I’ve had the camera in my hands for a few days now. Here are some initial thoughts.
At first, I was a bit disappointed actually. This is the camera everyone is going nuts for, I thought?!? What’s so special? It actually feels kind of odd in my hand, very solid, but very different too. The lens is large, the body tiny. Can this work?
Then there is the interface. No, there is nothing wrong with it (in fact, compared to some it is quite excellent). My problem is that it is almost identical to the one on the cheap Sony camcorder (which I just returned to Costco). Not really “pro” friendly – just friendly. Could this really be powerful enough for serious work?
As soon as I got it, I read the documentation I received from Sony over several times. I made sure I knew where everything was and how everything worked. The menus are quite extensive and you can only get so far on your own. A quick read-through of the documentation is a must with this camera.
Then I started taking some pictures. Very nice, very responsive. Now the auto-focus is not the best in low-light, but it much better than most. You will want large aperture lenses for this baby if you are going to need to shoot dark. Alright I thought, time for a field trip.
I took the camera to Helix in Chicago, one of the better-known, large camera stores in the city. They were running a special photo fair that weekend with reps from many camera companies (unfortunately not Sony). Let’s see how the NEX-7 stands up.
At the event I played primarily with the Fuji X100 and the Leica M9. Now, I have to tell you, while I love the images I’ve seen out of the Fuji, the NEX-7 was much, much better (for me at least). The Sony seems much more solid in the hand, better balanced, faster in almost everything. The Fuji was, well “twiddly” at best.
Then I moved on to the Leica. Now I had experience with the M8.2, but not the 9, just never got on my radar. It is one hell of a machine. From the fit, finish, controls, everything says quality. However, speed of the electronics (writing to the card), lack of high-ISO and other issues would prevent it from being anything more than a specialty camera. Again, I would choose the NEX-7 over the Leica M9 for most tasks.
It is now one week away from my outing to Cuba. I have played, poked and prodded the camera as much as I can. My brief learning period is over and it is now time to take some serious shots. Later today I will be getting the SEL55210 to try out as well as a Fotodiox lens adapter to try the camera with some third-party lenses (hopefully some extreme wides) as well.
If I am lucky I will have time before I leave to take some more serious shots and post them here, though the Chicago weather is currently conspiring against me on this one.