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.