting and EDC.

0 upvotes
pixelsensible
By pixelsensible (Aug 24, 2011)

When I learned of this new model, my first worry was Sony was going to increase the MP count .... when I saw 24MP, I almost fainted and fell off my chair!

Sony is just helping to perpetuate the biggest lie in history - that more is better (pixel wise)

0 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (Aug 24, 2011)

That's the biggest lie in history?

Don't many high res cameras also allow for raw shooting in lower res? I definitely see a significant increase in all aspects of image quality (more detail, less noise, better dynamic range, better high ISO) going from the 1DS to the 5D then to the 5DII. And as an architectural shooter, I can make use of all of that extra detail and improved quality. So my hands on experience contradicts your assumption.

0 upvotes
MarcMedios
By MarcMedios (Aug 25, 2011)

Pixelsensible. What's next... you are swtiching to a 56k modem?

1 upvote
Midwest
By Midwest (Aug 27, 2011)

Nobody needs 56K on a modem! 28K is plenty! 56K gets more parity error! Stop the baud madness!

1 upvote
MichaelSpotts
By MichaelSpotts (Aug 24, 2011)

Looks very appealing, the direct dials seem like a pleasure to use. I wonder how it would look with a Pentax K 35mm 1.8 on it?

0 upvotes
munishkm
By munishkm (Aug 24, 2011)

a bit too expensive... should've been a $800 cam.. but still very tempting. :) i wonder when canon and nikon is gonna make cameras like these...

0 upvotes
pixelsensible
By pixelsensible (Aug 24, 2011)

Yes, do everything .... but please keep the MP count to 12MP max; anything more is just pure con act !

0 upvotes
Uri Ben
By Uri Ben (Aug 24, 2011)

I wonder when Canon or Nikon ..... or SAMSUNG...

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Aug 25, 2011)

Samsung already has an EVIL camera. The nx100 or nv100 soon to be replaced by a 200?

0 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Aug 25, 2011)

pixelsensible, The 16MP sony sensor is currently the best sensor ever made. It has high DR VS any camera...ever! Its sharper vs the D700!

Sooo....no need to stay at 12! i do really wish they would have put the 16mp sensor in the NEX7....that would have been an INSTANT sale to me. I would pre order it RIGHT NOW...I love the high ISO capability of that sensor. Its a proven GREAT sensor.

But, with the unknown 24MP sensor...I will have to wait for the review.

0 upvotes
leewahkay
By leewahkay (Aug 24, 2011)

I use my 4 old Leciaflex lens on my NEX5. Worked great. So I brought a Rodenstock 15 mm lens and love it. Only if Sony will use 16 bit color then it is as good if not better than a Leica at one seventh the price. I can't wait for the NEX7, It will be good for old timer like me especially with the new focusing aid that turn everything that are in focus red. A tiny camera with a tiny lens is the best thing with or without auto focus. Perfect city candid photo taking much like the original Leica. Only if Leica come out with something similar then I will become a Leica man again. Can your hear this Leica. Get your acts together now!

0 upvotes
spidermoon
By spidermoon (Aug 24, 2011)

A good camera with those big lenses is like a Ferrari with hummer tyres ;)

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

Naw. More like a car with 15 inchers instead of 14's. In most cases the 15's are better.

0 upvotes
Spade357
By Spade357 (Aug 25, 2011)

Likewise, a small high quality lens and a small sensor is like a Ferrari with a 2 cylinder hybrid engine.

0 upvotes
SDF
By SDF (Aug 24, 2011)

I cannot find the link for the Nex-7 preorder at sonystyle or amazon. If you do have one please share. Thanks.

0 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Aug 25, 2011)

http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921666375219

I don't see it listed on AmazonUSA yet.

0 upvotes
JimW
By JimW (Aug 24, 2011)

I must admit that we are really taking a very hard look at SONY's NEX-7 with all these features, true in camera HDR, 60fps video at 1080p, etc., packaged into a compact, very high resolution 24mp imager... I've always said to my students, "keep an eye on SONY" as they too make their own imagers as does Canon...

