Sony Alpha NEX-7

      Photo Review 8.6
      -/
      leadpic_NEX-7_SEL50F18

      In summary

      A mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera with a high-resolution APS-C sized sensor, sophisticated controls and both 3D and Full HD video recording.Sony has taken the 23.5 x 15.6 mm 24.3-megapixel Exmor sensor it used in the Alpha SLT-A77 and installed it in a compact camera body to produce the NEX 7. It has also built a high-resolution, 1.3 cm XGA OLED electronic viewfinder into the new camera body, along with a proprietary hot shoe that accepts Sony’s flash guns. Further adjustments have been made to allow the NEX 7 to match (or exceed) the capabilities of many DSLR cameras while retaining a small, almost pocketable camera body. . . [more]

      Full review

      -
      leadpic_NEX-7_SEL50F18

      Sony has taken the 23.5 x 15.6 mm 24.3-megapixel Exmor sensor it used in the Alpha SLT-A77 and installed it in a compact camera body to produce the NEX 7. It has also built a high-resolution, 1.3 cm XGA OLED electronic viewfinder into the new camera body, along with a proprietary hot shoe that accepts Sony’s flash guns. Further adjustments have been made to allow the NEX 7 to match (or exceed) the capabilities of many DSLR cameras while retaining a small, almost pocketable camera body.

      With photographers at all levels demonstrating increasing interest in mirrorless cameras, as a premium product the NEX 7 will clearly appeal to serious enthusiasts. Unfortunately, locally it is being offered at premium prices that are between $250 and $650 higher than overseas prices (depending on locality and configuration).

      In addition, when this review was posted, operations at the factory in Thailand where the camera is made were “temporarily suspended due to flooding, supply chain and transportation difficulties”. The suspension of production also affects Sony’s NEX-5N, NEX-C3 and SLT-A65, which are also manufactured in Thailand.

      The NEX-7 is currently listed as ‘out of stock’ on the Australian Sony Store website. So, even if you ordered a camera now, there’s likely to be some uncertainty as to when it will be delivered.

      Build and Ergonomics
      Of necessity, the NEX 7 is the largest model in the NEX stable, although not by as much as you’d think. Measuring 119.9 x 69.9 x 42.6 mm, it’s slightly wider, taller and thicker than the NEX-C3 we reviewed in July 2011, which measured 109.6 x 60.0 x 33.0 mm. It’s also 66 grams heavier, partly through better build quality.

      -
      NEX7_front_wSEL1855

      Front view of the NEX 7 with the SEL1855 18-55mm lens. (Source: Sony.)

      The top and front panel have been manufactured from magnesium alloy, while the back and battery casing are black polycarbonate (plastic). The front view of the new camera has the characteristic NEX styling and is very similar to the NEX-5 (which was announced at the same time).

      As in other ‘NEXies’, it’s dominated by the lens mount, which accepts E-mount lenses. Interestingly, there are several adaptors available that allow other lenses to be used, including Sony’s A-mount lenses. The review camera was supplied with the SEL1855 18-55mm lens, which had a black barrel to match the camera body.

      -
      NEX7_front-angled_wSEL1855

      Angled front view of the NEX 7 with the SEL1855 18-55mm lens showing the generous grip. (Source: Sony.)

      The grip is reasonably generous but may be a little small for users with large hands. However, its rubber cladding provides comfort and security while shooting. An LED between the grip and the lens shines an orange beam when AF-assist is enabled.

      The front of the grip slopes down to provide space for the shutter button with surrounding power Off/On switch, which faces forwards, as in many DSLRs. Beside it is a button that enables users to cycle through various camera settings, including metering patterns, white balance, DRO modes, EV adjustments and Creative Style settings.

      -
      NEX7_rear

      The rear panel of the NEX 7. (Source: Sony.)

      -
      NEX-7_SEL1855_rearleft

      Rear view of the NEX 7 with the SEL1855 18-55mm lens showing the monitor positioned for waist-level viewing. (Source: Sony.)

      The rear panel carries a 3-inch LCD with 921,600 dots of resolution and features Sony’s TruBlack anti-glare technology. As in other NEX models, it pulls out and tilts up through approximately 80 degrees and down through about 45 degrees. But it can’t be reversed onto the camera body. The screen comes with automatic brightness control plus five-step manual override and a Sunny Weather mode for bright outdoor lighting.

