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Sony Alpha NEX-7 Camera Kit with Sony 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS E-mount Lens, Black - Bundle - with Bag for DSLR, Black, & Sony SDHC 16GB Class 10 Memory Card, 22 Mbps

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About Sony NEX-7

The Sony Alpha NEX-7 is clearly aimed at serious enthusiasts and professional photographers who demand a small, stealthy little camera that can deliver superior image quality and minimal lag time. The Sony Alpha NEX-7 is the third model to be introduced into the Sony interchangeable-lens compact camera lineup, and offers easier-to-access manual controls and a high degree of customization. You can assign functions to various dials and buttons and put the features you use most at your fingertips.

Sony Alpha NEX-7 has a solid look and feel, and the placement of the eye-level viewfinder on the upper left corner of the camera back is right where you'd expect to find the finder on a traditional rangefinder camera. For right-eyed shooters, this lets you compose in the super-sharp 2.4 million dot resolution EVF while watching the scene with your left eye, which is helpful for documentary and street photographers. The EVF has Minolta DNA: A proximity sensor automatically switches the camera from the LCD finder to EVF as you move the camera up to your eye. The problem? It will activate the EVF if the finder is close to anything-your shirt, other items in your camera bag, etc. So when not in use, turn the camera off to prevent battery drainage.

There is also a large flip-out, 3-inch, 921k-dot resolution LCD monitor, and the information it displays is not necessarily the same as what you see in the electronic viewfinder. In fact, the LCD display includes considerably more information, including tiny prompts that indicate what the camera's unmarked buttons and dials control in whatever mode you're in at the moment.

Then there were the dials, knobs and buttons. The NEX-7's features are controlled via a trio of generous-sized, easy-to-turn thumb dials at the upper left corner of the camera's back and a thumbwheel control switch, something Sony calls "triple dial control". By default, they control aperture and shutter in manual mode, although they have no labels.

The camera's minimalist top plate includes a flash hot shoe (using the proprietary design that precludes the use of generic shoe-mounted flash and accessories), a pop-up flash, two of the three control dials, the on/off switch surrounding the shutter release and a small, unmarked mystery button, the first of several to be found on the NEX-7. This button cycles through the camera'skey functions. Press it once, white balance controls appear in the LCD. Press again to control color intensity, yet again to adjust color balance, and so on. Don't like the choices of which features you can control from this button? Not to worry, you can change that.

The back of the camera has a mix of labeled and unlabeled controls. There's the aforementioned EVF, with a diopter dial for the hard-of-seeing, a flash-pop-up button, a preview button, a control that toggles between AF and manual focus (if you have the camera default set for AF, you can press the button to switch to quickly adjust manual exposure) as well as autoexposure, a "soft button" (read: unmarked) that accesses the menu, thumbwheel dial whose purpose varies depending on mode, and another soft button that functions as a delete key when in preview mode but otherwise is up for grabs.

Manual focus (when the camera is set to manual) is controlled via the focus ring on the lens, and an enlarged detail can be displayed on the EVF or LCD monitor. I found the LCD monitor to be fairly bright, although as is typical with most LCD monitors, theimage is hard to see in direct sunlight. That's when I recommend using the electronic viewfinder exclusively. I found the front gripto be comfortable and was able to easily handhold the camera for a while without tiring.

The menu interface is divided into six areas: Shoot Mode, Camera, Image Size, Brightness/Color, Playback, and Setup.

Shoot Mode covers the settings you'd find on a traditional physical camera top dial-PASM, as well as Intelligent Auto,scene modes, anti-motion blur, sweep panorama (rotate the camera and it will shoot and stitch together a panoramic image, and 3D sweep panorama (captures 3D images viewable on a 3D compatible TV monitor).

The Camera menu goes deeper, accessing things like Auto/Manual focus switching (I wish that particular feature didn't requireso many button presses to get to). Drive, flash mode, various autofocus modes (including object tracking and autofocus field) are controlled and adjusted here, as are Face recognition, smile shutter and numerous other features.

Image Size adjusts image size (24, 12, or 6MP), aspect ratio (the choices are 16:9 or 3:2; surprisingly, 4:3 is not available), and image quality including RAW, RAW+JPEG, JPEG in Fine and Standard. You can also change panorama, 3D panorama and movie image size and quality settings in this menu.

Brightness/Color controls some key features-Exposure compensation (including the ability to change the amount of increments of compenastion), ISO and White Balance. Metering mode, flash output, picture effects and other features are also adjustable here, although you can also get to most of them via the soft button atop the camera to the right of the shutter release.

The Sony Alpha NEX-7's resolution is among the highest of any APS sensor camera, while our field tests showed that autofocus is fastand responsive, and in manual focus mode the camera displayed no perceptible lag time.

