The performance of a DSLR without the size and weight. The NEX-3 stands apart as the world's smallest interchangeable lens camera available today. Experience gorgeous HD movies, astounding low-light pictures, continuous shooting up to 7 fps, incredible panorama shots, and Live View on a tilting 3-inch LCD.
Smallest in class
This is the world's smallest interchangeable lens digital still camera (as of April 2010). We removed the conventional mirror box, AF sensor and viewfinder, reducing the flange back distance from 44.5 mm to 18 mm. The result has all the quality of an a DSLR, but is 48% smaller and 49% lighter than Sony's a230.
Compatible with Sony's E-mount series of smaller, lighter lenses designed specifically for a compact interchangeable lens cameras. Opens up a world of creative options.
APS-C size HD image sensor
The same sensor format that Sony builds into the full-sized a DSLRs. With 13 times the area of the typical2 image sensor, APS-C makes the difference between snapshots and photographs, delivering an exceptional combination of high resolution, high sensitivity and gorgeous, blurred backgrounds.
HD movie recording
Capture vivid, lifelike HD movies in the PC-friendly MP4 format. Shoot 720/30p high definition or standard definition 480/30p.1
14.2 megapixel resolution
You get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements. Thanks to the APS-C sensor size and Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS technology, the camera achieves high resolution with no penalty in low-light sensitivity or sensor noise.
Up to 7 frames per second
Capture the decisive moment in sports and get the ideal baby photo. Up to 7 fps continuous shooting at full 14.2 MP resolution with exposure and focus fixed at the first frame. Standard continuous shooting at up to 2.3 fps.
ISO 12800 sensitivity
Incredibly clear low-light pictures without sacrificing detail. As of April 2010, this is best-in-class performance, made possible by low-noise Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor and refined BIONZ image processor.
Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter, sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together. Up to 23 MP image size. Up to 202 degrees maximum sweep angle (16mm focal length).
Anti Motion Blur mode
Corrects for subject movement to capture amazingly clean and sharp images in low light. The camera leverages the large, APS-C image sensor and captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data from all six creates a single image that minimizes subject blur.
Hand-held Twilight Mode
Get cleaner and sharper nighttime pictures?beyond the capability of traditional cameras?without using flash or a tripod. The camera leverages the large, APS-C image sensor and captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data from all six creates a single image of extraordinary detail and low noise.
Auto HDR built into camera
High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography captures more scene contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining the best highlight detail from one shot and the best shadow detail from another for one incredible shot. Until recently, you needed a computer and editing software. Sony builds HDR in. Handles severe backlighting and other high-contrast scenes. Captures in a split second. (Recommended for still subjects.)
Live View LCD
The LCD monitor is active full-time for composing shots. Provides a what-you-see-is-what-you-get preview of white balance, focus, depth of field, exposure and 100% framing accuracy, plus informative on-screen displays.
Tiltable 3-inch LCD screen4
Empowers your photography with a different point or view. Tilts down 45° and up 80° to frame high- and low-angle shots that would otherwise be hit-or-miss.
920K pixel TruBlack LCD screen
Sony's Xtra Fine LCD monitor has best-in-class resolution (as of April 2010). The TruBlack screen includes a special resin layer to suppress internal reflections, increase contrast compared to conventional LCDs. Sunny Weather mode boosts visibility even further in bright sunlight.
Fast Auto Focus
Some cameras in this class are slow to focus. That can make you miss the shot on fast-moving subjects like sports and unpredictable subjects like pets and babies. Sony's fast Contrast Auto Focus system typically takes just 0.3 seconds. Also offers continuous Auto Focus when shooting movies.10
Intelligent Auto Focus
Pre-focuses as you compose the shot, further reducing focusing time to a bare minimum.10
iAUTO (Intelligent Auto) mode
Unifies and simplifies Sony intelligent technologies. Takes advantage of Intelligent Scene Recognition, Face Detection technology, and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization without leaving auto mode so you always get the best shot.
On-screen Help Guide
Provides ready reference, explains the camera's modes and settings. Walks you through camera operation so you get the best shot. Helps you advance from basic operation to greater sophistication.
On-screen Shooting Tips
Offers expert advice so you can shoot like a pro.
Control Wheel + Soft Keys
Unlike cameras that bristle with knobs, buttons and dials, the NEX-3 features a simple turn-and-click Control Wheel and context-sensitive Soft Keys. It's elegant, uncluttered and intuitive.
Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor
Conventional image sensors use only a handful of analog-to-digital (A/D) converters, which can slow you down. The NEX-3 Exmor sensor provides 4,592 column-parallel A/D converters. You get fast response, superb image clarity.
BIONZ image processor
The brains of the camera is a refined version of Sony's BIONZ image processor. Its chroma noise reduction delivers high-resolution, low-noise photos even at ISO 12800 sensitivity. Also enables fast processing for up to 7 fps continuous shooting of data-intensive 14.2 megapixel images. Sweep Panorama and 6 image layering.
Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO)
Dynamic Range Optimizer improves results with backlit subjects and recovers details hidden in shadows. Settings include Auto, Level with a choice of five operating levels and Off.
