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Monday, 29 August 2011

Comments

The NEX-7 looks good, but IMO there's no point in making a small camera if you don't make small lenses to go with it.

After hauling two Canon DSLR bodies and three basic zoom lenses around Israel last year, I bought an Olympus Pen E-PL1 to use as a travel camera because 1.) It is small and light; 2.) The lenses are small and light (but good, from both Oly and Panasonic); and 3.) The image quality is nearly as good as my 5D.

I don't see much in the way of small and light lenses from Sony, so until they do something about that there's no chance they'll get my business. No matter how good their cameras are.

Psst, it's the Nikon 3100 now....

The new Sony 16-50mm/2.8 is an SSM lens, the Tamron 17-50mm/2.8 in Sony mount uses the old screwdriver AF mechanism so it's not a simple rebadge. I would love the Tamron 17-50mm/2.8 with SSM (and a few improvements to field curvature and geometry) so this new lens is high on the shopping list.

According to the NEX lens roadmap, there's supposed to be a standard zoom G lens on the horizon (2012). Together with the Zeiss 24mm/1.8, it'll make the NEX-7 an appealing proposition to me.

Cheers,
Daniel.

Yeah, I occasionally wonder if I should have bought NEX instead of my EPL-2; bigger sensor and all that. But I'm still pissed at Sony over the CDs that installed root-kits on people's computers when played on them; haven't bought anything from them since.

I reckon the NEX-7 will go beautifully with some of those small rangefinder, manual focussing Carl Zeiss ZM lenses. Cost a bit though!

Yeah,the NEX7 is the one bitting me after my eyes get boring for quite a long time tracking digital camera development. But 24 MP,huh? And which prime to go with it? Zeiss 24mm f1.4 monster? Zeiss seems to forget how to make a small lens anymore,otherwise I may have a couple of them for my Nikon.

wchen,
I'll bet the new 24mm ƒ/1.8 will be smaller than it looks in its portraits. It's true that it's 2.6 inches (65mm) long, but it's only 8 oz. (225g), which isn't so bad. Granted, it's a pretty far cry from the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, but it's also a far cry from the big Zeiss DSLR 24mm lens.

Mike

Hey Mike, want to open a can of worms? Yes? Then let's talk about how the NEX-7 costs $1,200 without a lens or hybrid VF, while the Fuji X100 sells for the same price with a lens and hybrid VF included.

I remember arguing with people about how the X100 wasn't overpriced, and am now sending Sony a thank-you card for proving me right :-)

Pass the joint, what can that mean? Well, back in the good old days, from 1940 to say, 1965, my Mother used to put a joint, of beef usually, in the oven before going to church on a Sunday morn'. It would be done to a 'T' upon returning from the service and find its way onto the table. If carving it was a shared job one would say politely, 'would you be so good as to pass the joint'. Hands would reach out and convey it, The Joint, along to you, along with the carving knife and fork of course. Hope that helps.
KG Cornwall UK

As someone who owns both a GF1 and a Nex-3, I can say that the GF1 is more a photographer's camera and the Nex is more for the gadget buyer. The Nex has better image quality, it actually fits well in the hand, but the controls are slower to use than those of the GF1 and there are some fundamental limitations with it that make it bad for tripod work (with 24 mpix a tripod is not a bad idea...) AF is also better on the GF1. Also, I do feel that the images from my Nikon D300 are cleaner than those from the Nex, Sony might have had to make compromises to fit everything in that very small body.

But the Nex does make for a great infrared camera after some painful modification work. It's not a poor camera by any means, just something that I simply couldn't use as my only camera or main camera.

Sony's reputation is that it's a bunch of barely-integrated silos. The camera division probably has nothing at all to do with the people responsible for those rootkits.

One of the main reasons I love decent SLR's is the great big bright optical viewfinders, and the Luminous Landscape's first look at the EVF in the A77 says it's good but not as good as the one in the old A900, so I doubt if it will appeal to people like me.

