Sony Alpha NEX-7 Digital Camera Review$1,349.99
Ease of Use
The Sony NEX-7 includes a 1200-zone metering system that is used to automatically adjust exposure in the majority of the camera's many shooting modes. The camera uses this to supply information to its main automatic mode, intelligent auto, which will examine the scene at hand and try and select an appropriate scene mode. This will not only adjust exposure appropriately, but should also make changes to color, tone, and saturation consistent with selecting a scene mode manually.
Buttons & Dials
The control scheme on the NEX-7 can be a bit confusing if you're used to most digital cameras that feature a fully labeled selection of buttons. Most of the dials and buttons on the camera are not permanently labeled, instead having their function called out on the rear LCD. This can certainly be a bit confusing at first, and it will take some getting used to. One quirk here is that the function button on the top plate of the camera (just behind the shutter release button) is also unlabeled, though this seems to be more of an aesthetic decision than one predicated on enhancing control.
Effects, Filters, and Scene Modes
The Sony Alpha NEX-7 has a wide collection of color modes to go along with its batch of scene modes and digital effects. The camera's scene modes are located in its "SCN" setting on the digital mode dial, though the sweep panorama, 3D sweep panorama, and anti motion blur modes have their own dedicated settings. On top of that, users can set one of several creative styles (your traditional color modes) as well as one of 11 digital picture effects.
The menu on the NEX-7 is (for better or worse) identical to previous Sony NEX models. It trades more on style points than sheer functionality, but it will make anybody jumping up from an entry-level NEX model feel right at home with the more advanced model. When you press the menu key you are given six categories of options to choose from, including shooting mode, camera settings, image size, brightness/color, setup, and playback options. For the most part, finding the option you want is relatively painless, though there are some options that are seemingly hidden on purpose (such as noise reduction being in the setup folder, rather than in camera settings). This splash page menu design also requires an extra keystroke or two when you find yourself making multiple menu changes, common when moving between different lighting conditions.