Images: Samsung NX200 and Leica M9 

Although the £1,000-plus price tag of the NEX-7 may cause a deep intake of breath for many, it cannot be treated as simply another compact system camera.

Samsung’s new NX200 has a high-resolution, 20.3-million-pixel APS-C sensor and is therefore a natural competitor to the Sony. While this camera is nearly half the price, it doesn’t offer the same level of control and lacks the all-important viewfinder.

As I have mentioned before, there are some similarities between the NEX-7 and the Leica M9, such as the premium image quality, the stylish design and compact size, and even the manner in which it is held and operated. The Sony NEX-7 is unlikely to replace the M9 for those drawn to the magical red dot but, based on initial reactions around the office and when out shooting with the NEX-7, it already has a following and could become a classic in its own right.

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