I don't think I'd get into the NEX system since I too am "invested" in m4/3 (E-p1, 14-45, 20/1.7 and wistfully dreaming of the 12/2) but the triple control dials is just awesome.

But seriously Sony, pancakes! Are they not possible with the NEX system?

Good point, Mike. The 24/1.8 Zeiss just looks big because of its camera surroundings.

For me, the NEX-7 looks to be the ultimate manual/alternative/rangefinder lens camera, and its the first digital camera that I've ever pre-ordered. I can't wait.

What Dave Jenkins said. If the NEX 7 had lenses like the MFT cameras I would bite. What's the point of having a great camera body without great lenses?

Hmmm, that 24mm f1.8 combined with the new Nex 7 looks pretty cool. Sort of a James Bondian Leica for the upper middle class (you have to admit, any single lens kit over $2000 is still pricey).

What also really appeals to me about the Nex, though, is the focus peaking option, apparently buried in the menu but very useful when manually focusing. I wish the M43 cameras had it.

Regarding the a77 and its pellicle mirror, I've never been convinced there is no trade-off there, and this site:
http://thesybersite.com/sony/a55/index.htm
...seems to have proven it with tests on the a55.

After all, how can you not have image degradation if you put a wall of material between the lens and the sensor? Worse, make that wall angled so you're introducing refraction as well as diffusion.

But hey, I've never been a pixel peeper so I can't really say I'm much put off by it. But still; I can't help thinking that if it ain't broke (reflex) don't fix it (pellicle).

Mike, while Sony is doing some interesting things, I'll withhold my genuine interest until they introduce FF in an NEX body. I'm just not prepared to go back to an APS sensor. Michael Reichmann has a review of the 77 on Luminous Landscape and I found his comments on the viewfinder most interesting.

The Nex 7 certainly is impressive, but the overall Nex system is lacking. More primes, of rational lengths, are needed. And sure, we can rationalize the size of the new 24, but in reality it is going to be lumpy, especially compared to the competition. It certainly won't be unobtrusive.

This reminds me... as the recession started a few years ago I read a business commentary about what companies can do in such times. It boiled down to this...

* Do nothing - practice business as usual, AKA stick your head in the sand
* Pull back and severely tighten your belt
* Invest, innovate and differentiate so that when the recession is over you are in a better position than before

I think we can all guess how the various camera companies fall into these bullet points.

That NEX 7 and Zeiss lens look tasty. Still, need to see a better NEX lens system before committing.

Mike suggested: "When you say "pass the joint," do you mean "walk past the entertainment establishment"? Because I don't know what else that phrase could refer to, given that TOP would never advocate retrogressive degenerate behavior."

Here's to progressive degeneracy!

Patrick

These cameras are fun to look at. But are either likely to make much of a dent in the marketplace? Not likely. The whole NEX series is a dead-end business model that Sony has played out over and over and over again. Instead of following a standard that several manufacturer's support (micro 4/3rds), it decides to go its own way with its own proprietary system. How has that worked out before for Sony? Beta, Memory Stick, etc. The NEX-7 looks great, but sooner or later this one-manufacturer standard is going to fall by the wayside. Apple is the only one who seems to have made this work on a large scale - boy have they made it work - but the difference is that they have figured out how to make it "simple" and elegant in a way that attracts a lot of customers. Sony hasn't come close to differentiating itself the way Apple has. So it is just playing in a large pool of manufacturers with cameras that just aren't that different, but with Sony you are locked into their system.

The A-77 also looks like a fine camera and Sony's DSLRs seem to be a good value. So why haven't they taken off? The lens line just isn't there for pros and enthusiasts. Mike you've noted that yourself. Why exactly, would anyone hamstring themselves instead of buying from one of the manufacturers who have a full lens line-up. The glass is probably more critical than the camera. All the digital DSLRs from major manufacturers produce fine digital files. If you're certain the existing Sony lens line is all you'll ever need, fine, go with it. But if you anticipate that you just might have specialized needs in the future, it may well be that Sony won't be there for you. The Sony DSLRs are a good value standing on their own, but if you're limited by a lack of one or more needed lenses, just how much of a value is that?

