Sony NEX-7 Review

January 4, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 Spiros

I wait for this camera a long time but finally it’s Here !!!
I hope in march it will be mine.

6:01 pm - Wednesday, January 4, 2012

#2 Low Budget Dave

Two minor corrections:  In the review, you said that the stabilization was in the camera body.  I don’t think that is correct.  Also, in the first few sentences, you said “The NEX-7 is available…”

6:37 pm - Wednesday, January 4, 2012

#3 Norman

Low Budget Dave: Review states:
“Like Panasonic’s directly competing GX1 (and unlike the Olympus Pens) there’s no in-body image stabilisation offered by the NEX-7 unfortunately, so this is via lens only…..”

10:29 pm - Wednesday, January 4, 2012

#4 Andy Clad

If your around LB Lewisham again, pop round for a cup of tea.

10:36 pm - Wednesday, January 4, 2012

#5 Clyde

Too bad it doesn’t have port for remote shooting cable.  Those IR remote toys just don’t do the job for pros.  No tethering, no remote control video, no continuous remote shooting, no bracketing with remote shooting…  They should have just omitted the tripod socket too.

But hey… at least we got Smile Detection.

1:14 am - Thursday, January 5, 2012

#6 mgauss

Not one portrait in the review.  Look in or, all Sony NEX portraits have orange or yellow faces.  To me skin tonrs are very important…Fuji, Nikon, Olympus get them great.

6:47 am - Thursday, January 5, 2012

#7 Thomas

Yes, the port for remote shooting cable is missing. Perhaps somebody like Phottix can provide a solution. The Phottix Strato II is available for the Sony/Minolta hot shoe.

10:13 am - Thursday, January 5, 2012

#8 rado

Very impressive, but the video is interlaced. Why do they keep doing it in this day and age?

1:01 pm - Thursday, January 5, 2012

#9 Sparklehedgehog

Rado it does 1080p so isn’t just interlaced!

Low budget Dave, it IS available in the uk. I went and bought one In store on Tuesday without preordering!

P.s it’s just brilliant, pure class….

11:22 pm - Thursday, January 5, 2012

#10 Hugo de Jong

I’ve got this NEX-7 now for a week and it just feels like a dream! I bought the 24mm 1,8 and Zeiss ZM Planar T 50/2 with it, and also the manual focus works very well! Better then on the other compact m4/3 systens.. Please visit my blog for some sample pics:

11:45 am - Friday, January 6, 2012

#11 Hutch New Zealand.

There seems to be a certain ‘paranoia’ about the NEX-7, something I find quite disturbing. Whilst most professional reviewers are writing very positive, comprehensive feedback, amateur armchair experts seem to picking holes in everything by writing messages all over the Internet that are littered with non-understandable technical jargon. I am far from sure anyone without an advanced degree in photography can understand what on earth they are on about. Surely the strength of a camera is in the pictures (or video) the camera offers, and in the case of the NEX-7, it’s generally recognised they are quite astounding, comparing quite favourably against cameras at four times the cost.
I can’t help wonder why many amateur photographers try to confuse just about everyone when offering critique on a product? The NEX-7 has a few issues that may be cured with an Internet upgrade, as took place with the NEX-5. Thank goodness for frank reviews such as this and the excellent work put out by Steve Huff; these reviews are offered in plain, simple English, an examination that even the camera dummy can understand.

12:45 am - Saturday, January 7, 2012

#12 Dan

Sorry, but for me image quality is only for a 4.

12:49 am - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#13 Daniel

Image quality is too noisy.

12:52 am - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#14 M Vries

@Hutch New Zealand

I have noticed this too, not just with the NEX. It seems there are a lot of online smear campaigns going on. They blow minor issues waaaay out proportion or simply make false statements (like Daniel above, NEX noise amount is below average with actual tests).

This seems especially where normal reviews are positive about the camera.

3:46 pm - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#15 Bee Jay

I’m not getting mixed up with camera politics, but if this camera were from one of the ‘big 2’, I think the NEX-7 would be one of the cameras of the year. But it isn’t, so it’s going to take a lot of flack for the things that aren’t perfect.

