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Showing 1-10 of 152 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 226 reviews
on December 28, 2011
A little background to give you perspective on the review. I'm an advanced amateur shooting for about 10 years. I also own a Canon 5D Mark II with some L Zoom lenses (24-70 F2.8 and the 70-200 F2.8) and the very good 50mm 1.8 prime and a Fuji X100.

I spent a lot of time (probably over 40 hours) researching this camera, reading reviews etc. before buying it on Amazon from a third party seller. I've had it about a week now and shooting with with the Sony 18-200 Zoom Lens (SEL18200). Below are my observations:

1. Very small camera body, smaller than my X100 and feels a lot like my old S90 compact in terms of size (this is of course without the lens). With the 18-200 lens its no longer pocketable but still small and very manageable compared to a SLR.
2. Great build quality, tough body, I like the styling and I love the handgrip. Just the right size.
3. Probably the fastest shutter I have ever used, very little shutter lag.
4. Easy to use menus/interface etc. Lots of options and things like sweep panorama and other "gadget" type things work well although unlikely that I will use them much.
5. Good battery life. I'm easily getting the 400 or so shots per charge its rated for.
6. Electronic viewfinder - The good part is that it works really well, focus is fast even in low light, for the not so good part relating to the viewfinder see below.

Not so good

1. The electronic viewfinder that gets rave reviews is simply not as good to my eyes as looking through glass. Its a far cry from an optical viewfinder and I find the little "noise/dots" in low light distracting. Images even when blown up don't seem to show the same noise so this is definitely a viewfinder issue. To give you context even with a lens cap on when the LCD is completely black the viewfinder has tiny dots dancing on it sort of like static on a TV screen, this doesn't go away.

2. Internal Flash design needs work. When used with the SEL18200 lens there is noticeable shadow in images due to the lens blocking some of the light, to the point where I am currently not using the flash at all and will eventually invest in an external or wireless flash. Just simply providing the ability to bounce this off the ceiling would have helped. UPDATE: Someone in comments just pointed out and I verified that you can manually tilt the flash while shooting. Solves my issue with the SEL18200, thanks.

In the end what I really care about though is image quality. In this the camera does not disappoint. It does indoors just about as well as my Fuji X100 which to me is the best low light, auto WB adjustment under any kind of light shooter I have ever used and for landscapes and nature its almost as good as my 5D particularly in good light. I suspect with a better lens I would be hard pressed to see the difference, right now while the 18-200 f3.5 is very versatile my Canon glass is definitely a little sharper, but at its size and lightweight appeal by guess is that the Sony will get a lot more at bats than the Canon. Even when blown up to the size of a modern day LCD TV pictures look great and the zoom lens is great at bringing far away details closer. The 24MP señsor does capture a lot of detail and does well in low light situations as well. I'm not really a high ISO shooter preferring flash or faster lenses where this becomes required but up to ISO 1600 have not noticed any issues with the picture quality even on a 63" screen.

All in all I am very happy with my purchase and look forward to many years of shooting with it. I'd recommend it along with the SEL-18200 lens for anyone looking for a second camera as a go anywhere alternative to a SLR and lenses or as a very significant upgrade from a compact. This could also very easily become the only camera for an enthusiast/advanced amateur type who would be willing to trade in the bulky DSLR. I definitely hope they make more high quality lenses for it as time goes by. I was also looking at the 24mm F1.8 Carl Zeiss prime (36mm equivalent) but in the end opted for the versatility of the zoom particularly since my X100 gives me a dedicated 35mm point of view for about the same price but with camera body attached.

Update - I did some more comparisons to my X100 and liked the Nex 7 enough to sell the Fuji. I used the proceeds to purchase the Carl Zeiss Sonnar 24mm F1.8 e mount lens. I'm finding this lens to mitigate some of my viewfinder issues since its bright enough and the little dancing dots seem at bay but not totally gone. Also finding this lens to be of very high quality, auto-focus is very quick and indoor low light shooting a breeze. Portraits are sharp and background is pleasantly de-focused, even in dimly lit rooms I am not using flash or high ISOs and outdoors or in good light its beautiful.

