Sony NEX-7 vs RX1R
The Sony Alpha NEX-7 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2011 and June 2013. The NEX-7 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX1R is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (NEX-7) and a full frame (RX1R) 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 NEX-7||Sony RX1R|
|Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Sony E mount lenses||35mm f/2.0|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-16,000||ISO 100-25,600 (50 - 102,400)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0 LCD, 921k dots||3.0 LCD, 1229k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|10 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|430 shots per battery charge||270 shots per battery charge|
|120 x 67 x 43 mm, 400 g||113 x 65 x 70 mm, 482 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha NEX-7 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Sony NEX-7 and the Sony RX1R are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1R is notably smaller (9 percent) than the Sony NEX-7. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the NEX-7 nor the RX1R are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1R has a lens built in, whereas the NEX-7 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the NEX-7 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the NEX-7 gets 430 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the RX1R can take 270 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the RX1R can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Sony NEX-7||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||14.1 oz||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Sony RX1R||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.0 oz||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799|
|Fujifilm X100||5.0 in||3.0 in||2.1 in||15.7 oz||300||n||Sep 2010||1,199|
|Leica X Typ 113||5.2 in||2.9 in||3.1 in||17.1 oz||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|Sony A6400||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.0 in||14.2 oz||410||n||Jan 2019||899|
|Sony RX1R II||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.9 oz||220||n||Oct 2015||3,299|
|Sony A6000||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.1 oz||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|Sony A7R||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.4 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299|
|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.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony NEX-7 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX1R a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1R is 135 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Even though the RX1R has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the RX1R has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 3.90μm for the NEX-7), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the RX1R is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the NEX-7, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the RX1R has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Sony Alpha NEX-7 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the RX1R has a markedly higher DXO score than the NEX-7 (overall score 10 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony RX1R||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91|
|Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Sony RX1R II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||1080/60p||25.8||13.9||3204||97|
|Sony A7R||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95|
|Sony RX1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the RX1R provides a faster frame rate than the NEX-7. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the NEX-7 is limited to 1080/60i.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the NEX-7 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX1R relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the RX1R can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1MK. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony NEX-7 and Sony RX1R in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|Sony RX1R II||2360||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0||n||n|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the NEX-7 and the RX1R write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Sony RX1R II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
Both the NEX-7 and the RX1R have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX1R was replaced by the Sony RX1R II, while the NEX-7 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Sony NEX-7 better than the Sony RX1R or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha NEX-7:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (430 versus 270) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2011).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 921k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the NEX-7 necessitates an extra lens.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 10 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (7 points each). 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 NEX-7 and the Sony RX1R place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the NEX-7 or the RX1R. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 NEX-7||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Sony RX1R||..||..||4/5||o||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799|
|Fujifilm X100||..||75/100||4/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2010||1,199|
|Leica X Typ 113||..||..||3.5/5||..||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|Sony A6400||+||85/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jan 2019||899|
|Sony RX1R II||..||82/100||..||o||4.5/5||Oct 2015||3,299|
|Sony A6000||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|Sony A7R||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||2,299|
|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.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon M6 vs Sony RX1R II
- Canon SX510 vs Sony RX1R II
- Canon T3 vs Sony RX1R
- Leica V-LUX 2 vs Sony RX1R
- Nikon D7000 vs Sony RX1R II
- Olympus E-M5 II vs Sony RX1R II
- Panasonic GF5 vs Sony RX1R II
- Panasonic LX5 vs Sony RX1R II
- Panasonic TZ200 vs Sony RX1R II
- Pentax 645Z vs Sony RX1R II
- Samsung NX30 vs Sony RX1R
- Sony HX99 vs Sony RX1R
Specifications: Sony NEX-7 vs Sony RX1R
|Camera Model||Sony NEX-7||Sony RX1R|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||35mm f/2.0|
|Launch Date||August 2011||June 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 1,349||USD 2,799|
|Sensor Specs||Sony NEX-7||Sony RX1R|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.4 x 15.6 mm||35.8 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||365.04 mm2||855.62 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.1 mm||43 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.90 μm||5.97 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.57 MP/cm2||2.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 16,000 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50 - 102,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||81||91|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.1||25.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.4||13.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1016||2537|
|Screen Specs||Sony NEX-7||Sony RX1R|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony NEX-7||Sony RX1R|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|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||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony NEX-7||Sony RX1R|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Sony NEX-7||Sony RX1R|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||430 shots per charge||270 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
120 x 67 x 43 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
113 x 65 x 70 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||400 g (14.1 oz)||482 g (17.0 oz)|