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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
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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.

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Comments

Total comments: 355
123
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (Aug 24, 2011)

Oh dear. I feel like selling all my samsung gear to get this..

0 upvotes
kennethtong
By kennethtong (Aug 24, 2011)

Which lens should I buy for Macro shooting?

0 upvotes
abi170845
By abi170845 (Aug 24, 2011)

I am more interested in the new lenses, I'll wait until those lenses are in the market, especially the 24mm Zeiss. I do not want to buy the NEX 7 body and then Sony won't or delays the delivery of the new E mount lenses just like Canon did with their II series L lenses.

I could probably by then, buy a second hand nex 7 body, the body is disposable.

0 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Aug 24, 2011)

The camera itself is a thing of beauty, but if only the new 24mm was just a little smaller to match. It looks totally out of place, and completely negates the portability of the body.

4 upvotes
jorg14
By jorg14 (Aug 24, 2011)

I agree. With that bulky lens, there is no disadvantage to carrying a DSLR.

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

Yeah ? Then point me to a 24/1.8 aps-c lens of the same size and zeiss performance for my DSLR.

4 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Aug 24, 2011)

Well I can't do that, M Jesper, due to a little matter of physics.

I'm not asking for Sony to work miracles, I was just hoping they'd come up with some smaller, more convenient lenses too.

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

So lens totally negates the portability when you haven't seen or held it yet? Have you even seen the video? The 24mm and the 18-55 seem like a perfect size match there. Check it out before writing it off.

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

JWest i don't think you realize that even a relatively big NEX lens is still smaller than any other >aps-c equivalent<. That is the point about this system. Sure it's hard not to compare with m43, but this ISNT m43. And so saying a thing like 'completely negates' the portability, is simply not true.

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

2 upvotes
Deusex
By Deusex (Aug 24, 2011)

The circumcircle diameter of m4/3 is almost 7 mm less compare to APS, so their cannot create significantly smaller lenses. May be in the future by using negative metamaterials it will be possible, but right now we should accept that all lenses (especially zooms) for FF and APS sensors will be bigger compare to m3/4

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

And yea they could make a 24/2.8, but that would be boring and i'm glad they didn't. Plus this is zeiss quality, and that means more lens elements for utmost precision, which takes up some space, but it sure is worth it. I don't know exactly how this lens will perform, but i have a pretty good idea seeing how the 24/2 performs. It basically is a digital successor to my classic Canon FD 35/2, which i have wished for for ages. There simply hasn't ever been anything like it for aps-c till now.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/blogged/3643963494/

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

Perhaps the lenses are big, not only because of physics, but preference too. The NEX series is popular in Japan, where you'd have to think Sony would do its product testing with focus groups selected because of "typical" buying habbits. Maybe they put two cameras on the table, and the participants squeezed a button more when they saw the camera with the bigger lens. Perhaps it looks more virile. Could DSLR owners less upset that the NEX lenses are big, than they are disturbed to see a small camera with a protuberance as big as theirs?

Better video AF is the real reason to pick a NEX or m4/3 over a DSLR. But the lenses cost plenty, and you can't put them in a pocket.

If the Panasonic LX7 or Canon successor to the S95 improved their video a bit, they might become the pocketable and cheaper quality alternative to either m4/3 or NEX. The latest Oly 1/1.8" sensor and Fuji 1/2.0" backlit sensor compacts come close.

0 upvotes
talhak91
By talhak91 (Aug 24, 2011)

This outspoken defense of something none of you have held either is a bit embarrassing. It's quite an impressive camera, but it's a valid point that if the lenses are still so large, then the set up becomes rather front heavy and the advantage from the small body is lost to a significant degree. Not only that, but the good grip provided by a more traditional form factor is also lost, making things more difficult to hold. Nevertheless, I'll be waiting patiently to make a final judgment.

0 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Aug 25, 2011)

That's a nice picture of the Canon 17-55 f2.8 that you're comparing to the Sony 18-55 f3.5-5.6.

If you'd like to make a valid comparison, you could put it next to a Canon 18-55 f3.5-5.6, and see that they're virtually the same size (just over half a cm in diameter and 1cm in length different).

