Sony Alpha NEX-7 Digital Camera Review$1,349.99
The one complaint we could register with the NEX-7's body design is the lack of a mode dial—a common trait shared by all of Sony's NEX cameras. While we found ourselves shooting primarily in aperture-priority and manual modes (both in real life and in testing), we can see users switching rapidly between automatic, creative, and scene modes finding the compulsory trip to the camera's menu a frustrating experience. In that menu you'll find options for full manual, program auto (with shift), aperture priority, shutter priority, scene mode, anti motion blur, sweep (and 3D sweep) panorama, and intelligent auto mode.
The tri-navi control scheme allows for a great deal of management over the exposure settings of the camera at any given time. In addition, the center button on the rear control dial allows you to access the camera's "custom" settings, which offer a great degree of control and access to commonly used features. This helps get around the lack of an overlay or function menu, such as seen on other cameras. Given the small issues in menu design and navigation, that's at least welcome.
The NEX-7 doesn't come packed with heaps of image size options, preferring the simple large, medium, and small setup with 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratios. Users can select to shoot in RAW, JPEG, or RAW+JPEG, with options for either fine or standard compression. As with shooting continuously, there's a slight processing delay after taking any group of shots, as the camera chews through the data collected by the large image sensor.