1 upvote
Tee1up
By Tee1up (Aug 24, 2011)

Not sure what performance will be like but the only way I would want to handle that camera would be with a small pancake sized lens on the front. When you take a small form factor like that and add 4-5 inches of glass on the front, you have a recipe for carpal tunnel problems.

0 upvotes
boardsy
By boardsy (Aug 25, 2011)

Nonsense - you've obviously never handled one. I use my NEX-5 with a heavy old Minolta 50 1.4 + adapter - hold it underneath with my left hand, and focus, click buttons and shutter with my right, and carry it around with the perfectly balanced grip. It all works beautifully!

0 upvotes
Michael Barkowski
By Michael Barkowski (Aug 24, 2011)

Definitely a step in the right direction!

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Aug 24, 2011)

Oh Sony, why are your lenses so big. You finally make a near perfect compact body with an APS-C sensor AND viewfinder and you only have one compact lens for the whole system (and it isn't that good).

0 upvotes
SparkleHedgehog
By SparkleHedgehog (Aug 24, 2011)

they have to be bigger than micro four thirds due to the laws of physics because this has a much bigger sensor!

Don't see what the problem is, it's still massively more compact than a full slr system but with matching image quality, micro four thirds can't say that!

0 upvotes
Tee1up
By Tee1up (Aug 24, 2011)

It makes me wonder how Fuji was able to get such a small form factor with the x100 lens, and if Sony can create a slim lens. I really think Sony may have something here and am looking forward to seeing how it performs at high ISO.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Aug 24, 2011)

Samsung uses the same sized sensor and look at their 30mm and 20mm primes compared to Sony's 24mm. They do have to be a little bigger, but they don't have to be HUGE.

0 upvotes
Sosua
By Sosua (Aug 24, 2011)

The Zeiss is 200grams! OMG, I can't carry 200 grams, imagine how imbalanced it will be on the 350 gram body!

1 upvote
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Aug 24, 2011)

@Tee1up: Because the X100 it's optimized for only THAT lens...only that, and just that, so they could focus on getting it small..you can see that tendency on several fixed lens cameras...

@tkbslc: Yes, Samsung uses APS-C but the registration distance from flange to sensor is 7.5mm longer than Sony NEX-series (about only 18mm) so that helps Samsung develop smaller lenses while their bodies are longer...you can see a similar example with Pentax pancake lens...because of the big registration distance they can make the lens smaller.

1 upvote
jeroul
By jeroul (Aug 25, 2011)

@Rooru S: then how did Leica M9 with FF sensor can use smaller interchangeable lenses??

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 25, 2011)

Probably because they don't have autofocus motors and they use pricey microlens optics.

0 upvotes
Kabe Luna
By Kabe Luna (Aug 27, 2011)

m4/3 isn't a substantially smaller sensor format than APS-C – most of the difference is attributable to its squarer proportions. So, no need for a significantly larger image circle or significantly larger lenses.

0 upvotes
goblin
By goblin (Aug 24, 2011)

Dpreview, I have to disagree. The LA-EA2 is on itself reason enough to bite into the NEX cake. I wish Olympus could bite the bullet on one like that.

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Aug 25, 2011)

Um, what is an la-ea2? Try describing things instead giving abstract model numbers that aren't familar to most here.

0 upvotes
sumit kishore
By sumit kishore (Aug 24, 2011)

Anybody else think the NEX7 is uglier than the NEX5? - or other mirrorless?

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 24, 2011)

Actually no it's the prettiest thing that i've seen from Sony so far. Finally it isn't looking like a smartphone.

7 upvotes
SDF
By SDF (Aug 24, 2011)

Haters will always hate...