I'm not arguing that your Zeiss lens shouldn't have been made. I may even splash out on one, and a Nex-7 to go with it, if the combo turns out to have enough IQ to justify the cost.

I just wish there was more choice than the current pancake lens for me to attach when I want a convenient pocketable camera.

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 25, 2011)

talhak91. I personally think it is much more embarrassing with the outspoken attack of something you have never held.

The point isn't valid at all because the majority of the lens from each system has been always similar sized or bigger than the camera itself. Just off the top of my head G3 + 100-300, T2i + 18-200, T2i + 18-135, T2i + 15-85, T2i + just about any L lens etc. Sure some of those examples ARE a bit front heavy but they handle perfectly and no one complained about them. The NEX system on the other hand, barring the 18-200, hasn't had a single lens, besides the aforementioned, that is remotely front heavy and we have people bitching about their size when the weight is like peanuts.

Sorry, not valid in the slightest. You obviously never handled the system I see. haha

1 upvote
Jens_G
By Jens_G (Aug 27, 2011)

The 24 is roughly the same size as the 18-55 kit lens, which I find perfectly acceptable ito size and ergonomics, whether using one or two hands. The people complaining obviously haven't used the cameras.

1 upvote
f_stops
By f_stops (Aug 24, 2011)

Preordered at Amazon!

0 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (Aug 24, 2011)

Built in EVF, articulated screen, big fat rear control dial - this is what the E-P3 should have been.

3 upvotes
RestyF
By RestyF (Aug 24, 2011)

I admire the built-in EVF, but E-P3 has touch screen with touch-shutter and has 2 control dials. E-P3 still the winner.

1 upvote
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Aug 24, 2011)

The NEX-7 also appears to have dual control dials, and should have much better high ISO performance than the 4/3 cameras.
The E-P3 might have a touchscreen, but I wouldn't call it a winner based on that alone.

0 upvotes
Suat Ateslier
By Suat Ateslier (Aug 24, 2011)

Great... I want it.

0 upvotes
draschan
By draschan (Aug 24, 2011)

very interesting. I am curious to see what canon and nikon will bring up in full format. I also wonder why the nex lenses are so much bigger than the fuji lens or leica (there was someone in this forum stating that leica has no AF and no image stabilizer but at least they are FF. there are some really small 35mm and 50mm leica lenses)
I would love to have small fast manual focus prime lenses for such a camera. with those huge cannon like sony lenses the whole concept doesn't really make sense to me.

1 upvote
CFynn
By CFynn (Aug 25, 2011)

With an adapter you can easily use almost any manual focus prime on the NEX - Leica, Zeiss, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, or whatever.

0 upvotes
ijack
By ijack (Aug 24, 2011)

It’s somewhat intriguing to me so many people are so hyped up about this. The only thing Sony did, is move the viewfinder to the left of the camera…, and removed the mirror from its SLT lines.

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

Maybe that's because you're not using old rangefinder and SLR Leica, Carl Zeiss, Olympus, Canon FD and FL lenses (well, actually, you can almost mount every single interchangeable lens in this World to the NEX-series cameras). This camera with the built-in EVF brings joy to all people who had a NEX-5 or NEX-3 and wanted to compose with VF instead of using the LCD or wanted more direct controls...

1 upvote
CatKetch
By CatKetch (Aug 25, 2011)

With a 50+ year collection of dozens of MF lenses, the NEX-7 seems like an ideal way to use them on a digital platform. I can forgo an FF sensor if the body can adapt to multiple MF mounts. This means manual focusing, however. How well do current NEX bodies handle MF lens focusing? Could Sony add a firmware upgrade to the NEX that emulates the Ricoh GXR A12 high-contrast focus option? Inquiring minds want to know ...

The NEX-7 specs and accessory options look pretty sweet (off-camera flash, for example) -- hope Sony doesn't drop the ball on getting promises into production!

1 upvote
sedentary_male
By sedentary_male (Aug 26, 2011)

Sony and Ricoh are the only two that use the high-contrast focus option. More of a concern if you're shooting with manual lenses is whether this sensor has micro lenses to help with illumination at the sensor edges. I have preordered the Ricoh GXR mount and still happy to do so. The fact that it is a dedicated m mount and Ricoh's excellent user interface to name a few.

