But is the Sony Nex 7 sharp? I mean, really sharp?

It was a nice, brisk day in Austin in late November. I needed to deliver some image files to the college of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Texas. Good luck finding parking anywhere near the side of campus that contains the Petro complex, with 50,000+ students looking for parking every day you may as well be looking for $20 bills scattered on the ground. I used to teach at UT so I know the drill: Take the first open space on your journey in that coincides with your comfortable ability to walk. But when you walk a mile to your final destination be sure to bring along a camera in case you see anything that you need to photograph.

I had a Sony Nex-7 with me and it had an adapter that let me use "A" lenses from my bigger DSLT Sony cameras. I had on one of the cheap Sony 50mm f1.8 DT lenses because I anticipated doing some casual portraits later in the day. With a 75mm equivalent focal length it wasn't quite the "standard" lens for shooting a bit of architecture.  But as artists, sometimes we have to make due.

After I delivered my flash memory stick to the right person I turned around and headed back towards the car. I walked down a street called Speedway and I was amazed at how many new buildings had popped up since my last walk through campus. Some of them looked quite striking so I set the camera the way I wanted it for a sunny day and started snapping away.

I was using the sharpest, middle apertures of the lens and trying to hold everything steady. I think the files are fun and that the Nex 7 is really a sharp camera when used correctly. While the kit zoom is reasonably good prime lenses are even better. 

I'm equally happy with the performance I'm getting out of the Nex-6. So yesterday I spent some time packing a small Nex kit to use for most of my fun work. It consists of a Nex-6, a Nex-7,  the kit zoom (mostly for the widest angle), the Sigma 19mm, the Sigma 30mm, the Sony 50mm 1.8 OSS and the lens adapter for Sony "A" lenses. I've also added a Metz 36 flash, dedicated to the weird and proprietary Sony hot shoe. I've got four extra camera batteries and four extra 16 Gigabyte Transcend SD cards packed as well.  All in all it seems like the perfect little travel system when it's all packed in the little moss green Tenba backpack I bought earlier this year.

When everything is packed together I can just grab it and go. It's the counterpoint to a more extensive system I'll be using most of next week...


Anonymous said...

I'm a four thirds user, retired with not a lot of spending flexibility, and I've been hankering for the OM-D because of size and much better image quality.
But out of the corner of my eye, I've been noticing the good things being said about the Nex 7, and now the six with a even more enticing price.
But the bigger lenses, or what I think are bigger lenses bothers me, and the lack of prime lenses. I'm 76, I don't have the desire to carry stuff anymore, and if I can manage it, I like candid's and particularly, street photography.
Any advice to give?

Ron Greer said...

take a look at the Fuji xe-1; great primes and amazing sensor

Wolfgang Lonien said...

Ron's advice is good Fred, and so are both the Nex and also the OM-D. If you have Fout Thirds lenses already, then the OM-D has an advantage of course. Most important IMHO is to try them out, and to take what suits you best.

Good luck,

Kirk Tuck said...

I would definitely consider the OMD or even the EPL-5 if I didn't do this every day for living. Both of those cameras are highly capable and considering that you have m4:3 lenses ready to go they make a lot of sense. The M4:3 cameras are currently within a nose hair of the Sony cameras. Stay with what you've got and work the technique.

Anonymous said...

And I would recommend the Nex 6 as the best deal of all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you guys, I really appreciate it. I do have to get 'hands on' as Wolfgang pointed out, take a trip into the city and stop in at B & H.

Anonymous said...

Fred, take a look at the E-PM2. The same sensor as the OM-D, at half the price. Or an E-PL5, if you want the flip-out screen.

I'm replacing my NEX-5n with an E-PM2. The lack of quality primes, in the focal lengths I use, is the deal killer. The 16mm f/2.8 isn't very good (but not as bad as the fora claims) and I need a 90mm f/1.8 or f/2.0. YMMV.


Wolfgang Lonien said...

Kirk, I know you don't like this peeping at test scenes and such, but if you look at the DPReview raw image comparison in their Nex-7 test, you'll see that this is one of if not *the* sharpest you can get. It's definitely a benchmark, and even better in that regard than the Alphas 77 and 65 (which have the same sensor).

That said, I like the comparisons at Imaging Resource more. Best overall in normal DSLR size is of course a D800 (or -E), and here an OM-D also shines in comparison with others.

But I think if we don't pixel peep, it all doesn't matter that much anymore. This latest generation of digital cameras should be good enough for most of us, no matter what one chooses. Way more important is what you do with these. And you know I like what *you* are doing with them.

Thanks for your first class hands on reports. These often tell me more than those tests in controlled environments.