Sony NEX-7 Review coming THIS weekend! More image samples while you wait…

The Sony NEX-7 Review is coming THIS weekend! Some new samples while you wait…

Ok everyone, there have been SO many e-mails asking me when the review for this camera will be up, so many e-mails asking me questions about the NEX-7 and so many asking me if they should order it. Lol, I’m working in it! I have been shooting the camera for the last week and getting to know it and started writing the review today which will take me until the end of the week/this weekend  to complete. It’s a pretty interesting camera with lot of feature but also lots of potential. The only software that will process the RAW files right now (that I know of) is the Sony software, which is plain awful. It runs like molasses on my iMac. With that said, all of the samples below are JPEGs.

As for the camera..don’t want to give away too much but I can say that the body and controls are wonderful and a big improvement over the NEX-5n. 🙂 Enjoy!

Shot with the 24 1.8 as a JPEG, this was taken indoors with only some window light shining in.

Shot in “High Contrast Black & White” also with the 24 1.8

The 50 1.8 os a great lens, even wide open. This one was shot at 1.8 as a JPEG

Gotta love fall colors! The 24 1.8 wide open!

The review will feature many more samples as well as full size image downloads, high ISO samples and crops up to 16,000 ISO at night, my thoughts on the usability, the features and the lenses and much much more including a video with all of the features and menu system. Expect a 6-7,000 word review with loads of real world images and my opinion on wether or not this camera is worth plunking down the cash for in November. Stay tuned!

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  1. Hi, Steve, it’s already weekend, but where is the review of NEX-7? I just cannot wait anymore to read it! 🙁

  2. I have a question on the lens compatibility for the NEX 7 camera. Is there a 24mm wide and 100mm tele lens available for this camera?

  3. Eagarly awaiting the Sony NEX 7 review. I recently purchased a Sony CyberShot HX 9V and I’m loving it. But however, I would like to buy an EVIL camera and thought of waiting for the NEX 7. I’m going to base my decision based on your review.

  4. You know what, to me the output of the x100 looks better (obviously half the res) than that of the nex/zeiss combo. The colors, sharpness, of transition, everything.

    At nearly twice the price it makes me wonder if I should go back to the x100 and keep a dslr with long prime around.

    I really hope we get the deep comparison because in this class, this combo is very expensive… It’s newer, so it should be a bit better in some tech… And I get this is an ic lens camera… But I honestly thought we’d see better. Hopefully the review will break a bit of a recent trend.

    All that said, the fuji shots we saw jpg only prerelease were worse… Raw conversion obviously is better…and I’m sure lr or aperture will convert better.

  5. Interesting that Amazon pulled the pre-orders for this camera off the option list and actually referred to Panasonic, Olympus, and other cameras (non-Sony) as alternatives. I doubt the NEX7 will be available to use by the holidays for most of us…

    Maybe the flooding in Thailand and earthquake in Japan are to blame? Who knows….

  6. Thanks Steve…can’t wait for your review….have you heard anything from Sony in regards to the flooding in Sony Thailand which will no doubt impact their supply chain and our ability to purchase this camera.

  7. Hi Steve, I am in a similar boat to Leonard’s in that I want to find the best compact rangefinder style system possible short of an M9 which I currently cant afford/justify> I have a nex 7on order But I can cancel. I want to love the Sony for all its features (and fundamentally its larger sensor and EVF) but all the photos I’ve seen so far on the net leave me feeling cold. They all look over saturated and dont have that undefinable magic. The lens line up currently doesnt excite either but that isnt my main consideration as I intend to use it primarily with my Rokkor legacy primes with a few zeiss/voitglander lenses. So I would love to see a compare or at least your thoughts on the Nex 7 in comparison to the EP3 as currently I have an EP1 and I love the colours that come out of the camera. Main reason for upgrading is again smaller sensor, focusing and lack of EVF in the Ep1. Cheers Nick

  8. I’m looking forward to this review like any other of Steves reviews which are always very personal, which I think is great thing in contrast to all the technical mumbo-jumbo in many other reviews on the Internet.