Update 2 - I have now been using the Nex 7 for almost three months. I have to say I love it even more. Its become my go to camera for a lot of different occasions and I recently travelled internationally with this and the Zeiss F1.8 lens as my only camera. Pictures of the trip came out beautiful, although I'm not much of a dedicated 35mm shooter I found that there was enough there to make me very happy and in some cases crops etc. taking advantage of the ample resolution the Nex offers strengthened particular images. I have also added the HVL20 flash to my collection and find it to be useful in low light, indoor types of situations and pretty compact still and recently added the Tamron 18-200 lens which I am liking a little more than the Sony SEL18200 since its a little smaller, lighter and produces about the same image quality. Vain I know but I actually like the black of the Tamron lens more.

I have been doing some tests also of portraits compared to my 5D Mark II and for me at least the Full Frame bokeh of the 5D can't be beat. I don't have a great portrait lens for the Nex yet so will reserve final judgement until I acquire one (50mm F1.8 on pre-order) but at near identical focal lengths and apertures the Canon 5D images have the 3D like pop to them that the Nex is missing ONLY when compared side by side, i.e. the Nex does render a little more detail in the background. Outside of this extreme bit of detective work that likely has very little value in actual use I am extremely happy with Nex for portraits and for all others types of shooting including landscape with the Zeiss lens.
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on September 6, 2015
Wow, did I score, big-time. The five stars is heavily taking into account that, whilst this *is* a spectacular camera (okay I'll change that to, "spectacular by 2012-2014 standards") and enables me to use my full stock of brilliant Canon manual-focus pro lenses from the 1960s, '70s, '80s and '90s (with an unexpectedly god and solid $8 adapter), the big score here was the price. This camera is still asking a thousand bucks in some places but this one was a bargain. Why? It's just an example but here is the seller's description of the camera I bought. It's entirely accurate:

"Used - Good - good condition only little some sign of ware on body and work great .inluded original battery and charger and neck strap and body caps,but not thing else included,30-Day Return Policy ."

...and here is my assessment of what I received:

Condition: excellent
very slight wear at edge and tiny scratches in LCD anti-glare coating
tiny scratches on base
one potential dust particle on sensor (since removed using camera's cleaning feature + air bulb)
some dirt on LCD (since cleaned)
greasy eyepiece (since cleaned)
date correct, time set to U.S. Central Time
otherwise like-new
firmware version 1.02 (since upgraded)
battery performance and appearance: excellent (required full charge upon receipt)
neck strap by Sony but apparently not the original

My price? $300. Holy beans! I even found the improved version of the kit lens (SELP 16-50mm OSS, pancake) for hundreds off ($94) because it had a "dent" that turned out to be a TINY ding in the front ring.

Here's my point: It is now not just *possible* to resurrect magnificent 1980s and '90s Canon (and Nikon) glass, from fisheyes to 400-mm tree-trunk-sized monsters to tilt-shifters to astounding varieties of macro gear on a digital sensor, it is now possible to do that on an amazing camera, bought used for a song.

What this means: The NEX-7 holds an APS-C sized sensor. Sony's a7R II hit the market in 2015 with a full-frame-sensor as a gorgeous monster of a camera. It's to-die-for. It's about three-thousand bucks. FOR NOW... Do you see what's possible, with new models hitting the streets every year? My NEX-7 is only three years old and came at a 73% discount, yet it does everything it did in 2012 and '13. If you luck out and find an a7R II in three years for $815, you'd be an idiot not to grab it -- especially if you still have MF glass.

[BY THE WAY: The better choice for an "old" Sony than the NEX-7 might be their a6000. But that camera is newer and is still asking about $450 at its lowest. I'm an old techie and I declare it's good to stay off the bleeding edge. But the day is coming: I'm lying in wait for you, full-frame...]