I do have some sympathy with these views, we aren’t now paying high-end compact, CSC money here, you could get a Canon 60D for this price tag.

To me it seems like a good step forward from the NEX-3 & NEX-5. Along with the A77 & the HX9V, Sony are having a real go at making it the ‘big 3’.

5:00 pm - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#16 Hutch New Zealand.

Interesting comments. I hadn’t given a thought to owners of the market leading cameras feeling a certain trepidation with a third party entering their somewhat niche market. I have a certain sympathy for those who paid three or four times the price of the NEX-7 for their tool of trade, only to discover, in this instance, you can get much more for much less!!!The fact remains that every professional reviewer has given the NEX-7 glowing credentials with few mentioning the price, and I find this very understandable. The NEX-7 comes at a fraction of the cost of the top two, and as Sony have proved in the past, they quickly take on board users comments and give owners the option of taking an Internet upgrade.

I own a NEX-5 and the NEX-7 is due to be delivered in early March. I have one complaint I really wish could be dealt to, and that is the video button, and how easy it is to press the darn thing when concentrating on something else. I do wish there was a way of locking the switch so this couldn’t happen but I think this will be taken on board and that option will soon be available.

9:39 pm - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#17 Deeso

I think I’ll get a NEX-5N instead. Good resolution and incomparable low light performance without any noise up to ISO 3600 and barely any at ISO 6400.

Perhaps in two-three years the Nex-7’s successor has decent noise levels at 24 megapixels and then I’ll upgrade to a new body. Unless they do something silly like pumping again the megapixels.

7:11 pm - Wednesday, January 11, 2012

#18 Sparklehedgehog

Load of crap about the sensor being noisy! Look at this shot I took at iso3200 on the nex7:

I do not class that as excessive or unusable noise levels at such a high iso!!!

2:27 am - Thursday, January 12, 2012

#19 Sparklehedgehog

This is NOT excessive noise for such a high iso!!!!

Taken at iso3200 yesterday in the uk:

The sensor is fine, just canikon fanboys doing the usual slagging…

2:30 am - Thursday, January 12, 2012

#20 Hutch New Zealand.

Hey, Sparkle, you have a very convincing way of demonstrating your point of view. Those are two lovely picture of a thrush, the only noise I can imagine is once the bird starts singing. I have been impressed with the NEX range of cameras since their inception, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the NEX-7 in about six week’s time.
I have spent hours on the Internet reading reviews from people who know what they are talking about, and apart from a couple of valid points that can easily be corrected, their reviews are glowing.
It is fair to say there is only a limited range of lenses, but those that are available perform well and the range is growing. I have just got my hands on the NEX Macro lens and I am thrilled with the results I have achieved.

3:50 am - Thursday, January 12, 2012

#21 John Koelsch

Placed my pre-order August 2011. While waiting I’ve discovered the camera on my iPhone 4S with a little help from PhotoShop delivers STUNNING results. Maybe, in five years smart phone cameras will be challenging even the “old” mirror box clunkers Nikon D4 etc etc that are literally a pain in the neck for street candid shooting

7:04 pm - Thursday, January 19, 2012

#22 Roger De Muth

Could anyone tell me what lens was used on the “Sample Page” of this website?  The image quality looks pretty incredible to me.

I’m impressed with all specs of the Nex 7, and the images shown.

Roger De Muth

8:56 pm - Friday, January 27, 2012

#23 David Staples

The quality of the sample images taken with the kit lens looks to be good, but to be honest, not exceptional.

I would image the prime lenses would show what this camera is really capable of.

12:52 pm - Wednesday, February 1, 2012

#24 a.w.edgemon

I wonder if anyone can tell me whether the MTF Products Nikon G to Sony E Mount Adaptor. will support the Nikon 18-200mm DX VR’s stabilization feature when used on the NEX 7 (when I can get the NEX 7!).  Thanks A. Edgemon

6:41 pm - Tuesday, February 21, 2012

#25 Mike

Your sight was the most useful one I visited for the NEX-7 and I have visited a lot. Thanks.

