The NEX-7 & The Strawberry Festival Drive In

I've had the Sony NEX-7 for about 6 months but I've used it very little.     This is my third Sony Alpha DSLR, having previously owned a NEX-5 and a Sony A77.    For the Strawberry Festival, I decided it would be easier to grab this little camera instead of toting the D800 around.   The results follow.

The History with Sony Equipment
I like Sony Alpha Cameras.   Probably b/c of my Minolta roots or possibly b/c I've had some commercial sucesses selling licensed photos to Sony.  

When I first bought my NEX-5, I thought I was in love.   The camera was lightweight with a high resolution and fair amount of features.   Alof of people complained about the on screen menus but I found them to be fun.    It worked well paired with my telescope and the kit lens was decent.

My biggest gripe, being someone who played in HDR quite a bit, was the bracketing modes were very limited, with only .7 stepping EV supported.  I liked the swivelly screen but did miss having a viewfinder.

I eventually bought the A77.   I got mine through a contact a few weeks before the official street date.   I'd hoped the exposure stepping would have been enhanced in this, 24 megapixel machine but alas, it was not. 
Still, the A77 felt great in my hands, the electronic viewfinder was cool and the camera was packed with features. It was almost love.

I eventually sold the A77  in favor of the D800, which I love.     Still, wanting a second good camera I went with the Sony NEX-7.  I chose the NEX-7 for alot of reasons.  Partly, b/c it is basically the A77 in a smaller package. Partly b/c I'm a gadget nerd, partly b/c of the awesome APS-C sized sensor but mostly b/c I knew my d800 was too heavy to ever pair with my telescope.     The NEX-7 viewfinder works, the camera takes decent shots but still.. to my dismay.. they still hadn't fixed the damned bracketing limitation for .7 EV stepping.

Until now.

The Update

As we headed out to the Strawberry festival, I blew the dust bunnies off the neglected little NEX-7 and in a hail-mary, checked sony's support site.    An firmware update was available and in 5 minutes it was downloaded and applied.    

They did it at last...  You can now bracket EV 1, 2, even 3 steps with the camera's bracketing mode.   Coupled with RAW you can get pretty much every bit of exposure data you could ever want for an HDR or other exposure tweaked image.   



The highlight (for me) of the Loxley Strawberry Festival is the classic car/ show drive/in at the back of the park.    What a fun culture and beautiful collection of cars.


Something about this car. I took a couple shots of it a few years ago and remembered it well. You can't help but hear "Back in Black" in your head when seeing it. Tons of attitude in a neat looking, if not way-over-the-top, machine.


Something about this car.   I took a couple shots of it a few years ago and remembered it well.  
You can't help but here "back in black" in your head when seeing it.   

Tons of attitude in a neat looking, if not way-over-the-top, machine.

One of the first images that jumped out at me was this 'neath the hood shot as we walked up.

I've always found the future-retro lines of this era as pretty cool..

Could this be the organizing entity behind this car show?  Possibly.   I had children tugging on my arms and such not time to ask around for sure.


One thing about the car show at the Strawberry Festival in Loxley that always gets me, is the outliers.    

You will have these classic American cars, high end imports and every now and then something like a Nissan pickup, hood open - on display.  You can't help but wonder, parked 50 ft from a '67 Stingray or Classic Mercedes/Porcshe/Other, is the Nissan just being ironic?

And this Lambo...    I think it is hard to be more ostentatious than a Lambo..  Something about a Lambo parked in Loxley, just doesn't feel right.  ;)

Neat car though. 


With a Cruise & Disney trip a little over a month away, I'm sure that the NEX-7 will go with us.   Still, I can't, NOT bring the monstrous D800 with us on vacation to capture humungous 36 pixel super-wide panoramas with a rental 14-24mm lens.     

But, when it comes time to tromp around the parks or play in the water with Dolpins in the Bahamas, I have a feeling this less expensive, lighter NEX-7 will be in hand versus the D800.    The swivelly screen, respectable 24 megapixel APS-C sized sensor and novel electronic viewfinder should suffice to capture some cool shots.  The Sony firmware update responded to a serious missing feature with this bracketing update and the Sony ARW RAW specification stores a decent amount of dynamic range in a single image for your post-processing happiness later on.

Not comparing the NEX-7 to the D800, they are different animals..   It is difficult to make a bad image with the full frame epicness of the D800 but the NEX-7 is probably "good enough" for most scenarios and just-as-good-if-not-better than anything you will pick up at a department store that masquerades as a professional-quality DSLR. The $1100 pricetag is an investment you won't be sorry with.   Sure, you can buy a $700 DSLR with similar specs but you probably won't use it as much as you think b/c of the size. 

With half the size, and half the weight, it sure is hard to beat!