Conclusion: Stellar performance, a killer design, and a low price make the pocket-size Sony Alpha NEX-3 the compact interchangeable-lens camera to beat.
Pros: Competitive price. Superb image quality, low-light performance, and speed. Smallest compact interchangeable lens camera currently available. Beautiful, tilting 3-inch LCD. Silent focus when recording HD video. Digital accessory port. Support for HDMI-CEC and SDXC memory cards.
Cons: No native compatibility with existing Alpha lenses. Limited E-Mount lens selection. No EVF option currently available. No manual control over shutter speed and aperture while recording video.
Summary: The NEX cameras are primarily about squeezing DSLR quality into compact bodies. They achieve this by employing a DSLR-sized sensor, but dispensing with the traditional mirror and optical viewfinder and using their screens as the sole means of composition.
Pros: Small and light, but comfortable to use., Excellent low light performance., HD movie mode with AF and optional external mic., Tilting high resolution screen., Good auto and innovative shooting modes., Fast response and continuous shooting.
Cons: Frustrating control system for enthusiasts., Screen becomes hard to view in direct sunlight., No manual control in video mode., Inconsistent face detection compared to compacts.
Summary: The NEX-3 is mightily similar to its NEX-5 brother. What it loses in body build and grip-size it makes up for by slashing the price. At £440 with the 16mm lens it’s an absolute bargain that has class-leading image quality just the same as the NEX-5.
Pros: Affordable, image quality, small size
Cons: Fiddly flash unit, excessive menu digging, limited to three current lenses
Excerpt: A few days ago I could tell nobody about this newbie. I was under an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) from Sony. The Sony NEX-3 was a hot camera! So Sony gave me a review unit of the Sony NEX-3 three days, explaining that they were so fearful of leaks that a Sony person would collect it from me when...
Conclusion: What about Canon and Nikon? Neither has yet shown any interest in this market segment, though its hard to imagine that this will remain the case for long. In the end though what it means is that we all benefit from an expansion of the market with new technologies and therefore new tools and choices.
Conclusion: The Sony Nex-3 is not a cheap option, but it is a quality option. You can pick up the majority of features this camera has with an entry level Digital SLR and pay less if you prefer to. The main attractions are its picture quality and a portability that a Digital SLR simply cannot match.
Pros: Small size - clarity of pictures - build quality
Cons: Fiddly flash unit - limited range of compatible lenses with E mount - can overexpose photos
Sony NEX-3: Stylish and Compact, but is it Worth it?
2 September 2011
Excerpt: Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (MILC) are becoming increasingly popular. This new breed started gaining momentum with micro four-thirds cameras like the Olympus PEN E-P1, which use 4/3-type sensors that are half the size of sensors used in entry-level digital SLRs and about nine times the...