Sony’s New NEX-7 Packs 24MP Sensor Into Tiny Mirrorless Body

The mirror less camera market is a fierce battlefield this year with a seemingly endless stream of new products from Panasonic, Sony and Olympus.  This kind of rivalry is only a good thing for consumers though as the top players fight for the spotlight with new features and impressive price points.  Today Sony unveiled a new top of the line NEX-7 camera ( as well as an NEX-5N) that packs a staggering 24 MP APS-C sensor in an incredibly small package.  Not only does this make it the largest sensor in the mirror less field, but also the largest APS-C sensor full stop.

  • All-new 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor (shared with the SLT-A7 and A657)
  • ISO 100-16000
  • Built-in 2.4M dot OLED EVF with eye sensor
  • Electronic first-curtain shutter (cuts response time from 100ms to 20ms)
  • ‘AVCHD Progressive’ 1080p60 HD movie recording with built-in stereo mic
  • Tilting rear screen
  • Three-dial user interface
  • Built in flash and Alpha hotshoe
  • Infra-red remote control receiver

Full press release


Sony takes pro-quality imaging and creative options to new extremes with the easy to use ? NEX-7. Styled in magnesium alloy for strength and premium looks, the NEX-7 weighs a travel-friendly approx. 291g (camera body only).

The NEX-7 features a newly-developed Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with 24.3 effective megapixel resolution that’s teamed with the latest revision of Sony’s BIONZ image processing engine.

This unique combination of sensor and processor assures ultra-rapid shooting responses, plus flawless image quality with ultra-low noise when shooting still images or Full HD video. Extending from ISO 100-16000, the ultra-high sensitivity range makes it easy to capture clean, low-noise images in dimly lit interiors or at dusk.

Responses are accelerated further by a shutter release lag of just 0.02 seconds – the fastest of any interchangeable lens digital camera in the world. Quick, precise AF is enhanced by new Object Tracking that keeps accurate focus lock on a selected target, even when it’s moving in the frame.

The NEX-7 offers quick, easy control over creative settings via an intuitive new TRINAVI control. Two control dials on the top of the camera are complemented by a control wheel. Pushing the navigation button cycles quickly through various shooting modes, allowing enthusiasts to make custom adjustments and control images with the flexibility of a DSLR camera.

The NEX-7 is also the world’s first compact camera that features an XGA OLED TruFinder™ for precision framing and focusing. This precision electronic viewfinder gives a bright, detail-packed, high contrast view of still images and video, with approximately 100% frame coverage and a wide field of view to rival pro-grade optical viewfinders. On-screen grid lines and a level gauge can be displayed to assist with accurate framing.

The XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ is complemented by a 7.5 cm (3.0″) Xtra Fine LCD that can be angled up to 90° up or 45º down for easy viewing in any shooting position. TruBlack technology assures superb detail and contrast with dramatically reduces on-screen reflections.

At the touch of a button, the NEX-7 shoots smooth AVCHD Full HD movies with high-quality stereo sound. Support for the new AVCHD Progressive (Ver. 2.0)* format also allows users to select 50p or 25p frame rates for beautifully smooth, detailed video footage. As with stills shooting, Object Tracking allows a target object to be selected for accurate tracking AF, even when the subject is moving.

Manual focus is now possible during video shooting. Enthusiasts can also enjoy full control over creating the perfect video image with Programme, Aperture/Shutter Priority and all-Manual modes (PASM). Stereo audio quality is improved, with revised circuitry that lowers noise levels, especially when shooting quiet scenes.

In speed priority mode, the NEX-7 captures fast-moving action at up to 10fps – the world’s fastest burst shooting speed of any mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.

First introduced on the NEX-C3, Picture Effect simplifies the production of sophisticated artistic effects ‘in camera’, with no PC or post-processing needed. There are now 11 modes and 15 effects, including new HDR Painting, Soft Focus, Miniature and Rich-Tone Mono. A generous palette of other artistic imaging functions includes 3D Sweep Panorama, Soft Skin, Auto HDR, Handheld Twilight and Anti Motion Blur Modes.

The NEX-7 introduces an Auto-lock Accessory Shoe, a first for E-mount cameras. Widening opportunities for advanced shooting applications, the shoe supports accessories including HVL-F58AM, F43AM and F20AM Flash, the HVL-MT24AM Macro Twin Flash Kit and CLM-V55 Clip-on LCD Monitor.

Lenses and accessories
The world’s first mount adaptor with built-in Translucent Mirror Technology™, the optional Mount Adaptor LA-EA2 allows phase-detection AF with almost all of the A-mount lenses for both still image and video shooting.

The LCS-ELC7 Soft Carrying Case combines a closely-fitting body case and lens jacket in genuine leather to protect camera body and lens from scratches and dust, is released exclusively for NEX-7. It’s complemented by the STP-XH70 shoulder strap in the same material.

