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We've been digging around under the hood of the Nikon Z50. We look at what Nikon's first APS-C mirrorless camera does and doesn't offer.
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.
We've been digging around under the hood of the Nikon Z50. We look at what Nikon's first APS-C mirrorless camera does and doesn't offer.
The Live Planet VR system may look like something out of a science fiction movie, but this stereoscopic, 16-lens camera and its associated cloud platform may be one of the best tools out there for live-streaming events in 360 degrees.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
Long-zoom compacts fill the gap between pocketable cameras and interchangeable lens models with expensive lenses, offering a great combination of lens reach and portability. Read on to learn about our favorite enthusiast long zoom cameras.
If you want a compact camera that produces great quality photos without the hassle of changing lenses, there are plenty of choices available for every budget. Read on to find out which portable enthusiast compacts are our favorites.
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The Natural History Museum has announced the winners of its 55th annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
According to a report from Bloomberg, beta testers of Adobe's Photoshop CC for iPad have noticed a number of major features missing or incomplete.
The lens is currently available to pre-order for $449 and is set for retail availability on November 8, 2019.
Datacolor is offering the 64-bit update as a free software update to ensure the Spyder5 calibration sensor works with Apple's latest desktop operating system macOS Catalina.
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We've got our hands on the Olympus E-M5 III and it is is, on the outside, a refinement of its predecessor. But we'll go a bit deeper and talk about what's also changed on the inside in our hands-on slideshow.
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is a 20MP Micro Four Thirds camera aimed at enthusiast photographers. It shares the same sensor, AF system and 4K-video capture as the flagship E-M1 II and E-M1 X, in a considerably smaller and lighter package.
We spent 48 hours exploring the deserts of southern Utah with the E-M5 III, Olympus smallest, lightest 20MP camera. Click through to read about our experience shooting with the camera and to see what kind of photos it's capable of taking.
We recently joined Olympus in Moab, Utah for some preliminary shooting with the OM-D E-M5 III. See how the photos look in our extensive sample gallery.
Olympus has announced the OM-D E-M5 Mark III - a more compact camera than its predecessor, which incorporates a lot of technology found previously in the higher-end E-M1 Mark II.
The PEN E-PL10 remains largely unchanged from its predecessor aside from the redesigned display and a few software additions.
DPReview Science Editor Rishi Sanyal had an opportunity to sit down with Marc Levoy and Isaac Reynolds of Google to dive deep into the most important camera updates on the new Pixel 4.
Chinese company Zhiyun, the world's leading gimbal manufacturer, announced the WEEBILL-S earlier this week.
United Kingdom photo retailer Jessops is reportedly looking for administrators to help sort out rising costs and falling revenue.
Google has confirmed it's ending its free 'original quality' image backups with its Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones. This marks the first time the popular perk isn't offered since the launch of the original Pixel smartphone.
In a story shared on 35mmc, photographer Steve Boykin tells how he stumbled upon a Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R lens he had lost four months prior during a trek in the wilderness and discovered it still works fine.
Sandmarc's new filter series combines the characteristics of polarizing and neutral density (ND) filters into one single filter.
Our testing of the Canon G7 X III continues, which means we've brought along on plenty of day trips and adventures to get a feel for its performance in a number of situations. Take a look at some of the resulting images.
Shimoda Designs has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its new 'ultra-aggressive' lineup of camera bags that includes three backpacks, two rollers and a handful of new and improved accessories.
Meike has added yet another mount option to its 85mm F2.8 manual macro lens, which was previously available for Canon RF, Canon EF, Sony E/FE and Nikon F mounts.
Camrote version 1.2.0 adds new zoom and time-lapse capabilities to select Sony camera systems.
Google has officially unveiled the Pixel 4, with the addition of a telephoto camera headlining the camera updates. Other improvements include real-time HDR preview in live view, added brightness and exposure controls, and an updated portrait mode with better depth mapping.
With Luminar 4, Skylum Software aims to provide sophisticated editing tools in an easy to use package.
The a7R IV is Sony's latest high-resolution interchangeable lens camera, but that doesn't mean it's just for landscape photographers. Get all the details about this 60.2MP full-framer in our full review.
Google's Night Sight has justifiably been considered the low light king, but with the iPhone 11 Apple is challenging for this title with its own Night Mode. Take a look at how they compare side-by-side.
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Sony Semiconductor's 24MP sensor has been at the heart of many excellent APS-C cameras over the past few years, but the impressive results we saw from the 90D's new 32MP sensor suggest that Canon has finally answered with a formidable chip of its own.