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Author Topic: Sony NEX-7 review  (Read 17814 times)
memento
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« on: September 19, 2011, 10:47:49 AM »
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Hello,

it is with very great interest that I have read the new first impressions report on the Sony NEX-7 at luminous-landscape.com, after already soaking in every bit of information on the other websites (as well as sample images) about this camera. I am almost 100% sure that I will get rid of all my DSLR gear and make the move to the NEX-7. It's just a camera (and two new lenses 24 and 50) that are as if they were specifically designed to answer my needs. Probably other readers will see this the same? I even bought a NEX-5 so I could get at least a small glimpse of what I will be using from November onwards, and try out some of the exiting features like focus peaking for myself right now....

However, one thing in the new report puzzles me, to the point where I just have to ask if there could not be any error being made.

This is the comparison of the Zeiss 24/1.8 to the Leica 24/1.4 Summilux adapted to the NEX. While the Zeiss results look very good and resemble the great full size samples that have been made available elsewhere in the net, the Leica results are just too bad to be believed. Yes I understand the microlens issue and that the Sony sensor is not ideally suited to the rangefinder lenses. But, it can't be THAT bad. Even the image center is a complete mess.

There are hundreds or thousands of users out there who have adapted old lenses, even rangefinder ones, to their NEX-3 or NEX-5 cameras already. Some of these lenses, even 12 mm ones, have been reviewed and measured in the net e.g. at photozone.de and never ever have I read of such terrible, useless results before. And while 24 MP is much more than 14 MP, its not that a image would be perfectly sharp on a 14 MP but such a total useless mess on a similar sized 24 MP sensor. I also had several old lenses even outright crappy ones, such as a totally beaten Soligor 21 in M42 mount on my EOS 7D already and the results also do not resemble in the slightest those that are shown here from the Leica 24 Summilux.

The last thing is that as if I understand it right, the microlens issue effects the image quality on the borders of a sensor, as the lens pattern is somewhat "shifted" in relation to the underlying actual pixels? But in the image center, there is no such difference between a rangefinder-optimised sensor and a more standard DSLR-type sensor? So even if the 24 Summilux might suffer from this issue on the NEX-7 borders, it should NOT affect the image center, certainly not in such a totally catastrophic way.

I really do believe that the results of the 24 Summilux on the NEX-7 should be re-tested to make really sure that the lens or adapter used has no malfunctioning in any way, or that there even might be some kind of focusing issue going on.

regards,
Thomas
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 11:41:28 AM »
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Hi,

Keep in mind that Michaels article is not a test but "first impressions". That said, it's quite obvious that Michael regards the comparison of the Leica and the Zeiss lens relevant. I'm a bit surprised by the outcome. The large aperture shots look a bit defocused to me. On the other hand, the Sony NEX-7 draws 24 MP from a APS-C sensor while the Leica M9 draws 18 MP from a full frame sensor, so the NEX-7 is much more demanding.

Best regards
Erik



Hello,

it is with very great interest that I have read the new first impressions report on the Sony NEX-7 at luminous-landscape.com, after already soaking in every bit of information on the other websites (as well as sample images) about this camera. I am almost 100% sure that I will get rid of all my DSLR gear and make the move to the NEX-7. It's just a camera (and two new lenses 24 and 50) that are as if they were specifically designed to answer my needs. Probably other readers will see this the same? I even bought a NEX-5 so I could get at least a small glimpse of what I will be using from November onwards, and try out some of the exiting features like focus peaking for myself right now....

However, one thing in the new report puzzles me, to the point where I just have to ask if there could not be any error being made.

This is the comparison of the Zeiss 24/1.8 to the Leica 24/1.4 Summilux adapted to the NEX. While the Zeiss results look very good and resemble the great full size samples that have been made available elsewhere in the net, the Leica results are just too bad to be believed. Yes I understand the microlens issue and that the Sony sensor is not ideally suited to the rangefinder lenses. But, it can't be THAT bad. Even the image center is a complete mess.

There are hundreds or thousands of users out there who have adapted old lenses, even rangefinder ones, to their NEX-3 or NEX-5 cameras already. Some of these lenses, even 12 mm ones, have been reviewed and measured in the net e.g. at photozone.de and never ever have I read of such terrible, useless results before. And while 24 MP is much more than 14 MP, its not that a image would be perfectly sharp on a 14 MP but such a total useless mess on a similar sized 24 MP sensor. I also had several old lenses even outright crappy ones, such as a totally beaten Soligor 21 in M42 mount on my EOS 7D already and the results also do not resemble in the slightest those that are shown here from the Leica 24 Summilux.