      -
      NEX-7_lifestyle_15

      The tilting LCD monitor in use. (Source: Sony.)

      The XGA-resolution OLED EVF is located in the upper left corner on the rear panel. It’s the same as in the SLT-A77 with ‘TruFinder’ technology, 2,359,296-dot resolution and 100% frame coverage. Dioptre adjustment is provided via a roller on its right hand side.

      For an EVF, the NEX 7’s finder is quite impressive. It’s big, bright and information-rich – and also very sharp. However, its dynamic range is a bit restricted and, depending on the subject and how you’ve set the finder’s brightness, in sunny conditions you can find highlights or shadows being clipped. It also suffers from a slight (but perceptible) lag in refresh rates.

      Ranged above the monitor to the right of the dioptre control are buttons for accessing the flash and image playback plus an AF/MF and AEL lever with central mode access button. A Movie button with a red central dot is located on the far right side of the camera body, close to the strap lug.

      Below the AEL button is the Menu button, which is recessed into the camera body so its top is flush with the rear panel. Further down is a circular multi-controller (arrow pad equivalent) with a rotating dial and directional switches for accessing display, drive, metering and exposure compensation settings. Focus modes are set with a button near the lower edge of the rear panel.

      -
      NEX-7_top_SEL1855

      The top panel of the NEX 7 with the SEL1855 18-55mm lens. (Source: Sony.)

      The top panel is noteworthy for the inclusion of two large dials, the tops of which barely rise above the camera body. Used in combination with the rear rotating dial, this Tri-Navi camera control system (see the Controls section, below) provides a quick and easy way to adjust key functions. Icons on the monitor show the functions selected and display adjustments in real time.

      -
      NEX-7_front_SEL1855_flash_up

      The NEX 7’s built-in flash lifts up and pushes forward when the button on the rear panel is pressed. (Source: Sony.)

      Left of these dials is a built-in flash with a Guide Number of 6 (meters at ISO 100) and coverage to 18mm focal length. A first for a NEX-series camera, it claims a recycle time of roughly four seconds and springs up and forward when the flash button is pressed. It is pushed down to prevent further usage. Further left is a hot shoe that accepts Sony-branded flash-guns as well as the FA-ST1 sync terminal adapter for communicating with studio flash systems.

      Pre-flash TTL metering is used for flash exposure measurement and the NEX 7 provides +/- 3.0 EV of flash exposure compensation in 1/3 EV steps. Flash modes include Off, Auto Flash, Fill Flash, Slow Sync and Rear Sync. Red-eye reduction is also available.

      The strap eyelets carry plastic-lined D-rings instead of the simple wide, fixed loops found on other NEX cameras. HDMI and USB ports are located beneath a lift-up flap below the left side strap, with a dual-purpose AC-in/Mic socket in a separate compartment below them.
      The USB port supports two types of connection: Mass Storage Class and Microsoft’s Media Transfer Protocol. The HDMI port (Type-C Mini) is compatible with Sony’s Bravia Sync, which enables some playback functions to be controlled with the TV’s remote controller. Although you can play HD video clips from the camera via this interface, it doesn’t support SD video playback so you’ll need a third-party device if you want to play movies on a standard-resolution TV set.

      The battery and memory card share a compartment in the base of the camera. A metal-lined tripod socket is also located here in line with the optical axis of the lens. A three-hole speaker grille sits between them.

      -
      NEX-7_bottom

      The base plate of the NEX 7. (Source: Sony.)
      The NEX-7 comes with Sony’s two-way dust-reduction system, which combines sensor vibration with a charge protection coating on the low-pass filter. Dust-reduction is engaged automatically each time the camera is switched off, although not when it’s powered-up (which slows start-up times). The system can be activated manually, when required. Image stabilisation is lens-based only.

      As in other NEX models, the card slot accepts both Sony’s Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD memory cards. It’s compatible with the latest Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and high-speed, high-capacity SDHC and SDXC cards.

      Controls
      Although most of the camera settings provided on the SLT-A77 are available in the NEX 7 they aren’t quite as easy to access. There’s no mode dial in the NEX 7 so you have to dive into the menu system to set the shooting mode.