  9. Hi Steve,
    i´m looking for this review every day and still nervous waiting for some comparison E 1,8/50 and your Leica 50 lens on this sexy nexy. But it seems you are in love with the Zeiss?
    Thanks for your work!

  10. Steve, Dan is right in your last review comparing nex7 with iphone and x100. It makes a lot of sense. In your full review and comparison always give your comment on which image is the nearest to what you could actually see on the site. You are the best judge.

  11. Hi Steve,
    Can’t wait for the review. Seems like a killer camera. All eyes here on the Panasonic GX1 (rumors)!! This is going to be one hell of a slugfest by the end of the year (hoping Panasonic doesn’t disappoint). I guess Panasonic’s is an open secret because it makes absolutely no sense to kill the GF1 and replacing it with dumb’ed down GF successors. Only chink in Sony’s armour is its hideous-looking lenses. The Contax G lenses would be a great fit though.


  12. Capture One 6.3 has preliminary support for the NEX-7. I tried it with 2 raw files downloaded from Imaging Resource, and they looked very good.

    “The only software that will process the RAW files right now (that I know of) is the Sony software, which is plain awful. It runs like molasses on my iMac. With that said, all of the samples below are JPEGs.”

  13. Thanks Steve! You should go download the free Raw Photo Processor to process the raws. It is the nest demoisacing engine out there for any camera.

  14. Thanks Steve – can’t wait for the full review. As a new switcher to mirrorless from Canon FF I’m having a hard time wondering what to do with regards to lenses. I have a old Contax Yashica 135mm (which is great but damn heavy) and a Voigtlander 28mm Ultron f2 for now but am looking at also getting a Contax G 45mm f2 and perhaps a 90/2.8 too.

    But on the flipside should I wait and see what the new 50 1.8 and 24 Zeiss from Sony can deliver – would love to see some comparisons with these two lenses to some old Zeiss lenses. Very hard to make a decision with so many choices! 🙂 On Canon it was easy, 16-35, 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 and you’re done.

    Great site – appreciate all the work you put in to it.

  15. Is it just me or you’re a little disappointed with this camera? It seems that you were more excited about it before you start using it.

    I’d like to see many photos using the standard lens that comes with the kit.

    Waiting for the full review.

  16. Try to shoot Pelicans on Galveston Island with an EVIL and a long-equivalent lens. You can’t stabilize it, because it is too small.

    • Try shooting the old Sweet Apples Lounge location at 19th and Strand with a non-stabilized lens at 4 am. Can’t be done with any reasonable ISO.

    • All criticism should be leveled at the operator and not the camera. Unless this is the first camera which selects the subject and the composition, presses the shutter, and posts it online. All by its lonesome.

    • I still remember the same comment when Sony and Phillip introduce song on CD. Normally comment like this is when they cannot find fault with the picture but don’t like the brand or already bought very expansive gears and want to feel good about it.

    • I still remember the same comment when Sony and Phillip introduce song on CD. Normally comment like this is when they cannot find fault with the picture but don’t like the brand or already bought very expansive gears and want to feel good about it.

    • Vlad has every right to think that the NEX-7 pictures looks digital. What’s wrong with that? The pictures come from a digital camera!

  17. Raving about 24/1.8 lens. Why then its so huge. Okey, AF, electronics and so on. Thinking about the lenght of lens makes one thing that Sony opted for solution that`s telecentric orientated. That in turn might indicate that it`s sensor won`t take kindy to semi- and symmetrical designs of Leica type. Compare Zeiss 24/1.8 with fullframe Biogon 25/2.8 and CV 24/4. Let`s see Steve. Aperture doesn`t matter. Shoot them all at 4-5.6. Architecture please, not fall leaves.

    • One thing more, it`s about Nex-7 body. It shoots HD, that`s nice. And everybody apreciates articulated LCD panel. Why not then a upflipable EVF which is a must when filming and handy when shooting in bright sun. Surely it wouldn`t make much body bigger. Alas, maybe NEX-7s with less but bigger pixels by the way, though Sony seldom listens to voice of reason.

    • I’d concur with the tele-centric design theory. Zeiss will not make optically ‘sub-standard’ lenses – and never have.