The big picture: We're now back where we were with film when we discuss the importance of cameras-versus-lenses. Once sensors are so good they echo the image quality of film, image quality is no longer a matter of what body you pick up. Whether we're talking film or digital, the body is only a recording device. It need only be functional and durable. The image quality is in the glass. Except for autofocus, the glass hasn't changed much since thirty years ago. If you don't shoot sports or wildlife, manual focus is hardly a big deal.

(Plus, if you want fast autofocus out of simple lazyness -- and I can respect simple laziness -- you always have the option to buy a modern lens to suit your camera.)

If the world makes any sense -- which it does not -- the price of old Canon manual focus lenses should leap upward as people realise they can use what the pros used in the '80s and '90s, digitally, for a song.
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on October 21, 2013
I had researched DSLRs and eventually Mirrorless- DSLRs for about a month before deciding on the NEX series. I didn’t see any that had all the features I wanted all in one package besides this. I needed a viewfinder that shows the actual photo, not just a clear glass hole like my old film point and shoot had. Also I needed a flash that was integrated into it. The Sony NEX 6 and 7 had both!

I was biting my nails trying to figure out which one to get, so hopefully this review can help someone in my situation.

First I bought the NEX-6 because I like the collapsible lens, but it's only 16 MP and also its kit lens (SELP1650) is ONLY electronic, even though you can adjust the ring manually with variable zooming speed and with the W/T single-speed zoom adjustment on the side of the lens body, there is still a delay when zooming and you can hear the motor going when you're shooting video. I did try and used the WiFi ability, but that seems like a gimmick to me. It’s faster to open the battery door and take out the memory card and stick it into your computer. Also the NEX 7 has a mic input and the NEX 6 doesn't. The NEX 6 has this new Phase-detection circuitry, but I didn't notice it taking pictures faster with better autofocus, and I tried to move the camera to accomplish this. I did try a Sony Alpha A77 and it seemed to autofocus faster than either NEX model. Another irk, you have to press your fingertip a lot deeper into the body of the NEX 6 to make the flash pop up, where the NEX 7 is much easier.

Video performance:
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the video that was produced! The integrated stereo mic takes really great audio recordings, without clipping unless under extremely loud conditions. I took it to a bunch of concerts and it records more bass (at least down to 80hz by my guess) than I would think it would from “just” an integrated mic. For some reason, I have to record at 24p/24i, otherwise the audio track is slightly out of sync of the video, so I have to record at 60p/60i, or fix it in post production. I am using firmware version 1.02. Many users have noted that it’s very easy to accidentally hit record on the NEX 7, and I’m not exception! I do it all the time. With upgraded firmware, you can disable the record button, but I like it there and don’t mind deleting files now and then.
You can call Sony within the first month of owning a used model and buy a 2(?)-year drops and spills protection! Also they offer extended parts and labor warranty, but not if it’s dropped. THEY TOLD ME ALL Sony cameras (NEW OR USED) from have a 12 month warranty, starting when you bought it! You can only get Squaretrade or Geek Squad for spills if you buy the camera new and not used, open box or refurbished.

I clumsily dropped my camera onto the carpet from my lap while changing batteries or memory cards (you have to have the battery door off for both), and the battery door snapped off! Tried to epoxy it, and that worked, until I bumped it again and it’s still off. The battery has a little blue holder inside the compartment and I just keep using it with it broken off. So just close and lock it so that can’t happen to you!

NEX 6 vs NEX 7 kit lens comparison:
So I decided to upgrade and now I have this NEX 7 with 24 MP! The zoom on the kit lens for NEX 7 is silky-smooth. They both use Sony's proprietary E-Mount system, so you'd have to use an adapter to use your Sony Alpha lenses. I did notice that the collapsible SELP1650, on either the NEX 7 or NEX 6, has a little bit more of a reddish tint to it than the NEX 7's kit lens (SEL1855). The NEX 7's kit lens is an 18-55mm zoom and the NEX 6's kit lens is 16-50; therefore the NEX 7's lens can zoom a little bit farther in, and the NEX 6 can zoom a little bit farther out. I ended up keeping the NEX 6 kit lens and selling the body, because I liked the fact that it can fit in my pocket with the NEX 6 kit lens. The NEX 7 kit lens is 7.10 oz, and the NEX 6 kit lens is 4.30 oz, with the NEX 7’s body with battery and strap weighing 12.95oz. It gets more and more noticeable the longer you shoot, and it’s harder to use the NEX 7 with its kit lens as a point and shoot.