The NEX-7 looks the perfect compromise between smallishness and decent optics/sensor size and res. I work with large prints my standard is 36 by 24 inches so any less a res and I cannot safely or consistently crop from a higher than minimum ISO shot file set. This camera might give me the chance of actually carrying a camera that does not require me to work out with weights just to go through a day with it in preparation. It looks to be a winner. Of course the lens is a full sized APS-c unit..physics rules but being as I am used to hauling around a Canon full frame camera..it is miniscule in comparison.

I don't think the lenses are too big, given the sensor size. Panasonic had to make some compromises with their pancake lenses by leaving in aberrations (such as distortion) and compensate through digital processing of the final image.

http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/464-pana_20_17?start=1

I am guessing there are limitations in sensor-flange distance for a given (flat) sensor size before you run into optical problems. Even Leica has had to fudge a correction system with wide angle lenses. Perhaps one way to get very short lenses for a large sensor is to create a spherical sensor!

During a Sony A77 promo video I heard the commentator brag about how this camera doesn't suffer from overheating.

The great Hunter Thompson once said "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled."

As an A55 user that regularly experiences overheating related shut down, I can't imagine any other way of describing how trampled on I feel right now.

@Mike and David L.: You think YOU are old, referring to the eye-contol on the EOS models? How about my ownership back in the bowels of camera history (early 60s?) of the Topcon RE Super with the pellicle mirror. Now THERE's an indicator of "old curmudgeon" to me. I don't know whether to admit I still own it or not, but at least I'm still ambulatory.

Kirk Tuck is REAL enthused about the a77, and makes some interesting points about it on his blog. At a time when I'm beginning to be concerned about Olympus abandoning its DSLR users to focus strictly on micro 4/3, this new Sony is beginning to tempt me to bail on Olympus and make the switch.

Yes the viewfinder is necessary, but my epl2 looks so cool without it. It looks a bit dorky with it on. Shame.

I've been using the NEX-5 quite regularly since May and, frankly, I've been extremely impressed with its image quality. I most often use Leica and Voigtlander M-mount lenses with the NEX-5 and the resulting images are at least the equivalent of those from my M9. Plus, as Mike noted, I very much like the high-res lcd that enables me to shoot as a waist-level finder (as well as overhead).

I'm eager to see the NEX-7 but I'm not eager for larger files from the same sensor.

Mike,
I feel ya pain! And moreover, I believe I've got your point re D3K and 60D that doesn't appear that obvious for other TOP(p)ers. And I love it.

I've got the only question: don't you feel that getting used to Sony lens after Pentax glass is about the same as learning to drive Daihatsu or Mitsuoka or other Holdens and Vauxhalls after you've got linked to Toyota, Bentley or all those GM's? Although, most probably, it was that Pentax glass that you had to get used to after you had crashed... eh... invested into K/M - and now you're thinking of getting back to the right side of the road.

Yours,
Zig

Viewfinder, viewfinder, viewfinder, viewfinder,viewfinder, viewfinder, viewfinder.

I've read a lot of reviews that decry the X100's OVF, but no one seems to mind looking through the grainy EVF. Granted I haven't used many EVF's (I have tried the X100), but in my experience they strain my eye. A camera's viewfinder is the first thing I evaluate any camera by.

As an amateur/hobbyist, EVF's take a lot of the 'joy' out of the process for me. I'm really intrigued by the thought of a pellicle mirror, but I'm hoping EVF's will not be the only option for new cameras in the future.

...maybe I'm the curmudgeon.

'Mike replies: When you say "pass the joint," do you mean "walk past the entertainment establishment"? Because I don't know what else that phrase could refer to, given that TOP would never advocate retrogressive degenerate behavior.'

