Sony NEX-7 review

Does Sony's new CSC hit the NEX level?

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Sony nex 7 review

The Sony Alpha NEX-7 is a difficult camera to pigeonhole. On one hand, it's an advanced camera with many features that will tempt those looking at the current crop of advanced consumer digital SLRs, such as the Canon EOS 60D or Nikon D7000. Having easy access to manual exposure control and a tough yet lightweight magnesium body are just a couple of the stand-out features. On the other hand, there's only a limited range of lenses currently available for the system, and the poor autofocus in low light may pose serious issues, depending on the camera's intended use.

Being aimed at experienced photographers, it will be interesting to see if Sony expands its range of E-mount lenses.

A lightweight CSC with a 24.3Mp sensor may be ideally suited to landscape photographers, but the lack of a suitable wide-angle optic may be just as off-putting as the camera is tempting. This is a real shame, because the lightweight design of the body and the excellent resolving power of the sensor should make this an ideal application for this camera.

We liked

The tough magnesium body is lightweight and reassuringly robust for the most part. Experienced photographers will love the quick access to manual controls, customisable function buttons and rich, detailed images provided by the Exmor CMOS sensor. The quality of the video recorded is also excellent, and serious videographers will love the manual control and ability to attach an external microphone.

We disliked

For a serious camera, the autofocus in low light is slow and inaccurate. Experienced photographers may also find the limited range of E-mount lenses off-putting, depending on their intended use for the camera.

Final verdict

Despite the occasional shortfall, the NEX-7 is a very pleasant camera to use, especially when you've customised it to your particular way of shooting. The built-in OLED viewfinder is a real bonus, providing a bright, clear view, and having a hotshoe and input for an external microphone both add to the flexibility of the system. Overall, the NEX-7 is a very interesting camera due to its high specification, and it should win over some purely because of that.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution24.3 Megapixel
Product Familyalpha NEX
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo
Digital Zoom10x
Brand NameSony
FeaturesFace Detection, Smile Detection, Self-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Manual Control
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4, AVCHD
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)291 g
Image Sensor Size23.50 mm x 15.60 mm
Maximum Image Resolution6000 x 4000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height66.9 mm
Width119.9 mm
Depth42.6 mm
Product SeriesNEX
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelNEX-7
Product Namealpha NEX-7 Mirrorless Camera
Product Linealpha
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNEX7/B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

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