Feature Design Sony NEX-7
[ 2011.11.30 up ]

A breath of fresh air for DSLR enthusiasts

The NEX-7 represents an answer to the question of what DSLR users have been hoping for. Here you'll find expanded features and a new way to use them, all condensed into a compact, streamlined camera true to the NEX "cylinder + panel" aesthetic. See how the diligent developers arrived at this very refined form.

新津 琢也
Takuya Niitsu
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Executive Art Director
高橋 正宏
Masahiro Takahashi
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Senior Producer
高木 紀明
Noriaki Takagi
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Producer and Senior Designer
東出 元輝
Motoki Higashide
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Designer
布施 基雄
Motoo Fuse
Sony Corporation
Creative Center
Designer

Refocusing on target needs

Takahashi:E-mount cameras are designed to be compact, easy-to-use digital SLRs that put impressive shots within anyone's reach. In this line, the NEX-7 is positioned as a satisfying model for particularly discerning shooters. Unlike previous NEX cameras developed with compact camera users in mind, the NEX-7 was designed mainly for SLR enthusiasts, which expands the horizons of the series.

Niitsu:The path we took in NEX-7 design was hardly straight. All we had decided initially was that three dials would be used. This came from a desire to organize setting elements (for shutter speed, exposure, color balance, and so on) with a three-way control system and provide more immediate control and versatility when shooting. It was essentially our only beacon in design. With the trio of dials, and within the general framework of NEX design introduced for the NEX-5, we revisited the question of what DSLR users want and what's essential in a camera. It also occurred to me that NEX-7 design should embody its basic message as a camera here's something capable of great shots.

The character of this camera can be summarized by a few key points. You can shoot through the viewfinder, you can hold it securely, and you can adjust settings instantly, as needed. As for viewfinder shooting, at first we had no definite plans to include an electronic viewfinder (EVF) or flash. But discussions with product planners and engineers clarified what our target users were truly hoping for, and we decided they were indispensable.

Still, we were unwilling to compromise about keeping the body compact. EVFs obviously protrude from cameras, making them thicker at that position. This would diverge from our ideal NEX design. Add a flash, and you face the same problem the silhouette extends a corresponding amount. We faced conflicting requirements in design and functionality. Reconciling these needs proved very challenging. Fortunately, our engineers shared our vision and dedication to NEX design. Despite the many restrictions involved, they considered one refinement after another in response to our series of mock-ups, in pursuit of ideal design. We came closer and closer, millimeter by millimeter, until finally, each part was exactly the right height. If we hadn't succeeded in keeping the body compact and the viewfinder accessible at this stage, the EVF and flash wouldn't have taken the shape you see today. We're grateful to our dedicated engineers, who refused to give up.

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