Small camera, big quality. That’s about the equation of Sony’s newest coup, the NEX-7. No, it surely does not look like just another digital toy that’s been filled with an endless list of wannabee-cool features for gadget fanatics – but rather it could become a really nice next-generation high-performance photographic tool. And of all manufacturers it’s Sony who make this! O tempora, o mores! Go figure….
2011 has proven to be an exciting year for all those interested in the new mirrorless camera systems. Finally, after all that time, Olympus has managed to come up with some really nice lenses for their Micro Four Thirds system, proving how much potential and quality can be achieved with such small cameras. See how you can build yourself a perfect Micro Four Thirds camera and lens kit for $2500 here at stevehuffphoto.com!
Now that the NEX-7 and a few new lenses have been launched, why not think about a Sony NEX system for the same kind of money? The shopping list is short and sweet – surely not to everyone’s taste, yet probably just right for some of us!
Sony NEX-7 – €1199
An ultra high resolution 24x16mm sensor; “tri navi” control with three direct adjustment wheels eliminating most needs to press a button or dig in the menu for crucial settings; the new OLED high-performance electronic viewfinder plus tiltable rear screen – all this concentrated in just 291 grams: The NEX-7 looks to be one of the hottest cameras ever since digital replaced celluloid in photography regarding concept, design and performance!
Sony 24/1.8 “Zeiss” – €999
This is an exciting new lens offering the classic 35 mm field of view and hopefully superb optical quality. Look at the first online samples such as here (that one apparently was shot at f/2.8!). Also really cool is the 16cm close focusing range!
Sony 50/1.8 OSS – €349
A short portrait telephoto lens (75 mm field of view) with enough speed and built-in optical stabilisation. Again: The first online samples such as this one look very promising.
That’s it! Just one camera body, two top-notch lenses that cover the classic 35 and 75 field of views – all together for €2547 list price. (When all that stuff finally makes it to the stores probably at the beginning of 2012, you should be able to get it just under €2500.)
It’s a lot of money. For Sony, after all. But still it could be the best high quality compact camera system out there in 2012 – for a certain kind of photographer. Probably not a premier choice for action stuff, but just perfect for landscapes, travel, reportage, and much more. Let’s face it: So far, no other manufacturer bothered with designing a camera body that really comes close to the NEX-7. It’s really a novelty on the market and that is not just because it’s the “fastest” or the “best quality” or whatever else – but rather an intriguing new mix of very traditional and very modern elements that could lead to an entirely new class of high quality cameras in the next couple of years.
You’ve got some budget left over for a third lens?
Sony 30/3.5 Macro – €249
How about this one? It looks rather dull and boring: Only f/3.5 and a somewhat lame 30 mm focal length. But see it from a different point of view: It’s cheap, it’s super small (for a 1:1 macro lens, that is – they say that it even comes with internal focusing throughout the whole range!), first samples again look very nice and the lame focal length might just be perfect for some folks: After all, the 45 mm field of view makes for a very nice, slightly wide standard lens!
Please keep in mind that, for now, none of all these have been shipped to end customers (I believe a few 30 macros are already sold on some markets as of October 2011). You should be able to get all that stuff in early 2012, which leaves you with some time to save up for all this.
The very first reviews of the Sony NEX-7 camera have just appeared, but full-size RAW samples are still scarce as most professional RAW converters don’t yet support the camera (again, as of October 2011). You can find a selection of full-size sample pictures taken with the Zeiss 24/1.8 and Sony 50/1.8 (on the 16 megapixel NEX-5N) here at lenstip.com to give you an impression of the lenses’ performance. Please note that this link also will show you samples of several other Sony cameras and lenses, so watch out.
All images shown in this post are officially released Sony press shots.