0 upvotes
reddevil1909
By reddevil1909 (Aug 24, 2011)

Looks like Sony go into the footsteps of the legendary Minolta Hi-Matic camera's they made in the 60's and 70's.

Great camera even it isn't a real rangefinder it has the looks and the excellent specs.

Canon and special Nikon it will be a hard time for those brands special for the new photo enthusiasts people who not want a bulky camera but camera with excellent performance.

2 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

I find it quite laughable how the M4/3 crowd puts the size of the lens before everything else. I always thought IQ and ergonomics were the most important. I guess I went to the wrong university.

1 upvote
ijack
By ijack (Aug 24, 2011)

If size is not an issue, may be you should just get a A77, it's a better camera with better handling and everything else.

Except the viewfinder is in the middle, rather then on the left.

3 upvotes
Managarm
By Managarm (Aug 24, 2011)

I told you from the start that the Sony-university isn't the best choice...

After all, why do you buy a compact camera if the camera + lens is not compact? Just stick with a DSLR that has a lot better ergonomics.

5 upvotes
Nate21
By Nate21 (Aug 24, 2011)

i agree with the two poster above me the ideal structure of the ILC is small design and small lens not big lens i have a film rig that big already

1 upvote
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

I didn't say that size wasn't an issue. I am just not biased enough to put size ABOVE IQ and ergonomics and reject a camera based on the lens size, which seem normal sized to me, like you rejects seem to be doing. The NEX is still much smaller than a good DSLR set up especially compared to the A77. Heck the A65 is much smaller than the A77 and the A55 smaller still. The NRX 7 even smaller not matter what size the lens is. So I find your comments about just getting an A77 instead quite ridiculous considering the size savings are HUGE. Besides, if you watch that Amazon NEX 7, the size of the lens look perfectly in synch with the camera plus the size allows you to cradle the lens for stability. Why does it have to be a pancake, it is easily small enough. You guys are just haters it seems.

1 upvote
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

Sorry, that should read NEX 7 and not NRX7.

And that should read Amazon NEX 7 video.

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

Also, if I choose to buy a smaller camera, it does not absolutely NEED to have a lot of pancake lens. I have a GH2 and G2 and the smallest lens I have is a 14-42mm which I might sell. I have no intention of buying the 20mm but if it was the same size as the 14 - 42 I honestly would like it more. Matches my camera bodies more and gives be a more stable platform to shoot and is still a lot smaller than a DSLR. I like the weight savings but it doesn't mean I have to buy a girl camera with tiny lens. A civic coupe (NEX 7) is small enough. I do not need a fricking smart car/Austin Mini(what you losers insist that the standard should be). I definitely wouldn't buy a truck(A77) just because the Civic is not as small as a smart car. Different people have different needs. You see how ridiculous you guys sound now? The NEX 7 + lens size is perfectly fine and could be even GASP, ideal for some.

0 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Aug 24, 2011)

Patman - But would it be reasonable to trade some IQ/ergonomics to make the system more compact? And really, as long as you stay at low ISOs, I don't think the IQ difference between current APS-C and 4/3 sensors is that dramatic.

I'm not saying that I like that approach, but people have different preferences, which is why different manufacturers take different approaches.

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

There is a market for it but then you should just buy M43 and ignore the NEX. It doesn't mean you have to bash everything that is slightly bigger and completely write it off. Those close minded people are the ones who miss out in life.

The NEX lens sizes are fine for some and is the right balance of IQ and ergonomics IMO. I would rank it like this.

1. Ergonomics
2. Price ( which the NEX 7 fails at)
3. IQ/sensor
4. Quality of the lens
5.
6.
7.
8.
9. Looks/styling
10. Size of the lens

You don't see NEX and DSLR fans bombard a M43 camera announcement saying stupid stuff like "sigh, if only the lens were bigger" or "what is the point of getting a pancake lens if it doesn't match the size of that huge almost DSLR sized GH2 body?"

