Originally Posted by eglbc
Has anyone used the sony nex7 camera? any thoughts?
I borrowed one for a week or so, and shoot regularly with a 5N. It's a fine camera, but like any other camera, how you like its particular user interface as well as its strengths and weaknesses depends on how you'll use the camera. What are you going to use the camera for?
The two biggest problems the Sony system has is a narrow range of lenses (which may not be important to people who tend to use 1 or 2 lenses for everything, and lots of very good photographers do this) and a consumer-electronics style of user interface that is heavily menu-driven. The 7 is better than the rest of the NEX line because of its two dials.
There are some good, professional photographers who use the 7 very well and love it, like Kirk Tuck: http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/
Reccomendations for first interchangeable lens compact? price range 7-1k$
Other good ones to look at are the micro 4/3rds cameras. I like the Olympus OM-D E-M5, but many people also like the various Panasonics as well as the lower-end Olympus digital PENs (the P5 for example).
All of the cameras mentioned above have electronic viewfinders built-in or optional ones you can add on. Some people love them (like Tuck above), while others detest them. It depends on each person. I'm not a 100% fan, but they are very useful when they work.
Switching topic, either I've found finally my B&W workflow, or what I do is very sympathetic to the Xtrans sensor. One more image from the X20, and this is the closest I've come yet to my ideal B&W tonality:
Not bad for a 2/3-inch sensor, no?
1. Convert with LR4.4RC B&W conversion panel. Adjust various color weightings for the picture, depending on what I want to emphasize or deemphasize.
2. Adjust exposure to get the things I want into the right zone --- sometimes this happens before the B&W conversion.
3. Adjust global contrast down --- I look at the histogram to judge this, but I want to squeeze important stuff into the middle zones for the next step.
4. Use the tone curve to then turn up the contrast on certain zones until I get the right look, depending on the subject.
5. Use clarity control (it uses small-value sharpening with a large-radius kernel to purposely create halos to boost some detail as well as increasing midtone contrast), and then some regular sub-pixel sharpening (reduction in the case of the Xtrans) for output.