Sony NEX 7 to be released soon, no full frame NEX camera in sight


The information I received few days ago is that Sony will be releasing a new NEX 7 camera. Sony Japan already discontinued the NEX 3 model and NEX 7 is the next logical step. The new Sony NEX 7 is expected to have improved functionality across the line, no further details were provided. This is how the camera was described to me:

"When you look in front of the new Sony NEX 7 with the 24mm Zeiss mounted, the new camera looks like a twin of the Minolta Dimage A2 - a really small nice pro body."

The source went further by saying that Sony currently is not working on a full frame NEX camera.

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  • Need full frame 🙁

    • GH10

      why? What is wrong with the current offering(s)?

      • You’re right… the current offering(s) are perfect and cannot be improved. To expect evolution is wrong.

    • SZRimaging

      Pretty sure E-mount doesn’t have the coverage for full frame. It would be counter-productive for Sony to do an FF sensor in one of these.

      • spam

        How come you’re pretty sure? Mount diameters are easy to find on Wikipedia. E-mount is about as wide as Olympus OM and Nikon F.

  • chris

    Is it just me … or is this post insane?

    “Full-frame” is a vague term.

    For 135 format cameras, “full frame” happens to be 24x36mm.

    For 8×10″ cameras, “full frame” is 254x203mm.

    If the NEX camera system was designed from the start by engineers to have a 23.4 x 15.6mm sensor, as it now has, then 23.4 x 15.6mm *is* “full frame” for the NEX system.

    NEX would thusly ALREADY BE full frame.

    Instead of saying “full frame” people should specify a format … 135, 120, 4×5, 8×10, APS-C, etc etc etc.

    Is there even room in the NEX body for a 135-format-sized sensor? Can the NEX lenses even produce an image circle large enough to properly cover a 135-size sensor?

    My guess is no. But I’m not a Sony engineer so whadda I know.

    • WoutK89

      You call it vague, but it is understood nowadays that it means the 135 size of sensor.

    • Is this your way of adding the 2 cents you know by going out of context?

    • SZRimaging

      Full Frame, when taken in context is not vague at all. Remember one of the most basic reading skills out there is context.

  • Hiro-T

    I hope 24x36mm but I guess APS-C.
    I hope my Leica M lenses to do full frame job on NEX sometime in near future.

  • GH

    A 24×36 NEX sensor wouldn’t really make sense. The lenses and accessories are designed for aps-c, and there are enough issue at the edge of the frame as it is. NEX very much seems to be designed around aps-c.

    • I really don’t understand either what everybody has with a “full-frame” NEX. Makes absolutely no sense indeed. I guess that “full-frame” is some magic term, promising unprecendet image quality and, subsequently, “taking better pictures”. Or something like that.

      • WoutK89

        AND carrying around hefty lenses.

      • Sky

        it could be amazing thing for everyone using full-frame lenses through adapters. Maybe you don’t have them but many many ppl do.

        • BornOptimist

          What stop you from using full frame lenses via an adapter today?

          • Sky

            Change in focal length spoils experience. If I buy wide angle lens I’d be happy to use it as wide angle lens, not normal lens 😉

          • SZRimaging

            I think he is getting at the fact that he can’t use ALL of the lens via the adapter, just the center.

            Personally, I do this with F-mount anyways.

          • As far as lot people do not need FF, I am totally disagree. Some need to go wider. The magical x1.5 to your focal range is simply the waste of your FF-lens (if you have one).

      • Yeah… like the 18-55 OSS and 18-200 OSS have made the Nex a pocket camera right now, right?

      • Perhaps it would make sense if you took a minute to understand that a larger sensor = better image quality, shallower DOF and less noise.

        If it doesn’t make you take better pictures then why bother wanting EVIL cameras? Why bother with digital when you had film?

        • Chris

          Yes, but there’s a practical limit.

          After all, the 35mm “full-frame” format is a small format.

          An 8×10″ sensor is much, much, MUCH larger than a 35mm frame, and thus would have greatly improved image quality and shallower DOF and less noise and vastly improved resolution.

          But to put an 8×10″ sensor into a NEX would be bonkers.

          APS-C is a good size.

          • spam

            It seems reasonable for NEX to stay with APS-C. The current lenses are mane for the APS-C format and the current advantage of NEX is smaller size than equivalent 35mm equipment.

            However NEX is a 46mm diameter lens mount which is large enough for full frame sensor/lenses. Sony obviously could have reduced teh diameter a bit if they wanted and made the cameras more compact (the NX mount is 42mm).

            So it seems like Sony at least have considered a future full frame NEX camera when they designed the mount. I can’t imagine that it’s something they are developing now though. They seem to have more than enough to do just to get a decent APS-C lens range ready.

          • PhilW

            put an 8×10″ sensor into a NEX

            Chris – That’s it; That’s what I’ve been waiting for.
            Been sitting on the mirrorless fence for a while now deciding which way to jump but that would cinch it!
            8×10″ NEX

          • Chris,

            It seems your problem is a bit more serious that not being able to understand context.

            36×24 FF sensors are now in mass production. It’s not all that pointless to want such a sensor in a Nex body and it could easily be made a reality.

            To suggest “why not 8×10 sensor in a Nex then” is nothing less than moronic… sad to say.

          • chris

            The 8×10″ format is 59 times larger than the 35mm “full-frame” format. How can 35mm be “full frame,” then? Shouldn’t 35mm be called “1/59th-frame”?

          • Sky

            Why ppl can’t understand such simple things as what IS full frame and what ISN’T? It doesn’t matter if there are bigger formats, noone cares. Take a look at some of telescope sensors – they can be much bigger than what You point here – but: NOONE CARES cause EVERYONE involved know what full frame is. Period. If you can’t understand that – at least don’t spam. Thank You!

