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Sony Alpha NEX-7 Camera

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The Sony Alpha NEX-7 Camera

With an extremely compact size and advanced control options, the Sony Alpha NEX-7 is targeted right at enthusiasts and semi-pros, even some pros. It uses Sony E-mount lenses, which gives users a selection of somewhat smaller lenses in comparison to typical DSLR lenses. It has an ISO range of 100-16000 and a massive 24MP APS-C sensor that allows for images to be captured and enlarged to extreme size.

What really makes this camera a milestone in digital photography is a built-in 2.4M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder. By using an electronic viewfinder, Sony was able to keep the physical size of the camera relatively small without sacrificing quality. The high resolution viewfinder offers large, bright 100% coverage, -4 to +1 diopter adjustments, and auto-switching eye sensor. For situations where holding the camera to your eye is difficult, you can use the tiltable 921k 3.0" LCD screen to compose and review images.

The NEX-7 uses the Sony Tri-Navigation system, which allows for complete customization based on the user. Settings can then be adjusted via dials and buttons rather than delving deep into menus. The rubberized handgrip makes for a comfortable, easy-to-grip camera body, while the the metal gives it a solid feel.

Other notable features are the inclusion of the Sony hotshoe mount, which is compatible with the Sony Alpha system flashes, as well as a small pop-up flash for quick fill light when a large flash isn’t required. The 25-point AF system allows for accurate focus across the frame, or you can engage object tracking to have the camera keep your subject in focus.

The NEX-7 also captures 1920×1080 HD video at up to 60p in AVCHD 2.0. For a smooth cinematic feel, 24p is an included setting. You get full manual controls while recording, including moving focus points, and input for optional 3.5mm mic. Throw in the ability to use nearly any lens via adapter, and you have a very advanced, compact camera capable of class-leading video recording.

Tim's Take

The camera itself is great. The controls are by-far better than anything Sony’s done before, and could be the best for a mirrorless camera to date. It’s got a learning curve, especially if you want to customize buttons, but it’s well worth it. While the high ISO is a tad noisy, it’s actually not too bad up to 1600. With a good exposure in decent light, I’d say they’re pretty good. If your shooting during the day and want a lighter setup than a DSLR, then the NEX-7 is a fantastic choice. If you need low light performance, you may want to look at the NEX-6.

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