You don't here that stuff because we are not ridiculously unreasonable like your camp is. haha

0 upvotes
Managarm
By Managarm (Aug 24, 2011)

"I am just not biased enough to put size ABOVE IQ and ergonomics [...]"

Well you are, since you prefer a NEX7 to the A77. I mean there are several ergonomical reasons for DSLRs being bigger and having more direct control options than any EVIL.

If the NEX suits your needs that's fine, get it. But according to some mature comments like bashing smaller cams as being "girlish", calling critics "losers" and dividing photographers into specific "company-camps", it more seems like you want the NEX for bragging rights concerning it's sensor size. And well, since there still isn't a single fast native lens in the normal or tele range for the NEX system, the sensor just has to deliver decent high ISO output to at least partially make up for that lack.

0 upvotes
Managarm
By Managarm (Aug 24, 2011)

Give Sony some more years and the NEX system could get interesting as a whole compact system, not just as a good sensor with a small grip on it. Something like the NEX7 with some fast Zeiss pancakes, that would be great. But only with some slow and big consumer zooms, nah forget it...

0 upvotes
Yohan Pamudji
By Yohan Pamudji (Aug 24, 2011)

"I find it quite laughable how the M4/3 crowd puts the size of the lens before everything else."

Way to build a straw man, Patman. If that were true then all m4/3 users would be cell phone camera users. Any other silly, generalized, exaggerated claims you want to make?

Perhaps, just perhaps, some of us prefer something more compact while maintaining good image quality. Not everything has to be a pancake, but look at the size of the Olympus 12mm f/2 and 45mm f/1.8 for good examples of non-pancake-but-still-compact lenses for m4/3. I'd like to see similar lenses for NEX, albeit slightly bigger to cover the larger sensor. Still waiting.

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

Ah so your camp is even worst than I thought. The lens have to be smaller than NEX lenses yet no smaller than M43 lenses to be immune from criticism. I do not see how you can deny your biases from the way you guys are bashing the rumored new Nikon and Pentax Q as having no advantages and how you are condemning the NEX for having bigger lenses. At least be man enough to admit it.

0 upvotes
coolhihi
By coolhihi (Aug 25, 2011)

If we should not 'put size ABOVE IQ and ergonomics', we should definitely throw NEX away and get 5dII back, which has much better IQ and ergonomics, and have some decent size lenses we can choose from.

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Aug 24, 2011)

The only thing I see that makes it worth the price is being the first camera sporting the 24MP sensor that doesn't lose 1/3 of the incoming light to a pellicle mirror. Otherwise, the native NEX lenses aren't up to the task of resolving an image to match and the DSLR adapter + lenses basically nukes any size advantage of the body. I'd probably just opt for a K-5 or D7000 at that price and not be bothered with a teensy font-heavy lens-adapted quasi-compact.

2 upvotes
gillbod
By gillbod (Aug 24, 2011)

the reason i'd go with one of these is to put m-mount glass on it, which have few issues with regards to size or resolving issues...

1 upvote
brudy
By brudy (Aug 24, 2011)

This is exactly why I'm interested in this camera. A nice VF, decent manual controls, m-mount ability - sounds like a winner.

0 upvotes
roy5051
By roy5051 (Aug 24, 2011)

At last, Sony have built at body in the NEX series that is larger than its lenses, so that the lenses don't look like an afterthought. Won't please the "must have everything smaller" brigade, but looks more like a camera and lens rather than a lens and camera!

3 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Aug 24, 2011)

Are you kidding? Look at it with that adapted Alpha lens. That's a huge lens with a big fat adapter and a tiny camera stuck on the end.

2 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

The must have everything smaller brigade are so ridiculously unreasonable it is laughable. The lens ARE still much smaller than DSLR lens and they tell me to get an A77 like it is the same size? Please!

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

Um...don,t buy the adapter then? haha The haters are absolutely ridiculous. Sigh.

1 upvote
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Aug 24, 2011)

...huge lens with a tiny camera stuck on the end

Even a DSLR can look like a lens cap with buttons on some large, fast telephoto lenses.