10:05 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2012

#26 John Koelsch

Nikon/Nikkor “G” lenses used on the Sony NEX-7 will NOT work ...reason: the G Nikkors have NO external aperture control ring…so: Nikkor G on NEX-7 will have 1. NO aperture control 2.NO image stabilization

The G lenses are very heavy and bulky (anyway); why not take a look at the superlative “manual everything” AIS Nikkors and specifically the 50mm f1.8 Mark III auto Nikkor “pancake” lens circa 1980-serial numbers 41xxxxx and higher. I just bought an absolutely mint condition example on eBay -such a little jewel that I avoided bidding and did eBay’s “buy it now”. They are light and tiny and perfectly fit the design aesthetic of the NEX-7. What’s more, Ken Rockwell rated the 50mm f1.8 AIS Nikkor as one of the sharpest Nikkors ever, without the cheap plastic construction found on E-series and later D and G series Nikkors.

11:31 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2012

#27 Peter

the real problem lies in the lack of lens options.  no up to 300mm zoom and other quality lenses.  Then there is the problem of image stabilisation

10:01 pm - Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#28 Tim UK

JOhn, what adaptor are you using for the Nikkor?

8:10 pm - Tuesday, March 6, 2012

#33 Mel

Thinking of upgrading from my Nikon P7000 to the Nex-7.

Is the image stabilization as good (in the 18-200 lens) as the P7000?

As there is no macro on the zooms, how close can I get with the 18-200 lens at 200mm. position.

7:46 pm - Monday, March 12, 2012

#34 Sparklehedehog

The stabilisation on the 18-200 lens is possibly the best in the business which is why they’ve used it on their high end camcorder the nex vg10. Such a brilliant lens. The minimum focus distance is in the specs on their website

9:00 pm - Monday, March 12, 2012

#35 Mel

Thanks for that sparklehedehog, but it does not say at what zoom position the 0.3m min. focus is, 18 or 200mm or some arbitrary position between.

11:36 am - Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#36 Yacht Master

Just returned my NEX 7.
After a 6 month wait it was quite a disappointment.
Auto focus was/is sub par.

6:28 pm - Friday, March 30, 2012

#37 Pro Mo

After trying my friends NEX 7, I traded in my old gear for one. This is one fantastic camera!

I now use both A-mount and E-mount lenses for it, so I can go light and minimalistic when travelling and use the big stuff for jobs. It’s very flexible and superb image quality.

I can definitely recommend this camera to any serious photographer!

3:42 pm - Saturday, March 31, 2012

#38 Sparklehedgehog

Yacht master: what the hell are you on about?! It’s the biggest selling csc/ilc in the world!

You are drastically in the minority with that one and you may wanna wait a few years before you buy a camera if the 7 isn’t good enough as anything else will disappoint too

2:10 am - Sunday, April 1, 2012

#39 Robert Halstead

Returned the camera as the Panorama function doesnot work. Will reorder when that is fixed.

There is a minor annoyance with the placement of the video button. There should bea way. To lock it out

6:57 pm - Saturday, April 7, 2012


I bought a Fotodiox adapter for Nikon lenses and when I attached a a AFS NIKKOR 50 mm a message saying that cannot recognize lens. What I have to do?

4:56 pm - Sunday, April 29, 2012

#41 penndragonn2001


        You have to go into the settings menu and turn allow the camera to fire without a lens attached. since the lens is manual, there is no electronic information passed to the NEX 7 through the lens, so it thinks there is no lens attached.

4:12 am - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

#42 penndragonn2001


      Just double checked, in settings it’s called release w/o lens…Enable or want to enable this…

4:31 am - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

#43 penndragonn2001


        You have to go into settings menu. Scroll to :Release w/o lens. Then Enable it to turn it on.

4:35 am - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

#44 penndragonn2001


        Go into settings menu. Scroll to, “Release w/o Lens”. Enable it to turn it on. NEX 7 will now recognize manual lenses. Wha-La!

4:38 am - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

#45 penndragonn2001

Not sure if these comments are coming through, if multiple, please forgive me. Thx.


      You have to go into settings menu. Scroll to “Release w/o Lens. Enable this. This will allow the NEX 7 to use manual lenses.

