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Customer Review

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No limitations, no excuses., March 12, 2012
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This review is from: Sony NEX-7 24.3 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera - Body Only (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
There are hundreds of reviews, including those by technical publications. I'll concentrate on things that may not be so apparent to a lot of people.

This is a well-made camera with lots of attention to details that will make you appreciate it over time. It is not tiny or light, just much more compact than the typical DSLR.

The most fabulous feature is its ability to use just about every lens ever made! That is astonishing. And it does it well with different ways to focus manual lenses. There is a multi-shot system that works to produce sharp photos with any lens in about any lighting condition. I even used an old Nikon telephoto that would only work with a tripod on the Nikon, but was even sharper hand held on the Nex!

Non-Sony lenses are mounted by adapters that are available on Amazon and elsewhere. Most are fairly rudimentary little devices made in China under a hundred different brand names, but they work. One thing to consider is to use lenses that have a manual aperture control ring. Newer lenses were often made just for automatic cameras and you have to use adapters that have their own aperture control built in and these are not as nice to use.

Those old lenses are coming out of the closet and off the shelves at camera stores where they have been gathering dust forever. The prices are going up, especially for the more revered models. In any case, the Nex-7 certainly makes tons of sense for anyone who has some nice old lenses languishing in the drawer.

Be aware that wide angles made for rangefinder cameras often produce a magenta cast in the corners of this Nex. A lot of this is variable depending on subject and lighting, but it is causing much consternation for some people. There is a software solution (Cornerfix) and lenses made for SLRs do not have that problem, but they are bigger and require a longer adapter. Sony's published roadmap indicates that new Sony wide angles are on the way, so that would be a solution for many people.

Also causing some complaining is the menu system. There are a lot of settings and it is a formidable task to dive in and find your way around. Sony gave this camera a number of knobs and buttons and a click wheel for direct access to menu sub-sets. And you can customize these settings to some extent to fit your needs. Still, there is no way but to jump in and practice and practice until you get it right.

The battery drains pretty fast, especially when the proximity sensor turns it on when in a case or you accidentally hit the prominent video button. I highly suggest the outrageously priced Sony model as the aftermart batteries are worthless and maybe harmful to your device. I think a car charger would be very useful.

THE NEX-7 DOES NOT COME WITH A MEMORY CARD. I got a Sony memory stick, only 8gb to start. I read a compelling argument that it is better to have several small ones than to put all your photos on one big one that might fail during an important assignment or on your bucket list vacation. Either the memory stick or a Class 10 will handle everything as fast as possible.

BTW, a regular old USB cable downloads the camera quite fast with the memory stick at least, so no need for a card reader. Some people don't like their expensive cameras physically attached to a computer and I see their point.

All the special tricks this camera does are done well. Panoramas, HDR, etc are all implemented very well.

A wrist strap is just perfect with this camera. I'll promote Gordy.

Sound is a big deal with video. At the ocean the wind noise was pretty bad, even with the setting for that activated. I hope to buy the little Sony mic someday.

This camera has the large "C" sized sensor with nearly 25mps. When it came out there was much wailing and bitterness from the Noise People, those who do not think resolution is as important as the noise issue. As it turns out, noise is very much in control at anything like a normal ISO and with the technology you don't have to go to high ISOs anyway. Coming from a 6mp camera, I certainly see the vastly better resolution and appreciate it. My old Core 2 Duo computer still handles the files fairly well and I don't keep a high percentage of my shots, so haven't run into storage problems yet.

Sony software is horrid, still considers Apple as an afterthought evidently. The manual, though, is excellent. I suggest downloading it to get an idea of how it all works.

And one more thing about the lenses. Sony has been criticized because the E-mount lenses because they are big on the camera. They do incorporate motors and anti-shake mechanisms and are very light. Some of the size problem is that the camera is small by comparison. They are very attractive and modern looking I am just astonished at how sharp the 55-210 is. I just took a 100mm shot of a building hundreds of yards away, then blew that up to 100% and you can see the twirls in a little rope. Just amazing in combination with the Nex-7. Far beyond any system I have ever used.

I think this is a wonderful camera that gives you every chance to make a great photograph or movie. You can't ask for more than that.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 12, 2012 9:39:28 PM PDT
Matthew Durr says:
Good review, I'm sharing the same consensus as you, and writing a rolling review on here as such. I do disagree with one thing though, and it's the memory card. I went ahead and ponied up for the 32gb Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s card. I know the NEX-7 doesn't take advantage of the speed, but the deal Amazon had on it (about 105 dollars I think), combined with Sandisk's reputation for high quality cards, pushed me over.

Now I can just keep the card in the camera and never have to worry about losing it. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2012 7:29:04 AM PDT
Carlgo says:
I got my camera after a 6 month wait and was so excited and...no card! Burnt gas on out to Best Buy. I had one of those Sandisks in hand when I saw the memory stick and made a quick decision. Either way is fine and you got 4X more memory than I did...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2012 8:47:12 AM PDT
Matthew Durr says:
I'm doing sports photography, and I only shoot RAW, so I'm hoping 32 GB will cover at least 500 shots that I can farm through.
And yeah, in waiting for something for so long, we can forget to get the most basic accessories for it! I have a small case for mine on order that'll just hold the camera and one small lens, and I'll probably pick up another battery (first party, not taking any chances) soon after.
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