0 upvotes
jeroul
By jeroul (Aug 25, 2011)

i can conclude that NEX7 is a handsome camera

0 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Aug 25, 2011)

I think the NEX 7 is the most attractive of all the NEX cameras, and the NEX cameras are generally a lot more attractive than other mirrorless system cameras. But it's obviously just a matter of taste.

0 upvotes
Jabba23
By Jabba23 (Aug 30, 2011)

I think it has gone a different style to the other Nex cameras, it seems to be a great mix of Rangefinder and Compact camera styles. You couldn't actually complain too much about how it looks strange having a large lens on a small body, personally I think they look awesome either way

0 upvotes
ms18
By ms18 (Aug 24, 2011)

Love you sony

0 upvotes
Grant
By Grant (Aug 24, 2011)

What started as a pocket-able camera now needs a rolling case. Combine that with the price and fiddly IU and I'll keep my FF DSLR.

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 24, 2011)

How did it start that way, because they advertised with the pancake and only had one other lens to show ? Nothing changed, it's just becoming more apparent now as their line-up starts to get in shape.

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

Naw, a small messenger or camera bag is EASILY big enough for a NEX system. Plenty compact enough for most. Apparently not to you. Full frame or cell phone right or wait. How about key chain camera.

Here goes. I'll stick with my key chain camera or medium format since the NEX lenses are HUGE compared to that tiny body.

Am I doing it right?

1 upvote
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 24, 2011)

No man, clearly it has no advantage over a slr what-so-ever with these honky lenses:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4135/4828381664_b7bb5e7234.jpg

0 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Aug 24, 2011)

Ah...yeah...I need a rolling case now because of the massive amount of lenses I can fit on NEX-series cameras...

1 upvote
Grant
By Grant (Aug 25, 2011)

Geeeez,,,did I hit a nerve? All I'm saying is...if you need to carry a camera in a bag, what advantage does size have? We're all big boys.

0 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Aug 25, 2011)

M Jesper - why post an image comparing a fixed aperture f2.8 lens to a f3.5-5.6 lens? Hardly a fair comparison. The equivalent variable aperture Canon lens is virtually the same size as Sony's E mount lens.

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 25, 2011)

Grant. I don't even like putting my keys, wallet, and phone in my pocket. Heck, I think the iphone 4 is too big. I would never put a small interchangeable lens in my pocket, ever. It is a bag for sure so maybe there are others like me. I don't expect everyone to feel the same though.

If you are complaining about a bag with a NEX in it that you'll barely notice it's there compared to a bulky M43 in your pocket, then sorry. You are seriously weaksauce.

0 upvotes
Jabba23
By Jabba23 (Aug 30, 2011)

Grant are you saying your FF camera fits in your pocket?
I had the Nex-5 w/ the attached 18-55 in various jackets of mine travelling around Japan. I didn't even bother with a neck strap, it's perfect for a wrist strap. This camera even if it is larger than the Nex-5 is still going to be smaller than my friends D7000 or my other friends 550D or my GF's 5DmkII! I'll take this Nex-7 and a jacket pocket of lenses any day!

0 upvotes
Kirppu
By Kirppu (Aug 24, 2011)

At this point http://a.img-dpreview.com/previews/sonynex5n/images/NEX-SLTadapter2.jpg why not just buy fullbody?
I don't see any benefits from the "small body" in this situation.

0 upvotes
Kirppu
By Kirppu (Aug 24, 2011)

I meant DSLR (fullbody)

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 24, 2011)

Because you can take it off.

0 upvotes
IEBA1
By IEBA1 (Aug 24, 2011)

I agree. Honkin lenses on a credit-card sized camera defeat the purpose. I'll take a compact travel zoom over this because the 12, 15, 18x lens is built in and FOLDS UP into the camera.

Now, if someone wants to build a compact travel zoom-type camera with a larger sensor and concentrate on stellar image quality, sharpness, CA correction & sensitivity, I'm fine with it being a little chunkier because even then, it's SO much more convenient than these clunky 2, 3, 4, 5 piece systems that require you to change lenses & two hands to operate.

