Damn the cameras are crazy nowadays. Especially the interchangeable mirrorless sector is bustling with several good cameras from several manufactures. Best ones now boast large APS-C sized sensors – a familiar size from all but the most expensive cameras from Canon and Nikon, for example.
The fact that these sensors can be put into compact bodies, means that one can pack quite heavy photography power and quality into a pocket of one’s cargo pants. Since you can also change the lenses, you’ll also get technically the versatility of a real DSLR camera.
When Sony first introduced its range of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras in May 2010, the company was very clear about who it thought would buy the NEX-5 and its near-identical-twin NEX-3. Small cameras with APS-C sensors, we were told, would appeal to compact camera users who wanted to upgrade but would be intimidated by the bulk and perceived complexity of an SLR. The cameras were a sales success (especially in Japan), and their influence on this sector of the market has become increasingly clear, with Olympus’s PEN E-PL3 paying extensive homage to their key design features, and Panasonic stripping-down its GF line from the enthusiast-friendly DMC-GF1 to the distinctly beginner-orientated DMC-GF3.
The latest competitor in this space is Sony NEX-7 that has an APS-C sensor with massive 24 megapixels. I’m getting worried that that’s simply too much pixels and noise will become an issue. But you’ll learn how it is in the 28 page (!) review by DPReview.
Spoiler: The noise levels are indeed better than in segment leaders by Panasonic & Olympus – all thanks Sony’s bigger sensor.
Compared to the Micro Four Thirds flagships – the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 and the Olympus PEN E-PL3 – the NEX-7 performs visibly better at the very highest ISOs, showing the advantage of its larger sensor. This becomes very apparent at ISO 3200 and higher, at which point the E-P3 and GH2 are both struggling to suppress noise while retaining colour saturation and low-contrast detail.
— Review at DPReview.com