X100F, NEX 7, Pen F

 

Everybody likes the Fujifilm X100 series … and I bet very few still use a 9 year old Sony NEX-7. Due to the Lock Down caused by COVID-19, I went back to my camera closet and grabbed the NEX-7 to see how it can (or not) compete with the much loved Fujifilm X100F and the very beautiful Olympus Pen-F.  Sony NEX-7 was my first Sony mirrorless camera years ago. I always loved the tri-Nav dials of the NEX-7, and always wished, hopelessly, that Sony will bring back this feature in their newer A6xxx series. Although I have an A6500 today, I decided to see how the older NEX-7 compares to the X100F and the Pen-F.

I paired the NEX-7 with the SEL20mm f2.8, and the Pen-F with the M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8. White Balance set to Auto. Fuji and Sony lenses set to f2.8 , Olympus lens set to f1.8.       All set to Spot Metering.

 

Here are few shots with the 3 cameras

NEX7
NEX-7
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F
_DSF0783
X100F

 

_DSF0784
NEX-7
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F
_DSC6469
X100F

 

_DSC6477
NEX-7
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F
_DSF0791
X100F

 

_DSC6489
NEX-7
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F
_DSF0803
X100F

To my eyes, I see that the Fuji is the most inconsistent in terms of metering … the Olympus delivers the most natural colors and has the most consistent metering.  The Sony is still a very good competent after 9 years of being launched. In terms of sharpness, I would say, in this specific combination of lenses the M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 delivers the best sharpness wide open. Note that the 20mm f2.8 Sony is not one of the best Sony lenses and everybody knows that the X100F (and previous X100 series) lens is not that sharp compared to the new X100V.

ISO 12800 samples with 100% crop

Here are 8 sets with the 3 cameras at ISO 12800, all shot handheld

SET #1

_DSC6435
NEX-7
_DSC6435-2
NEX-7 100% Crop
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F 100% Crop
_DSF0764
X100F
_DSF0764-2
X100F 100% Crop

my preference for Set#1 : Pen-F

 

SET #2

_DSC6456
NEX-7
_DSC6456-2
NEX-7 100% Crop
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F 100% Crop
_DSF0774
X100F
_DSF0774-2
X100F 100% Crop

my preference for Set#2 : Nex-7

 

SET #3

_DSC6439-2
NEX-7
_DSC6439
NEX-7 100% Crop
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F 100% Crop
_DSF0766
X100F
_DSF0766-2
X100F 100% Crop

my preference for Set#3 : Nex-7

 

SET #4

_DSC6457
NEX-7
_DSC6457-2
NEX-7 100% Crop
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F 100% Crop
_DSF0775-2
X100F
_DSF0775
X100F 100% Crop

my preference for Set#4 : Pen-F

 

SET #5

_DSC6482-2
NEX-7
_DSC6482
NEX-7 100% Crop
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F 100% Crop
_DSF0796
X100F
_DSF0796-2
X100F 100% Crop

my preference for Set#5 : Pen-F

 

SET #6

_DSC6461
NEX-7
_DSC6461-2
NEX-7 100% Crop
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F 100% Crop
_DSF0778
X100F
_DSF0778-2
X100F 100% Crop

my preference for Set#6 : Pen-F

SET #7

_DSC6474-2
NEX-7
_DSC6474
NEX-7 100% Crop
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F 100% Crop
_DSF0789
X100F
_DSF0789-2
X100F 100% Crop

my preference for Set#7 : Nex-7

 

SET #8

_DSC6484-2
NEX-7
_DSC6484
NEX-7 100% Crop
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pen-F 100% Crop
_DSF0800
X100F
_DSF0800-2
X100F 100% Crop

my preference for Set#8 : Pen-F

 

Conclusion

Again , I was surprised how inconsistent the Fujifilm metering was compared to the other cams. Surprisingly, we can see how well the Pen-F performs in high ISO compared to the larger sensors of the X100F and NEX-7.  Nevertheless, and after 9 years of being launched, the NEX-7 is still an excellent performer. In terms of colors, I find that the Pen-F delivers the most natural colors of the 3.

If you have to choose one camera among the 3 today, What would you choose, and Why ?

 

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