I have shot over 3000 photos already and they are pretty good. I took the same exact picture with the same settings, subject, lens and zoom with both the NEX 6 and NEX 7 and I had to zoom ALL THE WAY in to tell a difference, and even then it was VERY tough! This is in JPEG…I didn’t think to try the test in RAW and now I don’t have both anymore so I won’t know. You can see a lot of tests like that at DPREVIEW.COM. They already did that, and with many different cameras, too. I have taken many photos and basically both cameras can take very similar photos, but the NEX 7 is higher end, and you can feel it when you use it. I like the sound of the shutter of the NEX 7 a little better, too.

Hope this helps someone… I didn’t plan on this long of a review but I got on a roll! I will update if needed!
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on July 17, 2012
A little background: I've been a film user probably forever. Only 7 years ago I decided to go digital with a Canon EOS30D and never looked back. I'm in no way a "pro" by definition, but I do know what I want to do and what "tools" to achieve them with. Fast forward to the NEX-7. What a piece of technology! First things first: This is not a camera you want to "upgrade" to if you come from a point-n-shoot background or basic DSLR's. Smaller, compact and radical menu designs will quickly frustrate even the most seasoned pro DSLR users. But if you take the time to learn about it, just like how you would learn going from film to digital, it is a VERY powerful camera. With respect to other reviewers on this site the Tri-Nav system IS highly "customizable" [Gary L. Friedman covers this in his NEX-7 ebook].

I had rented it from our local camera shop [with the kit 18-55mm] to try it out. At first I was totally unimpressed and brought it back. The clerk offered me the Zeiss F1.8 to try with the NEX-7. What a night & day difference! YES! to take advantage of the Sony sensor you NEED quality glass to compliment it. So I bought the body only and purchased the Zeiss F1.8 & a Tamron Zoom lens [for traveling]. My passion for photography is ignited again and I'm excited to build a system about the NEX. Yes, there are limitations right now because there are not a lot of accessories and lenses for the NEX system. Sony has always been slow in that regard. But, I also purchased an adaptor to use my older Canon lenses [unfortunately, manual F-stop and focus] and am able to get those shots I so desire. OK, so pros & cons for me:

1) Compact body LOADED with features.
2) Electronic View Finder [EVF] is a big game changer enabling me to "see" what the sensor sees.
3) Tilt-screen lets me get those overhead shots or low to the ground POV scenes that I like for street photography.
4) With fast SD cards I can get action shots in RAW at about 4 to 7fps depending on the scene. I get 10 to 12fps with JPG.
5) "Peeking" focus assist helps with the telephoto shots
6) FAST startup and responsive controls. You hardly ever miss any shots you want to take.
7) LIVE VIEW mode is maintained through continuous shooting up to about 5fps
8) All the data overlays on the live view screen helps set up shots.
9) Low light shots are/at equal to the DSLR 'cousins'.
10) and, of course, the Image Quality is the best! [with good glass!]. Pixel peepers may even find it hard to fault the images.

1) There is no way at this time [firmware?] to save different shoot settings like the way DSLRs cans save 2 or 3 settings. So unless you are in iA mode you have to think about every shot you do. This is one reason why point-n-shoot upgraders WILL get frustrated with this camera.
2) Auto ISO is only limited to 1600 max.
3) Auto Bracketing is limited [+/- 0.7 is not a lot to work with]
*note firmware 1.01 now adds ev +3 or -3 with 3 shots auto.
4) Battery life sucks so I have auto off feature ON and I carry a spare battery. With the fast startup I won't miss much.
5) The hot-shoe is Sony proprietary so unless you have an adaptor it uses only Sony flashes and accessories.
6) Pop-up flash will cast shadows on zoom lenses
7) Not many good E-Lenses. . . YET!
8) In low light the EV is VERY grainy. Hard to compose shots. Switching to the Live View glows on your face too much.
9) Sometimes it takes time for the NEX to track in low light. [Uses Contrast AF. Wish it was Phase like the Sony DSLRs]

[FYI if you want to see what I use this with you are free to take a look at some of my pics: [...]]