Abolutely priceless! So we can assume, in this instance, that you didn't even exhale? You Badboy you!

Dennis F.

Oskar wrote:
Oskar Ojala: "As someone who owns both a GF1 and a NEX-3, I can say that the GF1 is more a photographer's camera and the NEX is more for the gadget buyer.

The problem with that comparison is that the GF1 was first generation, and with each generation, Panasonic has made the GF-series increasingly NEX-like.

Of course, now we supposedly have the GF "Pro" on the way ... hmmm ... NEX-7 ?

- Dennis

Scotto, plenty of people mind the EVF. But you have to consider the perspective of people looking at it. In the case of the Sony SLTs, people talking about them are SLR users who are comparing the EVF to the OVF. Some favor EVF, some OVF, some see pros & cons of each. But in the case of the NEX-7, you're looking at a camera that's an alternative to cameras featuring either "lesser" EVFs or no VFs (aside from the LCD) at all.

Personally, I'm on the fence. I've spent a little time with the first generation Sony SLTs and don't care for the EVFs at all. At first, it was the lack of detail and difficulty seeing into the corners of the frame with eyeglasses (a specific implementation issue). It offers a couple of great features, most notably the 3-axis level overlay in either the VF or the LCD, and the ability to focus manually with magnified image.

But after using my NEX-5 alongside my DSLR for a year, I find manual focus through magnification annoying - I want to hold my composition while focusing, not focus on details, press a button, recompose (hoping the subject doesn't move). The peaking feature helps, but now you're back to a non-magnified view and at that point, I'm better off with a good OVF. Trying a Nikon D7000 and an A55 side by side in a store, I could focus the D7000 on details that the A55's EVF wouldn't even show me (without magnifying).

The other issue, though, is how it shows contrasty lighting. I compose in the viewfinder (rather than looking at the scene and then bringing the camera to my eye) and lighting affects composition. I find it frustrating to shoot in contrasty lighting without an optical VF.

I'm a 20-year Minolta-then-Sony shooter in the market for an upgrade from my A700 to a camera with a quiet shutter. You'd think the A77 would be perfect, but I'm really on the fence, deciding between the A77 and the D7000. I'll check out the A77 in person in October (at Photoplus Expo) and hopefully have an easier time deciding after that.

if pentax/ricoh can put the bong down, they could make something like the nex-7, but more rugged, with weather seals, top lcd panel, fewer megapixels and presumably less noise, and a more compact 24/1.8.

or maybe i should quit whining and buy something from sony. *eek*

One of the big drawbacks of SLRs compared to rangefinders was that dingy dark tunnel of viewfinder you had to look down to see what you were getting. Now, the flexibility of lenses, and especially zooms, made it a tradeoff the vast majority of photographers were willing to deal with; but it seems SO strange to see people holding up SLRs as the exemplars of good viewfinders!

One of the great wins of mirrorless cameras (including P&S) is that you can see exactly what's coming through the lens WITHOUT having to compromise the light path with clunky mirrors and prisms and so forth. (With AF there's currently some speed tradeoff there as well, unfortunately.)

Something popped up in the back of my mind - yes!- the SONY NEX-7 looks much like the original SONY MAVICA!
http://www.binarycrumbs.com/2009/01/history-of-digital-photography.html
How RETRO is that!

As regarding something that Kirk Tuck mentioned in passing in his review, as it applies to a NEX7...If you put 24 megapixels on an APS-C sized sensor, don't you run into some pretty early diffraction effects? Do you see them yet at f8? And if that is the case, wouldn't there be some pressure to have pretty fast (that is to say, large) lenses for these cameras? I mean, would people pay for a lens with only two good stops, f4 and f5.6? You and Ctein both know about lenses, maybe you could comment on the diffraction issue?

