For the better part of two months now I have been shooting with both of these cameras. I like them both, but they have different strengths and weaknesses. So here is my basic comparison from the field, personal opinion, not formal controlled tests.
1. Great retro design. It has the appeal that us older photographers can love because it is designed like cameras of the past.
2. Hybrid viewfinder is fantastic. It offers the best of both worlds with EVF and OVF.
3. Image Quality is excellent at all ISO settings up through 6400.
4. Controls are well designed, and much improved over the Fujifilm X100.
5. I only have the 35mm f1.4 lens and the 18mm f2, and they are both superb. The other available lens is a 60mm macro.
6. With an adapter it can be used with other lenses. I have used the Voigtlander 15mm and 21 mm with fine results.
NEX 7 strengths:
1. Smaller than the XPro. I consider this a plus.
2. 24 megapixels gives fine resolution of detail.
3. The Peaking feature makes use of adapted lenses a joy, and focus is precise with this feature. It is one of my favorite features on this camera.
4. Available lenses are good quality and reasonably priced (with the exception of the Zeiss 24 on the price point!)
5. The tilt LCD is very handy for waist level and above the head shots. This is important to me for street shooting.
6. The controls are well arranged and GREATLY improved over previous NEX versions.
7. The NEX focuses faster than the XPro1, but it has a problem with purple fringing with wide angle adapted lenses.
8. The NEX 7 is an excellent video camera, though I use this very little. For some this will be decisive in its favor.
Taken with NEX 7 and adapted lens.
Several years ago I spent an entire summer capturing the complete life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly. This is an extraordinary species. Monarchs migrate annually from all over North America back to a winter home in Mexico. The ones that migrate in the Fall are the descendants of the ones who came back north in the Spring. In other words the butterflies that fly to Mexico are not themselves going back home, because in fact those particular butterflies have never been there. Capturing the entire life cycle involved a great deal of attention to every aspect of that creature’s life. I got pictures of a mating pair, the female laying eggs on the leaves of the host plant (Milkweed), the tiny caterpillar emerging, the growth of the caterpillar through several stages, the metamorphosis through the Chrysalis to a mature butterfly, and the butterfly in flight.
If you want to give yourself a photographic challenge, pic a living subject and spend some significant time following its life. It is a rewarding exercise!
It is probably the case that most photography today is done within families. We love to record the special events of family life, and especially the things that our children are involved in. So it is important to be prepared. This means taking our cameras with us most all of the time. We might even want more than one type of camera, a small one to keep with us all the time and a larger one for those times when we want more features, or a larger sensor. When my daughter was chosen to sing in an all-state chorus of course I wanted to be there with camera ready. But I did not want to carry a large DSLR, so I chose to take the Sony NEX 7, and a fast lens so that I would not need flash. I did not take a long lens to zoom in on just my daughter, but I did get a nice shot of the whole chorus, and thus preserved an important memory.