On August 24 2011, Sony announced the high-end 24.3 Megpaixels NEX-7 and 16.1 Megapixels NEX-5N
mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. The NEX-7 camera manages to incorporate many of the features from SLT-A77 into a body only barely larger than the existing NEX models. It features a 24.3 Megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor and 2.4M dot XGA OLED electronic viewfinder with a magnesium alloy body, a pop-up flash and Alpha hot shoe. The viewfinder can provide approximately 100 percent frame coverage, as well as on-screen grid lines, various shooting parameters and a level gauge. It can support AVCHD Progressive (Ver. 2.0) Full HD movies captures at 60p/24p frame rates and it also comes with a 3-inch Xtra Fine LCD display that can be angled up to 90-degrees up or 45-degrees down for easy viewing in any shooting position.
The Sony NEX-5N comes with a new image sensor at 16.1 Megapixels resolution, supporting a new high ISO of 25,600 equivalent. The NEX-5N's new sensor is coupled to a new generation BIONZ image processor that allows it to capture 10 frames per second at full resolution, as well as progressive-scan Full HD video at 60 frames per second. It also provides both aperture / shutter-priority and fully manual exposure for movie capture. The NEX-5N also includes a new touch screen overlay on its articulated 3-inch TFT LCD panel, it allows intuitive operations such as touching a subject to perform autofocus, and also offers a range of simple slider-based controls. The α NEX-7 is available in a kit with an exclusive black 18-55mm zoom lens for about $1350. The body only NEX-7 is currently selling at around $1,050. Here's the summary of review of the NEX-7 by EOSHD:
"When picking up the NEX 7 you feel cold steel painted black, not painted plastic. The LCD flip-up mechanism is preferable to the sideways rotation of the GH2's screen, whilst it is also double the resolution. It is a very nice piece. That screen is good but it is nothing compared to the OLED TruFinder. When you look through this you see an image with more lifelike colour and better contrast than any EVF you've ever used or the main LCD itself (which is plain old LCD, not OLED). And of course you can shoot video through it. The camera packs more features into a small space than a hamster does in its cheeks, and they are useful features not gimmicks. Peaking for manual focus, a daylight mode for the LCD making it clearly visible under bright sunlight and a flat image profile. I find that even without peaking the TruFinder EVF alone is a great manual focus aid, as good as the Zacuto EVF. I didn't find myself using the it much on a tripod because you can't angle it upwards and you really have to press your eye against the camera body to use it risking shake - but for handheld run & gun documentary or news with the bare minimum of rigging, and for stills, it is so much fun to use.
The NEX 7 is such a strong camera in so many areas. It is only in terms of the downscaling of the sensor in video mode, the baked in flat image profile being slightly useless and the high compression that it is weak. If you want a great B-camera to an FS100, the NEX 7 has the same mount, same sized sensor, the same recording format and 1080/60p for slow motion, all in a body a fraction of the size and cost. Faced with the 5D Mark II and Panasonic GH2, the NEX 7 is a better stills camera than the GH2, ergonomically superior to both for video, has great colour and tonality in the standard picture profiles, but is not up there in terms of resolution and compression. The sensor and EVF show a clear investment - to the tune of billions of dollars - by Sony in cutting edge semiconductors. Video is not an afterthought but it hasn't been given quite the focus that Panasonic lavished on the GH2 in terms of the encoder and downscaling process. If only Sony and Nikon would do what Panasonic managed to do in a $800 consumer camera - we'd have a Canon beating Nikon D4 and a NEX 7 that would be the bargain of the century. Whether it is intentional on Sony's part to keep the video mode of the NEX 7 below the FS100 or done on an engineering basis and to necessitate the much lower price point we'll never really know. I suspect it is to preserve compatibility for consumers (SD cards, editing, TVs, set top boxes, etc.), maintain reasonable battery run times and to avoid cooking the CPU and sensor. If you are shooting for Vimeo, where most of your audience will watch your material close up on a laptop screen, in full screen the flaws of the NEX 7's video quality will be apparent over a modified GH2 and 5D Mark II. Funnily enough if you are projecting your footage on a big screen these micro-flaws are less noticeable."
Photo Album: Sony Announces 24.3MP NEX-7 and 16.1MP NEX-5N Mirrorless Cameras
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Sony Alpha NEX-7 Camera Reviews Roundup
|PhotographyLife - Oct 15 2013|
"The NEX-7 definitely shook up the market when it was first released, thanks to its rich feature set, small form factor, unique design / ergonomics and a very high resolution 24 MP sensor that had no competitor in the mirrorless market. It has been over two years since the announcement, and the NEX-7 is still holding its ground, with no comparable product th..." More »
|VisualScienceLab - Nov 05 2012|
"While I know I can get great files out of smaller cameras I also know that bigger batteries and bigger platforms with faster focusing can be an aid to getting quality work done on long days with fidgety subjects. That's why I used Canons big cameras and Nikons big camera in the past. But over time there's a process of distillation that I can feel happening..." More »
|AdmiringLight - Nov 04 2012|
"The NEX-7 is a very fine camera, and for many will be the ideal Compact System Camera. I think that due to the APS-C sized sensor, excellent EVF with focus peaking and small size, it's the perfect camera for those looking to use adapted manual focus lenses, such as Leica rangefinder lenses or manual focus SLR lenses like Nikon F, Canon FD and Minolta..." More »
|Fstoppers - Oct 28 2012|
"These cameras are for those willing to carry around just a little extra weight for the benefit of far superior photos to that of your iPhone -- let's face it, there's only so much a couple-millimeter sensor can do. The NEX-7 shouldn't disappoint in terms of image quality. And its menu and button layout will never drive you crazy -- it's all done quite well..." More »
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