Answer : you don’t.
Problem : I’ve been shooting with various NEX bodies and even way more various lenses (native and adapted) for a full year now. That’s a lot of time in my digital book. It means something around 12.000 to 15.000, as I average 1K shots/month, more on vacation or trips, events, etc… I love, love the NEX cameras but most lenses are poor and the AF performance is lacking globally. My three must-haves for a mirrorless camera are tilt LCD screen (*not* swivelling, tilting, it’s a nuance but crucial for what I do), built-in EVF, and APS-C sized sensor (or bigger).
Possible solutions : switch to Fuji. Similar IQ, maybe even better low light performance. Similar to slightly worse AF. Much better and more affordable lenses. BUT. There’s no Fuji body with built-in EVF *and* tilting screen, it’s “either or”, not “both”. Plus (I know, I’m weird) I actually like the NEX controls and UI better (it’s a habit thing, and down to the nitty gritty I think Fuji’s “retro” UI with physical rings and knobs for aperture, ISO and shutter is more marketing than truly functionnal, and I’m saying that based on experience with both).
Switch to m4/3. Yup, I’ve though about that long and hard. I’ve happily shot my Panny GX-1 and good lenses for months last year and they had a lot going for them… But the sensor size and assorted x2 crop for my manual lenses is a no no. Though I admit that the newly released GX-7 gives me goosebumps. m4/3 has a lot of very capable and smallish lenses, with a well oiled used market that makes it easy to shop at decent prices. But the smaller sensor is killing me. Back to the drawing board.
Switch to Samsung NX. Ah ah, now that’s funny. Lenses ? Check. Tilt screen ? Check. APS-C ? Check. But no EVF, and truly Quality Control sucks and the whole system just is lacking the panache of either Fuji X or NEX. Probably nice cameras, but about as exciting as watching nails grow… Plus the one NX200 unit I tried was pathetically bad. Most likely a dud, but doesn’t make me yearn for more anyway.
So I thought, I thought, I turned my brain over until it was almost on fire over this damn issue. Sony is rumored to release yet another half baked iteration of the NEX 5 series in two days, and announce an overpriced 16-70 Zeiss zoom soon after (not even sure that’ll go 2.8 all the way, mostly likely 2.8 to 4). For 1000$, when the fantastic Fuji 18-55/2.8-4 sells for about 650.
Sure, I could take my hard earned cash and buy a (brand new, mind you) Fuji XE-1 with 18-55/2.8-4 attached for only a few € over 1000K. That would be a pretty good buy, too ! I’d “only” lose the tilt screen, all other things being about equal to the NEX 7. Except… Slightly worse AF performance (or on par, but not better anyway), different UI that I don’t like as much, cheaper feeling body (a mere fact) slightly lesser EVF (another fact), and much less refined and useful Peaking feature (critical for me since I shoot manual lenses a LOT). Hmm… doesn’t look that smart after all, does it ?
Or ? Or I just keep doing what I’ve been doing this past year. Re-buy a 7 to keep company to my (wonderful) little 3N, use the acceptable (barely) 18-55 when convenience is needed, SEL35 when AF is vital, and my well stocked stable of manual beauties whenever else. I just sit on my annoyances and frustration at seeing all other makers making progress and releasing new, updated products, and keep enjoying the unique and brilliant TriNavi UI of the NEX 7, and getting the gorgeous IQ, amazing DR etc I’ve come to love the NEX cameras for.