|Olympus E-P3||Olympus OM-D E-M5||Sony Alpha NEX-5N||Sony Alpha NEX-7|
|Sensor (effective resolution)||16.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS
|12.3-megapixel Live MOS
|16.1-megapixel Live MOS
|16.1-megapixel Exmor HD CMOS||24.3-megapixel Exmor HD CMOS
|23.6mm x 15.6mm||17.3mm x 13mm||17.3mm x 13mm||23.5mm x 15.6mm||23.5mm x 15.6mm|
|Sensitivity range||ISO 100 (expanded)/200 - ISO 6400/25600 (expanded)||ISO 200 - ISO 12800||ISO 200 - ISO 25600||ISO 100 - ISO 25,600||ISO 100 - ISO 16000|
|Continuous shooting||6fps |
unlimited (LN) JPEG/17 raw
17 JPEG/11 raw
10 JPEG/6 raw
(10fps with fixed exposure)
unlimited JPEG/6 raw
(10fps with fixed exposure)
magnification/ effective magnification
90 percent coverage/
1.44 million dots variable
1.44 million dots
|35-area contrast AF||35-area contrast AF||25-area contrast AF||25-area contrast AF|
|Shutter speed||30-1/4,000 sec; bulb to 60 min; 1/180 x-sync||60-1/4,000 sec; bulb to 30 minutes; 1/4,000 FP sync||60-1/4,000 sec; bulb to 8 minutes; 1/250 sec x-sync (flash-dependent)||30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb; 1/160 sec x-sync||30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb; 1/160 sec x-sync|
|Metering||256 zones||324 area||324 area||1,200 zones||1,200 zones|
|Flash||No||Yes||Included add-on||Included optional||Yes|
|Image stabilization||Optical||Sensor shift||Sensor shift||Optical||Optical|
|Video||1080/24p H.264||1080/60i AVCHD @ 20, 17Mbps; 720/60p @ 13Mbps||1080/60i QuickTime MOV @ 20, 17Mbps||AVCHD 1080/60p @ 28, 24Mbps, 1080/24p @ 24, 17Mbps, 1080/60i @ 17Mbps; H.264 MPEG-4 1,440x1,080/30p @ 12Mbps||AVCHD 1080/60p @ 28, 24Mbps, 1080/24p @ 24, 17Mbps, 1080/60i @ 17Mbps; H.264 MPEG-4 1,440x1,080/30p @ 12Mbps|
|Audio||Stereo||Stereo; mic input||Stereo; mic input||Stereo; mic input||Stereo; mic input|
|LCD size||3-inch fixed
|3-inch fixed OLED
|3-inch tilting touch screen OLED
|Battery life (CIPA rating)||300 shots||330 shots||n/a||430 shots||350 shots|
|Dimensions (inches, WHD)||5.5 x 3.2 x 1.7||4.8 x 2.7 x 1.4||4.8 x 3.5 x 1.7||4.4 x 2.4 x 1.6||4.8 x 2.8 x 1.7|
|Body operating weight (ounces)||15.9||13||15 (est)||9.3 (without flash)||12.4|
|Mfr. price||$1,699.95 (body only)||n/a||$999.99 (body only)||$599.99 (body only)||$1,199.99 (body only)|
|n/a||$899.99 (with 14-42mm lens)||$1,299.99 (with 12-50mm lens)||$699.99 (with 18-55mm lens)||$1,349.00 (with 18-55mm lens)|
|n/a||$899.99 (with 17mm f2.8 lens)||$1,099.99 (with 14-42mm lens)||n/a||n/a|
|Ship date||February 2012||August 2011||April 2012||September 2011||November 2011|
I really enjoy shooting with the NEX-7, partly because it's a perfect size with a comfortable grip--not so small that it gets overwhelmed by the lenses, as smaller NEX models do, but small enough to be less conspicuous than a dSLR for street photography--and partly because Sony has fixed most of the things I have historically disliked about the NEX interface, generally because it has enough buttons to allow you to program away the interface.
It's got two context-sensitive thumb-operated dials and three remappable buttons, one of which can cover three functions. I like the switch-plus-button that allows you to toggle between AF/MF settings and autoexposure lock. Although some of the top and back buttons are hard to find by feel when you're looking through the viewfinder, overall everything can be customized for the most streamlined personal shooting experience possible.
The viewfinder and the flash stand out as well. The OLED EVF is large, bright, high-resolution enough for manual focusing, and refreshes quickly. Like some of Panasonic's ILCs', the NEX-7's pop-up flash can be tilted back for bounce or effect.
The enjoyment comes to a dead stop when you have to go into the menu system to change something that you don't use on a regular basis, however. The neatly organized top-level icons belie the unsorted anarchy below. I swear some of the options move when I'm not looking. In part, that's because Sony throws everything that doesn't fit into one of the other five categories into Setup.
There are no particularly whizzy or novel software capabilities in the NEX-7, just the usual essentials and Sony standbys. These include options like full manual controls in video mode and peaking for manual focus, as well as 2D and 3D Sweep Panorama. In fact, it's missing a couple of features I'd expect from a camera in its class, including options for resolution-reduced raw files and the ability to save groups of custom settings.
An excellent camera for advanced photographers that's fun and fluid to shoot with, the Sony Alpha NEX-7's few flaws don't seriously detract from an otherwise winning package.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Time to first shot||Raw shot-to-shot time||JPEG shot-to-shot time||Shutter lag (dim light)||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)