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March 20, 2012

Naked Sony Nex-7!! Opened Up so you can see the Guts of the Nex-7!! – Updated with HD Video Footage!!

Naked Nex-7

Had a little down time on Saturday and ended up taking apart my Nex-7 with a friend of mine and Michel, to see what it looks like inside. It’s pretty amazing to say the least how they fit all that technology into such a skinny camera body. I was also very curious how the lens mount was connected to the rest of the camera. It turns out the lens E-Mount is the chassis pretty much and everything builds off the main lens flange assemble. Tiny philips screws are all that keep the Nex-7 together and it was pretty easy to take apart I must say. The OLED is also much smaller than I expected considering how much larger the stand-alone model ( FDA-EV1S ) is for the Nex-5n. I guess if you take the housing off it makes sense.

Check this out!

Nex-7 Naked Pics:

Sony Nex-7 - Naked

Sony Nex-7 – Naked

Sony Nex-7 - Naked

Sony Nex-7 – Naked

Sony Nex-7 - Naked

Sony Nex-7 – Naked

Sony Nex-7 - Naked

Sony Nex-7 – Naked

Sony Nex-7 - Naked

Sony Nex-7 – Naked

Sony Nex-7 - Naked

Sony Nex-7 – Naked

Sony Nex-7 - Naked

Sony Nex-7 – Naked

Naked Nex-7

Sony Nex-7 – Naked


Updated with More Pics – 052612

I finally got around to taking apart my Nex-7 the rest of the way and man is it cool!! It to me a long tome to get it apart I must admit as screws were located behind the flat cables and stuff. I tried to get shots of everything, but let me know if you need anymore. I’m going to attempt to put it back together at some point!!

Nex-7 - Taken aapart

Nex-7 – Taken apart

Nex-7 - Sensor Copper Heat Sink

Nex-7 – Sensor Copper Heat Sink

Nex-7 - Split Apart View

Nex-7 – Split Apart View

Nex-7 - Back left side view showing Copper Heatsink

Nex-7 – Back left side view showing Copper Heat sink

Nex-7 - Battery Housing Area Exposed

Nex-7 – Battery Housing Area Exposed

Nex-7 - Sensor Assembly Removed

Nex-7 – Sensor Assembly Removed

Notice the green looking filter on top of the sensor in it’s own little housing. I’m not sure if this is the AA filter or another filter, but I will find out asap.

Nex-7 - Sensor Assembly Removed

Nex-7 – Sensor Assembly Removed

Nex-7 - Sensor Assembly Removed and Posed

Nex-7 – Sensor Assembly Removed and Posed

Nex-7 - Sensor Assembly Closer Look

Nex-7 – Sensor Assembly Closer Look

Nex-7 - Sensor Side Profile w/ Heat SInk

Nex-7 – Sensor Side Profile w/ Heat SInk

Sony Nex-7 - Sensor Back with the Copper Heat Sink Removed

Sony Nex-7 – Sensor Back with the Copper Heat Sink Removed

Nex-7 - 24mp Sensor Revealed!!

Nex-7 – 24mp Sensor Revealed!!

Nex-7 - Disassembly Scene

Nex-7 – Entire Scene

Sony Nex-7 - Disassembled More including the Sensor FIlter

Sony Nex-7 – Disassembled More including the Sensor Filter

Nex-7 - Sensor assembly mostly disassembled and filter removed

Nex-7 – Sensor assembly mostly disassembled and filter removed

Nex-7 - Sensor assembly mostly disassembled and filter removed

Nex-7 – Sensor assembly mostly disassembled and filter removed

Nex-7 - 24mp Sensor Back

Nex-7 – 24mp Sensor Back

Nex-7 - Shutter Mechanism

Nex-7 – Shutter Mechanism

Nex-7 - OLED Viewfinder is really small!!

Nex-7 – OLED Viewfinder is really small!!

In this image you can see the On/Off switch. It’s right on top of the black arc in the center of the top area in the image.

Nex-7 - On/Off Switch

Nex-7 – On/Off Switch

In this image below you can see the shutter release pin that goes through the plastic shaft. That pin is connected to the shutter button and protrudes down when the it’s pressed.

Nex-7 - On/Off Switch and Shutter Release Mechanism

Nex-7 – On/Off Switch and Shutter Release Mechanism

Nex-7 - On/Off Switch and Shutter Release Mechanism

Nex-7 – On/Off Switch and Shutter Release Mechanism


HD Video of the Naked Sony Nex-7

Be sure to select the HD Option in the player preferences once the video starts. It’s the little gear icon 😉


Closing Remarks

The Sony Nex-7 is a pretty advanced camera as we all pretty much know, but I am amazed at the complexity of the wiring harness and chassis assemble. It’s just amazing how they find a way to fit all that stuff in such a tiny space.

