If you haven't done so already, have a look and share your impressions. These may be pre-production cameras, but Sony handed them out to the big sites and gave permission for them to publish the images, so they are fair game for discussion!
So far I'm impressed. The shots that are less than impressive can be mostly written off as photographer error (incorrect focus, incorrect exposure, shutter speed not fast enough to avoid motion blur, etc.). There is just an insane amount of detail in the good shots ... which brings me to my one concern:
Are we going to have enough native lenses that take advantage of the resolving power of the sensor and/or will there be decent in-camera lens correct built-in to the NEX-7's firmware?
Some of the shots show some nasty color fringing and chromatic aberrations. The shots of the ballet dancer from The Picture Desk really showcase that if you view the full-size images.
Granted, if you view the images at screen resolution (what you use for web viewing) it's a non issue. However, it's more visible if you crop the photos or make giant prints (which more people are likely to do with a camera like the NEX-7 which gives you a 24-megapixel image file).
Overall, I'm still glad I pre-ordered the NEX-7 and these samples have me even more excited about the arrival of the camera.
I'm impressed as well. Like you said, it's going to take good lenses to make the absolute most of this sensor. I think we'll see those lenses coming out over time. I'd be surprised if the Zeiss 24/1.8 isn't up to the task, and the 50/1.8 OSS samples look good too. Hopefully Sony can implement the type of automatic color fringing correction that Panasonic cameras apply so effectively.
Hmm ... I don't quite understand what's going on with the portraits of the two motocross athletes.
The first portrait (DSC00667) has a weird look to the eyes almost as if the photographer missed the focus, but when you look at where the DOF is in that shot (looking at other areas of his body and the bike that are in focus) there is no reason for his eyes to look that soft.
I'm almost wondering if there is some kind of in-camera softening of shadows or skin tones that might be softening the eyes. The eyes of the giraffe (image DSC00733) look much sharper in comparison.
The second portrait (DSC00671) looks like it's suffering from motion blur (check out the eyes and the text on his shirt and gloves) but that image was taken at 1/4000 sec!
Of course, I'm making these comments about the images when viewed at 100 percent. When you view them at lower resolution for web viewing they look very sharp.
In any case, I'm still very eager to get my hands on my NEX-7 and my Zeiss 24mm lens. (I'm less eager to see my credit card bill after.)