      When the camera is first switched on, pressing the top key opens a Menu screen with six sub-menus: Shoot Mode, Camera, Image Size, Brightness/Colour, Playback and Setup. The contents of each sub-menu are essentially the same as in the NEX 5, which we reviewed in June 2010.

      The Tri-Navi dial control system makes it much easier to access key camera settings than it was on previous NEX cameras. The table below lists the default settings assigned to the three dials in each of the camera’s shooting modes.

      Shooting mode

      Left Top Dial

      Right Top Dial

      Rear Dial

      Program AE

      Program shift

      Exposure compensation

      ISO

      Aperture-priority AE

      Aperture

      Exposure compensation

      ISO

      Shutter-priority AE

      Shutter speed

      Exposure compensation

      ISO

      Manual

      Shutter speed

      Aperture

      ISO

      Sweep Panorama

      Up/down, left/right directions

      Exposure compensation

      Disabled

      3D Sweep Panorama

      Left/right directions

      Exposure compensation

      Disabled

      Anti Motion Blur

      Disabled

      Exposure compensation

      Disabled

      The Custom mode lets you assign any of the following functions to any of the three dials: exposure compensation, AF mode, ISO, metering pattern, white balance preset, DRO/Auto HDR mode, Creative Style preset, Picture Effect, image quality. You can also enter ‘not set’ for any dial you don’t want a function linked to. Preferences for the optional dial settings are shown in the table below.

      Settings

      Left Top Dial

      Right Top Dial

      Rear Dial

      AF

      AF area select

      Horizontal focus position

      Vertical focus position

      White balance

      Preset selectionm

      Amber/blue adjust

      Green/magenta adjust

      DRO

      Level adjustment (1-5)

      Exposure compensation

      DRO/HDR/off selection

      HDR

      EV range

      Exposure compensation

      DRO/HDR/off selection

      Creative Style

      Mode selection

      Parameter adjustment (+/- 3 steps)

      Parameter selection (sharpness, contrast, saturation)

      Picture Effect

      Not assigned

      Mode selection

      Effect selection

      Sensitivity, white balance and drive mode settings are essentially the same as in the SLT-A77. The NEX-7 has a working ISO range between ISO 100 and ISO 16000. High ISO noise reduction is applied by default and can’t be switched off, although users can choose between three processing levels: High, Normal, or Low.

      As in the SLT-A77, the NEX-7 provides 10 white balance modes and includes Kelvin temperature settings. Colour filter adjustment of 15 steps (A/B and G/M) is available for fine-tuning and manual measurement is provided.

      Available drive modes include Single-shot, Continuous and Speed Priority Continuous and there are two self-timer delay settings (two or ten seconds) plus a Continuous Self-timer mode that records three or five exposures after a ten second delay. Bracketing is available for three frames across 0.3EV steps and there’s a Remote Commander mode for use with the optional RMT-DSLR1 controller.

      Shutter speeds range from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds and there’s a Bulb setting that keeps the shutter open while the shutter button is depressed. It’s best used with the remote controller to avoid camera shake. Flash sync is at 1/160 second.

      The electronic first curtain setting introduced in the SLT-A77 is also provided in the NEX-7. Designed to reduce capture lag for live view shooting, it also minimises the effect of vibration from a mechanical shutter.

      The NEX-7 comes with automatic in-camera correction for vignetting (corner darkening), lateral chromatic aberration and distortion. Adjustments are only applied to JPEG files and, as far as we’re able to determine, only for Sony’s lenses.

      A dual-axis level gauge display is available to ensure level horizons and provide control over converging verticals. Pitch and yaw detection is provided and when the camera is held perfectly level, the indicator glows green.

      Sony has augmented the standard Picture Effect modes with five new settings. Soft High-key replaces the NEX-5’s High-key mode, while Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome and Miniature are all new to the NEXS line-up. Posterisation (colour or B&W), Pop Colour, Retro Photo, Partial Colour (red, green, blue, yellow), High Contrast Mono and Toy Camera continue from the earlier camera.

      Like many of the latest Sony Cyber-shots (and also the SLT-A77), the NEX-7 can record a stereo pair in the 3D Sweep Panorama mode. It’s created by processing the image data as the camera is swept across the subject and, because of the amount of information-processing involved, the sweep angle and output image size is limited, and smaller than the standard Sweep Panorama.