The last thing is that as if I understand it right, the microlens issue effects the image quality on the borders of a sensor, as the lens pattern is somewhat "shifted" in relation to the underlying actual pixels? But in the image center, there is no such difference between a rangefinder-optimised sensor and a more standard DSLR-type sensor? So even if the 24 Summilux might suffer from this issue on the NEX-7 borders, it should NOT affect the image center, certainly not in such a totally catastrophic way.

I really do believe that the results of the 24 Summilux on the NEX-7 should be re-tested to make really sure that the lens or adapter used has no malfunctioning in any way, or that there even might be some kind of focusing issue going on.

regards,
Thomas
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michael
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2011, 12:01:16 PM »
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I have added a mention to the review that this test may be flawed because of accidental misfocusing. I'll repeat the test as soon as I can under more stringent conditions.

Michael
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jsiva
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2011, 01:19:01 PM »
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I too was eagerly awaiting the Nex 7 as a backup to my M9.  I have tried the SX24 on the GH2 and it looked pretty good, and given that the Sony has about the same pixel pitch on the 1.6x crop sensor, I was suprised by the results as well.  Looking forward to Michael's retest, as it would be a real bummer if I couldnt use my Leica glass on the Nex...the sony glass is just too big and too few.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2011, 01:28:03 PM »
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Hi,

The Sony glass is made for the Sony sensor, while Leica M lenses are essentially made for film. Also, Sony NEX is APS-C, essentially turning your wide angle into a normal lens.

Leica made a great effort to get their M9 to work with digital.

Best regards
Erik


I too was eagerly awaiting the Nex 7 as a backup to my M9.  I have tried the SX24 on the GH2 and it looked pretty good, and given that the Sony has about the same pixel pitch on the 1.6x crop sensor, I was suprised by the results as well.  Looking forward to Michael's retest, as it would be a real bummer if I couldnt use my Leica glass on the Nex...the sony glass is just too big and too few.
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aaykay
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 02:16:56 PM »
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I am truly impressed with the product and what Michael mentioned a while back, about the convergence of stills/video in a product, has now appeared with no discernible weakness.  I was not too impressed with the older NEX5 (even the video being 1080i) and sold off my NEX5 and the 2 kit lenses, a couple of months after purchase - the interface and the lack of a viewfinder being the culprits.  

The only weaknesses that I see in the NEX7, are the lack of in-body stabilization (one of the really small Olympus models has it, and thus body size should not be the limitation), lack of a fully swiveling screen (the tilt screen does not satisfy me fully) like the Canon 60D, and also the exclusion of GPS from the product.  The exclusion of GPS is a bad move, especially since even low-end p&s products from Sony come with GPS.  The A77 and the A65 also come with GPS.  The HX100V also comes with GPS and surprising that they skipped GPS in a higher-end product like the NEX7.

« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 02:23:18 PM by aaykay » Logged
aaykay
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 02:21:16 PM »
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Of course if this were a NEX9 (with a FF sensor) and if they had top-notch (zoom) lenses covering ranges from 24mm to 200mm, with a few primes (35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 135mm), I would be in hog heaven and my A900 kit would hit the dust, before the day was up.
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bernardd
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 03:59:14 AM »
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The specs sure are impressive but it seems that lenses will be the limiting factor to extract the full quality of the sensor, along with shooting technique of course.

Is the $1K 24mm Zeiss the only E lens expected to deliver all the juice from this camera?
What all the other E lenses? How much IQ loss can we expect from the 16mm pancake or the stock 18-55mm zoom for instance?
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2011, 05:41:42 AM »
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Hi,

You have some detailed tests here:

http://www.photozone.de/sony-alpha-aps-c-lens-tests

Best regards
Erik


The specs sure are impressive but it seems that lenses will be the limiting factor to extract the full quality of the sensor, along with shooting technique of course.

Is the $1K 24mm Zeiss the only E lens expected to deliver all the juice from this camera?
What all the other E lenses? How much IQ loss can we expect from the 16mm pancake or the stock 18-55mm zoom for instance?
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memento
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2011, 06:20:12 AM »
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There is also the new 50/1.8 OSS, the first image samples on the net (on the NEX-5N) are very, very good.

I guess that the 30/3.5 Macro will be of similar optical quality, but ... hey ... what can go wrong with a lens that has such a simple specification Wink

Anyway, fast 24 + 50 (in traditional terms 35 + 75) just cover my specific needs for photography so good that I don't really ask for any more. YMMV....

And: there is always the possibility to use other Sony Alpha lenses (with AF and some even with stabilisation, as long as you go for the Sigma OS lenses) where you need them, or just other adapter lenses e.g. for macro work. That's all probably not the definite answer but, again, I can only speak for myself and I am perfectly happy with all this.