In regards to the Copper Heat Sink, which is designed to help cool the sensor, it’s pretty heavy and much thicker than you might think. It also has a piece of white heat transfer tape which bonds it to the sensor back. I’m really not sure what can be done to help cool this camera down more for extended video recording, but what I’ve learned so far from other users and experience is the fallowing. If you pull the screen out it will allow air behind it, therefore getting cooler air closer to the sensor heat sink. At the very least it should help scrub a little heat away from the camera gutz. Another thing you can do is use a small fan and blow it in the HDMI port area, preferable with a funnel scoop of some sort. If you can get a reasonable seal it will force some are bast the heat sink and possible help cool the sensor down. I have not tried this, nor do I recommend it as dust might get in there.  I also have not had overheating issues as I don’t record for long periods of time in a row ever, but enough people have complained about it so…

I hope you guys got something out of this, and if you need anymore pictures or angles, just let me know. I really need to try an put this thing back together at some point!!


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  1. chals

    Which parts of the body is made out of metal? Is the top-plate magnesium or plastic?

    • Jay

      Thanks for the comments and question Chals,

      The front half with the E-Mount is all magnesium. The Back half that I have off is all plastic.


  2. George

    Thanks for these amazing photos!

  3. Vivek

    Please go further and remove the sensor assembly. Then remove the AA/UV/IR filter stack. It would be very useful if you report the thickness and the dimensions of that. Thanks.

    • Jay

      I’ll see what I can do Vivek, I just need to get a few more tools and I’ll take it apart all the way 🙂 I’m curious about the filter removal you mention on Sonyalpharumors? DO they just pop off? I thought they were put on at the sensor factory and part of the chip itself.


      • Vivek

        Jay, Thanks a bunch! 🙂 I just saw your further disassembly images!

        I am planning to do a few things to that sensor soon. Your work is quite useful and I thank you for that!

      • Jay

        No problem at all Vivek!! If you don’t mind, I would really like to know how you make out with your mods etc..

        Have a good one,

      • Vivek

        Jay, I just saw your video clip. To clarify a couple of things for you:

        1. The UV/IRcut/AA filter (blue green) has a piezo electric element and the wire protruding from it are the power leads. It is the ultrasonic dust shaker in the camera.

        2. Yes, the blue-green filter is coated (anti IR coatings) and is a sandwich of a few layers epoxied together. There is a IR cut component (the blue green stuff) that is highly sensitive to the environment. There may be one or two layers that are the anti aliasing materials.

      • Jay

        Thank you very much Vivek!! I really appreciate the info and clarification 😉 Incredible technology!!


  4. Eggin

    Thanks for breaking the camera down. Very interesting to see. Do you think there is any room for a sensor or CPU heat-pipe in there to enhance cooling? I love my NEX-7 for video, but it does overheat sometimes on interviews and I have been wondering whether I could retro-fit some sort of extra cooling to bring the heat outside of the case. Thanks

    • Jay

      Thanks for the comments Eggin,

      Their is no way you can fit a heat sink or heat pipe! The back of the camera is flush with the parts in their pretty much and the lcd screen folds in to the back. Perhaps if you modified, but I would not do that personally.


  5. Chuck

    Great, now figure out why it over heats when shooting video. 😉

  6. Brad

    Hey Jay,

    Thanks for doing this. I was wondering if you could post a couple closeups of the ON/OFF switch assembly on the inside? Thanks in advance.


  7. Brad

    Thanks, Jay. Looking forward to reading/seeing more.

    • Jay

      Thanks for the comments Brad. More naked pics are coming soon. My friend mark is going to come over and he has a bunch of tools for taking stuff like this apart. It should be fun,and hopefully I don’t break anything!!


  8. Lofi

    Awesome. Thanks for sharing! I really would like to see the part that is making the much feared “click” noise on the Nex-5N. I guess the parts on the Nex-7 are similar?

  9. Jamo Spingal

    What an amazing piece of engineering ! To get all that functionality and performance in such a small volume ….

    • Jay

      Thanks for the comments Jamo,

      I totally Agree!! Incredible Engineers they have at Sony. I still need to take it apart the rest of the way, but I just haven’t had any time yet as I’m working overtime on some website additions and Hands On Reviews 😉 Not to mention the regular job and the baby etc.. lol

      Have a great day,

  10. very nice article !!!