      The resulting stereo pair of images is saved as an MPO (multi-picture object) file that contains two separate JPEG images, one for each eye. The 3D Sweep Panorama mode has three image sizes: Wide (7152 x 1080 pixels), Standard (4912 x 1080 pixels) and a dedicated 16:9 mode, which saves a 1920 x 1080-pixel panorama for full-screen HDTV viewing.

      Focusing
      Like most other mirrorless cameras, the NEX-7 relies on contrast detection for autofocusing, using 25 sensor points. A new algorithm has been introduced to improve AF performance and speed and the system has a working range between EV 0 and EV 20 at ISO 100 with an f/2.8 lens.

      Users can select a single point at the centre of the frame or a flexible point that can be moved within an 11 x 17 point grid. Single-servo and continuous modes are available and face detection and object tracking can be switched on and off. The built-in LED AF-assist lamp for focusing in low light levels has a range of up to three metres with the 18-55mm kit lens and Direct Manual Focus is available in AF mode.

      In manual focus mode, users can choose one of two magnification levels: 5.9x or 11.7x to fine-tune local sharpness. The focus peaking display introduced in the NEX-C3 is also available.

      Sensor and Image Processor
      We’ve already covered the new 24.3 effective megapixel Exmor APS-C sized HD CMOS Sensor and enhanced BIONZ processor in our review of the SLT-A77. Details of image sizes and sensitivity settings can be found in that review.

      The BIONZ processor enables continuous shooting speeds to reach a maximum of 10 frames/second in the Speed Priority Continuous burst mode, which locks focus and exposure on the first frame. The buffer memory can hold up to 18 standard JPEGs (17 fine), 13 ARW.RAW images or 11 RAW+JPEG pairs.

      Video
      The NEX-7 has the same video capabilities as the SLT-A77, supporting Full HD (1920 x 1080-pixel) recording with the ability to capture 50 interlaced frames off the sensor for PAL system TV viewing (60 frames for NTSC). Recordings are made using AVCHD Version 2.0 compression, with Dolby Digital (AC-3) audio recording. Several progressive-scan and interlaced frame rates are available, as shown in the table below.

      Video format

      Movie
      Quality

      Resolution

      Bit rate

      AVCHD

      50i

      24M (FX)

      1920 x 1080

      28 Mbps.

      17M (FH)

      24 Mbps.

      50p

      28M (PS)

      17 Mbps

      25p

      24M (FX)

      24 Mbps.

      17M (FH)

      17 Mbps

      MP4 at 25p

      12M

      1440 x 1080

      12 Mbps.

      3M

      VGA

      3 Mbps.

      Because we didn’t receive a user manual with the review camera we are unable to provide information on recording times. However, according to published specifications, the battery can supply power for up to 29 minutes of recording in movie mode or up to 2GB of MP4 movie recording.

      Users have much more control over exposures in movie mode, because the camera can be operated in the P, A, S or M shooting modes during movie recordings. The Creative Style settings can be applied to movie clips and some Picture Effect modes are available.

      Selecting the Tracking AF mode fixes focus on the selected subject while it is in motion and the built-in stereo microphone is complemented by a stereo microphone jack for Sony’s ECM-CG50 Shotgun and ECM-ALST1 stereo microphones.

      Playback and Software
      Unlike many cameras, the default setting on the NEX-7 doesn’t automatically display shots immediately after they are taken. An optional Auto Review function in the Setup menu lets you set the camera to display images on-screen for two, five, or ten seconds post-capture. You can also magnify displayed shots up to 16.7x for focus confirmation and display index views containing six or 12 frames.

      The remaining playback modes are the same as other Sony cameras. So (we believe) is the software bundle, which contains the latest versions of Sony’s standard software applications: Image Data Converter SR, and Image Data Lightbox SR and Picture Motion Browser (PMB).

      Unfortunately, no software was provided with the review camera. However we were able to confirm that the version of Image Data Converter SR we received with the SLT-A77 was able to process ARW.RAW files from the NEX-7 and convert them into TIFF or JPEG format.

      Performance
      Subjective assessments of image files from the review camera show them to be a lot like those from the SLT-A77. This is to be expected since both cameras have the same sensor and image processor chips.

