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The Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L is the centerpiece of the brand's new Travel Line - it's pricey but awesome. Other components of the line are pricey and less-awesome.
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|
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.
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.
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.
|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:
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/
|Select image parameter
|Picture Effects||Select Picture Effect||Adjust effect parameter (where applicable)||N/A|
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
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.
The holidays are a great time to take pictures — and they're a great time to get a camera for yourself or for a loved one. With more than 50 cameras going through the hands of the DPReview team over the year, we've seen it all (or so we think). Based on our collective knowledge we hope this guide will help you make an informed decision on which camera will fit your needs. In part 1, we look at enthusiast interchangeable lens cameras.
Sony USA has said the NEX-7 will begin to ship this month to some customers who pre-ordered it, following a halt in production cause by flooding in Thailand in October. Production is still limited but the company says it will 'aggressively pursue all efforts to restore full capacity' for the NEX-7 and other affected models (which is thought to include the NEX-5N, A65 and A77).
Sony has published details of two OLED displays, giving more detail about the electronic viewfinders used in its SLT A65, A77 and NEX-7 cameras. The displays are based on white LEDs shining through color filters, rather than direct-emitting colored LED technology, helping them to offer higher resolutions combined with 90% coverage of the NTSC color gamut. The company also claims a contrast ratio of 10,000:1 - ten times greater than that offered by its latest WhiteMagic rear LCD screens, also detailed in the company's latest semiconductor newsletter. Their appearance in the newsletter is likely to mean they are available for sale to other manufacturers, raising the prospect of other makers' cameras appearing with high-resolution OLED EVFs.
The Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L is the centerpiece of the brand's new Travel Line - it's pricey but awesome. Other components of the line are pricey and less-awesome.
If you're looking for a high-quality camera, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. In our latest buying guide we've selected some cameras that while they're a bit older, still offer a lot of bang for the buck.
What's the best camera for under $500? These entry level cameras should be easy to use, offer good image quality and easily connect with a smartphone for sharing. In this buying guide we've rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing less than $500 and recommended the best.
Whether you've grown tired of what came with your DSLR, or want to start photographing different subjects, a new lens is probably in order. We've selected our favorite lenses for Sony mirrorlses cameras in several categories to make your decisions easier.
|Lake view night sky by purelightglow|
from Night Landscapes
|LOOKING UP IN THE CITY by tko|
from Your City - B&W Night Picture (rerun)
|Nature's Crowning Acheivment by Domenick Creaco|
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is a more powerful dual-grip evolution of the E-M1 II. Aimed at sports shooters it promises improved AF, including advanced subject recognition, along with the highest-ever rated image stabilization system.
With a double grip and double batteries, the Olympus E-M1X is the company's largest mirrorless camera to date - and yet, the big story is all on the inside.
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Olympus just announced its new flagship camera, the OM-D E-M1X, and Chris and Jordan are already here with their review. Tune in to see them put this new model to the test in the frozen north, and find out what they think of it.
Olympus has released the ultimate Micro Four Thirds sports camera in the E-M1X and we've been busy pointing it at as many fast-moving subjects as humanly possible. Peep our first samples.
Want to know more about the new Olympus E-M1X camera? DPReview will be hosting a YouTube Live event at 9:00 AM Pacific time with editors Richard Butler and Carey Rose to answer any questions you may have. They will also share their own first impressions of the camera.
Olympus announced the development of a pro-level super-telephoto zoom the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS Pro. This hefty lens is equivalent to 300-800mm on Micro Four Thirds bodies without the teleconverter and 375-1000mm with it. The lens will be available in 2020.
Olympus today also announced a 2X teleconverter, which is compatible with its 300mm F4 and 40-150mm F2.8 lenses, as well as the 150-400mm which is under development. The company has also released an updated lens roadmap showing what's to come.
Arriving in late February, the FL-700WR is freezeproof, dustproof and splashproof and offers wireless radio communication to act as commander or receiver.
In addition to a new flashgun, Olympus has introduced new weather-resistant, wireless flash commander and receiver units.
Vitec Imaging Solutions, the company behind Manfrotto, JOBY, Gitzo and others, has announced it's acquiring Syrp, a camera accessory manufacturer that specializes in video motion control products.
Despite viral photographs suggesting otherwise, Instagram claims it's not limiting how many accounts particular posts reach.
Winning images will be seen on and offline across the globe but read the small print to understand what's happening to your images when participating in the contest.
Sony is reportedly forming a subsidiary in Amsterdam in an effort to avoid issues as a result of Brexit, but 'business functions, facilities, departments, sites and location of [Sony employees in the UK] will remain unchanged.'
Announced at CP+ in 2018, the Sigma 28mm F1.4 Art has proven itself to be one heck of a sharp lens in our use so far.
EIZO has released an updated version of its display calibration program ColorNavigator 7 that brings along new features and support.
An incredibly rare contact sheet from the last known photo shoot of Marilyn Monroe has appeared on eBay for $195,000.
After teasing it last autumn, DJI has announced the pricing and availability of the optional Multilink accessory for its Inspire 2 and Cendence controllers
The Live Planet VR System is an all-in-one package designed to simplify the process of creating, storing and sharing immersive video content on-demand with a high-powered 16-camera array at the center of the platform.
Samsung's latest image sensor offers a high pixel count in a tiny package.
Meike has released a budget 50mm lens for Canon and Nikon's full-frame mirrorless camera systems.
One of three lenses launched alongside the Nikon Z6 and Z7, on the face of it the Z 50mm F1.8 S might appear the most pedestrian of the group, but it might just be the niftiest fifty we've ever seen.
Panoram is a simple app that makes it easy to split up panoramas so it's easier to post on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat 'Stories.'
News results from Google might be missing a few images if a new EU Copyright Directive passes.
Professional commercial photographer Moe Lauchert shares an incredible gallery of film photographs he captured on Ilford HP5 with a Nikonos 5 while serving as a diver at NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston, Texas.
This week, Sony introduced its newest APS-C camera, the a6400. Of course, Chris and Jordan were on hand to take it for a spin and test out all the new features.
The Sony a6400 is, in many ways, just a refreshed a6300, but its overhauled AF system makes a big difference. We look at how it compares with its rivals in and beyond the E-mount system.
Glove and Boots take a humorous look into the history of photographs and how far technology has come since the days of caveman hand selfies.
We've been shooting with a beta version of the Sony a9's upcoming firmware 5.0. While there's much more analysis to come, we can say it makes for a dead simple AF tracking user experience. Take a look at some of our samples.
A statement following internal investigation by DJI alleges a number of employee were part of an internal corruption scandal that overcharged DJI for parts and materials.