dpreview: Sony NEX-7

Our in-depth review of the Sony Alpha NEX-7.

With its 24MP APS-C sensor and high-resolution EVF encased in a compact body with lots of external controls, the NEX-7 is one of the most desirable cameras of the year for the enthusiast photographer – on paper at least.
But at a body-only price around $1000, it’s far from cheap.
So does it live up to the expectations and hype?
Read our 28-page in-depth review to find out.

Specifiche tecniche

• 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor (shared with the SLT A-77 and A-65)
• ISO 100-16000 (100-1600 in Auto)
• Built-in 2.4M dot OLED EVF with eye sensor
• Electronic first-curtain shutter (cuts response time from 100ms to 20ms)
• ‘AVCHD Progressive’ 1080p60 HD movie recording with built-in stereo mic
• Tilting rear screen
• Three-dial user interface
• Built in flash and Alpha hotshoe
• Infra-red remote control receiver
• Microphone input socket

Overall conclusion

When the NEX-7 was first announced, it looked as though Sony had gathered together a set of enthusiasts’ wish lists and built a camera to exceed them all.
From the compact ‘rangefinder style’ body with its built-in electronic viewfinder, through the high resolution sensor offering 24MP stills and Full HD 60p video, to the triple-control-dial interface, it ticked all the right boxes on paper.
There’s little doubt that the NEX-7 is one of the most exciting cameras of 2011.
In the flesh, it lives up to almost all of that initial promise.
The EVF is excellent, stills image and video quality both superb, and the handling is remarkably good for such a small camera.
The use of three dials to control each of the main exposure parameters makes so much sense that it seems odd no-one’s done it quite like this before.
The fact that these dials can also be used to change a wide range of other settings, cycled through by pressing a button on the top plate, borders on genius.
In fact the NEX-7 is so good in so many respects that any criticism almost feels like nit-picking.
It’s not perfect, but then again no camera is, and its imperfections can generally be overcome.


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