      Exposure positioning in the NEX-7 slightly favoured the recording of shadow detail, which meant applying -0.3EV exposure compensation when shooting JPEGs in bright outdoor lighting. Fortunately, the sensor/processor combination produced captured quite a wide brightness range, regardless of whether the Dynamic Range Optimiser was on or off.

      Colours in test shots appeared natural and even traditionally difficult-to-record blues and purples were handled very well, as shown in the sample images below. Imatest showed saturation to be well-contained but revealed a few hue shifts that affected mainly the warmer hues. Skin colours were a tad warm, which some people may prefer.

      As with the SLT-A77, were forced to use the (inferior) Image Data Converter SR software for converting ARW.RAW files into editable TIFFs and JPEGs instead of our preferred software, Adobe Camera Raw. Our standard tests showed the review camera came close to expectations for the sensor’s resolution for both JPEGs and ARW.RAW files, although the raw files delivered somewhat higher resolution.

      The kit lens, which we covered in our review of the NEX-5, is an adequate performer but not in the same class as the Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM lens, which we used for the SLT-A77 review. Consequently, it’s not surprising to see our Imatest results slightly below those obtained with the A77.

      We obtained the best performance in the middle of its focal length range and at apertures between f/4.5 and f/6.3. Slight edge softening was detected at most aperture settings but reduced as the lens was stopped down. The graph below shows the results of our Imatest tests.

      -
      NEX-7_Res-vs-FL-graph

      As expected, resolution declined gradually as sensitivity was increased, although it remained relatively high at the ISO 12800 and ISO 16000 settings, as shown in the graph below. Image noise only became visible in test shots at ISO 6400 and it was mainly the granularity of luminance noise.

      -
      NEX-7_Res-vs-ISO-graph

      Shots taken at ISO 6400 were printable at A4 size, with shots at ISO 12800 printable up to 5 x 7 inches. Slight softening and granularity could be seen in long exposures at ISO 12,800 but both defects were obvious at ISO 16000.

      Flash exposures fared somewhat better, although the camera’s metering system in P mode was unable to handle ISO settings of 3200 and above and consistently over-exposed shots. Detail was lost as a result, making these images unprintable.
      Lateral chromatic aberration was mainly negiligible, as shown in the graph of our Imatest results, below. (The red line marks the border between ‘negligible’ and ‘low’ CA.) No apparent coloured fringing was observed in test shots.

      -
      NEX-7_CA-graph

      The multi-shot modes worked much as we had expected, as did the Creative Style and Picture Effect modes, which we have covered in previous reviews. Auto white balance performance was similar to Sony’s Cyber-shots.

      The review camera failed to totally remove the colour casts produced by incandescent or fluorescent lighting and both presets tended towards over-correction, regardless of which lighting sub-set was chosen. Manual measurement was required to obtain truly neutral colour rendition.

      Backlighting was handled quite well, thanks to the provision of an effective lens hood. However, strong contre-jour lighting produced slight veiling flare, which was able to be corrected in post-capture editing.
      Autofocusing while shooting stills was faster than in previous NEX models, although not quite as fast as in the Olympus E-P3. However, the review camera was slightly less inclined to hunt for focus in dim ambient lighting, although some hesitation was noticed when light levels were very low.

      Video quality was much as we expected, based on our tests of the SLT-A77. The AVCHD clips contained the best detail and most vibrant colours, although both deteriorated a little when we recorded fast-moving subjects.

      MP4 clips recorded at the highest resolution also looked good on a widescreen HDTV set and appeared to handle moving subjects slightly better. VGA clips were as you’d expect for their resolution.

      Autofocusing while shooting video was faster than average for a contrast-based system and the AF tracking appeared able to follow focus both during pans and with moving subjects, particularly for subjects several metres from the camera. No rolling shutter effects were observed.

      Audio quality was generally good, although the microphones were susceptible to wind noise. There’s a wind cut filter in the Setup menu but it tends to reduce sound levels rather than completely suppressing wind noise.

      Our timing tests were carried out with a 32GB SanDisk Extrteme Pro SDHC-I1 memory card, one of the fastest available. The review camera took just under a second to power-up ready for shooting.

      Shot-to-shot times averaged 1.1 seconds for JPEGs, 1.2 seconds for ARW.RAW files and 1.4 seconds for RAW+JPEG pairs. Use of flash extended the intervals by approximately four seconds. Capture lag averaged 0.07 seconds, regardless of the file format but pre-focusing eliminated this lag.