I ask, because my problem with NEX has always been that disjunction between body size and lens size. The NEX essentially uses full-sized lenses (that is, about the same size as used on FF cameras, since there really isn't much difference between APS-C-specific lenses and FF glass.) If you actually have to carry a *system*, you might as well be carrying a smaller full-featured DSLR, like the D7000 or K5, for the viewfinder and the wide range of accessories. NEX enthusiasts brag that the NEX kicks the m4/3 cameras on image quality. Well, it should -- it's an APS-C camera, with all the advantages and disadvantages that brings. The real question is, does it kick other APS-C cameras? The advantage to m4/3 isn't its image quality, which is very good, but it's size. I have sitting by my foot an m4/3 system which includes two bodies, seven lenses, two chargers, a half-dozen batteries, and miscellaneous stuff, in what amounts to a briefcase. The equivalent NEX system would require a rolling case.

Photographers being geeks by nature, we tend to be a certain kind of geek. There are camera geeks, there are lens geeks, and there are also lighting geeks. Some of us are only one of these, and some of us are two or three. At our core, though, we're just one of them, and the others are peripheral to our central geekdom.

I'm a lighting geek, but more than that I'm a camera geek. I love cameras and I love complaining about ergonomics and imagining the perfect camera body. The camera geek in me has been long looking for a body with a tiltable LCD, a flat top, an EVF at the top left, and physical dials for controls. The camera geek in me has been dying for the NEX-7.

But at the end of the day, I'm a lens geek. I love glass. I'm a sucker for German glass. I've used Zeiss lenses as long as I've been shooting movies, and I have a soft spot for them.

So the NEX-7 appeals to me right off the bat.

But I'll buy an E-PL3 with the Panasonic 14 and 20mm lenses, and the Oly 45mm lens. Right now I need a compact system, and I want more than one lens. The Sony has tons to recommend it. But the Micro 4/3 system has everything I *need* from my new camera. I hope Sony dedicates the next couple of years to winning over the lens geek in me, because the camera geek wants that camera. But the lens geek will always win out.

At the link Ed Havro posted up there: you lose 1/2 a stop of light because of the mirror which doesn't seem to be compensated in metering. Plus you apparently lose up to whopping 5% of detail in the photo. Cue the agonising all over the Internets... :)

J D Ramsey wrote:
"but with Sony you are locked into their system."

Nex7 can take all the lenses in the world. That's one of the many charms of this camera. Today, if you own a Nikon or Sony alpha or Canon body, you are pretty much locked into their system. But not with Nex.

I'm sure the NEX-7 will be a wonderful camera. The imaging components will be first rate and absolutely up to date. The thing that bothers me about all of this is that the arms race or megapixel race is beginning to look like multi-blade razor business. How many blades or pixels do you need before the excess overhead starts to get in the way? Maybe we need 24MP.

In the past two years I've bought and used several micro 4/3 and DSLR cameras. The one that gave me the best results overall was an obsolete used Canon 5D. It was a little clunky and prone to sensor dust but the output was wonderful. My current 60D reminds me of a fine 5 blade wonder razor.

"Panasonic had to make some compromises with their pancake lenses by leaving in aberrations (such as distortion) and compensate through digital processing of the final image (Kevin)"

Which makes a lot of sense to me. If we can spare size (and cost) moving the corrections in the digital domain, why not?
What upsets me in the NEX system, aside from lack of small lenses, is the lack of sensor-based image stabilization.

Roberto

For me Sony is off my list until they ditch that ridiculous hot shoe. I'm sure they would maintain that it is better (as Minolta did before them), but "universal" trumps "better" every time.

Actually, I think it's "to the manor born"...

"What upsets me in the NEX system, aside from lack of small lenses, is the lack of sensor-based image stabilization."

Roberto,
That's just what I love about the NEX. Because if it had body-integral IS, I'd have to buy it. As it is, I'm off the hook.

Mike

Robert,
A longstanding argument in copyediting, with which I'm intimately familiar.