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

You should get a Nokia N8 then.

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 24, 2011)

lol IEBA1 if that's you point of view why are you even here complaining about the NEX. Defeat what purpose ? Pleasing YOU ? I can assure you a compact superzoom replacement was nowhere near their intentions. I can start talking about the advantages of a Phone-camera or a Hasselblad right now but it's not going to do much good is it.

1 upvote
sedentary_male
By sedentary_male (Aug 26, 2011)

No mention on whether the image sensor has micro lenses to support wide angle lenses. This is a concern of mine and the reason I have preordered the Ricoh GXR M mount. Earlier NEX models struggled with getting enough light to the edge of the sensor, affecting the picture quality esp. at the edge of the photo.

0 upvotes
roblarosa
By roblarosa (Aug 24, 2011)

Great looking camera and great specs to match. But, wow - the lenses seem large and out of place. Also, I feel it's too expensive. Still, it is tempting.

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 24, 2011)

The lenses aren't any bigger than they would be for any other aps-c sensor camera. With this a small camera the ratio is just off. That'sall. So either take the size advantage of the camera and live with the lenses, or go all the way with a SLR.

0 upvotes
jgh64
By jgh64 (Aug 24, 2011)

A show off by SPECS. A 24 MP APS-C sensor!? Couple of years too soon.

0 upvotes
wutsurstyle
By wutsurstyle (Aug 24, 2011)

I like the placement of the viewfinder...you can see the whole scene with your left eye while you compose your shot.

1 upvote
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 24, 2011)

Agree, rangefinder style.

1 upvote
IEBA1
By IEBA1 (Aug 24, 2011)

And your nose doesn't smear the screen!

0 upvotes
Deusex
By Deusex (Aug 24, 2011)

If you use right eye, but if you want to use left eye you still touch the screen (or it may be dependent from the nose :) may be japanese people can use right eye and do not touch the screen)

0 upvotes
wutsurstyle
By wutsurstyle (Aug 24, 2011)

I just realized that it might be pretty silly having a huge 55-210 telephoto lens protuding from your face as your look through the EVF haha...like a big nose blocking your view. Still better than in the center though.. +1

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Aug 24, 2011)

Don't big lenses block views through OVFs too? In fact, since FF tele lenses must be huge, how can one see anything at all?

0 upvotes
tom sugnet
By tom sugnet (Aug 24, 2011)

Those lenses look like my 135 f/2, too large.

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 24, 2011)

F1.8 dude, with a 24mm !

1 upvote
burnymeister
By burnymeister (Aug 24, 2011)

Love the camera and so tempted to buy but the very thing that makes it great (small size, great sensor) is negated by those bulky lenses! I bought the NEX-5 a year ago - and loved it. Sony kept promising the 55-210mm lens and it never happened. Now they're promising it again... I will wait to see what Panasonic puts in it's next Pro series GF camera before even /considering/ a jump back to the NEX. For now my E-P3 is cheaper, produces great photos and has a plethora of small, fast, usable lenses to match.

3 upvotes
Deusex
By Deusex (Aug 24, 2011)

and it also looks much better

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Aug 24, 2011)

I note that despite it's spectacular specs the whiners are already in the streets.

8 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

Yup. Apparently if a lens is bigger than a M43 lens that negates all the other good features of a camera. haha

3 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 24, 2011)

That is a nice and sadly very true way of putting it, Patman.

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Aug 24, 2011)

OK Good.

0 upvotes
Eric Glam
By Eric Glam (Aug 24, 2011)

My disappointments with the NEX-7:

1. No clean HDMI-out. When connected to an HDTV, it displays all the menus along with the video feed, and the resolution is not 1920x1080, but less.

2. No touch-screen LCD. The NEX-5N has a touch screen, why not the NEX-7?
I know it has 3 dials, which is great, but why not add the touch capability as well?
I know a lot of folks who love using touch-focus, and it's missing here.

