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Sony's Alpha NEX-7 compact system camera. Photo provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Sony NEX-7: New flagship compact system camera, AF Alpha-mount adaptor debut (UPDATED)
(Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 01:01 EDT)

Just a little over 15 months after launching its NEX-series of compact system cameras, Sony Electronics Inc. today firmly declares its intent to dominate, with the launch of the Sony NEX-7.

The Sony Alpha NEX-7 is impressive indeed, not only offering a whopping 24.3 megapixel sensor resolution from an Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor, but then somehow managing to include enough power to handle shooting at up to 10 frames per second for as many as 18 frames in JPEG mode, or 13 frames in raw mode. The NEX-7's sensor also adds an electronic first-curtain exposure mechanism that allows an astoundingly short prefocus shutter lag of just 0.02 second. Despite the high sensor resolution, sensitivity ranges from a minimum of ISO 100 equivalent to a high of ISO 16,000 equivalent.

The NEX-7's impressive speed--enabled by a new generation BIONZ image processor--isn't limited to just still-image shooting, either. It also offers progressive-scan Full HD video at 60 frames per second, from 60fps sensor data. Giving videographers the opportunity to really unleash their creative side, the NEX-7 also provides both aperture / shutter-priority and fully manual exposure for movie capture.

Looking to answer experienced photographers' wishes for a compact system camera that offered a powerful, customizable interface--most CSCs seem instead to focus on a simplified interface that's approachable to amateurs--Sony has gone back to the drawing board with the NEX-7, and come up with an entirely new design dubbed "Tri-Navi". The new interface was crafted with enthusiasts in mind, and includes one more control dial than is typical even in SLR cameras, for a total of three. Two are mounted on the rear edge of the NEX-7's top panel, while the third is the familiar control dial on the camera's rear panel. A dedicated Navigation button on the top panel cycles through a variety of settings groups, including a Custom mode that allows the user to configure the dials in the manner of their choosing. By default, the dials control functions appropriate to the exposure mode, such as program shift, aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, and ISO sensitivity. Different settings groups offer the ability to control a wide range of settings related to focus, white balance, dynamic range optimizer, high dynamic range imaging, creative styles, and picture effects.

The Sony NEX-7 also includes a built-in OLED electronic viewfinder with an astoundingly high resolution of 2.4 million RGB dots, providing photographers with a great view of the scene they're framing, or the image they just captured, no matter the ambient lighting conditions. The NEX-7 further caters to enthusiasts by including a full-sized flash hot shoe, albeit one using the same proprietary design as in its SLR cameras. For good measure, there's also a built-in popup flash strobe with a guide number of 6 meters at ISO 100. It's even possible to connect the NEX-7 to studio strobes, using an available sync terminal adapter.

Another accessory announced alongside the NEX-7 is Sony's LA-EA2 Alpha mount adapter, which is unique in offering phase detection autofocus capability with Alpha-mount lenses on the NEX-series camera bodies, which otherwise rely solely on contrast detection autofocus. The LA-EA2 mount adapter truly makes Sony's NEX-series unique, as no other compact system camera is able to offer phase detection autofocusing with any lens.

The Sony NEX-7 compact system camera should be available in the US market from November 2011. Body-only pricing is set at approximately US$1,200, while a kit version including a special black variant of the Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens will be priced at around US$1,350. The LA-EA2 Alpha mount adapter with phase-detection autofocus capability will cost about US$400, and availability for this accessory is from November 2011.

For an in-depth look at Sony's new flagship NEX-series compact system camera, read our Sony NEX-7 Hands-on Preview.