      The current trend of software corrected lens designs on very narrow bodies (i.e. short focal register) would be an anathema to them – particularly after certain wide-angle Leica lenses were discovered to have problems with sensor edge resolution on a ‘full-size’ body.

      The new 24mm looks just like my Zeiss 25mm + Contax/Nex adapter does on my Nex body (Nikon + adapter looks the same too) Not seen the lens construction first hand, but effectively spacing an SLR lens design to work with a thinner body is a cheap(ish) option.

      I suspect Zeiss would reject the concept of smaller, closer to focal plane, ‘corrected’ lenses entirely. If they can’t do it optically, they won’t bother. I’d also guess that recomputing older SLR DNA into new lens designs didn’t hurt their R&D budget either!

    • According to the published dimensions, the E ZA 24mm f/1.8 is not “huge”. At 60mm in length it is 11mm shorter (~ 18% shorter) than a comparable Zeiss 25mm ZM lens for Leica M mount systems, and you’d have to add an adapter (more length) on top of that to run that same, compact, lens on the NEX. Assume overall quality is a wash between the two with plusses / minuses for either balancing out, if you want the shorter lens you buy the Sony Zeiss 24mm.

      At just over two inches long the 24mm f/1.8 Zeiss (60mm in length) is about the same length as the width of my index finger with two more beside it. The lens is shorter than the width of my smartphone in its Otter case. The Sony Zeiss 24mm would be one of the smallest interchangeable lenses in any of my gear bags, save for a couple of 50mm film SLR lenses I have that aren’t particularly fast. The Sony Zeiss 24mm is smaller than all of my Zeiss ZM rangefinder lenses. It also weighs less. And it does autofocus really fast and won’t have vignetting unlike an adapted ZM.

      What is not to like?

      The lens isn’t “huge” by any rational standard. Sure, it is bigger than a pancake lens found on some other system and sure it protrudes a little farther out from the body than the lens on the *fixed* lens X100. Big deal. The camera is small. The lens is small, but doesn’t appear as small as it really is given the small size of the camera.

      Hold up your index finger and the two next to it and remind yourself the lens is that long if you have fat fingers, or just a little longer if you have skinny digits. That’s what 60 millimeters looks like. Not huge. Small.

      • I don’t think it’s the overall dimensions of the lens itself – the question is, “Why is it so disproportionately large for a compact sized camera?”

        When the X100 and X1 can package a 24mm (approx) lens more effectively, why can’t Sony? No good having a small compact camera with SLR sized lenses.

        Kind of defeats the object of a carry-around camera ….

        • In the apples to apples department I’d like to point out the obvious: The X100 and X1 are both fixed lens cameras. You can’t put any other lens on them. Such a closed system gives the camera designers and engineers the luxury to design a lens system of a certain quality point that can be smaller.

          By contrast, the NEX was developed as a completely open platform and in there lies a goodly part of the appeal of the NEX. Not only can you put the maker’s lenses on it but with an adapter you can mount on to it almost any other lens on the face of the planet.

          Sony made a choice, one I agree with. NEX is a compact *system* camera, not an advanced single lens compact.

          If you want ultra-compact, you may have to forgo flexibility. If you want flexibility you may have to forgo compactness.

          The X100 isn’t a tiny camera by any means; if it were truly tiny, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. A certain amount of heft is helpful and feels right. But it is compact enough and fit in a very small carry case when not sitting out on my side on my sling strap. While the X100 is more compact compared to a NEX with the Zeiss 24 mounted, if I have a need for another focal length the X100 isn’t compact at all because I need to carry or have within reach a second camera system. Exactly that scenario played out on my last three week trip.

          For the cost of a slightly less compact system which is only larger than the X100 by finger width or two in one dimension I get a great deal of flexibility in a compact camera system. That for me is a good trade off.

          • If Pentax and Samsung can, why can’t Sony? So much about apples to apples or small high performing prime lenses for aps-s sensor cameras. I would even claim that the all metal Pentax ltds are optically better perfomers than these bulky Sony/Zeiss e-mount lenses.

