Excerpt: In the middle ground between DSLRs and point-and-shoot lies a vast plain filled with all manner of tweener cameras, in all variants of shape, size, price, and quality. Until now, no one has nailed the whole package, but so far the smartest middle ground — smaller body and price, but without losing...
Pros: Excellent pictures and video, Fast performance, Very easy to use
Cons: Still doesn't have DSLR-level manual control, OLED viewfinder is mediocre, Lens ecosystem isn't as good as Nikon or Canon
Excerpt: Sony NEX fans have been waiting for more controls to quickly adjust various exposure settings in a hurry, rather than dig into the menu, and I'm sure many had a wish list for this or that extra feature to make the existing NEX design just a little better.
Pros: Exceptional resolution and crispness in images, SUPER body & user interface: The TriNavi interface is our absolute favorite UI, ever. Period., Built-in flash; a first for the NEX line, Excellent image noise, even at high ISO levels, Maximum ISO of 16,000 (good quality to 3,200), Very responsive; ...
Cons: Only way to change modes is via the menu system, Best-of-breed EVF still doesn't match optical viewfinder for highlight/shadow visibility (Why can't we have DRO to extend dynamic range of the EVF image?), Continuous-mode with AF enabled isn't as fast as it might be; at the lower end of typical SL...
Summary: When we first encountered the Sony Alpha NEX-7 , DCR editor Allison Johnson was putting a pre-production model through its paces under the auspices of Sony San Diego this past September. Allison gave the camera high grades and was particularly impressed with the performance of the viewfinder.
Pros: Good image quality, Fast AF performance, Outstanding viewfinder
Cons: Cost, Awkward playback regimen, Monitor/viewfinder interface can impact battery life
Summary: Consider NEX-7’s bigger brother SLT, the Alpha A77 , and there’s little the separate the two models in terms of features. The SLT will set you back some £1150 body-only (it’s £1669 with the 16-50mm lens) while the NEX-7 demands a pricey £1049 without a lens (£1129 with the 18-55mm).
Pros: OLED viewfinder, high-resolution images, array of controls, built in flash, wireless flash control
Cons: Control placement, low-light autofocus, slower AF than some CSC competitors, limited battery life
Summary: The mass-market appeal of compact system cameras is essential for the category to work. High sales drive down prices and allow development into improved operations and performance.
As photographers, however, we see compact system cameras from a different perspective.
Summary: The space between compact cameras and DSLRs is where it's at right now. As we type, the cream of the world's camera designers is feverishly attempting to crack the nut that contains full DSLR features and control within a body the size of a compact.
Pros: Sublime photo quality, Compact design, Tilting display can be useful