The ? NEX-7 ultra-compact interchangeable lens digital camera by Sony is available from November 2011.

Notes to editors


Key technical specifications

General Camera type Interchangeable lens digital camera with built-in flash
Lens compatibility Sony E-mount lenses
Image sensor Type APS-C type (23.5 x 15.6mm), “Exmor” APS HD CMOS sensor with primary color filters
Number of pixels Approx. 24.3 megapixels (effective),
Approx. 24.7 megapixels (total)
Image sensor aspect ratio 3:2
Anti-dust system Charge protection coating on optical filter and ultrasonic vibration mechanism
Recording system (still image) Recording format JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver.2.3, MPF Baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format), 3D MPO (MPF Extended compliant)
Image size (pixels)3:2 L: 6000 x 4000 (24M), M: 4240×2832 (12M),S: 3008 x 2000 (6M)
Image size (pixels)16:9 L: 6000 x 3376 (20M), M: 4240 x 2400 (10M), S: 3008 x 1688 (5.1M)
Image size (pixels) Sweep Panorama Wide: horizontal 12416 x 1856 (23M), vertical 5536 x 2160 (12M), standard: horizontal 8192 x 1856 (15M), vertical 3872 x 2160 (8.4M)
Image size (pixels)3D Sweep Panorama Wide: 7152 x 1080 (7.7M), Standard: 4912 x 1080 (5.3M), 16:9: 1920 x 1080 (2.1M)
Image quality modes RAW, RAW & JPEG, JPEG Fine , JPEG Standard
Picture Effect 11 types (15 variations): Posterization (Color, B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R, G, B, Y), High Contrast Mono, Toy Camera, Soft High-key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Mono, Miniature
Creative Style Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, B/W, Sepia (Contrast (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Sharpness(-3 to +3 steps))
Dynamic range functions Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level), Auto High Dynamic Range: Off, Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure difference Level (1.0-6.0EV, 1.0EV step)
Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Recording system (movie) Recording format AVCHD Ver. 2.0 (Progressive) / MP4
Video compression MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)
Audio recording format Dolby Digital (AC-3) / MPEG-4 AAC-LC
NTSC AVCHD Ver. 2.0, average bit rate 1920 x 108060p: 28Mbps (PS),60i: 24Mbps (FX), 17Mbps (FH)24p: 24Mbps (FX), 17Mbps (FH)
MP4 , average bit rate 1440 x 1080 (12Mbps),VGA (3Mbps)
PAL AVCHD Ver. 2.0, average bit rate 1920 x 108050p: 28Mbps (PS),50i: 24Mbps (FX), 17Mbps (FH)25p: 24Mbps (FX), 17Mbps (FH)
MP4 , average bit rate 1440 x 1080 12MbpsVGA 3Mbps
Media “Memory Stick PRO Duo” , “Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo”, SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card
Noise reduction Long exposure NR: On/Off selectable, available of shutter speeds longer than 1 sec.High ISO NR: High/Normal/Low selectable
White balance Modes Auto WB, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, C.Tem<2500 to 9900K>, C.Filter<G7 to M7/A7 to B7>, Custom
WB fine adjustment G7 to M7, 15-step / A7 to B7, 15-step
Focus system Type Contrast-detection AF
Focus point 25 points
Sensitivity range EV0 to EV20 (at ISO100 equivalent with F2.8 lens attached)
Focus mode Autofocus, DMF (Direct Manual Focus), Manual Focus
AF mode AF-S: Single-shot AF, AF-C: Continuous AF
Focus area Multi Point (25 points) / Center-weighted / Flexible Spot selectable
Other features Tracking focus , Predictive control, Eye-Start AF (with LA-EA2), Focus lock
AF illuminator Built-in LED, Range: Approx. 0.5m – Approx. 3.0m (E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS)
Exposure control Metering type 1200-zone evaluative metering
Metering sensor “Exmor” APS HD CMOS sensor
Metering sensitivity EV0 to EV20 (at ISO100 equivalent with F2.8 lens attached)
Modes Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure modes iAUTO, Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M), Sweep Panorama, 3D Sweep Panorama, Anti Motion Blur, Scene Selection
Scene selection Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports action, Sunset, Night portrait, Night view, Hand-held Twilight
Exposure compensation +/- 5EV (in 0.3EV steps)
Bracketing 3 continuous exposures in 0.3 or 0.7 EV steps
AE lock AE is locked when focus is locked in multi-segment metering mode. AE lock button
ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index) ISO100-16000?AUTO (ISO100-1600)
Viewfinder Type 1.3 cm (0.5 type) Electronic viewfinder
Number of dots 2359296 dots