          • Sky, agree with you.

  • longzoom

    Sony was hit hardest – 12 plants are stopping. God save Japan!

    • Osang

      Yikes! Maybe this ‘released soon’ will be next year.

  • Nathan

    Full frame makes me laugh.

    To be sure, for image quality purposes, larger is better at the sensor, but that’s true with lenses, too. For people who absolutely insist everything has to have a full 135 sensor, I hope they have 3k -5k to drop on a camera, because that’s where the average priced full 135 digital cameras price out.

    Besides, if you REALLY want the best image quality, you have to leave small-format photography. Go get yourself a Hasselblad or Pentax 645d. Sure, it’ll run you about 20-50k for a usable system, but you’re worth it. If your photos are not so good, that’ll fix you right up and make you a pro.

    I think full frame is silly for such a compact camera. APS-H would already be pushing things. APS-C is already showing some vignetting with NEX lenses. It’s acceptable levels, but still shows the lenses are designed to cast an APS-C sized image circle.

    • I think you’re missing the point here… why do you think the Nex became this popular?

      Was it the first camera to have an APS-C sensor? No.
      Was it the first camera to support interchangeable lenses? No.
      Was it the first interchangeable lens camera with a full time EVF? No.

      People have found the relatively large APS-C sensor, small body and a great mount design combination a godsend. Some like as it is with the kit lenses. Other love it to bits because of its ability to take lenses from pretty much any mount out there. Putting a FF sensor in there is not going to make any of these worse.

      And the Nex-7 will probably not replace the 5. They’ll always have multiple parallel models designed for different purposes.

      Suggesting to replace a Nex with a medium format camera is as silly as expecting people to replace Leica M bodies with DSLRs… they all serve different purposes!!!

  • John Bowen

    Any handling similarity to the A2 is a good thing. That camera remains the best laid out, best handling piece of photo gear I’ve ever owned or tried out, and I’ve tried out a LOT of photo gear. Minolta’s usability design ethos was always impeccable.

  • They had me @ Dimage A2. Damn, I miss that camera.

  • eric k

    It’s just you (chris).

    “Full Frame” is an accepted widely used term to describe a specific digital sensor size.

  • grumps

    I want Full Frame and I want it now 🙂

    {And who in this world did not understand those words that I just typed and insists on it being vague?} Don’t answer.

  • What’s a Pentax?

    An NEX with a 24 x 36 Sensor Sony!

    For those that complain about the size of Full Frame Lenses, have you ever used Voigtlander or Leica M?

    They are wonderful and small!

    • Chris

      Yes, I agree. I prefer the size of Leica M lenses to the size of NEX and Micro 4/3 lenses.

      The Micro 4/3 and NEX lenses, etc, are too big around, with lens elements that are too small relative to their girth. It looks weird and unbalanced, aesthetically.

      Leica design FTW. Why don’t other camera companies copy what Leica has done?

      I like the lens on the Fuji X100, though.

      • grumps

        Zeiss lenses are equally small and excellent quality. I use the Nex 5 with my Leica M lenses!

      • Why don’t other camera companies copy what Leica has done?

        It’s because only Leica has access to the small german leprechauns who are able to make small lenses.

        Also, you might want to look these terms up: retrofocus, autofocus, weather sealing, image stabilisation, lenses longer than 135mm…

  • Camphotofan1

    Would be a good indication whether the situation in Japan is getting back to normal after the natural disaster and still unfolding nuclear crisis.

    Would be very relieved if the release indeed goes ahead as scheduled.

  • broxibear

    “When you look in front of the new Sony NEX 7 with the 24mm Zeiss mounted, the new camera looks like a twin of the Minolta Dimage A2 – a really small nice pro body.”
    Huh ?…if it’s a twin of that Minolta it’s going to be one seriously ugly camera, it’s horrible.
    With all the praise the X100 has been recieving for the way it looks I’m expecting other manufacturers to go down the same route…Sony obviously have a different approach.

  • A.A. Fussy

    Great to see Sony base the NEX-7’s styling on a previous Minolta Dimage model. The A2 many years ago was highly regarded-yet discontinued when Sony bought KM’s photo unit.

    • spam

      It’s amazing how things improves with age, or maybe as all the faults seem more and more remote.
      – A2 had the infamous 8MP 2/3″ Sony sensor, probably the most noise sensor of all times. It got a lot of bad reviews for too many pixels on a small sensor. Maybe hard to believe today with 16Mp 1/2.33″ sensor just entering the market, but this was while in-camera noise reduction was really primitive.
      – A2 had a lens that wasn’t good enough for the sensor, poor battery life, was, big, clunky and extremely expensive for a digicam.
      – Handling and handling speed was good though, the viewfinder pretty good and I’d certainly welcome a NEX with similar handling.

      Btw, A2 was discontinued long before Sony took over KM’s photo unit.

      • John Bowen

        All of which just goes to prove that camera reviewers (I am assuming you are getting your information from camera reviewers) don’t know dammit about real photography.

        The A2 was a gem, the only reason I gave it to my brother in law was because I upgraded to a Canon 20D.

        • spam

          I owned one

  • Forester

    yuck. ugly.

  • Helena

    I am happy with my red Nex-3 with 15-55 lens, is lightweight, is good in image quality, and a wonderful handling (with firmware 3) ¡i love it!, hd video if you want… I dont need full frame on nex, here and now nex is a fun camera. I did a expo with photos taken with a cheap ¡Sony a230! and the photos were good and people tell me to buy my photos.

    Happy shooting.

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