4:46 am - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

#46 penndragonn2001

My apologies for the multiple posts…they were not showing up so I kept re-posting them.

5:09 am - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

#47 Shane

I don’t understand what the fuss is all about. The sample images suck in terms of detail. They look blur and have a watercolor texture to it. It could be due to the lenses; perhaps.

The thing is, this camera has a lot of features. But the image quality is a BIG letdown. There may be less noise and all, but I simply cannot ignore the blurred images that I see time and time again with this camera. Don’t take my words for it, go see the sample images and observe it’s rendition for outdoor scenes, like the grass along the sidewalk - Blur!!!

4:20 pm - Saturday, June 2, 2012

#48 Jake

If image quality is your thing, this camera should be in your short list. The images are tack sharp and have wonderful dynamic range.

You have to try it to believe it, but it has even replaced my 5D mkII as most used camera! It’s soo much lighter to carry around without sacrificing any image quality.

Like the review says: fantastic camera!

7:20 pm - Saturday, June 2, 2012

#49 Tim

I have to say I have some sympathy with the last comment about image quality.  I wanted to buy a Nex-7 but every time I tested one in a shop I came away with my money still in my pocket.  Each time it was the image quality that stopped me buying.

Of particular note was medium to low light pictures.  When compared with a Nex-5N I can honestly say I preferred the 5N, and by some way.

As a Nex-5 owner I wanted the 7 for the EVF, in-built flash and horizon level, the latter important the older you get!  None of these are in the 5N so no point in changing to that model.

I’m wondering if the problem is indeed the lenses as a recent test of a Nex-7 against a Leica with both using the Leica lens showed the Nex-7 as more than capable.

I understand a new quality glass zoom lens for the Nex range is due out soon, will try again when that happens.


7:20 pm - Saturday, June 2, 2012

#50 penndragonn2001

I sold my Nikon D700 to buy the NEX 7 plus some VERY nice older Minolta Lenses, and adapters….ONLY thing the D700 had over my new NEX 7 was High ISO IQ, I don’t miss the D700 AT ALL.The shear amount of weight loss MORE then makes up for lack of HIGH ISO IQ ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. I’ll stack this camera against any DSLR with Equal lenses, any time…Just my 2 Cents!!!

5:33 am - Sunday, June 3, 2012

#51 Shane

@ Tim #49,

Some photos I’ve seen with the Leica lens used are indeed better, but again, you might want to check out this guy’s experience:

He says there are some problems when switching to Leica.

That said, if money is not a problem for you, then yes, the NEX-7 has everything (else) I could ask for in a camera. Just be prepared to fork out a lot more to get another lens and adapter.

8:40 am - Sunday, June 3, 2012

#52 Olga Celle

Now I’m pissed! Sony can put a bright (F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T) zoom lens on its DSC-RX100 compact digital camera but cannot produce a decent bright zoom for the Nex 7.
If I am missing the whole point, please enlighten me!

6:47 pm - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

#53 Yacht Master


Thanks for your comments.
My NEX 7 had a problem and was unable to auto focus so much so that I returned it. I did take the time to shoot 1500 frames under many conditions, and found that I could manual focus better than the camera could, that was quite a let down. After waiting over 6 months for the NEX 7 I was relived that the Sony store took it back, that helped close the book on the bad overall experience I had.
Sorry if my actions interfere with your “majority”, I just got a bad camera.

10:41 pm - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

#54 Robert

Olga Celle,

It is unfortunate that Sony is still missing a bright zoom lens in it’s lineup, but you must realize that there is a huge difference between fixed lenses and interchangeable lenses. The former is much easier to develop and can be a lot smaller than the latter.

Also realize that it is a variable aperture zoom (f/1.8-4.9) not f/1.8 over the whole zoom range.

I have no doubt Sony can and will develop a bright zoom lens for the NEX cameras.

1:54 pm - Thursday, June 7, 2012

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, compact system camera, hdmi, mirrorless, csc, sony, tilting, 10fps, tilt, nex-7, nex 7, nex7, Sony NEX-7, Sony NEX-7 Review, 24.3 megapixel

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