Sony Alpha NEX-7
Sony's NEX-7 compact system camera. Image provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeCompact System Camera
Model NumberNorth America: NEX-7
Dimensions4.7 x 2.6 x 1.7 in.
(120 x 67 x 43 mm)
Weight14.6 oz (415 g)
Planned Price $1,200 (body only)
Planned AvailabilityNovember 2011
Image Capture
Sensor TypeSony CMOS
APS-C (approx. 1.11 in. diagonal)
24.70 megapixels (total)
24.30 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Focal Length Multiplier1.50
Aspect Ratio16:9, 4:3
Image Dimensions6000 x 4000 (24.0 megapixels)
6000 x 3376 (20.3 megapixels)
4240 x 2832 (12.0 megapixels)
4240 x 2400 (10.2 megapixels)
3008 x 2000 (6.0 megapixels)
3008 x 1688 (5.1 megapixels)
12416 x 1856 (23.0 megapixels)
8192 x 1856 (15.2 megapixels)
2160 x 5536 (12.0 megapixels)
2160 x 3872 (8.4 megapixels)
7152 x 1080 (7.7 megapixels)
4912 x 1080 (5.3 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
Capture SpeedContinuous: 10.0 frames per second
Image Preview / Review
LCD3.0 in. diagonal
921,600 dots (307,200 pixels)
Playback Zoom16.7x max
Lens TypeSony SEL1855 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS
3x optical zoom
49mm lens thread
Lens MountSony E-mount
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length18.0 - 55.0mm (actual)
27 - 83mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.5 - 22 (W), f/5.6 - 34 (T)
Focusing SystemContrast Detect: 25-area, Center, Flexible Spot, Object Tracking, Face Detection
Has AF assist lamp
Manual focus possible
Focusing RangeNormal: 10" - 4,081" (25 cm - 9,999 cm)
ISO SensitivityAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 16000.
Shutter Speed30 - 1/4000 second
Exposure ModesAperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes1200-zone Evaluative, Center-weighted, Spot
xposure Compensation+/- 3.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto WB, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm white/Cool white/Day white/Daylight), Flash, C. Temp 2500 to 9900K, C Filter G7 to M7 (15-step), Custom, AWB micro adjustment
Internal FlashGuide Number: 6
Modes: Auto, Off, Fill-flash, Rear sync, Slow sync, Red-eye reduction: On/Off
Range: Lens dependent
Flash Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
Scene ModesPortrait, Landscape, Macro,Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night View, Hand-held Twilight, Auto HDR, Sweep Panorama (2D/3D)
Digital ZoomUp to 10x Precision digital zoom with prime lens attached
Self TimerYes, 2 , 10, 10 (3 or 5 frames) seconds
Movie FormatAVCHD 2.0 / MP4; Audio :Dolby Digital (AC-3) / MPEG-4 AAC-LC with audio
Recording MediumMemory Stick PRO Duo, SD/MMC including SDHC, SDXC
File SystemFAT16, FAT32, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatRAW (ARW 2.3), RAW+JPEG, JPEG (EXIF 2.3), MPO (3D)
VideoHigh definition: Yes (HDMI)
Standard definition: No
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherType-C HDMI Mini Connector (BRAVIA Sync, PhotoTV HD), 3.5mm Stereo Mic Jack
Battery TypeLithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary NP-FW50
Product Bundle
SoftwareSoftware CD-ROM (includes Picture Motion Browser, Image Data Converter 4)
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary NP-FW50 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) co pliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlYes, Optional Wireless
Notes3", 921K-dot, Tilting LCD, Optional XGA OLED TruFinder EVF, 1080p60 AVCHD 2.0 Videos, 10fps Full-res Burst Mode, Sweep Panorama, Hand-held Twilight, Anti-Motion Blur, Auto HDR, DRO, Level Gauge, SD/MS Duo Media Support, Built-in Flash, Flash Hot-shoe.
More Photos
Sony's NEX-7 compact system camera. Image provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's NEX-7 compact system camera. Image provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's NEX-7 compact system camera. Image provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's NEX-7 compact system camera. Image provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's NEX-7 compact system camera. Image provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!

Sony LA-EA2 Alpha Mount Adapter
Sony's LA-EA2 Alpha Mount Adapter. Image provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's LA-EA2 Alpha Mount Adapter. Image provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
(shown on the NEX-5N Compact System Camera)

UPDATED 2011-08-24 03:51ET: Added product specifications, photos, and the official press release.

Original Source Press Release:

Sony Unveils Unique "All-In-One" Compact Interchangeable Lens Camera With 24.3 Megapixel Resolution

New NEX-7 combines superb imaging, high performance and full palette of creative options

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 24, 2011 -- Sony is taking professional quality imaging and artistic shooting options to new levels with the introduction of the new α NEX-7 camera. Styled in magnesium alloy for strength and designed with a unique blend of classic and modern inspiration, the new compact interchangeable lens model weighs only 10.3 ounces (291g).