Mike

Rumor has it that the successor to the NEX series is called NEXT.

Mike, you wrote: "My purchase immediately inspired Minolta to get out of the camera business altogether after 68 glorious years; evidently it reasoned that since its products appealed to a contrarian curmudgeon like me (it was my first Minolta) the company stood no chance at all in the marketplace and might as well fly the white flag."

You have an amazing power. Now please use it: get a tattoo.

If the system is going to look awkward and feel unbalanced in my hands, there's no reason to go half way.

I'm waiting for even larger (and heavier) lenses to be announced.

William,
Made me laugh. But can't you adapt the full-size Zeiss Alpha-mount zooms to the NEX? Those should be large enough for ya. ;-)

Mike

For what it's worth: I thought the Zeiss lens for the NEX 7 looked huge, so I went and looked it up. Turns out it's within tenths of inches of the size of the much-loved Pentax 31mm f1.8, and two-thirds of the weight of that lens. So it really only looks big compared to the tiny NEX body.

Still, Pentax has much smaller lenses. If Sony had brought out the NEX 7 with a matched set of Pentax-pancake-sized 24-35-60 primes, they'd have had the Leica M3 for the 21st century, and I'd be looking to sell a kidney. As it is, the camera is just another example of Sony almost getting it right..

My old, but still working great Minolta A1 just might be getting a suitable replacement. It has taken a while, but these new cameras are finally getting MOST of the features, functionality and outstanding aspects of the A1/A2.

Sony still seem to have a permanent blind spot - the kit lens for the NEX cameras was pretty dismal on the NEX5, now they have 24MP. Crazy. And pointless.

Sorry, primes are nice and all, but a decent zoom is essential for this to sell, and they need something a lot better than what they have. (Same applies to their pro-priced SLRs too).

Shame, because it really does look like an interesting camera.

I've never used one, and yet I'm already "done" with the can of racket balls hot glue gunned to a deck of cards form factor.

Hi Mike

curiously I saw a coachload of young Japanese disembark in a very small village in the Cotswolds (England). I've never seen so many m4/3 cameras in one place. Did they use sexy little primes? Nope there was one 20 f1.7 (other than mine!) the rest were kit zooms.

Viewfinders? Nope even the dSLR users were composing using the screens.

I know a number of commentators (yourself included) rave about view finders but I wonder if the young are that bothered. Why look through a hole when you can have a 3 inch screen! A generational thing, they are used to looking at screens and touching them to select stuff.

As to lenses I guess its why Panasonic have launched the new 14-42 pancake.

You have to remember there is a whole generation who have never used film and didn't learn to compose in 24/35/50/85. Its why Nikon have made an idustry out of 18-xx zooms!

The NEX Sony's do look lovely the image quality is top notch but the lenses (16 f2.8 aside) are just too big.

From the original Mavica (http://goo.gl/ioZHs) to the Sony DSC-F707 and DSC-R1, Sony has a long history of these smallish bodies with lenses which are large relative to the body and located on the left side. All of them handle well once you get used to them.

About the only minor complaint I have about the balance of an NEX camera with a lens like the 18-55 kit lens or Zeiss 24/1.8 is that it points lens-down when hung about my neck, while my E-P3 and 20/1.7 hang with the lens pointed forward and feel a bit more out of my way dangling that way. Not a big deal either way.

I use Pentax and have never own any NEX camera but I still don't understand why so many people call those NEX lenses "monster". Comparing to other APS-C format cameras, Sony has stripped down roughly 10% for the lens size and 50% for the camera body size. Their camera bodies are smaller than several Micro Four-Thirds cameras which incorporate smaller sensor. The NEX is the smallest APS-C system on this planet. Now that's what I call achievement.

Viewfinder. Huh? I have never heard any large-format photographer complaining about that.

Minor thing - the country is called "People's Republic of China" not peoples.

