Yes, I love new toys (especially this one !)

Last time we spoke (thad had to be yesterday), I told you about the annoyances of my new and shiny NEX 6.

It’s great camera, but it does have some User Interface quirks, which, while already an improvement over models sitting lower in the Sony food chain, are still, well, irritating in daily use.

Since the NEX 6 is the latest of Sony’s offsprings, I thought there might be someone owning the initially more expensive, but older, NEX 7, and willing to trade. I posted an ad on the French Sony NEX dedicated website, and true enough, within two hours had located a NEX 7 user game for the switch.

TestNex7-01Sony NEX 7 with PEN F 38/1.8 wide open. In camera Black&White jpeg

One particularity of the 7 is that it is HIGHLY configurable. I mean it. There are so many possible option combinations that it can have you scratching your head a good deal. I chose to make it as simple as possible, and really put forward those settings I change a lot. It’s now extremely easy to access aperture, speed, ISO, white balance, jpeg settings, dynamic range (DRO) settings, and flash compensation.

MarlaDec12-68Tonight’s session was shot almost entirely flashless, here at ISO 1600.

There are three things that are still NOT fixed. Sony needs to let the user reverse/swap wheels at will (eh eh, pun not intended), and also cull those unwanted Creative Styles, so I can quickly switch between color and B&W without having to navigate through eight (or so) different options, what a pain. Secondly, we still need to have faster access to important commands such as Format and the Focus Peaking settings. I hate to go menu diving each time I want to do either, especially since they sit at opposite ends of a loooong Set-Up menu that I have to scroll all the way up or down each time. Major PITA. And third, we need Custom Settings, for God’s sake ! I want to switch QUICKLY between flash or no flash configuration, and it takes me AGES to do so, since each time I have to change the LCD behavior (menu digging), the ISO, and the White Balance, plus alter my shutter speed. Giving me AT LEAST two (three would be bonus) user setting banks would allow me to record those finess details in group and swap them on the fly, bang bang !

TestNex7-02Aside from that, how does it perform ? Beautifully. Absolutely.

MarlaDec12-60The large sensor records tons of detail with excellent sharpness even at higher ISO in dim light. Many stated the 5N and 6 models had better high ISO performance, well, not in real life conditions with my particular unit.

MarlaDec12-65I’d even dare say the white balance behavior at high ISO is better than that of the 5N and 6, whose noise output is fantastic, but negated by white balance issues almost unsolvable in jpeg.MarlaDec12-64wow, I really dig this camera

MarlaDec12-67It makes me want to shoot more than the 6 does.


MarlaDec12-63I cannot quite believe I shot that at ISO 1600 without flash in my cavelike living room, under nasty mixed lightning.

MarlaDec12-66High ISO in bad light has NO legitimate right to look this sharp and clear !

MarlaDec12-62You know what ? NOTHING beats personal, hands-on experience with a specific unit of any piece of gear. Sample variation is a very real thing in cameras and lenses. This NEX 7 camera has been acclaimed for its detail resolving capabilities, and shamed for its high ISO performance. Here I’m finding this loaner NEX 7 to have stellar high ISO performance.

I’m absolutely loving the cam. The Tri-Navi controls interface makes all the sense in the world for me. If I can trade this 7 for my 6, I’m in, if its owner wants it back, I’m buying it, and selling the 6.

About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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