Sony is demonstrating a commitment to the high-end camera market, taking one jab after another at market leaders Canon and Nikon. The efforts have connected in Japan, taking a bite out of the market leaders share of sales. The sudden success of mirrorless cameras forced Nikon and Canon to move into the mirrorless space with models of their own.
The latest jab from Sony comes in the form of the new Nex-7 mirrorless camera system. Sony took as many features from their full-size Alpha line and packed them into the Nex-7, which is not much bigger than other members of the Nex series but is loaded with features.
The Nex-7 starts with an impressive 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, the same one used in the Sony Alpha line. The advanced sensor gives the Nex-7 an ISO rating of 100 to 16,000 which should provide some pretty decent low light capabilities. To back up the low-light capabilities Sony managed to wedge both an internal flash and hotshoe into the small frame.
On the back the Nex-7 has a tilting rear LCD screen plus an optical viewfinder.
The video capabilities will appeal to a wide variety of users. The Nex-7 can produce 1080 HD video at 24p, 60i and 60p. The phase detection autofocus works continuously, even in video mode, but no word on whether the focusing motors can be picked up by the internal audio. Fortunately the Nex-7 also sports an external audio jack.
Besides a big chip, Sony has promised a selection of new Zeiss branded lenses to go with the new camera, plus the new LA-EA2 adapter that will allow Sony Nex-7 owners to utilize a wide variety of lenses.
Along with the impressive video capability come the usual mirrorless camera still shooting tricks, like being able to shoot 10 frames per second in burst mode.
I’m starting to see Sony Alpha series cameras with Zeiss lenses on photo shoots and photography events, so they are catching on. Whether the lens adapter can tempt Canon and Nikon shooters to switch remains to be seen but seems unlikely.
The Nex-7 is expected to priced around $1,200 for the body only and will be available in stores next month.