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Editors' Choice: Sony Alpha NEX-7

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Editors' Choice: Sony Alpha NEX-7

2:20 /

The Sony Alpha NEX-7 delivers excellent raw photo and solid video quality in a package that's beautifully and functionally designed, yet relatively compact. Though expensive for an essentially nonprofessional camera, it doesn't seem overpriced.

I'm Lori Grunin, Senior Editor for CNET and this is the Sony Alpha NEX-7. This may not be a perfect interchangeable lens camera but the NEX-7 comes closer for enthusiasts than almost I've seen thus far. That's why it turned an editor's choice. For class of camera, the NEX-7 has almost everything. Built in flash and (O-LED EDF?), a large sensor, tilting LCD and relatively serious video features. Its innovative 2-dial system takes a predominantly screen-based any X operation and move the chunk of it back to the hardware controls where enthusiasts want them. Although the price is high for a nonprofessional model, given the package, it doesn't really seem rip-off high. In part of this 'cause I really enjoy shooting with the camera. Partly because it's a perfect size with a comfortable grip. It's not so small but it gets overwhelmed by the lenses as the smaller NEX models too. But it is small enough to be less conspicuous than the DSLR for street photography. Though some of the top and back buttons are hard to find by feel when you're looking through the view finder, overall, everything can be customized for the most fluid personal shooting experience possible. Like some of Panasonic's ILC's, the NEX-7's pop up flash can be tilted back for a bounce or effect. Unfortunately, the fluid experience 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. The neatly organized top level of icons, blind the unsorted (and/or?) key below. I swear some of the option moved when I'm not looking. In part is because Sony throws everything that doesn't fit into one of the five other categories into the set up menu. The 24 megapixel resolution of the center hopes to compensate for the over processing. The extra pixel help retain detail in the face of otherwise heavy luminance noise reduction. Although it's not super fast all around, the camera delivers good to excellence shooting speed overall. But more important, the EVF refreshes quickly enough to make burst shooting and panning comfortable. An excellent camera for event photographer that's fun to shoot with. The NEX-7's few flaws don't seriously detract from an otherwise winning package. I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Sony NEX-7

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