  11. (Jay, please delete previous comment)

    I wonder if the cooling can be improved if they connected the heat sink to the magnesium portions of the body so the whole thing becomes sort of a heatsink

  12. Reverse Stream Swimmer

    Good dismantling, however for some of the close up photos, rather a smaller aperture should have been chosen, allowing some more depth of field photos.

    Next camera to be dismantled will be the OM-D E-M5, I suppose?!

    • Jay

      Thanks for the comments RSS.

      I totally agree, but I was using natural light and was forced to use the large apertures and high ISO already. (I used the kitchen table) The “Lab” is a disaster downstairs and under heavy construction unfortunately and setting up the studio upstairs is a task for sure!!

      Sorry about that RSS, and I really appreciate the feedback! 🙂


  13. Michael

    Great work!
    one question:
    when looking at the image of the sensor assembly (sensor, filter etc)

    I wonder how the sensor cleaning works. Sony claims it uses ultrasonic vibration. So does the whole sensor assemby vibrate or only the filter?


  14. Teddy

    Wanted to know your thoughts and opinion on the glass used over the sensor? Was it thick? Did it appear to be high quality as far as clarity?


    • Jay


      It’s really high quality and looks like it’s polarized almost to me. I took some video footage for you showing it off with much more detail 😉 I just need to get the video processed and up on youtube!! Stand-by, and I’ll drop a link whats the video is up!!


  15. sv

    Any chance the ribbon connector for the Nex-5n is the same as the Nex-7?
    Maybe they are interchangeable? May cause software issues but you never know…

  16. Cool, very cool! Now i know, how my lovely Nex7 is assembled. Thanks a lot

  17. rtr

    Does anybody know the pinout on the lens connectors? I would like to disable the autofocus motor on my 30mm sony lens and I was wondering if I could just cover up on the of the pads.

  18. Sam

    Hi Jay,

    What method did you use to separate the filter pack from the sensor? I’ve been attempting a similar teardown and prying it off with a screwdriver threatens to totally destroy the entire package. Any help you can provide would be helpful.

    – Sam

    • Jay

      Hi Sam,

      I’m going fro memory here, but I believe it was a black metal retention clip that was holding the filters on top of the actual sensor. It pops of if you pull on the lip and then the filters should be loose.

      I hope that helps!


  19. keith caldwell

    Hi Jay , I need to replace the LCD on my NEX 7, the replacement unit looks like one piece with ribbon connectors. How easy would it be to fit.

    • Jay

      Hi Keith,

      Getting to the ribbon cable inside the camera requires some dis-assembly, but it’s not really that hard. You really need to be careful and use caution when pulling on the ribbon cables and stuff. It’s a little tricky to find all the screws and get it apart, but youtube has a few videos that are extremely helpful in this regard. Look for the infrared sensor conversion videos. Folks take apart the whole camera to do that mod!

      If your confident in taking it apart and have the small screwdrivers and and ribbon pulling tool, go for it. Otherwise I would pay a camera repair shot to do it for you 😉

      I hope that helps,

  20. Jason

    Where you able to put it back together??

    I want to take mine apart for one purpose: To completely remove the camera strap loops. I need to make the camera as small as possible and those metal loops are getting in the way.

    Are those easy to take out without having to get too deep in a disassemble?


    • Jay

      Hi Jason,

      It’s pretty much complete dis-assembly to take those out. They are connected to the chassis with a large plate on the inside side of the camera body. Not really a feasible option unless you really savy in my opinion. I certainly would not attempt it. I would cut them off first, but don’t recommend that. You making a housing or something? You need photos of the part?


  21. tom

    Hi My NEX7 LCD screen is loose in the metal frame which hinges out. I can see a ribbon cable at the left edge. It is working fine but I am worried it will fall out at any time. Have you any idea how it is fixed in (it is holding in by one edge at the moment and I don’t want to take it out completely until I know what I am doing) I see that replacement screens are available from China…ever tried one?



  22. Hello Jay, i am Eduardo and i use some sony and samsung cameras on my UAV planes.

    I modify all my cameras.
    Some time ago i modified my nex-f3 (removed display, flash, baterry holder and some parts.
    I reduced the weight and width of the camera so i can use in my small planes.

    unfortunately my plane touch a powerline and all equipment burn.

    I like to know some detail about sony nex7.

    Can you help me ?

  23. Notabot

    Can I please use one of these photographs on my website? I am replying to the “Angry Photographer” and he’s said Sony shouldn’t make cameras because it’s an “electronics company”. These highlight just how many electronics are in cameras these days.

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