Conclusion: Now comes the Sony NEX-7; the camera many of us wish had shipped first, instead of the NEX-5. The NEX-7 is a NEX body designed from the ground up for the enthusiast photographer. We understand Sony's deciding to wait on the NEX-7, though, until they could ship it with the incredible 24.3 megapixel APS-C sensor and super-fast BIONZ processor it's built around.
Summary: Handheld Twilight and Auto High Dynamic Range combine several different exposures to create a better-exposed shot in challenging light. Like the rival Olympus OM-D E-M5, the Sony can shoot in 3D. Unlike the Olympus, the Sony NEX-7 has a built-in jack for an external microphone (the Olympus' costs $90 extra) and a pop-up flash (the Olympus comes with a small external flash).
Pros: Big-camera image quality in a small package, Exceptionally efficient control layout, Best-in-class panorama and HDR features
Cons: Disappointing lens selection, Video mode can overheat the camera, Not weather-sealed
Excerpt: The 24-megapixel APS-C sensor inside Sony’s NEX-7 produced the best stills and videos of the compact system cameras we tested this summer (2012), with details that held up even when we zoomed all the way in. The minimalist magnesium-alloy camera features an OLED viewfinder, articulated 3-inch LCD screen, and three customizable dials for configuring controls. That’s a good thing, because the cluttered onscreen menu is the one glaring flaw.
Pros: One of the most customizable models on the market. Sparkling 1080p video at 60 fps.
Cons: Software menu is a bit of a dog’s breakfast. Flimsy pop-up flash. At least $300 too expensive.
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Conclusion: This conclusion is hardly a surprise. If you’re looking for a camera that’ll last for years and has tons of options to help you grow as a photographer, buy the Sony alpha NEX-7. The NEX-7 is a winner and a clear Editor’s Choice. If you must have it now, you’ll pay a premium as Sony ramps up production. According to company execs, a lot of the demand should be satisfied in April/May. We’d wait and save so we could buy the NEX-7 with the Zeiss f/1.8 24mm prime lens.
Excerpt: Sony hopes to shift the tide in the war between micro four-thirds technology and mirrorless DSLRs with their newly announced NEX-7. Its 10.3 ounce, magnesium alloy body contains the same 24.3-megapixel Exmor APS HD sensor that has made Sony’s Alpha line of DSLRs the talk of the camera town.
Summary: The NEX-7 packs an awful lot of features into its small body, including an excellent 24MP APS-C sensor and large high resolution electronic viewfinder. Its three dial interface and extensive customizability makes for excellent handling, although its default setup leaves something to be desired. The biggest drawback (at launch) is the relatively undeveloped system, and lack of top-quality E-mount lenses to get the most out of it.
Pros: Three dial interface offers extensive fingertip control, Superb build quality, Excellent 2.4 million-dot OLED EVF in compact, slimline body, 920K dot tilting rear screen, Very high-resolution 24MP CMOS sensor with impressive high-ISO performance, Exceptionally 'deep' feature set including Auto HDR and Sweep Panorama, Seamlessly-integrated movie mode with full manual control, Class-leading video resolution, Fast and responsive operation, Class-leading continuous shooti...
Cons: Out-of-camera JPEGs don't show off the 24MP sensor to its best extent, Auto ISO limited to maximum of 1600, Top-plate dials indistinguishable by touch (most problematic when using EVF), Mystifying default control setup ( e.g . easier to change JPEG sharpness than flash mode), No custom settings memories, EVF proximity sensor can keep camera 'awake' and rapidly drain battery, Movie button prone to accidental activation, Limited autoexposure bracketing options, Menu sys...