BTW, one of my relative has bought a then new Canon 60D to Hong Kong and it failed. He had no camera except a small digital camera for the trip! I did not have much good impression on that camera. He did showed me the flip screen.

For the GF1 vs Nex, I used my old Leica 50 F3.5 and 35 F3.5 lens plus, if I care for large lens, Leica 90F2 for my cheap Nex3. Yes it is strange and unbalance for any large lens. But compared with the m3/4, I think the photo quality is better. Having said that, I used my CVR3A though last time with these F3.5 lens in case I can take a few snapshot during my business trip to Beijing. Trillion of BJ snapshot out there in flickr. Not bother with another digital one. Just iiford xp2 400 and scan by the shop who developed it.

Feels better.

There is so much talk of Nex lenses being big as in 'BIG'. In fact, they are not big at all. They just look big, especially when viewed with the camera, which is so very small, smaller than the smallest mirrorless camera.

Yes, the lens looks big on that small body, which looks, well, different...and different it is, from whatever we are familiar with in terms of 'how a camera should look', because we have never perhaps seen a small thing with a big gun. But that's not a bad thing, otherwise we will have only couple of designs in the name of a camera, ugly looking dslrs and great looking :) rangefinders.

But the whole point of the size of equipment is basically about handling and portability. My experience is that Nex's are immensely portable. The question weather they can be carried in a pocket depends on the size of the pocket you have. I will say, they are as portable as any other mirrorless camera with whatever pancakes.

As for handling, Nex's are superb. I have been shooting with them for last 6 months and can vouch for it. They just flow in my hand if you know what i mean. I used to shoot with a LX3 earlier, and after the divorce, i started experimenting, but never had the same feeling again with a dslr or a GF1 or a G1...till i got a Nex. Fact of the matter is that this is the camera that i pick up most of the time. I think that says a lot about a camera which has been criticized for not having enough discreet photographic controls. I am surprised myself, because GF1 actually has a dial or a button for each and every thing, possibly the most well laid out camera of these types, but still, for me, it doesn't 'flow'. I think i love how i can compose with the tilting LCD of Nex's, especially for the street shots.

I am looking forward to Nex 5n because it has everything that the earlier version lacked. And Nex7 because i want to shoot landscapes. But i will buy Nex7 in 2012, when they introduce the 'G' standard zoom and the wide zoom.

All this talk of the NEX somehow being "unbalanced" confuses me, I find that when I attache my NEX 3 to a lens, the balance of the lens is almost unchanged.

20110831-042439.jpg

I bought a GF1 with a 20mm 1.7 lens and have been delighted with what I can do with it.
But, all the same , I really wanted some of the things that Panasonic left out in the pursuit of minimalist perfection. That would be some sort of a handgrip, a viewfinder, a flip-out LCD, a better UI, and a lower price. A better sensor wouldn't go amiss either.
Guess what, they made such a camera - the G3. This is a great and versatile little camera. Only had it a few weeks but so far it answers all my GF1 issues. I can only blame its "low end" specs (no microphone input! slow continuous shooting! only 460k dot LCD!) and low price on the fact it hasn't got more press on line.
For me, I need nothing more.

I bought a 7D as well, way back in 2005. Ever since Sony took hold of the company I've felt cheated. It's not that their cameras are bad, but I've been frustrated by their trend of continually reducing the amount of body controls. I remember seeing that the a77 removed metering mode to a menu: something I use every time I take my 7D out. The A580 had a chintzy viewfinder. All but the top tier Sonys have only one control dial. Flash exposure compensation is in some menu, etc.

Sony's newest cameras (as well as the a850 and a900) seem to be excellent gizmos, but to me they are still gizmos. I've used the zone system ever since I bought an slr, and I just want something with (almost exclusively) external controls, a large viewfinder and the ability to act dynamically without having to choose some wonder dynamic mode. I suppose I'm a minority of the camera segment, but it appears there are no more cameras that really fit the bill without being either medium format, or branded Leica.

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