Brightness control Auto, Manual (3 steps between -1 and +1)
Field coverage Approx. 100%
Magnification Approx. 1.09x with 50mm lens at infinity, -1m-1
Diopter adjustment -4m-1?- +1.0m-1 (diopter)
Eye point Approximately 23mm from the eyepiece, 21mm from the eyepiece frame at -1m-1
Display Contents Disp. Basic Info, Level, Histogram
Real-time image-adjustment ON/OFF
LCD Monitor Type 7.5cm (3.0-type) wide type TFT (Xtra Fine LCD with TruBlack technology)
Number of dots (total) 921,600 dots
Brightness control Auto, Manual (5 steps between -2 and +2)Sunny Weather mode
Field coverage Approx. 100%
Adjustable angle Up by approx. 90 degrees, Down by approx. 45 degrees
Display Graphic Display, Display All Info, Big Font Size Disp, No Disp. Info, Live View Priority, Level, Histogram, For viewfinder
Real-time image-adjustment display ON/OFF
Focus check MF assist (5.9x, 11.7x), Peaking (Level setting: High/Mid/Low/Off, Color: White/Red/Yellow)
Face detection Modes On/On (Regist. Faces)/OffFace registration, Face selection; Max. number of detectable faces 8
Other features Smile shutter (selectable from 3 steps), Shooting Tips, Help guide
Digital zoom Precision digital zoom, 1.1x-10x
Shutter Type Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type
Shutter speed 1/4000 to 30 sec, bulb
Flash sync. speed 1/160 sec.
Electronic front shutter curtain Yes (ON/OFF)
SteadyShot INSIDE (image stabilization) Type Not supported (image stabilization supported on lens)
Flash? Type Built-in flash
Guide No. 6 (in meters at ISO 100 equivalent)
Flash coverage 18mm (focal-length printed on the lens body)
Control Pre-flash TTL
Flash compensation +/- 3EV in 0.3 EV steps
Flash modes Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync.
Recycling time Approx. 4 sec
External flash Compatible with Auto-lock Accessory shoe
Wireless control Supported on External flash
Drive? Drive modes Single-shot, Continuous shooting, Speed priority continuous shooting, Self-timer (10/2 sec delay selectable), Self-timer (Cont.) (with 10 sec delay 3/5 exposures selectable), Bracketing, Remote Cdr (with separately sold remote commander RMT-DSLR1)
Speed (max., approx.) 10fps in Speed priority continuous shooting, 3fps in standard continuous shooting*Varies depending on shooting conditions and memory cards
No. of frame recordable (approx.) Fine: 10 frames, Standard: 10 frames, RAW: 6 frames, RAW & JPG: 4 frames*Varies depending on shooting conditions and memory cards
Playback? Single (with or without shooting information RGB histogram & highlight/shadow warning), 6/12-frame index view, Enlarged display mode (L: 11.8x, M: 8.8x, S: 6x, Enlarged display mode (L: 16.7x, M: 11.8x, S: 8.3x, Panorama (Standard): 25.6x, Panorama (Wide): 38.8x), Auto Review (10/5/2 sec, Off) ,Image orientation (On/Off selectable), Slideshow, Panorama scrolling, Folder selection (Still), Forward/Rewind (movie), Delete, Protect
Interface? ? PC interface Hi-speed USB (USB2.0): Mass-storage, MTP
HD output HDMI mini connector (Type-C) , BRAVIA Sync (link menu), PhotoTV HD
Auto-lock Accessory shoe Yes
Compatible OS (USB connection) Windows XP* SP3, Windows Vista** SP2 , Windows 7 SP1, Mac OS X (v10.3-v10.6)*64-bit edition and starter edition not supported.**Starter edition not supported.
Audio? Microphone Built-in stereo microphone or ECM-SST1 (optional?
Speaker Built-in, monaural, Volume settings in 8 steps between 0 and 7
Print Compatible standards Exif Print, Print Image Matching III, DPOF setting
Custom function Custom key settings Available
Power? Battery One rechargeable battery pack NP-FW50
Still images Viewfinder :Approx. 350 imagesLCD Monitor :Approx. 430 images?CIPA standard?
Movies Approx. 29 min., MP4 format movie for up to Approx. 2 GB.
External power AC Adaptor AC-PW20 (optional)
Weight With battery and Memory Stick PRO Duo included Approx. 350 g
Approx. 12.3 oz
Body only Approx. 291 g
Approx. 10.3 oz
Dimensions mm (W x H x D) excluding protrusions Approx. 119.9mm x 69.9mm x 42.6mm
Approx. 4 3/4 ×2 3/4 ×1 11/16 in.
Minimum thickness mm Approx. 25.3mm / Approx. 1 in.
(without grip and mount)
Operating Temperature Operating temperature 32 – 104 degrees F / 0 – 40 degrees C
Photo of author

Dan Carr

Founder of Shutter Muse, full time photographer and creative educator. Dan lives in the Canadian Yukon, but his wanderlust often sends him in search of images all around the world to meet the needs of clients and readers alike.

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