Review of the Sony NEX-7

February 19th, 2012

Andrew Reid from EOSHD has conducted a very nice and honest review about one of the currently most interesting video capable DSLRs: The Sony NEX 7 (body currently $1199)

Reid expresses mixed feelings about video quality:
“The NEX 7 is a real mixed bag. At times it has wowed me with a dynamic range and colour that seemed to be the best on any DSLR video mode including the 5D Mark II. Other times I felt the GH2 and 5D Mark II would have produced nicer results.”

And gives a nice overview about pros and cons in regards to other HDSLRs:

Pros over the GH2

  • Larger 1.5x crop sensor over 1.86x
  • Full 1080/60p slow motion compared to (admittedly very detailed) 720p/60p on the GH2
  • 2.42MP OLED EVF compared to 1.3MP LCD EVF – a clear win
  • Metal body and better manual control dials
  • 920k screen compared to 480k – a clear win
  • The sensor is far superior in stills mode – almost a different league here!
  • Live peaking for manual focussing

Pros over the 5D Mark II

  • 1080/60p slow mo compared to nothing
  • Wider 3:2 aspect ratio screen which is articulated up and down avoids the need to add a monitor or EVF when shooting minimally
  • Far smaller and lighter
  • AF in video mode with E-Mount lenses
  • Built in EVF usable in video mode, 5D’s optical viewfinder isn’t
  • Full 1080p HDMI output with no delay / switch to SD resolution upon recording (though there is a gamma switch like the GH2)
  • More features like peaking out of the box ** The 5D Mark II now has peaking and extensive manual audio controls as part of Magic Lantern
Pros (in general)

  • Very strong sensor, the most advanced APS-C CMOS on the market to date
  • Good as a run and gun camera, very small and stealthy, built in EVF is superb
  • Good range of frame rates including 25p for PAL users and 1080/60p for slow motion
  • Packs a lot into a small body, even a built in flash, hotshoe and mic socket
  • Some handy firmware features such as peaking and ability to put all overlays in black bar rather than over the top of the live view display
  • Superb manual controls
  • Very good build quality

Cons (in general)

    • Video mode doesn’t quite do justice to the sensor
    • Compression in video mode smudges fine detail
    • Lacks the high bitrates of the GH2 and 5D Mark II
    • Resolution in video mode not as cleanly resolved as GH2 or 5D Mark II with VAF-5D2 anti-aliasing filter
    • Convoluted adjustment of picture profiles, white balance, etc. involving use of almost every dial to navigate
    • No dedicated movie mode means JPEG stills have to be set to 16:9 for accurate framing of video

Make sure to check out Andre Reid’s full review here.

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