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 size of sensors used in compact cameras. The latest development in the MILC segment is models that use APS-C size sensors.
Summary: The Sony Alpha NEX-3 is very close to an ideal camera for travelers who want to get great shots on the road, but don't want to lug around a full-size DSLR or mess too much with settings. At $599, it's about the same price as a prosumer DSLR such as the Canon T2i or Nikon D5000 , and takes great-looking photos and HD video. While we wish its menu structure were less convoluted and the battery life longer, we can't argue with the results.
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 my time was up: “Can’t trust couriers — they’ve been known to open up boxes and leak the info to competitors!
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. Overall The Nex-3 is an impressive camera.
Pros: Small size - clarity of pictures - build quality
Cons: Fiddly flash unit - limited range of compatible lenses with E mount - can overexpose photos
Conclusion: For all the great advantages that the NEX-3 offers, there is always something that detracts. Great results from advanced shooting are obstructed by the controls. For all the work to shrink the camera in all directions, the lens still governs the pocketability of the NEX-3. But the biggest thing we found with the NEX-3 was that it didn't quite make this reviewer as excited as something like the Samsung NX10 or Olympus E-PL1.
Pros: Vari-angle display, compact, well-built lenses, on-screen graphics can guide novices, excellent ISO noise handling
Cons: Controls are too obscured, screen reflections a problem in bright conditions, for best performance you have to dive into the settings and take control