Sony NEX-7 Comparison Review
The Sony Alpha NEX-7 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was announced in August 2011 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 24 megapixel.
Is the Sony NEX-7 a good camera? The NEX-7 has a Camera Elo of 2004. This rating puts the NEX-7 below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the NEX-7 ranks among the top 50 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Sony E mount lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 16 000|
|Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)|
|3.0 LCD, 921k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)|
|10 shutter flaps per second|
|430 shots per battery charge|
|120 x 67 x 43 mm, 400 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The physical dimensions of the Sony NEX-7 relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony NEX-7 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 comparisons there.
|Sony NEX-7||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||14.1 oz||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Fujifilm X100||5.0 in||3.0 in||2.1 in||15.7 oz||300||n||Sep 2010||1,199|
|Sony A6400||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.0 in||14.2 oz||410||n||Jan 2019||899|
|Sony A6000||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.1 oz||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|Sony A3000||5.0 in||3.6 in||3.3 in||14.5 oz||470||n||Aug 2013||329|
|Sony NEX-6||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||12.2 oz||360||n||Sep 2012||999|
|Sony RX1||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.0 oz||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799|
|Sony NEX-5N||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.5 oz||460||n||Aug 2011||699|
|Sony NEX-C3||4.3 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||7.9 oz||400||n||Jun 2011||599|
|Sony NEX-3||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||330||n||May 2010||599|
|Sony NEX-5||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||10.1 oz||330||n||May 2010||699|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony NEX-7 was launched in the US market at a price of $1,349. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Sony NEX-7 features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony NEX-7 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|Sony RX1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The NEX-7 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the NEX-7 can use is 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the NEX-7 has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2359k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.73x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony NEX-7 and comparable cameras.
One convenient feature of the NEX-7 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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 NEX-7 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the NEX-7 has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the NEX-7. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Sony NEX-7||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Fujifilm X100||..||75/100||4/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2010||1,199|
|Sony A6400||+||85/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jan 2019||899|
|Sony A6000||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|Sony A3000||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329|
|Sony NEX-6||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|Sony RX1||..||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799|
|Sony NEX-5N||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||699|
|Sony NEX-C3||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||599|
|Sony NEX-3||..||70/100||4.5/5||5/5||4/5||May 2010||599|
|Sony NEX-5||+ +||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||May 2010||699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Sony NEX-7 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the NEX-7.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the NEX-7 based on?
The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Sony equipped the NEX-7 with the BIONZ image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the NEX-7?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Sony Alpha NEX-7?
Sony mentions a shutter rating of 150 000 actuations for the NEX-7. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the NEX-7 over, say, three years, one would have to take about 150 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my Sony NEX-7?
Sony embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your NEX-7 has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the online shutter count app.
Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony NEX-7?
The NEX-7 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.
Does the Sony NEX-7 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The NEX-7's flash sync speed is 1/160 sec.
Which battery does the NEX-7 use?
The camera gets its power from the NP-FW50 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
|Camera Model||Sony NEX-7|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 1 349|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.4 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||365 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6 000 x 4 000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.90 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.57 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 16 000 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||81|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1016|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||150 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||NP-FW50 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||430 shots per charge|
120 x 67 x 43 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||400 g (14.1 oz)|
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