Hands-on with the Sony NEX-7 and NEX-5N

After months of rumors and leaks, the Sony NEX-7 has finally been revealed, along with the NEX-5N, an update to the popular NEX-5. We were fortunate enough to get some hands-on time with both the NEX-7 and NEX-5N, and suffice it to say, they are everything a photo enthusiast could have dreamed of and more.

Sony NEX-7

The new NEX-7 is made of a durable magnesium alloy body. Design-wise it can best be described as a cross between a NEX-5 and a traditional DSLR. So if the original NEX-5 lacked in build quality somewhat, at least in the way that it couldn’t stand up to the durability of a traditional DSLR, the NEX-7 makes up for that in the way that its build quality is extremely solid. As a matter of fact, it’s practically as solid as a larger sized DSLR, yet, its body weighs just a total of 10.3 ounces.

But besides for the build quality, how does the NEX-7 differ from the NEX-5N? For starters, it has got both an integrated flash system, and a built-in viewfinder. Under the hood the NEX-7 packs in a Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with a 24.3 megapixel resolution which uses the latest generation of Sony’s BIONZ image processing engine. The camera’s ISO range extends from ISO 100-16000, it has a shutter release lag of approximately 20 milliseconds, and it’s capable of shooting at 10fps. Other features include an integrated XGA OLED TruFinder viewfinder, a three-inch Xtra Fine LCD display that can be angled at up-to 90 degrees, and the camera can record in AVCHD Full HD movies with high-quality stereo sound, along with support for the new AVCHD Progressive format. Video also packs in manual focus, as well as a Tracking Focus feature that lets users select a target object on screen and focus on it accurately, even if it is moving.

After spending some brief time with the NEX-7,  it’s definitely not too early to say that the NEX-7 is a game changer. We’re big fans of the NEX-5, but the NEX-7 ups the ante by being a serious DSLR replacement, even for the pros. The NEX-7 ultra-compact interchangeable lens digital camera goes on sale in November for $1350, with an exclusive black 18-55mm zoom lens. It will cost $1200 for the body only.

Hands-On with the Sony NEX-7 and NEX-5N

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NEX-7 Gallery

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Sony NEX-5N

Cosmetically, the NEX-5N hasn’t received any dramatic updates over its predecessor, except that now it’s also available in a choice of white and silver too, besides black. Sony has also upgraded its LCD to a 3-inch Xtra Fine LCD touch-screen, which is certainly a welcome improvement. But it’s under the hood where the NEX-5N really improves over its popular predecessor. The camera features a release time lag of approximately 20 milliseconds, it packs in an Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with 16.1 megapixels, up-to 10fps shooting, a maximum ISO of 25600, and support for full HD AVCHD Progressive video with stereo-sound at 60p. The camera also features continuous auto-focus and object Tracking Focus while recording video. And the neatest part here is that you can select and target an object accurately with the touch-screen

Sony NEX-5N Gallery

The NEX-5N also features Sony’s easy to understand Photo Creativity Touch interface that lets beginners take advanced shots with background Defocus, exposure, picture effect and other adjustments. The Photo Creativity Touch interface was first introduced on the Sony NEX-C3. Speaking of Sony’s Picture Effects, they will be available in both the NEX-7 and the NEX-5N models.  The NEX-5N ultra-compact interchangeable lens digital camera goes on sale next month for $700 an 18-55mm kit zoom lens, or the body-only for $600.

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Along side the Sony NEX-5N and NEX-7, Sony is also announcing a slew of new E-mount lenses and accessories for the cameras, which includes the new Carl Zeiss Sonnar T E 24mm F1.8 ZA (SEL24F18Z) -$1000, E 50mm F1.8 OSS (SEL50F18) – $300, and the Telephoto zoom E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS (SEL55210) – $350.

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