          • Retow makes a good point about the Pentax Limiteds.
            I’d LOVE to see Pentax/Ricoh put out a mirrorless APS-C that can utilize their already great and small primes! If they can figure out how to do it, they’ll have a big winner on their hands.

          • I repeat – what is the point of a thin bodied camera with relatively large ‘sticky-out’ lenses? Oh – by the by, the X1 has a retractable lens – so I don’t think the ‘fixed single lens makes it simple’ argument is valid in this context.

            Even allowing for a smaller 4/3rd sensor, Panasonic and Olympus can do (good) pancake primes – so why can’t Sony.

            I love my X100 – but it’s still not a pocket camera even with it’s fixed lens – the Nex system (with small primes) could be.

            In an ideal world, the Panasonic GF-1 – but with APS sized sensor – would be my ideal pocket system camera. On release, I fell in love with it’s size and handling but could not reconcile it’s overall performance with my expectations.

            If Fuji – or any other manufacturer – releases a quality GF-1 sized system, on APS or larger, then I’m well interested! Until then, I’ll stick with my X100 for what it does well (which is most things) plus my Nex-3 combined with my Zeiss/Nikon manual lenses for the times when I want interchangeability.

            The latter option is gonna save me a bundle over the Nex-7 and AF primes – and if I want 24mp, I can always buy a 7 body later when the price tumbles!

      • Your comparison is not valid. The ZM 25 for Leica M mount is projecting it’s image onto a full frame sensor, which is about twice the size of the APS sensor in the NEX 7. The larger the sensor the larger the lens. Look at the size of medium format lenses relative to FF/35mm lenses.

        The NEX7 has a half-frame sensor (relative to Leica M) and there is no reason why the NEX 24mm lens should be physically larger than a similar lens designed for full frame.

  18. Does anyone know if the NEX-7 has an anti-aliasing filter? With such a high resolution, it shouldn’t need one, right?

    • Its got a particulalry light AA filter apparently – detail at low ISO RAWs in Capture One 6.3 are very good with good glass.

      I’m going to get one to use exclusively with M mount lenses.

  19. I am looking forward to put NEX-7 through it’s paces with a nice Leica M lens. Until then I will keep shooting my Canon with a nice Leica R lens. If NEX-7 can deliver colors I am getting from my Canon 1Dsm3 and focus easier it will be used. Otherwise it will go back where it came from. Expectations are high, and Leica M10 / Fuji X200 are coming soon…[img][/img]

  20. I’d rather have the 5n sensor in the 7 body. Better pixels is the way to go, not more pixels. Look at Canon’s new flagship offering: 18MP. ISO up to over 200k. Better pixels. Not more.

    • Indeed Jonny, as the wise sage Kirk Tuck posted yesterday on VSL re: Canon & new 1dx:-

      “Anyway, it’s interesting to me to see the direction that Canon is taking in their flagship product. In a way it vindicates the statements made by Olympus. They basically said that 12 megapixels was the sweet spot for most consumers. Canon is now saying that the quality of the pixels now trumps the quantity. A good place to stop.”


      “I welcome the step back. I bought a Canon 5Dmk2 a while back and I dread using it to produce full sized raw files. When I shoot portraits I routinely throttle the whole mess back to the M size raw file (1/2 size). Don’t get me wrong, the big files look great. Full of fine detail and all that. It’s just that most of the time the files get used at much smaller sizes and I hate the idea of endlessly filling hard drives with big, fat files that basically aren’t going to go anywhere.”

      Quite often less really is more. But newer is always better ….. right? LOL 😀

  21. Steve I have been following your website for the longest time however I have not replied until now.

    I am torn to what compact to get to supplement my huge DSLR. I used to have Panasonic GF1 that camera had so much soul it made me want to shoot street photography which my DSLR does not do for me.

    I am considering EP3 or either NEX 5n/7. I will not skimp on lenses. I will get all the best recommended lenses for the kit. Money is not an object really. NEX 7 will only allow me to get Zeiss while with other 2 I will be able to afford the EVFs and 2 extra lenses.

    Which one should I get? I am seriously in love with the EP3 it just so like an old film pen and the colors are more film like.

