Customer Review

156 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The almost perfect Nex 7, April 4, 2012
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This review is from: Sony NEX-7 24.3 MP Compact Interchangeable Lens Camera - Body Only (Camera)
Let me start by saying that I have been an avid, but not an expert photographer for 50 years. I carry a camera with me everywhere I go. My recent cameras have included the Nikon D7000, and the Sony Alpha Nex C3 and 5n. But I have had Canon and Panasonic cameras and video cameras I also love.
Anyway, this time, I got my wife the Nex 3c for Christmas because it shares the same 16 mp processor that is in the Nikon D7000. To put an APS-c processor in such an inexpensive camera, I thought, would open the world of natural light photography to my wife with a sensor that's a proven winner in a small, convenient camera with interface designed for point and shoot photographers.
When I got home, my wife had our six month old daughter dressed in a Santa outfit... Break out the camera...Out of the box in five minutes the most incredible, clear, good color gorgeous detailed photos, all in natural light...we were so excited we rushed to print a Christmas card. That simple incident has caused my wife to finally get interested in a camera more rewarding than her Casio Ex Slim.
Reading more, I decided to get myself the 5n. Same processor but with more capabilities and controls. I got many wonderful photos with the kit 18-55 but not as good as my D7000. But then I bought the Sony 18-200 lens for the 5n. The photos and detail with this lens knocked my socks off and was every bit the quality I was getting from the D7000 for which I have an equivalent lens.
It was this experience that made me interested in the 24 mp Nex 7. I read a few reviews of the Nex 7. I read of many features, but mainly stunning image quality. Some commentators think that 24 mp is about the equivalent of the detail you can achieve with a film camera. I was interested.
But the one think this excercise has brought home to me, if you're seeking detail, then there's alot of other things that go into image clarity than just the sensor. And the other things get more and more evident as the megapixels are pushed. First on this list is whether you have a lens that will deliver enough detail to take advantage of the megapixels. I did crave the detail, I had the lens. So I bought the camera.
The Sony Nex 7 takes some getting used to. Its three dial system is ingenious and provides easy quick access to an functions including by example, creativity settings, saturation and sharpness, settings to expand dynamic range, aperture, speed and iso, so that with practice you can reset all of these for every shot almost instantly. There are many other great features also.
But mainly, when I got the settings right, the quality of the pictures was just something I never saw before from any camera.
There are things that could be done a little better, as there always are. The flash unit is incredibly cheesy. The movie button is placed so that I have taken many movies I did not intend. Good thing they can be erased. And there is no case that fits this incredible little camera. And it is almost shocking that with all the settings available, there is no way to save a custom profile once you have everything just the way you want it. There are other things as well. But overall, it delivers an incredible array of capabilities and unequaled image quality for an APS-C sensor that has to be seen to be believed. With good lenses, that can translate into superior photos in most conditions.
How does it compare to the 5n? Honestly for people shots, and especially for shots indoors at night in natural light, the 5n is just as good or better.(My favorite professional reviewers are Their tests showed that the 5n is better in low light, but if they resampled the 5n image up to 24 mp then the images were equal. This is stupid. They had to downgrade the 5n image to make it equal the 7.) The extra pixels are just not needed and they do reduce low light sensitivity. But in low light both are better than my Nikon D7000 which honestly, I still love and will also use. (The nikon has a quality usable flash.)
At half the price for the camera plus the kit lens, the 5n is definitely a better value than the Nex 7 for all but the true enthusiast. Only with the purchase of expensive extra glass, and a lot of testing and practice, will the potential better photo qualities emerge. But when they do the results are stunning to a discerning eye.
Now after two months, I would add the following: This camera is even better than I thought, I think in part due to the 18-200 lens being just superb. All my shots are better than all my shots were before. After figuring out the three wheel system and using it, it is fast and convenient. Need to be careful not to bump a wheel and change a setting by mistake. One nice feature. When you set the camera the way you want it in program and aperture modes, then turn it off, the settings are the same when you turn it back on.
I am not using my Nikon D7000 at all. I keep trying to find comparable shots where the Nikon will equal this camera. No can do. In daylight, same picture, the Sony Nex 7 produces considerably better pictures. The detail is sharper, and when you learn to use the dynamic range settings they are incredibly better so you get better detail in the light and in the shadows. The depth of field is greater than with the Nikon. The distortion controls are wonderful and are making my pictures better. The articulating screen makes it easy to compose your shot from low and high angles. With zoom and so many pixels it's easy to let camera movement destroy a shot. So finding something to rest the camera against to take a shot always helps, and depending on the height of the object you use, the articulating screen makes it easier to compose your shot.
I just love this camera and I believe it is making my photographs better than they ever were.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 5, 2012 1:10:45 PM PDT
Thanks for the review. I got mine a week ago. You mentioned 18/200 lens - do you mean the E-mount SEL18200 or the A-mount SAL18200 with an adapter. Or maybe they both have the same glass...
Thanks in advance!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2012 2:34:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 5, 2012 2:41:43 PM PDT
Average User says:
The one I bought was the Sony e mount lens. My second choice would be the Tamron 18200.
A lot of the commentators are saying that if you want a prime lens then look at the sigma 30mm 2.8. It's $200 compared to the Zeiss lens at over a grand.
If you don't mind carrying the size, I think it's really important to have a zoom lens. There are a few reasons: First, the math is compelling: At even half zoom, you are getting 25 times the number of pixels focused on the subject you want to take a picture of. That's bound to give sharper more detailed pictures than a crop from a much broader image. It also forces the process of composing your picture at the time of shooting, and will frequently result in exposure and focus that are exact for the picture you want to take. It also makes you move around a little to avoid having that one twig or whatever right in a spot where it sticking out of someone's nose, etc.
DPreview has stuff on the lenses. Most important, they refer to a couple of sites that review each lens and do tests for sharpness, distortion, chromatic aberration and a couple of other parameter. It's worth reading that stuff. It made me think about things I didn't even know existed.
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