      Because no indicator light is provided, we were unable to measure image processing times accurately. However, the camera appeared to take 2.8 seconds to process each JPEG file, three seconds for each ARW.RAW file and 3.4 seconds for each RAW+JPEG pair.

      With the normal continuous shooting mode, the review camera captured 10 frames in 2.9 seconds, regardless of the file format. Again, it was difficult to estimate processing times but they came close to 3.8 seconds for the JPEG burst, 7.4 seconds for the ARW.RAW burst and 12.5 seconds for the RAW+JPEG pairs.

      When we switched to the Speed Priority Continuous mode, 10 frames were captured in 0.8 seconds. It took 8.5 seconds for the JPEG burst, 9.0 seconds for the ARW.RAW burst and 17.1 seconds for the RAW+JPEG pairs.

      Buy this camera if:
      – You require a compact but sophisticated, large-sensor interchangeable-lens camera with PASM shooting modes plus support for raw file capture and Full HD video recording.
      – You want an optical viewfinder and built-in flash.
      – You require quicker access to key camera settings than most mirrorless cameras provide.

      Don’t buy this camera if:
      – You require a pocketable camera (it’s only pocketable without a lens).
      – You’re a point-and-press snapshooter.

      IMATEST GRAPHS
      JPEG images

      -
      NEX-7_DSC00011_colorerror_JPG
      -
      NEX-7_DSC00011_colors_JPG
      -
      NEX-7_DSC00011_YBL73_ca_JPG
      -
      NEX-7_DSC00011_YAR32_cpp_JPG
      -
      NEX-7_DSC00011_YBL73_cpp_JPG

      ARW.RAW images converted with Image Data Converter SR.

      -
      NEX-7_DSC00011_colorerror_RAW
      -
      NEX-7_DSC00011_colors_RAW
      -
      NEX-7_DSC00011_YBL73_ca_RAW
      -
      NEX-7_DSC00011_YAR32_cpp_RAW
      -
      NEX-7_DSC00011_YBL73_cpp_RAW

      SAMPLE IMAGES

      -
      NEX7_DSC00097_AWB-tung

      Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00102_AWB-fluoro

      Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00077_night-ISO100

      30-second exposure at ISO 100; 24mm focal length, f/4.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00083_night-ISO6400

      10-second exposure at ISO 6400; 24mm focal length, f/5.6.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00084_night-ISO12800

      10-second exposure at ISO 12800; 24mm focal length, f/8.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00087_night-ISO16000

      5-second exposure at ISO 16000; 24mm focal length, f/8.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00088_flash-ISO100

      Flash exposure at ISO 100; 55mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/5.6.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00092_flash-ISO1600

      Flash exposure at ISO 1600; 55mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/5.6.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00093flash-ISO3200

      Flash exposure at ISO 3200; 55mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/5.6.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00096_flash-ISO16000

      Flash exposure at ISO 16000; 55mm focal length, 1/125 second at f/5.6.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00110_wide

      18mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/400 second at f/8; P mode.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00112_tele

      55mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/9 ; P mode.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00127_wide

      18mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/80 second at f/5; P mode.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00128_tele

      55mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/80 second at f/5.6; P mode.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00137_close

      Macro scene mode; 55mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/250 second at f/5.6.

      -
      NEX-7_DSC00112

      Close-up in A mode featuring a subject with traditionally difficult-to-record hues in lighting that is likely to emphasise potential problems; 23mm focal length, ISO 800, 1/80 second at f/6.3.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00113_PAN-Std

      Sweep Panorama mode, Standard setting; 18mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/200 second at f/10.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00115_PAN-wide

      Sweep Panorama mode, Wide setting; 18mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/200 second at f/10.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00141_backlight

      Backlit subject; 55mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/500 second at f/8.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00141_crop-2
      -
      NEX7_DSC00141_fringing-crop-1

      Two crops from the above image enlarged to 100%, showing the amount of details recorded and the relative absence of coloured fringing.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00123_flare

      Strong contre-jour lighting produced slight veiling flare, which was able to be corrected in post-capture editing. 55mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/400 second at f/9.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00120

      55mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/11.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00125

      43mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/250 second at f/9.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00129

      iAuto mode, 29mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/80 second at f/4.5.