Without both the new NEX 24 and 50 lenses, it would make absolutely no sense. I agree on that. There seems to be a roadmap for future lenses including a higher-quality "G" standard zoom. But that's all science fiction, for now....

Thomas
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 06:22:11 AM by memento » Logged
bernardd
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2011, 07:47:00 AM »
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Thanks for the photozone.de link.

The 16mm is only sharp in the very center. Not a great contender for landscape photography on a 24mp camera. So no decent wide angle lens yet.

The 18-55mm standard zoom seems about as good as what you get with entry level Nikon or Canon cameras. Ok sharpness but lots of irregular distortion and CA. Again that's fine for snapshots but a waste of the sensor quality. My current walk around lens is a Canon 24-105mm L. I'm not sure I could stand too much of a downgrade from that level of quality.

The 24mm and 50mm seem to be well covered though we still need to see how they will fare on the NEX 7. Those are not very versatile lenses though, specially for landscape.

I realise that one can add non E lenses using an adapter but as Michael showed with the Leica fitted on the NEX 7, we can't assume they will all work well.

So my initial impression remains that the NEX 7 is a fantastic camera waiting for similarly fantastic glass.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 07:49:10 AM by bernardd » Logged
michael
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2011, 08:59:42 AM »
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Put any of the Sony G or Zeiss glass on it via the LE-A2 adaptor and you have everything that you need.

By the way, the new DT 16-55mm f/2.8 lens is superb and nicely balanced on the NEX-7 + LE-A2. It should have been labeled a "G" lens, but isn't for internal political reasons. Optical and build quality is excellent.

The small E mount lenses will be fine for casual use.

Michael


« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 09:03:28 AM by michael » Logged
grzybu
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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2011, 09:59:26 AM »
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If only Sony could release something like Samsung 30/2  or Panasonic 20/1.7 pancakes it will be really interesting system.
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Nino Loss
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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2011, 11:27:13 AM »
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If only Sony could release something like Samsung 30/2  or Panasonic 20/1.7 pancakes it will be really interesting system.
+1

That way, it would really fit into a pocket, as the camera you always have with you, and still be used in addition and/or instead of the big tools, depending on the situation.
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stever
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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2011, 11:11:59 PM »
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the Nex-7 is priced and speced for at least semi -serious use, and the appeal of the camera is to those who would like quality images from a camera more the size of a Leica than a SLR.  If Sony produces only "casual use lenses" in E-mount then they will have another mediocre me-to product which will very likely be second best to micro 4/3 with it's smaller image circle which makes compact high - quality lenses easier to produce

the LE-A2 seems to me like an awkward band-aid allowing larger lenses to be used without the benefit of image stabilization.  this may be acceptable for those already committed to the Sony SLR system, but it's not going to convert Canon and Nikon users

so far, each of the mirrorless camera manufacturers has built at least one serious flaw into their line -- hopefully Canon and Nikon will learn from this - but given past performance, that too may be wishful thinking
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bernardd
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« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2011, 01:14:21 AM »
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Put any of the Sony G or Zeiss glass on it via the LE-A2 adaptor and you have everything that you need.

By the way, the new DT 16-55mm f/2.8 lens is superb and nicely balanced on the NEX-7 + LE-A2. It should have been labeled a "G" lens, but isn't for internal political reasons. Optical and build quality is excellent.

The small E mount lenses will be fine for casual use.

Michael

Thanks. That helps getting an idea of what lenses are up to the sensor quality.

However, I can't find anything online about the DT 16-55 f/2.8 beside your review.

I've also just noticed that there are slides of Sony's lens roadmap going around the web. They lists a new G "normal zoom" E mount lens planned for 2012. That obviously targets the NEX-7 crowd.
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memento
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« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2011, 02:42:28 AM »
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I seriosly doubt that the 24/1.8 Zeiss as well as the 50/1.8 OSS (from the image samples I've seen so far) are only suitable for "casual use".

It might be that a lot of people are all crazy about big fast standard zooms, and obviously I can only speak for myself when I say that I am "through" with all these huge lenses like my ex 24-70/2.8L that weight a kilogramm and are just so fat and big and bulky.

The NEX-7 finally gives this ultimate picture quality the sample images even suggest it really BEATS the zooms especially in corner sharpness! with just two REALLY pocket-sized lenses. Of course a lot of photographers will miss the zooming, but I don't. For those who really can't do without it, there will be a future G-spec zoom lens for 2012. (I just hope that one can take the NEX roadmap more seriously than that of Olympus FT a few years back....)