Movie Mode: I admit I have not used this feature a lot since I am mostly a stills photographer. But it works well enough. I did not take many movies with it, but I was impressed at the high-quality, the autofocusing, and the overall ease.

Overall this is an amazing piece of technology coming from a film background. It does take some getting used to handling and using. I took the time to learn and found this easy to setup. Not as easy as it's bigger DSLR cousins, but easy enough for what it does. Sony has got a winner with the NEX. Can't wait to see what else is coming!
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on January 4, 2014
My Sony Nex 7 is a great camera. I shoot mostly nature photography, and use my images as a base for other art forms. I also exhibit my photos. I have had Canons and Nikon DSLR'S, but was having trouble with my wrists due to the size and weight. The Sony offers very sharp images, excellent color, and larger file sizes. The camera fits easily and comfortably in my hand. The menu and function buttons are easy to work with. The built in viewfinder is an important feature. Shooting outdoors can make the LCD screen useless at times, and when researching the other micro 4/3rds cameras before my purchase, I found that the lower priced cameras, which didn't have viewfinder, would cost almost the same price as the NEX-7 after adding an attachable viewfinder, and wouldn't have the other great features of the NEX-7. I'm very happy with my purchase.
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on September 18, 2013
The NEX-7 can be a simple camera to use if you put it on Intelligent Auto and leave it there. But that doesn't give you much control of your images. So while you could pick up the camera and use it, using it right takes a lot of practice and experimenting. The menus are all electronic and every knob has several functions. But what I like best, aside for the great photos, is that you see your image onscreen or through the view finder the way it's going to took after the photo is taken. Then it reviews your image for you so you get a chance to see the picture without having to take the viewfinder away from your eye. If you need to recompose or change the lighting, you'll know. It also has some cool features like in-camera stitching of panoramic shots that works great. The RAW images are large and readable in most modern picture software--and it comes with its own program of course. I'd seriously recommend getting a really good NEX lens for it, like the Sony SEL18200 18-300 zoom.
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on June 13, 2017
Nice fully featured very well made mirror-less shooter.
The menu system is a bit scattered and the buttons and dials to adjust almost any setting can be tamed to your preference.
Picture quality is off the charts though.
I only have one Sony E mount lens the rest of my photos are taken with legacy Canon, Tamron or Nikon glass adapted to the NEX.

If your looking for complicated this is your camera.
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on April 3, 2014
I traded in my big Nikon SLR for a Nex 3 and was pretty happy with it. But as I used it, I found that the simplicity of the Nex 3 was really bothering me. The menu system was clunky and I could not get to the settings I needed.

I just got my Nex 7 today and boy, I could not be happier.

I love the fact that the body is so small and light. My philosophy is "the best camera in the world is the one you have on you." With that in mind, I believe in investing in a good phone camera (like my Galaxy S4) and now my Nex 7. I could easily have the camera around my neck without having to lug around a brick all day. (Those of you with the big Canon and Nikon know what I am talking about). It gets old quick.

Things I love about the Nex 7:

- All the features of a big SLR but not the weight.
- Plenty of lenses (finally)
- AMAZING low light capability. The Nex line is unique in this capability of shooting 6-10 shots and then making a composite...which reduces the noise and blurred movements.
- Access to the vital dials quickly...I can now change Aperture size, ISO, and exposure compensation through external knobs...rather than a complicated menu system
- EVF. My Nex 3 did not have a view finder...and during bright days, this can be a problem. Nex 7 solved this.
- A convenient AF/MF toggle lock. This was not a pain on the Nex 3.