      -
      NEX7_DSC00132

      iAuto mode, 30mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/125 second at f/5.6.
      We were unable to capture screen grabs from video clips recorded with the interlaced movie settings: 24M (FX) and 17M (FH). The screen grabs below come from the progressive scanning modes.

      -
      NEX-7_AVCHD.MTS_snapshot_28M

      Still frame from AVCHD video clip shot with the 28M (PS) mode.

      -
      NEX-7_AVCHD.MTS_snapshot_24M

      Still frame from AVCHD video clip shot with the 24M (FX) mode.

      -
      NEX-7_AVCHD.MTS_snapshot_17M

      Still frame from AVCHD video clip shot with the 17M (FH) mode.

      -
      NEX-7_MAH00117.MP4_1440_snapshot

      Still frame from MP4 video clip shot with the 12M mode.

      -
      NEX-7_MAQ00118.MP4_VGA_snapshot

      Still frame from MP4 video clip shot with VGA (3M) resolution.

       

      Specifications

      -
      leadpic_NEX-7_SEL50F18

      Image sensor: 23.5 x 15.6 mm Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with 24.7 million photosites (24.3 megapixels effective)
      Image processor: BIONZ
      Lens mount: Sony E-mount lenses (others via adapters)Focal length crop factor: 1.5x
      Image formats: Stills -ARW.RAW, JPEG (Exif 2.3), RAW+JPEG; Movies – AVCHD 2.0, MPEG-4 AVC (H.264); Audio: Dolby Digital (AC-3) / MPEG-4 AAC-LC
      Image Sizes: Stills – 3:2 aspect: 6000 x 4000, 4240 x 2832, 3008 x 2000; 16:9 aspect: 6000 x 3376, 4240 x 2400, 3008 x 1688; Sweep Panorama: Wide: horizontal 12416 x 1856, vertical 5536 x 2160, standard: horizontal 8192 x 1856, vertical 3872 x 2160; 3D Sweep Panorama: Wide: 7152 x 1080, Standard: 4912 x 1080, 1920 x 1080; Movies: AVCHD: 1980 x 1080 (50p / 28Mbps, 50i / 24Mbps, 50i /17Mbps, 25p 24Mbps, 25p / 17Mbps), MP4: 1440 x 1080 (25fps / 12Mbps), VGA: 640 x 480 (25fps / 3Mbps)
      Image Stabilisation: Lens based
      Dust removal: Charge protection coating on low-pass filter and image-sensor shift mechanism
      Shutter speed range: 30 seconds to 1/4000 second plus Bulb; flash synch up to 1/160 second
      Exposure Compensation: +/- 5EV in 0.3EV steps
      Exposure bracketing: 3 continuous exposures in 0.3 or 0.7 EV steps
      Self-timer: 2 or 10 seconds delay; 3 or 5 frames after 10 seconds
      Focus system: Contrast-detection AF with 25 points; Multi Point (25 points) / Centre-weighted / Flexible Spot selectable; Built-in LED illuminator|Focus modes: Autofocus, DMF (Direct Manual Focus), Manual Focus; AF-S: Single-shot AF, AF-C: Continuous AF; Face Detection, Smile shutter, Tracking focus , Predictive control, Eye-Start AF (with LAEA2), Focus lock
      Exposure metering: 1200-zone evaluative metering with Multi-segment, Centre-weighted and Spot modes
      Shooting modes: iAUTO, Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter priority (S), Manual (M), Sweep Panorama, 3D Sweep Panorama, Anti Motion Blur, Scene Selection (Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports action, Sunset, Night portrait, Night view, Hand-held Twilight)
      Picture Effect settings: 11 modes (15 effects): Posterisation (Colour, B/W), Pop Colour, Retro Photo, Partial Colour (R,G,B,Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature
      Creative Style settings: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, B/W, Sepia with +/- 3 steps of contrast, saturation and sharpness adjustments
      Colour space options: sRGB, Adobe RGB
      Dynamic Range Functions: Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level), Auto High Dynamic Range: Off, Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure difference Level (1.0-6.0EV, 1.0EV step)
      ISO range: AUTO (ISO 100-1600), ISO 100 to 16000 selectable
      White balance: Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, C. Temp 2500 to 9900K, C Filter G7 to M7 A7 to B7, 15-step, Custom
      Flash: Auto pop-up, GN6 (in metres at ISO 100), FOV coverage up to 18mm
      Flash modes: Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync
      Flash exposure adjustment: +/- 3EV in 0.3EV steps
      Sequence shooting: Continuous Advance Priority AE: Max. 10 images/second for 6 ARW.RAW, 4 RAW+JPEG or 10 Fine JPEGs
      Storage Media: Memory Stick PRO Duo/PRO-HG Duo; SD/SDHC/SDXC/UHS-I (single slot)
      Viewfinder: 1.3 cm (0.5 type) XGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 2,359,296 dots, 100% frame coverage, 23mm eye point, -4 to +1 dioptre adjustment
      LCD monitor: Tilting 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD with TruBlack technology and 921,600 dot resolution
      Playback functions: Single (with or without shooting information RGB histogram & highlight/shadow warning), 6/12-frame index view, Enlarged display mode (L: 11.8x, M: 8.8x, S: 6x, Enlarged display mode (L: 16.7x, M: 11.8x, S: 8.3x, Panorama (Standard): 25.6x, Panorama (Wide): 38.8x), Auto Review (10/5/2 sec,Off), Image orientation (On/Off selectable), Slideshow, Panorama scrolling, Folder selection (Still), Forward/Rewind (movie), Delete, Protect
      Interface terminals: USO 2.0, HDMI (Type C Mini for BRAVIA Sync, PhotoTV HD)
      Power supply: NP-FW50 rechargeable lithium-ion battery; CIPA rated for approx. 350 shots with viewfinder; approx. 430 shots with LCD monitor
      Dimensions (wxhxd): 119.9 x 69.9 x 42.6 mm
      Weight: Approx. 291 grams (body only)

