Some of you may have seen my other blog post about the NEX-7 this week in which I finished by saying that I found too many niggles with it to want to use it. In particular I found the problems with WA lenses (magenta cast and soft/smeared corners) and the video button incredibly irritating. I also struggled with the 50mm F1.8 for NEX.
Yesterday Sony issued a firmware update for the NEX-7 which amongst other things: (i) allowed for the video button to be locked; and (ii) improved image quality with wide angle lenses.
I decided I would give the NEX-7 another go. First I wanted to see if the magenta cast and smearing were gone with WA lenses. Both were improved but there is still some corner smearing/softness. I should make it clear I haven’t tested the camera with WA legacy lenses, just the native 16mm and the 16mm + UWA converter.
Here is a picture of the Gherkin with firmware 1.00
here is another picture with firmware 1.01
Both of these are processed in Lightroom from RAW, as are the rest of these photos.
Predictably, the native e-mount lens is much improved in terms of magenta cast. It is a little soft in the corners but frankly it’s not too bad in the centre, particularly with the WA converter on.
In addition to using the WA+converter I wanted to make sure I used the 50mm F1.8. I got much better results… It is slow to focus (similar but not as bad as the 60mm macro for x-mount) so I suspect the poor results I had last time were down to my usual “quick” street shooting technique combined with poor light and low shutter speeds.
I suppose I should give some thoughts and conclusions. Well the camera still isn’t my cup of tea control wise but who cares when the results are this good? I haven’t really covered it in this review but it is a low ISO camera. In a very modern sense – the camera is fine up to ISO 800 and perfectly useable up to ISO 1600. Beyond that the IQ is a bit iffy or flat – that doesn’t bother me too much because I have other mirrorless cameras I can use at high ISOs but none of them produce the resolution at base ISO that the NEX-7 manages (I don’t include my M9 in this).
The 50mm F1.8 is a good lens but I would prefer it to be a little faster focusing.
In any event, Sony has definitely made some steps forward with this improvement in FW. I certainly have no desire to sell the camera, nor to replace the 7 with a NEX-6. I am keen to try the camera with the new 10-18mm UWA zoom.