Since 2003 I had been waiting for a camera that provided the elegant design of the small, quiet, electronic viewfinder with the quality and speed of a big sensor DSLR. The Sony R1 was not it, but it was closer to my vision of an ideal camera than anything else out there. It had a nice large sensor combined with a mirrorless design, though with a fixed lens. It inspired me so I acquired it. My enthusiasm showed through my photographs and people noticed through my website. It wasn't long after when I began taking on paid photography projects. The R1 let me discreetly capture moments without drawing so much attention to myself. It had it's limits, however, with really slow focusing speeds and a fixed zoom lens. Believe it or not, I shot my first wedding with it - and it wasn't easy with the 3+ second focusing speeds in low light! The design was unique, however, and I had hope Sony would take it further by introducing an interchangeable lens version of it. They had to - it made all the sense in the world to me. So I waited and waited and when I heard Sony bought Minolta, I had begun to lose hope. To me it showed that they were going the traditional route with a DSLR and my dream camera wasn't to be. As I progressed I took on more events, portraits, weddings and reluctantly moved on to DSLRs out of necessity - first an Olympus four-thirds and then a Canon 5d II. I never really felt at home with DSLRS. Don't get me wrong, a DSLR is a great camera and has many advantages over non-dslrs - but they are dinosaur technology. Their clunky mirrors, restrictive optical viewfinders (yes I preferred digital viewfinders!) bulky form factors and complicated retrofocus lens designs didn't inspire me. I always had a glimmer of hope of a successor to the Sony R1 - a compact camera system with great controls, ergonomics, a big sensor, those lovely twist & tilt electronic viewfinders, and small size to stay discreet and light while producing high quality files. My dream camera. Mico-four-thirds came along and I appreciated it's design - it was so close to what I wanted, but no cigar as it didn't have the professional controls/design that I needed and the sensor was smaller than my minimum requirement - APS-C sensor, AKA Super35. The Sony Nex 7 represents the camera I wanted and fits my style of capturing inner beauty where I prefer to photograph moments as they unfold rather than create moments by having people pose. In fact, I always thought of myself as a story teller first and as a photographer second. Furthermore, the NEX 7 opens up a new dimension for me - video - where I can expand upon my skillset and have a richer palette of tools to share my stories. The Minolta acquisition turned out to be a blessing within a curse because the team clearly knew how to add proper control and design elements to the nex 7 - something they must have learnt from their previous stint at Minolta. Full Circle indeed - the Nex 7 brings me back to my roots and frees me from the chain the DSLRs tied me to. It's not perfect, but it's a start and feels like the true successor to the Sony R1. This is the system I'm going to commit to and build out. I've preordered an NEX 7 and can't wait! Would love to hear other people's thoughts/comments of the Sony Nex 7 and how it fits into their vision of photography.