       

      Retailers

       

      CamBuy

       

      www.cambuy.com.au
      Digital cameras, lenses and accessories with 100% genuine Australian manufacturer’s warranties.
      Ph: (02) 9029 2219

      Camera House

       

      -
      CH_Logo120

      www.camerahouse.com.au
      Ph: 133 686
      The largest speciality photographic retail chain in Australia.

      Camera Pro

       

      www.camerapro.net.au
      CameraPro Pty Ltd
      Suite 607, 180 Queen St, Brisbane 4000
      Tel: 07 3333 2900
      Australian owned and run company based in Brisbane.

      Camerasdirect

       

      -
      CamerasDirect133

      www.camerasdirect.com.au
      Retailer of digital camera equipment and more.
      Secure online shopping and delivery across Australia.
      Ph: 1300 727 056

      Camerastore.com.au

      Camerastore.com.au
      Ph: 1800 155 067

      Camera-Warehouse

       

      -
      camera-warehouse120

      www.camera-warehouse.com.au
      Comprehensive range of digital cameras and accessories online (www.camera-warehouse.com.au) and an online print service (www.royalexpress.com.au).

      Digital Camera Warehouse

       

      www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au
      174 Canterbury Road 367 High Street
      Canterbury Northcote
      NSW 2193 VIC 3070
      Ph: 1300 365 220

      Electronics Warehouse

       

      www.electronicswarehouse.com.au
      1300 801 885
      Australian retailer of Vapex rechargeable batteries offering factory direct prices and fast, free shipping Australia wide.

      Greg Smith’s Photo Accessories

       

      www.dvdreamtime.com.au
      1800 50 80 82
      Big range of photographic accessories, Australia-wide shipping.

      Paxtons

       

      www.paxtons.com.au
      285 George St
      Sydney NSW 2000
      Ph: (02) 9299 2999

      Photographic Equipment & Supplies – Retail & Repairs. Click here for list of stores.

      Ted’s Cameras

       

      -
      Teds-Logo120

      www.teds.com.au

      1800 186 895
      Big range of cameras and photographic products with stores in most states and online.

      Rating

       

      -
      PR-EdChoice-web-100

      RRP: $1799

      Rating (out of 10):

      • Build: 9.0
      • Ease of use: 8.5
      • Autofocusing: 8.5
      • Image quality: JPEG – 9.0; RAW – 9.0
      • Video quality: 9.0
      • OVERALL: 8.6

      Buy