Accepts a DSLR A-mount lenses6
Using the LA-EA1 adaptor (sold separately), you can attach the full selection of a A-mount system lenses, which includes 28 current models and an installed base of millions of lenses worldwide. Operational restrictions apply.6
25-point Auto Focus
25 sensors cover a very wide area of the scene, for accurate focusing even when the subject is far from the center of the frame.10
Optimizes exposure based on 49 segments. Choice of Multi, Center and Spot metering accommodates a full range of shooting situations.
Manual Focus Assist
Greatly magnifies the viewfinder image when you touch the focus ring, making it easy to get razor-sharp images. Works with E-mount lenses only.
RAW image capture
The NEX-3 saves your pictures as compact JPEG files or ultra-high quality RAW files. RAW files save images prior to de-mosaicing, white balance, sharpness and color enhancement. This retains maximum latitude for enhancing the image on your PC.
Background Defocus control
Cameras with APS-C sensors take beautiful pictures because they can blur the background. That helps make your subject stand out as the center of attention in portrait photography. But you've had to know about aperture f-stops and shutter speeds. Now Sony makes it easy. Simply turn the Control Wheel one way for backgrounds in focus, the other for background defocus.
Accepts image stabilized lenses
Selected E-mount lenses incorporate Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to combat the effects of camera shake. Building stabilization into the lenses enables the camera body to be remarkably thin and light.
Powerful supplied software11
To help you refine and manage your images, the camera is equipped with computer software including Image Data Converter SR, Image Data Lightbox SR and Picture Motion Browser (PMB).11
Face Detection technology
The camera can automatically detect up to eight individual faces and adjust focus, exposure, white balance and flash to help deliver crisp, properly lit images of family and friends. Can prioritize children or adults.
Smile Shutter technology
Captures a smile the moment it happens. Simply select the Smile Shutter mode and the camera takes the picture automatically. You can prioritize children or adults and adjust the smile sensitivity.
HDMI output for HD viewing
Enjoy HD movies and stunning still images on a compatible HDTV. The camera includes an HDMI output.12 In addition, the BRAVIA Sync system works with compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTVs enabling you to control camera playback using the television's remote7.
Eight Scene Selection Modes
These help you get the shot by optimizing the camera for specific shooting situations. Select from Portrait, Sports, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night View, Night Portrait and Hand-held Night Shot modes.
Six Creative Style settings
Control how the camera processes your images with six finishing styles: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset and B&W. You can even fine-tune contrast, saturation, and sharpness to your personal taste.
P/A/S/M operating modes
The NEX-3 offers a full range of controls from the beginner's iAUTO mode to P/A/S/M: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual. On-screen prompts help you refine your skills, build your confidence and exercise greater creative control.
Anti-Dust Technology helps keep the CMOS sensor clean, resulting in consistently clear pictures. First a static-free coating on the sensor's low-pass filter helps repel dust. Then vibration automatically dislodges dust from the sensor.
Up to 300 Shots8 of battery life
Take up to 300 shots on a single charge8 with Sony lithium ion Stamina battery power. Sony's InfoLITHIUM battery system enables you to see the percent of power remaining, so you can keep shooting in confidence.
Supplied detachable flash
To help you shoot more effectively in formal portraits, the supplied flash has a Guide Number of 7.
Dual Media Slots
For cost-effective, convenient storage and sharing of your images, the camera accepts Memory Stick PRO Duo/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and SD/SDHC media (Class 4 or higher recommended). (Memory card is required. All are sold separately.)
PhotoTV HD compatibility9
Optimizes compatible BRAVIA televisions for gorgeous display of digital pictures.
Index and Slide Show Display
Quickly review your photos using 6- or 12-frame index views, or as an automatic slide show with fade-in/fade-out effect.
1 - Movie recording is limited to segments of 29 minutes, maximum. When using movie mode Memory Stick PRO Duo with MARK2 logo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG HX Duo or Class 4 or higher for SD/SDHC media are recommended.
2 - More than 13 times the area of 1/2.4-inch type sensor of the Sony DSC-WX1.
3 - World's smallest, lightest interchangeable lens digital camera as of April 2010
4 - Viewable area measured diagonally
5 - 48.8% smaller and 49.1% lighter compared to Sony a230.
6 - Attaching Sony A-mount lens requires LA-EA1 adaptor (sold separately). Manual focus and full open aperture shooting only.
7 - Works with other BRAVIA Sync or Theatre Sync labeled HDTVs when connected via HDMI interface. Mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable required, sold separately.
8 - When fully charged. Actual results may vary based on product settings, usage patterns and environmental conditions.
9 - Compatible BRAVIA HDTV and HDMI or component cable (all sold separately) required for PhotoTV HD viewing. Specifications for BRAVIA HDTV shown vary according to market region.
10 - Auto Focus function is only available with Sony E-Mount lenses.
11 - PMB requires Microsoft Windows XP SP3/ Windows Vista SP2/ Windows 7. Mac OS not supported. Movie format is compatible with iMovie '09 or later versions.
12 - HD Viewing requires a mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable and compatible HDTV, both sold separately.
[3 of 3 customers found this review helpful]
Comments about Sony Sony alpha NEX-3 Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera w/18-55mm Zoom Lens (Black):
Over all great camera. I used it all over Europe and had excellent pictures. The panaorama sweep was a greaat feature.