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Apr 062012
 

Is the Sony NEX-7 Mom Approved??

I was telling my wife about the Sony NEX-7 and explained how I have been waiting for the camera to come to the USA for more then 4 months now and as I hear her eye’s start to roll to the back of her head from boredom, I hear “does it take sharp pictures?”, “what?” I said, mildly offended and curious why she would ask such a question. I said firing back with a witty “of course it takes sharp pictures, it cost over $1000 dollars”, “no silly, you know your son runs around so fast, can you get sharp pictures of him?”, and that made me think, mom’s don’t care about all the bells and whistles a camera has, it just needs to perform.

Price Vs. Performance

Considering the fact that the Sony NEX-7 kit cost about 1349.99 does the performance justify the price for the mom’s and dad’s out there?  Let’s take a look.

In the image about I shot the Sony NEX 7 indoors with window light, here are the image specs: ISO 320, f4.5 1/80th, 44mm

Indoors I feel the exposure is accurate, outdoors the exposure is about 1/3 of a stop underexposed. (darker by a little bit)

I decided to take my son to the park and do some test shots as well as spend some quality daddy/son time. Also I felt that this would be a good gauge of the type of results that one might expect in a tough lighting situation.

I wanted to see how easy it was to just take the camera out of the box and take some pictures easily and intuitively.

As you can see in the picture above the Sony is pretty good with the focus and exposure but to me something was missing. The light on my sons face was a little dark. I wanted to “fill” that dark area with the built in flash.

With the click of the flash button and nothing else I got a picture that I feel is much better. It fills the shadow of my son’s face and brightens the slide a little bit. NOT BAD!!! One click of the flash and it does a decent fill flash.

Focus is snappy in multi mode from 18-35mm on the Sony 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS kit lens but tends to search a bit at 55mm. When your kids are “running” around the focus is a little bit harder to get. This is understandable as most kids are supper fast and its hard to get them in focus. In an unscientific comparison to the CANON S95 that my wife uses, you’ll get a about a 1/3 more usable shots chasing the little rascals around. For example, using my wife’s Canon S95 and from what I’ve experienced playing around with the canon S100, I typically get 1  out of 5-6 images that have usable focus when my son is in full “excited” mode. With the sony so far its been 1 out of 3 that has been usable.

Sure you’ll get the occasional “opps, just missed him” picture like the one above, but thats to be expected. Considering purely the  price of the Canon S100/S95 compared to the Sony NEX-7 I’d say stick with the Canon S100, which I feel is the best compact camera out there, considering price, features, and weighted heavily towards “compactness”. I realize that these camera’s are not even in the same ball park of each other, and its like comparing a nice “honda civic” to arguably a “Porsche”. But I’m just coming from the angle that someone that has used and owed a compact camera (point and shoot) and is thinking whether or not its worth the money to move up to a Mirrorless, 4/3’s, SLR, etc. Based on Price Alone, I say stick with the compacts and the ease of use that they provide as well as “carry-ability”, which you will most likely “USE” the camera more. Many of the review sites out there give you all the tech specs and comparisons to “like for like” cameras in the class and to us “enthusiasts” its great, but they don’t really tap into the human nature aspect of picture taking…which applies for “JOE/JANE” consumer “if its too hard to use, you won’t”

Handling

Now are you saying the Sony NEX-7 isn’t worth the money?? Well, NO. Completely the opposite actually. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here and retype what many many other review sites have done a much better job of stating, So here is what I personally have enjoyed about the Sony NEX-7.

  • It feels great in your hand. I have pretty large hands and using little point and shoots and even the CANON G series cameras I get a claw feeling after a couple hours of shooting. I really don’t want “early onset osteo-arthritis” all I need to do is relax my hand and bend my fingers slightly (bottom three fingers) and the camera just hooks and hangs in my hand nicely. I don’t feel that I even need to “grip” the camera it just becomes a extension of my hand. “Slow golf clap for the Sony designers, while approvingly nodding up and down”
  • The multi selector dials are a huge “duh” moment, and work so well that I’ve been wondering why they aren’t on my Canon 5d mark III, or on any camera for that matter. The back has many other programable buttons which I like but the usability is somewhat minimized by the “flat” feel of them. Maybe its my fat thumbs but it takes a sec to press them and are not as easy to use as the dials are. Don’t get me wrong I’m  happy they’re there and would probably complain if they weren’t there but maybe on the next model they could be raised slightly with a little more of a tactile feel.

Close Up focusing

  • What I also liked about the Sony NEX-7 is the snappy close up focusing. I didn’t even need to set the camera up for close up focusing and it just does it effortlessly right out of the BOX. This is great for my wife who does all the scrape books for the family and it allows me to just grab a quick “detail” image that really helps capture some special moments of the particular event.

  • Here’s another example of the snappiness of the close up focusing. I normally have a problem with my son leaning way forward when we asking him to smile. I was impressed with the Sony NEX-7’s ability to catch the focus after such a large movement. Thats what Kids do, move and move and move and move. For the most part the Sony does a great job grabbing the focus.

Conclusion

So that begs the question…IS the Sony NEX-7 Mom Approved?? In my humble opinion…YES!! There are so many reasons to buy this camera wether you are a “normal” camera user that just wants to upgrade to something that has a little more flexibility and Quality. Or you are an enthusiast that wants a camera that has top of the line Image quality, ergonomics, features, interchangable lenses, adapters to legacy glass, availablity of great Zeiss Glass, etc. There are so many to list. Any nitpicks that I have are just that nitpicks. The kit lens has a plastic feel to it, the menu buttons should be raised more for my tastes, and I much rather have a tilt and swivel screen as opposed to just tilt. I know that this review is highly skewed to one demographical slice, but I feel that some people may enjoy it. Thanks for sitting through my family pics? I don’t mean to hold you hostage like some of your friends might and show you hours of family photo’s you don’t really care about. This is not how all my reviews will be. There will be a lot more examples and other view points that I will post. Thanks for reading! I appreciate your time.

Remember! Get out there and Shoot!! And always have fun!!!

Please leave comments on how I can make these tips better and if you have any questions please Contact me, and I’d be happy to help.

Related Review: Sony NEX-7 w/ Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS lens – Close Ups 

  2 Responses to “Sony NEX-7-Mom Approved??”

  1.  

    Very useful blog. Keep up the good work.

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