I do not want to say that 24 + 50 cover it all. Especially there is still something in the same style missing in the telephoto and macro range. The 55-210 with f/6.3 aperture at the tele end is not really what we are looking for, is it? And the 30/3.5 macro is nice, small and cheap I might buy one but a really useful macro lens rather should be a 100 or at the very least a 60 .... anyway, 24 + 50 in this high quality and this small form factor cover (at least for me) the basics a hundred times better than any DSLR zoom lens on the market.

One factor I wasn't sure about until today was what the competition will be like Nikon and Canon have not entered this market so far. But now Nikon has presented their new thingy and they are seriously out of the game for me, just as Pentax with the Q. These are just additional reasons that strengthen my decision for the new Sony NEX-7. The only camera that ever will be able to challenge it in the next couple of years could come from Canon. (Yes there is still Samsung with their nice APS-C sized mirrorless system, but technologically they always seem to lack behind Sony.)

Thomas
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Nino Loss
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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2011, 02:58:19 AM »
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I seriosly doubt that the 24/1.8 Zeiss as well as the 50/1.8 OSS (from the image samples I've seen so far) are only suitable for "casual use".

It might be that a lot of people are all crazy about big fast standard zooms, and obviously I can only speak for myself when I say that I am "through" with all these huge lenses like my ex 24-70/2.8L that weight a kilogramm and are just so fat and big and bulky.

The NEX-7 finally gives this ultimate picture quality the sample images even suggest it really BEATS the zooms especially in corner sharpness! with just two REALLY pocket-sized lenses. Of course a lot of photographers will miss the zooming, but I don't. For those who really can't do without it, there will be a future G-spec zoom lens for 2012. (I just hope that one can take the NEX roadmap more seriously than that of Olympus FT a few years back....)
[...]

I was thinking of high IQ, small, at least almost pocketable, fast, standard E mount lenses. For the Nex-7 APS-C sensor I'd like a 21mm, a 30mm, and possibly something between.




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Clyde RF
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2011, 03:25:19 AM »
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 I am coming from 4 by 5 landscape work, and wanting to enter the digital realm. While being unable to afford the present cost of mfdb's, I am intrigued by the offerings of the Nex 7. According to Michael's "First Impressions Report", Sony seems to have been smiling my way, by making available a product versatile in directions so appropriate to my present needs. I will always be using a tripod, so image stabilization, auto focus, or iso above base, are features not relevant to me, but here at last (apparently) comes an opportunity to make full use of my highly prized manual Nikon and Canon glass via Novoflex adapters. However, I am wondering how capable of supporting lens weight without being damaged, the Sony e-mount is, in comparison to the Nikon f or other slr mounts. Obviously, when tripod mounting a camera while using lenses without collars, all of the lens weight stress is placed upon the mount, and I'm wondering what weight limits should be conservatively considered therein. I have been thinking about the possibility of using lenses up to 1.5--2 pounds, but I have so far been unable to find any info on the internet which addresses this issue, so any knowledgeable help will be much appreciated. If I were to purchase the nex-7, I would want to test on it the image quality result of the lenses I already have, as these are potent old friends I know well, before considering a need for additional lenses.            
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2011, 04:03:49 AM »
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Hi,

There is at least one adaptor for the NEX with tripod mount. Some of the nex lenses are quite heavy, like the 18-200. The Sony adapters for A-series lenses both have tripod mounts. So my guess is that you need an adaptor with a tripod mount for long lenses but probably not for lenses that are shorter/lighter than the 18-200 from Sony.

Best regards
Erik

I am coming from 4 by 5 landscape work, and wanting to enter the digital realm. While being unable to afford the present cost of mfdb's, I am intrigued by the offerings of the Nex 7. According to Michael's "First Impressions Report", Sony seems to have been smiling my way, by making available a product versatile in directions so appropriate to my present needs. I will always be using a tripod, so image stabilization, auto focus, or iso above base, are features not relevant to me, but here at last (apparently) comes an opportunity to make full use of my highly prized manual Nikon and Canon glass via Novoflex adapters. However, I am wondering how capable of supporting lens weight without being damaged, the Sony e-mount is, in comparison to the Nikon f or other slr mounts. Obviously, when tripod mounting a camera while using lenses without collars, all of the lens weight stress is placed upon the mount, and I'm wondering what weight limits should be conservatively considered therein. I have been thinking about the possibility of using lenses up to 1.5--2 pounds, but I have so far been unable to find any info on the internet which addresses this issue, so any knowledgeable help will be much appreciated. If I were to purchase the nex-7, I would want to test on it the image quality result of the lenses I already have, as these are potent old friends I know well, before considering a need for additional lenses.            
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