First, this is the first (actually, now the existing NEX 5 and NEX 3 cameras have it via a firmware update) mirrorless stills camera that offers peaking, where the point of sharpest focus has a little highlight or glow on the screen. Hugely useful for manual focus lenses, or just to confirm focus in general. About time Sony or Panasonic (who make video camcorders with this feature) understood that it would be useful.
Second, I still won’t buy one one of these because the NEX cameras have almost no native lenses and look like a pain in the butt to use. Amen to this:
The real difference between cameras of similar similar price and feature set lies in their usability. This isn’t something that beginners care to hear, but it’s what many advanced photographers eventually end up regarding as being of greatest importance – assuming that basic IQ is there. If the camera is difficult to use it really doesn’t matter that it scores 2 points higher than another on DxO Mark. It’s simply not going to get the shot, or if it does it won’t be all that enjoyable to use.
This camera is loaded to the hilt with gizmos and gadgets. More features, bells and whistles than most people will ever be able to get their heads around. But who is it for? I’ve spent time with both beginners and advanced photographers showing them and discussing previous NEX cameras, trying to understand how different people perceive this class of camera. My experience is that beginners almost immediately ask if there isn’t something simpler available, and more advanced users just get frustrated by trying to access controls via the camera’s unintuitive interface.
(If you want an idea of where cameras might be headed if they start integrating more camcorder technology, see the intro to this DSLR wishlist. I would also almost immediately buy a camera with a raw historgram, peaking, and zebra-stripe exposure warnings, assuming it wasn’t a total pain to use. Panasonic engineers working on the GH3, are you listening?)