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Sony 24-megapixel NEX-7 Arriving Soon For Testing

The Sony NEX-7 (about $1199) should arrive on Dec 23rd. Since it’s a lens-less camera body, I will be evaluating it with Leica M lenses using a Novoflex Adapter for Leica M Lens to Sony NEX (don’t mess around with cut-rate adapters is my opinion).

A second Leica body?

The Leica M9/M9P is priced like all Leica gear, yet has serious usability shortcomings for some types of shooting. Investing in 2 or 3 bodies is unthinkable for most everyone.

With the M9, one cannot frame a composition precisely due to the 80-year-old frameline technology. Precise focus is possible in the center only, and only if the lens and camera are precisely adjusted, and even then the mechanical accuracy steadily degrades as the focal length increases, and/or eyes tire and/or lighting gets dim. All of these issues are covered in detail in my Guide to Leica.

Thus, there are two key advantages of the 24MP Sony NEX with Leica M lenses—

  • Live View for accurate and real-time framing and focusing.
  • A live high-res viewfinder with its accurate and real-time framing and focusing, even in bright lighting.

Resolution

The 24MP NEX-7 resolution (6 more megapixels) is of no real consequence compared to the 18MP Leica M9 / M9P.

Linearly, that’s 15% more, but the pixel size is about 2/3 that of the M9 sensor, which puts much higher demands on lens performance, which most Leica M lenses can deliver, but not at the same contrast as at the lower resolution of the 18MP M9 sensor.

Perhaps more significant, there is increased blur from the same amount of camera movement (same movement over smaller pixels = higher relative blur per pixel). There are also ergonomic issues which could influence sharpness at lower shutter speeds.

Product Highlights

Of these, the resolution, sensor size, and ultra-high-res OLED viewfinder are key features from my point of view.

  • 24.3Mp APS-C Sensor
  • 3.0" Tiltable LCD
  • BIONZ Image Processor
  • OLED Viewfinder
  • Captures 1080 HD Video
  • Built-In Flash
  • Hot Shoe for Alpha System Flashes
  • Accepts Sony E-Mount Lenses
  • Intelligent Auto Focus
  • HDMI Output
Sony NEX-7 24-megapixel camera body
Novoflex Adapter for Leica M Lens to Sony NEX
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