“For Sony, the new NEX-7 represents innovation in its purest form,” said Kelly Davis, vice president of digital imaging at Sony Electronics. “Speed and style meet performance and control, creating a shooting experience unlike anything in market today.”

The NEX-7 camera features a new Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor with 24.3 effective megapixel resolution -- highest in its class -- that complements the latest generation of Sony’s BIONZ® image processing engine.

This unique combination of sensor and processor technology delivers flawless image and HD video quality with very low noise and exceptionally fast shooting responses. An ultra-high sensitivity range extends from ISO 100-16000, making it easy to capture clean, low-noise images in dimly lit interiors or exteriors.

Response is accelerated even further by a shutter release lag of approximately 20 milliseconds-- the fastest of any interchangeable lens digital camera (as of Aug 2011). In speed priority continuous mode, the NEX-7 camera captures fast-moving action at up to 10fps (AF/AE is fixed) -- the world’s fastest burst shooting speed of any mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (as of Aug 2011).

The NEX-7 model offers extensive, direct control over creative settings via an intuitive new TRINAVI control interface, important for enthusiast and professional photographers. Two control dials on the top of the camera are complemented by a control wheel, giving users three customizable, manual controls and the ability to create images with the flexibility and precision of an advanced DSLR camera.

The NEX-7 model is also the world’s first interchangeable lens camera (along with new α77, α65) that features an integrated XGA OLED TruFinder™ viewfinder for precision framing and focusing. The viewfinder provides a bright, detail-packed, high contrast view of still images and video, with approximately 100 percent frame coverage and a wide field of view that rivals pro-grade optical viewfinders. On-screen grid lines, various shooting parameters and a level gauge can be displayed to assist with accurate framing. With the XGA OLED TruFinder™, the NEX-7 model realizes the ideal of a compact, rangefinder style camera with an eye-level, through the lens viewfinder.

The XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ viewfinder is complemented by a three-inch Xtra Fine LCD™ display that can be angled up to 90-degrees up or 45-degrees down for easy viewing in any shooting position. TruBlack™ technology assures superb detail and contrast, while dramatically reducing on-screen reflections.

At the touch of a button, the NEX-7 camera shoots smooth AVCHD Full HD movies with high-quality stereo sound. Support for the new AVCHD Progressive (Ver. 2.0) format allows users to capture Full HD video at 60p (progressive) frame rates. for beautifully smooth, detailed video footage. 24p video shooting is also available. The Tracking Focus feature lets users select a target object on screen and focus on it accurately, even if it is moving.

Additionally, manual focus is now possible during video shooting. Enthusiasts can also enjoy full control over creating the perfect video image with Program, Aperture/Shutter Priority and all-Manual modes (P/A/S/M) -- just like the most advanced DSLR cameras. Stereo audio quality is improved, with revised circuitry that lowers noise levels, especially when shooting quiet scenes.

First introduced on the NEX-C3, Picture Effects enables easy “in camera” production of sophisticated artistic effects without the need for a PC or post-processing. The camera features 11 modes and 15 effects, including new HDR Painting, Soft Focus, Miniature and Rich-Tone Mono. A generous palette of other artistic imaging functions includes 3D Sweep Panorama™ mode, Soft Skin, Auto HDR, Handheld Twilight and Anti Motion Blur Modes.

The NEX-7 camera includes an integrated flash system and also features an Auto-lock Accessory Shoe for advanced shooting applications, both of which are firsts for Sony’s E-mount line of cameras. The shoe supports the full range of Alpha flashes and monitors, as well as adaptors to accommodate studio lighting.

The LCS-ELC7 soft carrying case combines a snug-fitting body case and leather lens jacket to help protect the body and lens from scratches and dust. It’s complemented by the STP-XH70 shoulder strap, made of the same material.

Pricing and Availability
The α NEX-7 ultra-compact interchangeable lens digital camera will be available this November in a kit with an exclusive black 18-55mm zoom lens for about $1350, or as a body-only for about $1200.

The new camera and all compatible lenses and accessories will be sold at Sony retail stores as well as other authorized retailers throughout the Sony dealer network.

For “sneak peak” videos of the new products, please visit www.sony.com/cameravideos.


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