There are some cameras that we would be willing to use in a bind, some that we wouldn’t hesitate to shoot with, and a very select few that would motivate a cross-country journey, just for the chance to spend a few days behind the lens. Sony’s Alpha NEX-7 falls within that incredibly unique final category — in fact, we’ve done just that, flying from New York to San Diego to go hands-on with one of only a half-dozen pre-production samples to have landed on American soil. After seeing a very early NEX-7 prototype a few months ago, it didn’t take much convincing to get us on a plane.
Sony’s 24.3 megapixel APS-C masterpiece represents a giant leap forward for the interchangeable lens market, theoretically capable of capturing images identical in quality to its much larger Alpha A77 counterpart, but in a body only slightly larger than the NEX-C3. Pair that image quality with an XGA OLED electronic viewfinder, a revamped tri-navi interface, standard hot-shoe, 1080 / 60p AVCHD video, microphone input, and a built-in flash, and you have one very worthy compact DSLR replacement. That said, the NEX-7 kit’s $ 1,350 price tag is far more than many are willing to spend on a camera. But is that premium pricing justified? Jump past the break to find out.
Gallery: Sony Alpha NEX-7 Hands-On Preview
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