Considering Buying an NEX-7: Questions

Started Jun 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
Binone Contributing Member • Posts: 510
Re: Considering Buying an NEX-7: Questions

I just spent 3 weeks traveling with a NEX-7 and can offer some insight into your questions and concerns. For a bit of background, I shoot professionally and have been using Canon dSLRs (5D2 & 40Ds).

1. Re. the EVF. I was worried about this since my 5D2's view finder is so good. However, the EVF in the 7 is nothing short of fantastic. Yes, there are some issues, but the ability to see all of your shooting information and a live-view histogram before you trigger the shutter, is simply magic.

2. Re the proximity sensor. This is a big problem and Sony needs to fix it. As you're walking around, the camera will sense your body and keep switching between the EVF and the LCD. This prevents the camera from entering "sleep" mode and will, in short time, kill the battery. You've got to turn off the camera after you've shot a scene, and turn it back on for the next scene. The first part that's going to wear out on a NEX-7 is going to be the on/off switch. Also, carry a spare battery. Fortunately, the time it takes the camera to be ready to shoot after you turn it on is very short.

3. The movie button was initially a royal pain. The first few times I used the camera I ended up with movies of my feet. However, I got used to it and during the 3 week trip, and about 2,000 frames shot, I never shot a movie. Yes, they need a solution, but this isn't a deal breaker.

4. Speed turning on. Fast. See 2, above.

5. Comparing the NEX-7 to a dSLR, the biggest positive is how small and light it is. It was an absolute pleasure to carry. I carried 2 Nex cameras and a couple of lenses all day, every day, and never noticed the weight. Now, the big negative vs a dSLR: Focusing. Compared to the focusing speed and accuracy of a dSLR, the Nex is very poor. Stationary objects are usually no problem in good light, but moving subjects are a big problem. I suggest that you set it to use only the center spot to focus, then focus and recompose.

The bottom line, IMHO, is that the NEX-7 is a winner despite the few negatives. If I had made the 3 week trip with the Canon 5D2, and the "L" glass, after the first couple of days it would have ended up in the hotel safe and I would have walked around with my Canon S100. So, for a travel camera, at this point in time, I don't think that it can be beat.

This doesn't let Sony off the hook, however. The firmware is still quite limiting and things like auto-bracketing are almost useless because of the firmware limitations. Sony has to listen to all the complaints and do something about those limitations, which have been well documented. Instead of spending their engineering resources on new camera bodies, IMHO, the investment would be better spent on getting the firmware right for the bodies they already have.

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