Sony has been at the camera game for sometime now, but until today none of their compact digital cameras have been as robust and exciting as the just introduced NEX-7. Yes, it’s comparable in terms of form factor to the NEX-3 and NEX-5, but it extends well beyond their feature set to provide a fully featured, interchangeable lens camera that can capture high res pics and full HD video, all the while weighing just 10.3oz (body only).
Behind the lens is a 24.3 megapixel all new Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor. Sony says that it’s the highest in its class and we’d have to agree. As already mentioned the NEX-7 can capture full HD video as well as shoot in low light situations thanks to it’s massive ISO range of 100-16,000. If for some reason the lighting scenario is of no concern, but speed is, you should take comfort in the fact that its shutter lag has been reduced to a mere 20 milliseconds – the fastest of any interchangeable lens digital camera – and all the while boasting the ability to capture up to 10fps, which is also a world’s first for any mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.
Now when it comes to many of this supposed pocket friendly DSRL, you often lose the manual options that their big brothers sport. However, Sony says that the NEX-7 has two control dials as well as a control wheel, allowing photogs the ability to manual adjust pics and achieve what the company says are advanced DSRL like pictures.
A first for Sony, and any camera in this class, is a an integrated XGA OLED TruFinder viewfinder. While its optics have yet to be tested, we can only assume that colors and the overall image are more accurately portrayed than other viewfinders on the market. It’s also worth noting that this viewfinder provides approximately 100 percent frame coverage and a wide field of view “that rivals pro-grade optical viewfinders.” Complimenting the viewfinder is a 3-inch Xtra Fine LCD display that can be angled up to 90-degrees up or 45-degrees down for those over the head or under the dress situations.
Much like the NEX-C3, the NEX-7 also includes Sony’s Picture Effects, which includes 11 modes and 15 effects, allowing for “artistic effects” to be achieved without the need for a computer. These effects include new HDR Painting, Soft Focus, Miniature and Rich-Tone Mono, Soft Skin, Auto HDR, Handheld Twilight and Anti Motion Blur Modes. And lets not over look their 3D Sweep Panorama mode, which as the name says should provide a 3D image (on a compatible screen) of a panoramic view.
Last, and most certainly necessary to make the NEX-7 a success, is a built-in flash and an Auto-lock Accessory Shoe – latter supports the full range of Alpha flashes and monitors, as well as adaptors to accommodate studio lighting. The NEX-7 is compatible with both Sony’s line of memory cards as well as SD cards.
The Sony NEX-7 will be available this November in a kit with an exclusive black 18-55mm zoom lens for about $1350, or as a body-only for about $1200.