Sony USA has confirmed that the new compact system camera, the Sony NEX-7 will start shipping to a few selected pre-order customers, ahead of the predicted January date.

The NEX-7 production was halted after devastating floods in Thailand all but destroyed a key Sony factory involved in the production of the camera. Originally expected to be on sale from November, Sony had recently anticipated that January would see the first camera reach customers.

In an official statement, the US arm of the company said that it was happy to announce that limited quantities of the new NEX-7 camera will begin shipping to pre-order customers, but was keen to point out that overall production capacity still remains restrained.

Factory closure

After the floods in Thailand, two out of Sony's three factories were closed, with several other electronics and cameras manufacturers also blighted by problems associated with the disaster.

Sony transferred the manufacture of its NEX cameras, along with the some of its SLT cameras, to another factory in Chonburi, which is further south in Thailand and was previously being used to produce car radios.

Also in the statement, Sony said, "We're continuing to aggressively pursue all efforts to restore full production capability of the NEX-7 and other affected models."

via The Verge