My current line up of cameras change with some regularity with the exception of the Leica M9. The M9 is without a doubt the most amazing camera I’ve ever owned, but it has limitations and isn’t always the right tool for the job. Last summer I was searching for a small bodied camera with a large sensor. I wanted it to be fast, have a few lenses available, something that was reliable and most importantly a camera that wasn’t too expensive. After countless hours of research I landed on the Sony NEX 7. I found someone selling a used one locally, met them at a coffee shop and came home with what would become my workhorse.
The NEX 7 has an APS-C sensor in a fairly compact body. It’s fast, portable and has decent ISO capabilities considering its pixel density. This was also the first EVF that I thought was a decent substitution for an optical view finder. Currently, this camera is a bargain. Some stores still have new stock, but with just a little looking you can find these on the second hand market for $600 – $700 with the kit lens.
It is a bit of a polarizing camera. People either find the form factor great and easy to work with or slightly awkward. I am a fan of the form factor. I like the tilting screen and the camera sits securely in the hand. As far as looks go I’m not a big fan, but that’s all up to personal taste. I lean more towards the classic looking bodies such as the Leica M series, the Fuji X100 cameras and the OMD line.
I have just uploaded a sample gallery of some images I took with the kit lens. Most kit lenses get bashed pretty bad for their performance. This one has some drawbacks, but overall I was/am very impressed with what it is capable of producing. The bottom line is that you are getting a very compact body with a larger APS-C sensor, packed with 24mp for outstanding resolution. With a pixel density that high there are some compromises when shooting high ISO, above 6400, but even that is more than acceptable for what 90% of us need when posting to Facebook or emailing to friends and family. A gallery with full size images can be found here.