1 upvote
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

Look at the video with the NEX 7 on amazon. The lens are hardly huge and the camera hardly tiny. Stop being a dram queen and over exaggerating things. Like I said, the 20mm on the GH2 looks like a lens cap but who really gives a crap? Oh sorry. Apparently a tiny lens on a big body is okay but a normal sized lens on a smaller body is not. Okay. gotcha.

1 upvote
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Aug 24, 2011)

Heres a press release with the actual specs

http://presscentre.sony.eu/content/detail.aspx?ReleaseID=6940&NewsAreaId=2

1 upvote
Chris Tofalos
By Chris Tofalos (Aug 24, 2011)

Pity the lenses are so large but WOW! Almost looks like the perfect CSC body. Everything except a tilt/swivel LCD (not worried about lack of touch-screen).

At least it will force other manufacturers to compete spec-wise and, in the end, we should all get what we want. Well done, Sony...

1 upvote
sensibill
By sensibill (Aug 24, 2011)

CSC is a non-starter. Not Compact (that's what we call small P&S cameras and the big APS lenses negate that small body), not 'System' (we use 'interchangeable lenses' for that, and 'system' is used to describe other things), not 'Camera' (we don't call a DSLR a DSLRC).

1 upvote
JT_FD
By JT_FD (Aug 24, 2011)

That may be so, but for us legacy-lens enthusiasts, it is the best deal on the block for using MF lenses with a digital body, especially now (at last!) there is to be a viewfinder.

1 upvote
omr
By omr (Aug 24, 2011)

@sensibill:

> "CSC is a non-starter"

Tell Sony and Panasonic. Sony used that term ("Compact System Camera") in a NEX-5N press release, and Panasonic has used the term several times.

0 upvotes
abi170845
By abi170845 (Aug 24, 2011)

getting really interesting, been thinking of getting these types of camera since bringing my 7d with L lenses lots of people think that I'm a pro and gives me headaches by asking so much dumb questions(what are you photographing, what camera are you using, are you working for a magazine, etc) and from the Tripod Police and DSLR Rent-A-Cop nuisances.

I'd probably buy the lenses first the Zeiss and the Telephoto E lenses and wait for the like brand new NEX body at the used market. The bodies are dispensable toys.

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

Would a NEX spare you any of those nuisances? Might it simply inspire a new dumb question: "What is THAT?" If you answer, "It's a NEX," half the observers might respond, "Huh?" and the other half might dial 911.

A cell phone camera is usually immune from such trouble. A pocket travel zoom places a distant second, in those terms.

0 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Aug 25, 2011)

But you'd end up with consumer E mount lenses with a nex and probably vastly different focal lengths and max apertures than your L lenses. I've seen the E-16mm on the 3 and 5 so I can only imagine it'd perform worse on he nex7 with a lot more pixels smeared soft away from the center of the lens.

0 upvotes
abi170845
By abi170845 (Aug 25, 2011)

it never ends does it? But I'll wait for Sony to deliver the new E mount Zeiss lens, I would love to have this camera for back packing trips too. I just hope that Sony will deliver those new E mount lenses. I won't be buying one soon but as soon as the zeiss lens is out and the 50mm is out, i'll be looking at the used sections for the body for a deal.

0 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (Aug 24, 2011)

So there is no touch-screen on the Nex-7, while the Nex-5N does sport a touch-screen? A touch-screen is wonderful for setting the focal point or for zooming and panning in record review. It sure makes sense not to offer this comfort on the Nex-7.

2 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Aug 24, 2011)

I agree, this is bizarre.

0 upvotes
pete_mb
By pete_mb (Aug 24, 2011)

I don't think the 5N's touch screen can be used for setting focal point or panning in review mode unfortunately. It's just for menu navigation.

0 upvotes
futile32
By futile32 (Aug 24, 2011)

there is a video on engadget showing the Focus point to track on the NEX5n by taping on the screen. Nice feature.

1 upvote
praktinafan
By praktinafan (Aug 24, 2011)

Seems to be ideal for discrete photography, thanks to the viewfinder.

