The angular magnesium body of the NEX-7 looks and feels every bit the professional piece of kit. The matte black paint finish looks understated, yet tough enough to deal with life's knocks. Although the camera body itself is really slim, a deep contoured finger grip with a soft rubberised coating provides an excellent balanced grip of the camera.
Controls are laid out in an extremely well-thought-out manner. Two knurled dials on the rear give direct access to aperture, shutter and exposure compensation. A function button next to the shutter release changes one of these dials to allow the AF mode, D-Range Optimiser and Picture Style to be changed very quickly. Another direct control can be toggled between selecting manual focusing and AF, or to lock the exposure.
This is all complemented perfectly by the customisable control wheel and a pair of function buttons on the rear, which can be assigned a function of your choice. This level of control and customisation should suit advanced photographers particularly well. A one-touch video recording button is also provided, and its placement is easy to reach without getting in the way or being activated accidentally.
The NP-FW50 1080mAh battery, which is standard across the NEX range lasts well, providing plenty of power for a typical day's shooting. Using the electronic viewfinder rather than the screen appears to wring a little extra life out of the battery, which lasted around 400 shots during testing.