What I don't like about the Next 7:

- The Nex 3 had some nice pre-sets when you have the camera set on Ai. They took these functions away
- Unlike a point and shoot, the zoom is limited by your lens. My point and shoot Lumix goes up to 40x and is amazingly sharp.
- You are limited to a .7 bracket x 3....I was hoping to be able to set a higher bracketing set for dramatic HDR photography. I will have to settle for +/- .7.

I was seriously contemplating updating my camera with a Nikon or a Canon 70D....but upon learning about the Nex7, and after reading all the great reviews, I decided to stick to Sony. I have a bunch of lenses and accessory for the Nex series, and now I could not be happier.

Mac Owners - PLEASE READ
If you are getting a Nex 7, then I am assuming you want to be serious about your photography. If you get this camera, I HIGHLY recommend that you take the leap and buy Aperture. It's only $80. I could not be happier. I was humming and hahing about "why do I need to spend another $80 when iPhoto does a lot of what I want?" Trust me. There is a reason why professionals use it. It is fast, and fantastic.

Also, be sure to buy Google's Nik Software suite. It's only $149. This suite used to cost $500, but when Google bought the company, they slashed the price. This suite allow you to do some ridiculously cool HDR photography and a number of very cool filters that take your photography from "hmm, that looks nice hon" to "OMG! That looks fantastic!".

Seriously, get this camera. You can't go wrong.
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on August 3, 2015
I couldn't swing this camera a few years ago and bought a NEX-5N instead. That turned out to be a wonderful camera which I re-tasked for my wife after she used on a recent trip on the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad - the absolutely loved it. In the meantime the NEX-7 was discontinued in favor of the A4000. I was able to purchase a new NEX-7 at about a 50% discount - dream fulfilled.

I started shooting with a used Kodak Retina, yup I am really that old, then followed a couple 35mm SLR's, Mamiya Sekor & Pentax. The retina required a light meter and range finder but the two SLR's at least had range finders - everything else was manual. A lot of pocket cameras in various formats then crude digitals but always the dream of recapturing the love of photography from the early cameras.

With the NEX-7 I have all the operating ease of the NEX-5, if I want it, but the my of photography has been recaptured with the NEX-7.
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on August 26, 2012
After years of contentment with the convenience of a high end point and shoot, I finally decided to go for better stuff, wanting an APS-C sized sensor in a compact package with a good telephoto to walk around with. So I purchased the NEX 7 with the Sony 18-200LE lens and am thrilled with it.

I've been using it for about a month now and find the camera grows on me as I learn its capabilities. There are many well written positive reviews already posted that go into great detail about just how good this camera is and I agree with them, so I will just comment on a few things that have sometimes been missed.

First, I just get great, sharp, eye-popping pictures. I mostly shoot outdoors and the 24 MP provides tremendous detail that allows extreme cropping with excellent results. Initially, I found the autofocus to be ineffective, until I discovered that the focus assist setting NEEDED to be in the off position outdoors or it would ruin the autofocus. Problem solved.

Buying a compact camera with a honking lens on it might seem counterproductive but I really like its carrying around convenience. It is not too heavy and the hand grip provides a perfect form to lock your fingers around so that you can effortlessly carry it with your arm hanging fully extended at your side while the camera feels balanced and safe.

The electronic viewfinder is pretty cool, although the twinkling dots in low light conditions is a bit distracting. But you learn to live with them, knowing that they do not show up in the final picture.

There is a learning curve with menu settings and it takes a while to figure out where in the menus you need to start to find a particular setting. But the tri-navi dials are terrific for quickly adjusting the primary exposure settings. Locking focus on moving objects, like a bird flying by, works really well. I agree with other reviewers who found the video button to be inconveniently placed and all too easy to activate.

Manual focus with the 18-200 lens is dicy. The focus ring is very, very sensitive, as it will move if you happen to have your fingers on it while your heart is beating. It needs greater dampening and longer movement to be more effective. That is my one real complaint here. Although the focal length adjustment is tight in the beginning, it eases and smooths out in fairly quick order and I have had no lens creep thus far.

All things considered, this is a great camera and I am super pleased with my purchase. Enough so that I will be adding a couple of prime lenses in short order.
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