sony-nex-7Sony has just launched its latest and greatest high-performance compact camera. The NEX 7 takes over the top spot from the NEX 5, which has been updated as well. If you are not familiar with Sony’s NEX line, the idea is to have the optical performance of a DSLR camera in a very compact body. The lenses are interchangeable as well.

In a nutshell Sony has designed the NEX7 to be “extraordinary” in Sony’s own words. It has a 24 Megapixel EXMOR sensor, which is the same one used in the high-end Alpha a77 DSLR. Users should be able to capture bright images even in dim lighting, thanks to a combination of fast lenses (low f-stop) and high ISO (up to 20000).The video recording aspect has not been neglected: The NEX7 can capture 1080p 60 frames per second (FPS) AVCHD movies that can be used to burn Blu-Ray discs. For web purposes, there is an MP4 option which records 30 FPS at 1440×1080 or 640×480 movies that should easily get the job done for video sharing purposes.

There is a built-in 1024×768 pixels viewfinder which is based on an OLED display. It is interesting to note that many competitors only have this as an (expensive) option (there is also a built-in flash). In the back, you will find a 3″ 640×480 display that can be tilted to shoot comfortably, even at “odd angles”.  The display is also where the user will interact with the Tri-Navi touch interface.

Although Sony uses a touch interface, the NEX-7 still has physical dials that allow the photographer to quickly change settings. The shutter release time lag is also very low: at 0.02 sec, it should be one of the fastest (if not the fastest) in its category.

The complete list of specifications is impressive, but these are the essential things that you should know about the new Sony NEX-7. In absolute terms, this is an amazing micro-camera and the only think that I really wish it had is a remote shooting / PC control option.

Now comes the part that stings a bit: the NEX-7 will retail from $1199 (body) to $1349 (body+18-55 kit lens). What do you think?

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