Sony A6400 vs NEX-7
The Sony Alpha A6400 and the Sony Alpha NEX-7 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2019 and August 2011. Both the A6400 and the NEX-7 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Sony A6400||Sony NEX-7|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Sony E mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 100-32000 (100-102400)||ISO 100-16000|
|Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 922k dots||3.0" LCD, 921k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|11 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|410 shots per battery charge||430 shots per battery charge|
|120 x 67 x 50 mm, 403 g||120 x 67 x 43 mm, 400 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha A6400 and the Sony Alpha NEX-7? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Sony A6400 vs NEX-7
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony A6400 and the Sony NEX-7 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
In this particular case, the Sony A6400 and the Sony NEX-7 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the NEX-7 is slightly lighter (1 percent) than the A6400. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A6400 nor the NEX-7 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
The power pack in the A6400 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Sony A6400»||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.0 in||14.2 oz||410||n||Jan 2019||899||Sony A6400|
|Sony NEX-7«||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||14.1 oz||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349||-||Sony NEX-7|
|Fujifilm X-T30« »||4.6 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||13.5 oz||380||n||Feb 2019||899||Fujifilm X-T30|
|Fujifilm X100« »||5.0 in||3.0 in||2.1 in||15.7 oz||300||n||Sep 2010||1,199||-||Fujifilm X100|
|Nikon D5300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Samsung NX30« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.3 in||13.2 oz||360||n||Jan 2014||999||-||Samsung NX30|
|Sony A6300« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.9 in||14.3 oz||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A5100« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||10.0 oz||400||n||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.1 oz||360||n||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||5.0 in||3.6 in||3.3 in||14.5 oz||470||n||Aug 2013||329||-||Sony A3000|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.7 oz||330||n||Aug 2012||749||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||12.2 oz||360||n||Sep 2012||999||-||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony RX1« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.0 oz||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799||-||Sony RX1|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The A6400 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the NEX-7, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
Sensor comparison: Sony A6400 vs NEX-7
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the NEX-7 is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Even though the A6400 has a slightly larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the A6400 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 3.90μm for the NEX-7), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the A6400 is much more recent (by 7 years and 4 months) than the NEX-7, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The A6400 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Sony Alpha A6400 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 32000, which can be extended to ISO 100-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-7 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Sony A6400»||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24||13.6||1431||83||Sony A6400|
|Sony NEX-7«||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||24.1||13.4||1016||81||Sony NEX-7|
|Fujifilm X-T30« »||APS-C||26.0||6240||4160||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-T30|
|Fujifilm X100« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/30p||22.9||12.4||1001||73||Fujifilm X100|
|Nikon D5300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|Samsung NX30« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.5||12.4||1014||76||Samsung NX30|
|Sony A6300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.4||13.7||1437||85||Sony A6300|
|Sony A5100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||13.1||1347||82||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.7||12.8||1068||78||Sony A3000|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.7||13.1||910||78||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.7||13.1||1018||78||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony RX1« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93||Sony RX1|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the A6400 provides a higher video resolution than the NEX-7. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the NEX-7 is limited to 1080/60i.
Feature comparison: Sony A6400 vs NEX-7
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The A6400 and the NEX-7 are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 2359k dots. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony A6400 and Sony NEX-7 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Sony A6400»||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6400|
|Sony NEX-7«||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-7|
|Fujifilm X-T30« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-T30|
|Fujifilm X100« »||1440||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X100|
|Nikon D5300« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Samsung NX30« »||2359||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||1/8000s||9.0||Y||n||Samsung NX30|
|Sony A6300« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6300|
|Sony A5100« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||1440||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||202||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Sony A3000|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6« »||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony RX1« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Sony RX1|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The A6400 has a touchscreen, while the NEX-7 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The A6400 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the NEX-7 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the A6400 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A6400 and the NEX-7 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A6400 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the NEX-7 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
Connectivity comparison: Sony A6400 vs NEX-7
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha A6400 and Sony Alpha NEX-7 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony A6400»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A6400|
|Sony NEX-7«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-7|
|Fujifilm X-T30« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-T30|
|Fujifilm X100« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X100|
|Nikon D5300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|Samsung NX30« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Samsung NX30|
|Sony A6300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A5100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A3000|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony RX1« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX1|
It is notable that the A6400 offers wifi support, while the NEX-7 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The A6400 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the NEX-7 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the NEX-7 from Sony. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.
Review summary: Sony A6400 vs NEX-7
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Sony A6400 better than the Sony NEX-7 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Sony Alpha A6400:
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for quicker and more confident autofocus.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 4 months of technical progress since the NEX-7 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha NEX-7:
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.70x).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2011).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A6400 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 2 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A6400 and the Sony NEX-7 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the A6400 or the NEX-7 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
Expert reviews: Sony A6400 vs NEX-7
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Sony A6400»||+||85/100||4.5/5||-||4/5||Jan 2019||899||Sony A6400|
|Sony NEX-7«||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349||-||Sony NEX-7|
|Fujifilm X-T30« »||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899||Fujifilm X-T30|
|Fujifilm X100« »||-||75/100||4/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2010||1,199||-||Fujifilm X100|
|Nikon D5300« »||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Samsung NX30« »||-||77/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||999||-||Samsung NX30|
|Sony A6300« »||+||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A5100« »||+||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony A3000« »||+||-||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329||-||Sony A3000|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6« »||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999||-||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony RX1« »||-||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799||-||Sony RX1|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Sony A6400 vs Sony NEX-7
|Camera Model||Sony A6400||Sony NEX-7|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2019||August 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 1349|
|Sensor Specs||Sony A6400||Sony NEX-7|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||23.4 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||365.04 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||28.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.91 μm||3.90 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.55 MP/cm2||6.57 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100-32000 ISO||100-16000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-102400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||BIONZ|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||83||81|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.6||13.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1431||1016|
|Screen Specs||Sony A6400||Sony NEX-7|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony A6400||Sony NEX-7|
|Autofocus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000/s||1/4000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||200 000 actuations||150 000 actuations|
|Electronic Shutter||YES||no E-Shutter|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony A6400||Sony NEX-7|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Sony A6400||Sony NEX-7|
|Battery Type||NP-FW50 power pack||NP-FW50 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||410 shots per charge||430 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
120 x 67 x 50 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 2.0 in)
120 x 67 x 43 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||403 g (14.2 oz)||400 g (14.1 oz)|