The Sony Alpha NEX-7, by virtue of its nimble performance on the street and its stunning image quality, rises to the top of the heapof mirrorless interchangeable-lens compact cameras. Yes, you pay a premium for it, and yes, its interface is at first bewildering, and requires some quality time with the 200-plus page owner's manual to really get a deep understanding, but it's worth that steep learning curve to tap into this camera's flexibility, extensive range of features, and power. This is a camera that is well-suited for photojournalism, street photography, wedding candids, and other events that require a quick, stealthy camera that will deliver top-notch results in lower light. If you are OK with a electronic viewfinder, and have the requisite deep pockets, this camera is well worth considering.

Sony NEX-7 Features

  • DSLR quality in your pocket: Here's the same APS-C sensor size as a DSLR, with higher resolution than most DSLRs and the interchangeable lenses that make DSLRs so attractive
  • Up to 10 fps shooting: Capture the decisive moment in sports and get the ideal baby photo. Up to 10 fps continuous shooting at full 24.3 MP resolution with exposure and focus fixed at the first frame. Standard continuous shooting at up to 2.5 fps
  • HD movies with full manual control: Now you don't need to surrender control when you shoot HD movies. Enjoy the full expressive potential of Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority or Manual (P/A/S/M) control in HD movie mode
  • Hot shoe for a system flashes: Take your photography even further with access to the entire range of Sony a system flashes and flash accessories
  • Tiltable 3.0" LCD: Sony's 3.0" Xtra Fine LCD monitor has 921K dots for superb resolution. The TruBlack screen includes a special resin layer to suppress internal reflections, increasing contrast compared to conventional LCDs
  • Accepts Sony E-mount lenses: Compatible with Sony's expanded line of E Mount lenses. These smaller, lighter lenses are specifically designed for a compact interchangeable lens cameras. Opens up a world of creative options
  • Sweep Panorama Mode: Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter, sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together
  • P/A/S/M modes for video and stills: Enjoy a full range of controls for video and still shooting from the beginner's iAUTO mode to P/A/S/M: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual
  • BIONZ image processor: The brain of the camera is a Sony's BIONZ image processor substantially upgraded for the demands of 24.3 megapixel photography
  • 25-point Auto Focus: 25 sensors cover a very wide area of the scene, for accurate focusing even when the subject is far from the center of the frame
  • Sony Exmor CMOS sensor: Sony Exmor technology uses column-parallel A/D converters for high resolution and high frame rates. Double noise reduction minimizes image noise, even in low light
  • 24.3 MP; best-in-class resolution: You get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements thanks to a 24.3 megapixel sensor. It's the highest resolution among pocket cameras as of August 2011
  • DSLR-class APS C image sensor: Sensor size is the key to picture quality. The APS C class sensor provides gorgeous imaging with 58% more area than Micro Four-Thirds sensors and an amazing 13 times the area of a point & shoot image sensor
  • Tri-Navi manual control: Perfect for experienced shooters, Tri-Navi control gives you three separate control dials for direct, hands-on access to three settings at a time. As just one example, the dials can set aperture, exposure compensation and ISO
  • Accepts A Mount lenses via adaptors: Both the LA-EA1 and EA2 adapters (sold separately) allow you to attach the full range of Sony A mount lenses
  • Object Tracking AF: Locks onto a specified object and maintains focus even as the subject moves. Unpredictable subjects stay in focus even while zooming. You can concentrate on composition without worrying about focus
  • Peaking function: Manual focus becomes much easier because peaking highlights the edges that are in focus in your choice of three colors (white, red, or yellow). This is especially helpful during macro or portrait photography where your focus setting can make or break your shot
  • 6-image layering: Leverages the fast BIONZ processor to capture six images in a fraction of a second and then combine the data. The result is an incredible single image that controls blur in Anti-Motion Blur mode or gets cleaner, sharper nighttime pictures in Hand-held Twilight mode
  • Intelligent Auto Focus: Pre-focuses as you compose the shot, further reducing focusing time to a bare minimum
  • Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO): Improves results with backlit subjects and recovers details hidden in shadows. Settings include Auto, Level with a choice of five operating levels and Off
  • HDMI output: Enjoy HD movies and stunning still images on a compatible HDTV.9 The camera includes an HDMI output
  • 11 Picture Effect modes: Discover innovative ways to make your images and videos pop. These include Posterization, Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color, Soft High-key, High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome and Miniature
  • World's first OLED viewfinder: There's never been anything quite like the Tru-Finder OLED electronic viewfinder. For size, speed and brightness even after sunset, this is a gem
  • Full HD Movies at 60p/60i/24p: Capture HD Movies in your choice of super-smooth 60p, standard 60i or cinematic 24p, all at Full HD 1920x1080 resolution. AVCHD codec delivers stunning picture quality
  • Built-in pop-up flash: Enjoy the convenience of flash photography everywhere you go. Guide Number 6
  • Phase Detect AF with adaptor: The LA-EA2 lens mount adaptor (sold separately) is the world's first with Sony's award-winning Translucent Mirror Technology. This provides super-fast and accurate Phase Detection AF when used with Sony A mount lenses

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