10.24.2012

Why I'm adding another Nex 7 to my tool box.


I've always liked the Nex-7 for silly reasons. I like the way it looks. I like the fact that it packs such a dense and information rich sensor in such a small package. I like that it actually accepts and uses my Pen FT lenses well. I like the fact that I can put just about any lens in the world on the front of it. I like the fact that I can put my collection of really good Sony Alpha lenses on the camera and keep auto aperture and even effect fast AF. But there were several downsides to the camera that kept me from joyously recommending it to friends and family. One was much web discussion about the camera's sensor having some incompatibility issues with the outer regions of wide angle lenses and another caveat was the really slow review function. The time from shooting and image until it wrote in the LCD or in the EVF seemed glacial. 

I've toyed with the idea of getting a second body because I've had really good image results from the camera and I really liked the way it handled after I got conversant with the menus and the controls. I was on the fence though since the cost of another body might make me re-think my budget for other goodies such as the a99 and the VG-900. But, on the other hand, I love to buy and use cameras in pairs. I'm sure it comes from my old film days when having a second loaded camera was like a safety net in fast moving events and having a redundant and intimately familiar back-up was a nice safety blanket. Most of use started carrying around two cameras because it was easier, during assignments, to assign one prime lens to each body rather than stopped to cap and un-cap lenses and replace other lenses back into their padded bags and pouches.

Nowadays having two identical cameras means not having to change lenses in dusty locations (that's everywhere) or not having to change lenses at all. And in an age of ultra-battery dependance a second camera that shares a battery and a charger is a bonus. I was hesitant. I liked the symmetry of two identical cameras and it's worked out well when I use my two a77 cameras together on a shooting day. But some of the issues above slowed down my purchase of a second Nex-7.

But that was before yesterday....

Yesterday I downloaded the firmware update for the Nex-7, followed the instructions, restarted my computer in the ancient 32 bit mode and did the upgrade dance. Now my Nex-7 camera slams that review into the finder almost instantaneously. The review is state of the art. And my test with the kit lens point to much improvement in the outer periphery of images taken with my kit lens at its widest focal length setting. For all the clumsy fingered the update also enables one to disable the movie button so there are no accidental triggerings to complicate one's life. For me now the camera has achieve an almost platinum level standing with me. The few gripes I have are easily rendered moot. I wished that the batteries lasted longer but then I realized I could just buy three more and not worry about it. I wished the kit lens were faster but I just started using faster primes.
Now I've shot several jobs with the Nex7 and find the image quality, especially at ISO 100 and 200 to be nothing short of superb and I think a second camera is the correct next purchase.



I'm sure someone will ask me about the upcoming Nex 6 but I'm one of the users who will gladly trade away a slight improvement in high ISO noise performance for the rich, dense information I get from the 24 megapixel sensor. And I don't relish moving away from the Tri-Navi dials now that I've learned to use them almost unconsciously. Better two slightly older cameras with the performance I really like than one new camera with its attendant new learning curve.


Yes. I know this all sounds "cult-y" but there you have it. Sometimes a camera works for you and sometimes you have to drag it kicking and screaming to do what you want. I'll take the easy path where I am seduced overtime by the totality of a camera's charms rather than dazzled by a single metric of promise.








Order one today.



9 comments:

AndyK said...

Not to quibble with your choices, all very excellent reasons - and leveraging your investment in Alpha lenses makes it a no-brainer to me.

But if you could help me in my own internal battles with self-doubt - do you feel you have given anything up without in-body IS?

Kirk Tuck said...

Andy, I go both ways on that. My most used lens is probably the 50mm 1.8 Sony nex lens, which is stabilized. A lot of times I'm using flash or on a tripod but yeah, I wish it had in body stabilization for some of the longer lenses I want to use. But, we (photographers in general) did amazing work long before they invented IS and I don't miss it as often as one might think. A couple more good Sony Nex lenses with IS and I won't miss it at all.

David Liang said...

I'm stuck between the NEX-7 and NEX-6 and it's a complete standstill. I wanted the 7 because of the EVF and the 2 variable control dials, but the NEX-6 has the same EVF and Wifi and apps. I'm secretly hoping in 2013 they'll have an updated NEX-7 with the Wifi...

Not that I have a choice though the little I was saving and more went straight to the a99. Finally a good thing about being in Canada it shipped yesterday and got my grubby hands on it today. Even better I think I'm going to bring it to work tomorrow and see if I can run some test shots against our d800.

Bill Bresler said...

You're killing me with all of this NEX-7 talk. I handled one for the first time today. And thanks for that great portrait of The Kinkster.

Col said...

Tell us about the car too. Is that your new one?

Claire said...

My 6 just arrived in the store this morning, will pick it up sometimes next week. I'll make sure to comment on how I like it, coming from the 5N (that I use exclusively with manual lenses as well).

theaterculture said...

ISO noise be damned - the reason I'm excited about the Nex 6 is the ISO standard hot-shoe! Stick one on the Nex 7 mk 2 and I might just be in.

Kirk Tuck said...

At least with the weird Sony hot shoe none of your friends will ask to borrow your flashes... :-)

Tony Hobbs Flight said...

Yea that NEX 7 hot shoe unusual! Got a mic to fit it (Sony) so now need to stick to same hot shoed type!