3. The screen only tilts up and down, like on the NEX-5 and NEX-5N. I really wanted a hinge mechanism just like the one on the A77.

4. Anyone here know how many focus points the NEX-7 is supposed to have?
And how many of those are cross-type?
Sony gladly mentions this on the A77 and A65, but no word what-so-ever of this feature on the NEX cams.

0 upvotes
Eric Glam
By Eric Glam (Aug 24, 2011)

Some more annoyances:

5. Still using USB2.0, why not USB3.0?

6. Auto-ISO limited to 1600? Why not higher?

7. They can create a small 0.5" EVF with 1024x768, but on the larger 3" LCD they limit to 640x480. Again, why?? I'd much rather have a better resolution LCD, and give up entirely on that EVF. Freedom to shoot is key.

Ohhhh, Sony

0 upvotes
Eric Glam
By Eric Glam (Aug 24, 2011)

Oh, and one more thing:

24MP shots in 10FPS is really great, and I'm happy with that.
But what about the storage media that's supposed to store them?
I was expecting Sony to introduce a wicked-fast card to go along with those new fast cameras. But the fastest SD card on the market is currently rated at 45MB/s. As you've probably guessed, that is NOT fast enough.

Each 24MP RAW photo is roughly 24MB in size.
24MB x 10fps = 240MB/sec.
This is how fast the card needs to sequentially write. Yep, it's SSD territory. So Sony should have implemented a 1.8" SSD card instead of a measly SDXC card slot. Even if SDXC reaches 3 times the speed with UHS-I or UHS-II, or whatever, it's still not enough.

0 upvotes
R Ortiz
By R Ortiz (Aug 24, 2011)

The EVF is what makes this camera. Shooting through the LCD is for amateurs and tourists.

5 upvotes
larsbc
By larsbc (Aug 24, 2011)

NEX-7 uses contrast detect AF, so there are no discrete AF sensors. AF is based on the image sensor's read out. Cross-type doesn't apply to contrast detect AF.

4 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 24, 2011)

5. seriously you're still using cables ? get a cardreader connected to sata and the only bottleneck will be the card itself.

4 upvotes
MisterBG
By MisterBG (Aug 24, 2011)

Eric Glam said "24MP shots in 10FPS is really great, and I'm happy with that.But what about the storage media that's supposed to store them?"

The most likely case is that you can only shoot a limited number of shots at that speed, and then have to wait for the buffer to clear. The same as any existing camera with a high fps.

0 upvotes
Caleido
By Caleido (Aug 24, 2011)

What's the point in having touch focus when you use an EVF with focussing aids? You want to put your finger in the small space between your face and the screen?

How can that be a "missing" feature?

0 upvotes
MisterBG
By MisterBG (Aug 24, 2011)

Further to my reply above, in the Imaging Resource preview of the A77 it says you are limted to 1 second of shooting at 12fps, so I'm thinking something similar here.

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

First, the firmware isn't even final yet so wait for at least a preview version first. Second, a lot of those sound like battery life reasons to me. I'll gladly give up the higher resolution screen for a crazy EVF and more shots. Same strategy that Panasonic uses because their LCD screens have been low resolution for ages because they can't sacrifice battery life and the EVF. That just isn't an option. The A77 and A65 have fat batteries and battery grips so they can afford to go super high resolution both ways.

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

Also they have 90MB/s and even higher SD cards now. No camera has made use of them yet but I am sure the new ones will.

0 upvotes
TOOBAD2
By TOOBAD2 (Oct 20, 2011)

NOW THIS IS WHY OLYMPUS & LUMIX HAS TOUTCH SCREENS SO THOES THAT WANT THEM CAN BUY THEIRS. I FOR ONE AM OLD SCHOOL. IF ALL WERE THE SAME WE WOULD HAVE A REAL PROBLEM THEN. SO FAR FROM WHAT I SEE I WANT A NEX 7. TIME WILL TELL.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 355
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