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NEX-7 Menus

The NEX-7's menus are based on the original NEX-5's, just adding more options on top. Which is another way of saying that they haven't had the best start in life, and haven't really got any better. The overall result is a rather confusing mashup of options, with little appreciable semblance of organization.

Pressing the 'Menu' button first brings up this entry screen. The menus are divided into six sections, but it can take quite some time to familiarise yourself with where each option lives - the ordering isn't entirely intuitive. If you prefer, you can switch the menu background to black in the Custom menu. This has the advantage of being less obtrusive in low light conditions.

The NEX family's most annoying characteristic is the labyrinthine interdependency of the available menu options. Depending on your current settings, certain options will appear greyed-out and unavailable - for example you're not allowed to configure focus peaking in the Custom menu unless the focus is set to MF in the Camera menu.

To its credit the NEX-7 will generally tell you why options are greyed out, but it still forces you to navigate to the conflicting option, modify it, then return to the setting you wanted to change in the first place. And, in some cases, it will sullenly inform you 'This function is currently disabled', offering no hint as to why. Mercifully once you've worked out how you want to set the camera up for everyday shooting, and have configured the soft keys and Triple-dial-control setup to your satisfaction, you can ignore the menus almost completely.

One neat feature you won't find described in the manual is that, while the rear and left dials scroll down the menus an item at a time, the right dial jumps a screen at a time. This helps speed up navigation, which is particularly useful in the immense Setup menu.

Shooting Mode Menu

Option Values / Actions Notes
(Exposure Mode)  • Intelligent Auto
 • Program Auto
 • Aperture Priority
 • Shutter Priority
 • Manual Exposure
 • 3D Sweep Panorama
 • Sweep Panorama
 • Anti Motion Blur
 • Scene Selection
Sports Action
Night Portrait
Night Scene
Hand-held Twilight
'Virtual Dial' shown on-screen with explanatory notes for each option. Exposure mode can be changed using any of the three dials (or the up/down keys).

Camera Menu

Most options set via the Camera menu use a 'virtual dial' on the live view display, with options set using the soft keys. Exiting these takes you directly back to live view, rather than to the menu itself.

Option Values / Actions Notes
Drive mode  • Single
 • Continuous
 • Speed priority continuous
 • Self-timer
2 sec
10 sec
 • Self-timer (Cont.)
10 sec / 3 image
10 sec / 5 image
 • Bracket : Cont.
0.3 EV
0.7 EV
 • Remote Commander
Flash Mode  • Fill-flash
 • Slow Sync.
 • Rear Sync
 • Wireless
 • Flash Off
 • Autoflash
Wireless control not available using built-in flash, only with external unit.

Auto only available in iA/Portrait/Macro modes
AF/MF select  • Autofocus
 • Direct Manual Focus (DMF)
 • Manual Focus
DMF mode is autofocus, but allows manual focus adjustment too
AutoFocus Area  • Flexible Spot
 • Multi
 • Center
Autofocus Mode  • Single Shot AF
 • Continuous AF
Object Tracking  • Off
 • On
Precision Digital Zoom  • Off
 • On
1.2x - 10x
Zoom amount set using rear dial
Face Detection  • Off
 • On
 • On (Registered faces)
Face detection can be set to work with registered faces only, with the camera ignoring strangers.
Face Registration  • New Registration
 • Order exchanging
 • Delete
 • Delete All
"Shoot with fitting into the face frame"
- Decide who's your best friend
- Defriend an ex-friend
- Defriend the world
Smile Shutter  • Off
 • On
Normal Smile
Big Smile
Slight Smile
Smile shutter can be configured according to the habitual sullenness of your friends and acquaintances
Soft Skin Effect  • Off
 • On
LCD Display (DISP)  • Graphic Display
 • Display All Info
 • Big Font Size Disp
 • No Disp. Info
 • Live View Priority
 • Level
 • Histogram
 • For Viewfinder
The options available here are contingent on those selected in the 'DISP Button (Monitor)' Menu (see below)
Finder Display (DISP)  • Display Basic Info
 • Level
 • Histogram
DISP Button (Monitor)  • Graphic Display
 • Display All Info
 • Big Font Size Disp
 • No Disp. Info
 • Live View Priority
 • Level
 • Histogram
 • For Viewfinder
Allows you to select which display modes are available on the rear screen

Image Size menu

Option Values / Actions Notes
Still  • Image Size
L: 24M (3:2), 20M (16:9)
M: 12M (3:2), 10M (16:9)
S: 6.0M (3:2) 5.1M (16:9)
 • Aspect Ratio
 • Quality
3D Panorama  • Image Size
 • Panorama Direction
Panorama  • Image Size
 • Panorama Direction
Movie  • File Format
AVCHD 60i/60p
 • Record Setting
60i 24M (FX)
60i 17M (FH)
60p 28M (PS)
24p 24M (FX)
24p 17M (FH)
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I own it
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I had it
Discuss in the forums


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