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Body elements

The NEX-7 uses a 24MP APS-C sensor shared with the SLT-A77, that sits behind Sony's all-electronic E-mount. As you can see the mechanical shutter is open by default - something that SLR users may find disconcerting, but we've had no problems with in practice over several years of using this type of camera.
The NEX-7's built-in flash pops up out of the top plate, released by a button on the back. It has a guide number of 6m at ISO 100 and can be used with lenses as wide as 18mm.

Slightly disappointingly, it can't be used as a commander for wireless off-camera flash. It's also rather close to the lens axis, which could cause shadowing with larger lenses such as the 18-200mm.
One cute, but undocumented feature is that the flash can be pulled backwards for bouncing off a ceiling, giving more flattering lighting.

This isn't an official feature, so use it at your own risk.
For users looking for more control over lighting, the NEX-7 has a Sony/Minolta hot shoe on top to take dedicated flash units such as the compact HVL-F20AM or the more powerful and fully-featured HVL-F43M.

The F20AM can also be used as a wireless flash trigger when working with off-camera units.
On the front of the handgrip, directly below the shutter button, is a receiver for the RMT-DSLR1 infra-red remote control (that's also compatible with certain Sony DSLRs and SLTs).

The orange LED lamp also visible is the AF illuminator, to assist focus in low light situations.
The NEX-7 sports built-in stereo microphones for movie recording, hidden behind tiny holes above the lens mount. One mic is clearly visible here below the 'N' of Sony, but the other isn't, being almost completely hidden behind the mount. The depression in the body on the right of the picture is purely cosmetic, to provide symmetry to the camera's looks.
The connectors are arranged vertically down the left side of the body, behind a pair of hinged plastic doors. From top to bottom we have HDMI out (type C minijack), USB (mini-B type), and a 1/8" socket for an external stereo mic - the latter behind it's own door. Note that there's no cable release option.
The base of the handgrip plays host to the combined battery and memory card compartment. The NEX-7 uses the 7.7Wh NP-FW50 Li-ion battery, shared with other NEX models.

The card slot is very close to the door, meaning you have to grasp the card by its edges to remove it. This can make getting the card in and out a rather fiddly process.
The tripod mount is placed centrally with respect to the lens axis. Because of the NEX-7's ultra-slim body and tilt screen, there's very little real estate on the base plate around it for a quick release plate to grip.

On the plus side, the mount is sufficiently far from the battery/ memory card compartment to allow them to be changed with the camera on a tripod.

Sony NEX-7 hands-on preview video

This video was shot in Full HD, so we'd recommend clicking here, viewing fullscreen and selecting '1080.'

Note that this video was prepared as part of our original preview content on the NEX-7.

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Total comments: 7

Is there a newer version of this camera? I see it was released in 2011, sort of a long time in digicam land.

looking up

Hi, Would the NEX 7 do well for DSO astrophotography{globulars, and galaxies}? Are 15-30 single exposures realistic? I have a C14" on a CGEM-DX mount. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Looking UP


Your review is incorrect. The NEX 7 does not have an uncompressed file option. The manual clearly states that ARW files are compressed and this is born out by the size of the files. This results in artifacts at fairly small enlargement.


To my mind there seems to be a certain ‘paranoia’ about the NEX-7, something I find quite disturbing. Whilst most professional reviewers are writing very positive, comprehensive feedback, amateur armchair experts seem to picking holes in everything by writing messages all over the Internet that are littered with non-understandable technical jargon. I am far from sure anyone without an advanced degree in photography can understand what on earth they are on about. Surely the strength of a camera is in the pictures (or video) the camera offers, and in the case of the NEX-7, it’s generally recognised they are quite astounding, comparing quite favourably against cameras at four times the cost.


I agree. I came late to the NEX-7 and think it is an exceptional piece of kit that produces superb images, even in my hands....
I could only criticise the user interface which could be friendlier (and which has apparently been improved on later 'Nex' developments. I have been happy to adapt to it, though.
It is one of those classic cameras (like my Sony R1) which I will hold on to for life.

1 upvote

I have had an NEX-7 for about a year now and like you find it an excellent piece of kit: It far exceeds my abilities. My friend is a Pro in London and uses cameras which are far more expensive said he may get one because the quality is excellent, especially for the quick shots outdoors when setting up his stuff would take too long and the moment lost.

1 upvote

I agree with you and my Canon equipment has been collecting dust since my purchase of the Nex7 and a6000. Both outstanding and so portable. The fact you can shoot video through the viewfinder, is the biggest plus among many for me.The likely negatives come from those who don't own one.

Total comments: 7