0 upvotes
xah
By xah (Aug 24, 2011)

This will be my NEX(T) camera :-)

7 upvotes
ponyman
By ponyman (Aug 24, 2011)

Can't help thinking that 24mps is around twice the ideal and hugely detrimental gimmick for a supposedly 'serious' camera.

2 upvotes
AlexK-12
By AlexK-12 (Aug 24, 2011)

Even if it is detrimental, you always have the option to choose a smaller size. And 24MP should come in handy at least a few times in it's use.

1 upvote
sean000
By sean000 (Aug 24, 2011)

I agree... and while you can shoot JPEG at a smaller size, RAW will be full size. I predict some trade-offs will be revealed. There are times when that extra resolution will be useful, but for most shots it's just not necessary.

0 upvotes
Sosua
By Sosua (Aug 24, 2011)

Time will tell - the jpegs in the samples (for the A77) are not particularly encouraging although Sony has never been renowned for its jpeg quality. Raw and Lightroom will be the real measure for people seriously interested in 24MP.

People of course did say similar things about the Sony 16mp sensor (now found also in the D7000 and K5) and that is the best APS-C sensor ever made...

3 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Aug 24, 2011)

24MP is not going to cause the same pixel density issues as a micro sensor going from 10 to 14MP. There's a lot more room on an APS.

3 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (Aug 24, 2011)

It all depends on the amount of noise. It's okay to bump up the resolution if noise is controlled. Eg: the new Panasonic G3 has moved from 12mp to 16mp and is actually less noisy / better in low light than its predecessor (and the new Olympus E-P3, which retains an old 12mp sensor).

3 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Aug 24, 2011)

I don't thik it is a gimmick. There are already some preliminary test shots over on imaging resources comparing the same sensor in an A77 to shots taken with high end full frame DSLR's. Quite impressive. The results from the NEX 7 should be even better since you don't have the SLT nirror in the way and the 30% light loss. You can also use the camera with some incredibly good M-mount glass. (Imaging resouces test shots were done with the A77s kit zoom).

Can't imagine what Sony's next full frame sensor will be capable of - but things look promising.

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

I don't understand how 24MP would EVER be useful. 6MP is probably all one ever needs for a large print of a full shot. A crop of a 24MP shot is unlikely to be any sharper than a crop of a 12MP shot. No mention seen whether the NEX-7 employs a crop mode when shooting video (using a smaller portion of the sensor to extend the optical zoom), but 2MP (=HD video) are enough for that, and I'd rather that involved more space on a 12MP ASP-C than less space on a 24MP ASP-C.

The quibble between high ISO noise, on the one hand, and complaints about NR smudging, on the other, are tough to reconcile. You get one or the other. To turn off NR solves nothing, unless you plan to dabble endless hours editing only one or two photos.

1 upvote
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Aug 25, 2011)

Agreed. If this is to be a "fun" type party camera why do you need 24 MP? Show me an LCD screen that display 24 MP. Even 60" TVs only show 2 MP. Sony could have gone classy and respectable and gone 10 MP with the nex7 like Canon and Nikon have with the G12 and p7000 which provides better high ISO than cramming in 50% or more pixels in the same sensor.

0 upvotes
Joe0Bloggs
By Joe0Bloggs (Sep 4, 2011)

Well, I noted several years ago that 2x2 pixel binning on a bayer sensor cuts resolution to 1/9th, so for 1080p video, if you want to bin instead of pixel skip (which massacres low light sensitivity and introduces aliasing artifacts) or downsample from full resolution (which no sane onboard processor would be capable of) you need a minimum of 18mp, or 22mp on a 3:2 sensor for an 18mp crop. Looks like this Sony sensor would be the first generation of sensors at least theoretically capable of this.

0 upvotes
Joe0Bloggs
By Joe0Bloggs (Sep 4, 2011)

Of course, I also thought at the time that cranking resolution up to 22mp just so you could get binned 1080p video would be barking mad. Not to mention that 24mp binned 2x2 is still 8mp worth of data (although only 2.6mp worth of resolution), so if you can have a processor that crunches binned output from a 24mp sensor to produce 1080p video, you can also use it to downsample full resolution output from an ‘only‘ 8mp sensor to 1080p video...