      • I much prefer the E-P3 to GF1. The E-P3 seems to have the best of all worlds and while not perfect it is highly capable. Shooting with it next to the X100 and NEX-7 showed me how good the little E-P3 really is.

        • Was tempted to take the Oly root, after todays news Im glad I went Lumix. I will admit, the Oly’s are better looking and I have not compared photo quality. I trust you…

    • Boy, if you are really all that serious about your love for EP3, why not then take her to the church, ask the priest to check her high ISO and have a ring put on her 4/3 mount and on your tigger finger and live happy forever.

      • The E-P3 is a FANTASTIC camera and the one I shoot the most these days. If that bothers you, and it apparently does, then just skip over my E-P3 comments and posts. 🙂

  22. Can’t wait for the review.

    I hope you use different test subjects to check the performance of the nex7 and/or the lenses on sharpness, CA, distortion, bokeh, etc.


      • LOL, look at the 24/1.8 and picture it beside the Panny 20/1.7 for m43. I know which I’d rather have around my neck! Especially at the price….

    • Oh, how I crave the soulful look which only film can impart in my images again… the intangible differences, the subtle nuances which have been swept aside in the digital revolution….

      Only film can capture the emotions of my minds eye as this most romantic of mediums communicates what pixels cannot.

      Ahhh… one day people will realise the artistry of chemicals again and I will awaken from this bad silicone dream….

      • LOL…. very poetic…Well man, why is imperfect soulfull…how does an eye see? With noise or clean? When I got my Bluray reader and 1080p TV, I first thought…shit, Harrison Ford is sitting in my living room, I first got inconfortable with the look then I realised that actreses were not these perfect dolls anymore but real women who are not perfect and guess what now I still think that the dynamic range is a bit too wide and there is too much details in the bright and dark parts of the image but the actors are much more life like. I think you give soul to your picture not the camera or film. If I want snow in a picture, I go shoot in the snow, not in the sun with grainy film. Film was good, film was fun but I went back to manual almost everything and that improves my experience more than film would. Film will eventually disapear since the new kids have never used film and they don’t have an attachment to it. Now they play with framing, OOF zones, etc. I used to windsurf, now I kitesurf, some say windsurfing will come back and Kiting disapear, but no, too many kids started staright with kiting, they don’t relate to windsurfing.

        • Well… I’m 18 and I LOVE shooting film. So it isn’t quite true. Also I have to admit that I use my DSLR more often. But When there would be film that lets me see my image after taking on a screen and that holds 2000 photos on a roll (like my 32GB CF card) I would just be shooting film.

          But you’re right. Full manual is what counts. Film look can be done in Photoshop.

        • Yeah the new kids don’t know what quality is any more, the eat junk food, listen to mp3 and take junk photos with their mobile phones 🙂

          • My daughter (18) loves her TYPEWRITER and her best friend (17) loves developing FILM with me. They of course use digital, but it’s up to us to introduce them to the “old school” ways… and it’s fun 😛

          • It is not everything old that is great, but it is sometimes nice to let the young ones experience what came before. Some old things may even be better.

            If you get the chance, watch the series about Albert Kahn who was an early adopter of autochrome (sort of the first color slides which was available around the beginning of 1900). The images are just amazing and a lot better than most digital (the output from the NEX-7 is a joke in comparison).

            Btw. you can get film that can be seen almost right after shooting – it is called Polaroid.

    • There are indeed some weird things in the leaf pic and B/W pic: the halo around the yellow leave, the eyebrow following exactly the same line as the water on the windscreen? Is this a JPEG issue??? The other two pics seem fine to me. Past experiences with Sony products make me very hesitant to jump into this and on top the lens line up is pretty pathetic. Weight and file size of my Canon 5D II make that the X100 is still high on the wish list, but then again the EP3 and interchangeable lenses… Though times, don’t you think?

    • Exactly. It should be a Leica. Those aren’t digital. At least they don’t feel digital. With the archaic price and old-school-rip-off at the time of buying (transaction), its harks back to the days when buyers didn’t know they were being ripped off.

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