"WOW! You might be very serious if you're taking your 4x5 into the wild! Those trips were work trips or for your own pleasure? You say you've used same LW tripod for 4x5 camera?"
Yes, I like being able to print my landscape images big. So far, 24x30 has been my largest print size, but we haven't pushed the drum scanners to its limits yet, because a 2-4 GB image is a bit unwieldy. :)
It's both work and pleasure, for me.
I use a Gitzo Mountaineer tripod for both my 4x5 stills and for my cinematography, most of the time. There are times when the tripod wasn't really an option, like when I was chasing a photographer around the studio while she was doing a baby photo shoot, and when I was climbing Mount Rainier.
"BTW, how would you rate Nex-7 video vs, say, FF DSLR video such as 5D Mark II? I know, the focus on 5D is not that convenient, but if you look on quality side only?"
It's BluRay quality. The noise blew me away -- there was a LOT less than I expected even at 800-1600 ISO. I don't use autofocus very much when I shoot video, I normally manual focus -- I find rack focus and follow focus to be a LOT easier with manual focus than with autofocus, especially with professional lenses.
"Also, are you happy with the dynamic range of Nex-7? How does perform the wide angle 16mm f/2.8 lens in landscape photography? How you shot with this camera most of your pictures? I saw 2 dials on back of camera, are they for aperture/shutter speed? I'm asking, because I don't want camera with all the controls through menus. From reviews I read you can customize some of the Nex-7 buttons with functions (just like on your Nikon D300). Can you hang spot mettering as one of functions? I find it very useful. Is there a DOF preview? How do you switch between aperture/shutter speed priority and full manual mode, via menus? You find it comfortable?"
The dynamic range is better than I'd expected also. I honestly thought that the 24 megapixel sensor would be problematic in that regard, but apparently Sony's put a lot of R&D into their sensors, because the results I got blew me away. I expected it to be comparable to my older d300, but it wasn't... it was far ahead.
The two dials up top on the Nex-7 by default control shutter speed and aperture, while the 3rd dial on the back controls ISO. Sony really nailed the UI in that regard. I don't think that you can change that particular combination, but there's a button on the top toward the front that lets you cycle through a series of settings that you CAN customize, and in each custom setting group you can configure all three dials. I also have a button set to turn autofocus on and off.
It does have a spot meter setting. The DOF preview is on the monitor, Sony took advantage of the fact that both the screen and the eyepiece are OLEDs. Both are high resolution, reasonably accurate as far as color, and show the same information. That means that you can turn on a live histogram, and you can also see an approximation of the scene as rendered using your current shutter speed, ISO, and aperture setting combination.
Changing from aperture/shutter priority, single shot, burst, self timer, etc is pretty quick, since it's all done through one dial. Press the correct quadrant, the menu shows up, and spin the dial until you get the setting you want. It's nice and quick.
"Sorry for too many questions :) But I'm on decision to buy the Nex-7, so your input would be very helpful. Thanks!"
The Nex-7 is a great camera. I'm actually still a bit shocked that Sony pulled it off, because it really surprised me with its combination of image quality and compactness and ergonomics. It's the first digital camera I've used that is set up to be as smooth in operation as a Leica m7 or a Nikon fm3a or similar traditional body. What's even more impressive is that the menu system is still poorly organized and somewhat clumsy, yet the camera still ends up being exceedingly smooth to operate.