0 upvotes
digidownunder
By digidownunder (Aug 24, 2011)

This will be my NEX camera!

0 upvotes
eddie_cam
By eddie_cam (Aug 24, 2011)

The back of the cam:
http://presscentre.sony.eu/imagelibrary/detail.aspx?MediaDetailsID=201418

1 upvote
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Aug 24, 2011)

Thank you! Who knows WHY they excluded a pic of the back of the camera! Doesnt make since to me!

1 upvote
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Aug 24, 2011)

Good camera, but wait a bit and we will see similar on micro 4/3 with a Panasonic Lumix

2 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Aug 24, 2011)

Good camera, but wait a bit and we will see similar on micro 4/3 with a Panasonic Lumix

2 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Aug 24, 2011)

You'll be waiting awhile since the GF7 is apparently a ways off still. Probably because they are a plasma company and the smallest plasma is 42inches. They have to work out a deal with Sony or Samsung to get this OLED viewfinder or dissect it and make their own or it'll be a blurry lag like the one on my GH2.

0 upvotes
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (Aug 24, 2011)

Ahhh... Christmas. Can't wait. NEX-7 and LA-EA2. Happy times.

2 upvotes
JasperD
By JasperD (Aug 24, 2011)

That´s what I was thinking. Having a choice between the A77 or NEX7, I´d rather get the true mirrorless. Seems ideal to me for street shots with the 24/1.8 CZ (35mm eq.) and for macro! The SLT to NEX new thing, not sure, kind of defeats small size for walking around.
I wonder whether Sony will be brave enough to ´leak´ a future NEX9 for next year or 2013... ;)

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

What you bringing up a NEX-9 for ?

0 upvotes
JasperD
By JasperD (Aug 24, 2011)

Easy. I´d prefer saving the bucks towards a FF NEX.

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

Waiting for 2013 ?? Good luck ;)

0 upvotes
JasperD
By JasperD (Aug 24, 2011)

Not in a hurry, have the A100 and A900 serving me very well...

0 upvotes
novak977
By novak977 (Aug 24, 2011)

This is my next camera!

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

nice adapter with phase detect AF

0 upvotes
bigjay
By bigjay (Aug 24, 2011)

the button with 2 dials that change function on button press harks back to the Dynax 7xi film camera from Minolta from the early 90's which used this approach. worked well then - promises to work well now. Cant wait to see a Nex 7 in store.

0 upvotes
DekHog
By DekHog (Aug 24, 2011)

Great specs and great looking, but anyone who buys this based on having one half decent lens to put on it must be nuts..... looks like smokin' hot sex..... until you put a lens on it.

1 upvote
MarcusGR
By MarcusGR (Aug 29, 2011)

Absolutely agree. The whole Nex system keeps beign bogged down by current E-mount lenses. And that is particularly true for Nex7 : it will cost more than several semi-pro DSRL. So why pay this price if the "jump" in portability and balance are ... annihilated by E-lenses ? (not to mention Alpha lenses+ adaptors ..!).
The only "portable" E-lens currently available is the SEL 16mm.
The 18-55 is bulky, and it does not provide the wide-angle most like to have (it should start at 16mm). All the others - even the fixed focal ones - are even bulkier and more un-balancing..
The Nex7 (and all the "Nexes" for that matter) will only make sense when Sony produces a "retractable" zoom-objective such as the new Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 OIS pancake. For an APSc-sized sensor, a good one would be a 16-48 mm.

1 upvote
caissam
By caissam (Aug 29, 2011)

Great camera, what a pitty that there are no small and good zoomlenses. It´s a waste of their apabilities to use this cam with the bad nex kits 18-55/16mm.

And using it with a bigger 16-50 prime lense make no sense, the body is to small from the ergonimcal side for such a big and heavy lense. I would like sth like the X14-42 from Panasonic for NEX!

1 upvote
Bun Bun
By Bun Bun (Sep 1, 2011)

so sexy. will purchase one in November. woot woot!

0 upvotes
Bun Bun
By Bun Bun (Sep 1, 2011)

so sexy. will purchase one in November. woot woot!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 355
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