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Sony NEX 7 - Review


Andrew Reid
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Minimum viewing recommendations: 40″ TV. Download the MP4 file.

The NEX 7 is a beautifully designed high end mirrorless camera with probably the most advanced CMOS sensor Sony have ever produced. As a stills camera it is superb (if you don’t mind adapting glass and manually focussing – because the current E-mount lens range is somewhat limited).

But does it topple the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 5D Mark II for video?

[url="http://www.eoshd.com/content/7032/sony-nex-7-review/"]Read full article[/url]

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Interesting review. Disappointing that the video does not hold up better to grading.

I would also love to know more about your thoughts about the Nex-5n vs the Nex-7. I already have the 5n and I am wondering if it is worth spending the extra money to get the 7. Is the video quality on the 7 really better? Besides the EVF and extra controls, what are the reasons to upgrade?
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An EVF as good as the Zacuto EVF means it's the future for monitoring which is great. Pity recently released professional cameras don't have the same quality viewfinders.
The NEX 7 looks like the best camera for stealth.
The GH2 (with hack?) sounds as though it still resolves detail better than any other DSLR.
I recently tested my HF G10 against my 5DMKII with L glass, sharpness wound up a bit and AA filter. The HF G10 easily won in terms of resolving fine detail. I now use the G10 (which shares the same chip, lens, LCD and viewfinder as the XF100 series) for wide angle, deep depth of field shots.
Thanks for very good review!
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Thanks for the test and review. Very informative.
The ergonomics of the Nex7 almost have me won over. I don't need ultimate video quality, but I also like to grade for FX sometimes (think pop videos), and I don't want to be battling with Moire and aliasing.
Hard to know if these are deal breakers or quibbles, the latter being how they are described in Andrew's review.
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tjbates05 - Yes OLED is the future of monitoring. Far superior to IPS LCD. Much more like CRT and plasma in terms of the accuracy of colour and contrast.

AZVideo - my first impressions of the NEX 7 summed up what you get over the NEX 5N for the extra dosh. Check it out, I've added a link at the bottom of the review.

HDMI is not clean you always have a black bar at the side with info in it.

Patrick - yes tried the Iscorama 36 with wider lenses and it goes to 35mm on the GH2. Not shot with it at 35mm on the NEX 7 yet though.

cls105 - there is no Ex Tele crop mode on the NEX unfortunately.
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In your review you state that the "super flat picture profile offered on the NEX 7 but it is a disaster" and that you "dialled down to -3 across the board – contrast, sharpness and colour". Did you try it at other settings? Are there any usable settings? Or is it simply a good idea very badly implemented?
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I have been getting my head around dslr video via the Nex-5n. I'm taking my time to learn skills and experiment the next months and then see what is released in the next six month before purchasing a more robust camera. The Nex-7 is a camera I've been curious about (along with everyone else.)

Would you say that the color correction is more difficult with the 7 than the 5n?

As I'm learning, I find this tricky enough with the 5n's Portrait and Sunset profiles each at -3, -1, -3. Wouldn't want to feel even more limited... 5n's need to be stable is something already I've learned the hard way.
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Regarding rolling shutter... this camera could actually beat the GH2 quite easily I expect (for PAL users anyway), and it will be pretty much a none issue.

Rolling shutter depends on the framerate. Film at 1080p50 and boom... most of the rolling shutter will be gone. It's just like filming in 50i or 720p50 on the GH2, where rolling shutter basically ceases to exist.
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[quote author=rishio link=topic=283.msg1809#msg1809 date=1329373703]
So I guess the profile I posted here didn't improve the video quality for the nex 7?

[url=http://www.eoshd.com/comments/index.php/topic,243.msg1717.html#msg1717]http://www.eoshd.com/comments/index.php/topic,243.msg1717.html#msg1717[/url]
[/quote]

I'll be testing it, thanks.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi Andrew,

-- regarding the image which "graded poorly":

I believe this happens not because it's flat but because the whole thing is dark. That sounds simplistic, but in my understanding the gamma encoding of digital images in relation to light means that the darker areas get fewer bits accorded to them than brighter areas. Dark areas of digitallly photographed images literally have less information. This is why digital imaging in general has such a problem with shadow noise and why a well exposed image looks great in the higher tones and still looks bad in the shadows, and why everyone "crushes the blacks" these days. It's why professional video is so obsessed with 10bit and 12bit images too, because it's the only measure you have against this problem. Chemical photography doesn't do this, since it "encodes" information linearly in relation to light level, so it all looks much more even.

Anyway what I'm saying is with a flat profile if you push your exposure "to the right", even though that looks wrong on your display (it will all seem too bright, but just watch your histogram), later you will have encoded more of the picture you actually want, since the flat profile allowed you to push it in to the higher levels of the image. In the grading you would bring things down (rather than up, as you had to do with the sky in that image), and you find that the tone and saturation will turn out much better. That's my theory.

I would like to see a comparison, to see how the NEX 7's flat image profile would hold up if treated that way, since I think the color looks much more neutral and balanced than what the GH2 or Canons produce...

Best,

L
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