Sony have just announced two new compact cameras to be released this September, and from the position of this writers lofty throne they are looking good. First up is the Nex-7, which is the more expensive of the two at around £1000. The features and specification of the camera would appear to justify such a price, though it is impossible to say for certain as it this point no models have been available for testing. With 24.3 megapixels and the new Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor that Sony are now rolling out, it will mean users have the opportunity to create professional quality images with a camera that comes in at only 119.9mm x 69.mm x 42.6mm (excluding the lens).
Big noises are being made by the developers about the shutter release lag of 0.2 seconds, apparently a record for a digital camera with an interchangeable lens. We haven’t seen any proof of this, mind, and therefore cannot vouch for the accuracy of said claim, but we’d like to think them lovely honest people up in Sony PR HQ wouldn’t lead us up a dark alley with claims they can’t substantiate. Because that never happens, right?
Wrong…anyway…this tiny lag mixed with the models new Object Tracking feature means that focus should be easily held onto whatever target the snapper has selected, even when said target is moving within the frame. If you utilise the cameras speed priority mode, you can also snap action at 10fps; another world’s best apparently, this time the fastest burst shooting speed of any mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.
The other major selling point of the NEX-7 is the ability to produce sophisticated effects on pictures ‘in camera’, basically negating the need to spend hours fiddling with them on your PC. There’s 11 modes and 15 effects that can be accessed from the camera menu, and not a Hipstamatic in sight. Modes included are Pop Colour, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Mono and Retro Photo
Of course it’s not just about the stills. We’re all into home movies these days, with the NEX-7 being a sound option for the next Hilton, Thomas or Kardashian. Everything is in ‘smooth’ AVCHD, with the device also providing support for AVCHD Progressive 2.0 format, which means you’ll be able to use 25p or 50p frame rates.
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Although exact prices are unavailable at the time of writing, it is assumed that the NEX-5N will come in at £550-£600, and this difference is reflected in the fact in it being a slightly tamer beast. It has mostly the same features, spec and gizmos as the NEX-7, just with a little less oomph under the bonnet. The megapixels offered is a not-too-shabby 16.1, and it does unfortunately get rid of the in-body flash, though you can choose to purchase the latter. Other than that it’s essentially the same and it will just be a case if you need, or are inclined to spend the money on, that little bit of professional quality.