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Sony Alpha NEX NEX3A/R Digital Camera with 16mm F2.8 Lens (Red)
Style Name: With Wide Angle LensChange
Price:$399.95 + $5.49shipping
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2010
Style Name: With Wide Angle LensVerified Purchase
I've never owned an SLR camera, just basic point-and-shoot digital cameras, so my review is coming from that perspective, rather than someone used to the features available on most SLRs.

First off, the "intelligent auto" is by far superior to any automatic mode I've ever experienced before. I've had a tendency to use "programmable auto" or even "manual" mode on my previous cameras any time I really wanted the color balance, shutter speed, and ISO settings to end up the way I'd want. I probably never have to do that with this camera, other than for low-light, slow-shutter photos (the default for the camera is to up the ISO instead of slowing the shutter beyond a certain point). That's not to say that I don't like playing around with the manual settings anyhow -- I do -- but I really don't have to in order to get good photos. Many of the other automatic-type features are also great, such as the facial recognition (which works great about 80% of the time -- has trouble with faces turned at an angle, though) and the smile-detecting auto-shutter.

The video quality is phenomenal, and I like that there isn't some unnatural limit on the length (I want to say the limit is about half an hour or so for HD quality, but I've never come close to reaching that). This will basically serve as my camcorder, and unless I'm planning to record a play or something, I think it'll be more than sufficient for that purpose.

The only downside I've encountered so far is tied to the lens more than to the camera -- I didn't realize how much I'd miss the ability to zoom in and out. There's only so much you can do with cropping, and sometimes getting closer to the target just isn't feasible. So, I'd probably suggest buying the camera with one of the other lenses if you're torn between this one (for compact/portability) and another, more flexible lens. This lens is the smallest, but it's still not really going to be pocket-sized (unless you have massive cargo pockets or something). I'm almost certainly going to get another lens sometime soon, and once I do that I expect I'll be using the other lens a lot more than this one.

Other than that... the battery life improved greatly when I downloaded the firmware update from Sony. Make sure you do that -- it's not clearly explained in the product manual, but it's pretty straightforward if you look it up on the Sony product support website.

In sum, I got this because my wife was going to be giving birth to our first child, and I wanted to be able to take good-quality family photos for the next few years. So far, I think I made the right choice.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2010
Style Name: With Zoom LensVerified Purchase
im not professional, but i know how DSLRs work and how to take some decent photos, i will say for the price you might as well get a DSLR, but i wanted something more portable. This definately works.

it is very small and has the same sized sensor as a regular sony SLR (let alone nikon or canon) not full frame but its large meaning photos turn out great. i got the mount adapter and a portrait lens and wow, the bokeh is wonderful. the pictures are very crisp and clear. Battery life was not too great because you always have to use the LCD screen to take photos, but i wasnt too into view finders anyway. when i want to i might sell this one in a year or 2 to get a sony SLT camera but those have some issues too. for now this is the best small form factor camera around. hands down.

new lenses are coming out in 2011 as well with the emount system.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2011
Style Name: With Wide Angle LensVerified Purchase
I am LOVING the camera for its picture taking skills. Low light pictures turn out great and the colors really pop, the depth of field offered by the large sensor make the picture really come alive.

As a trade off, obviously, zoom lenses are expensive to come by. Lucky with a 14 megapixel sensor cropping has decent results.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2011
Style Name: With Wide Angle LensVerified Purchase
This is a great little DSLR. With the 16mm F2.8 wide angle lens, it fits in our pocket and acts like the best point and shoot camera ever--it also shoots hi-def video.

This camera really shines when you change the lenses and do some serious shooting. It has all the functionality you want in a DSLR in a small package. Best of all, if you already have a DSLR and are looking for a good back up, or you shoot 35mm and want to use the lenses from your non-digital SLR, you can buy an after market adapter for your lenses that will mount them to the NEX-3 and its big brother the NEX-5. The drawback to this camera is that the Sony lenses can be more expensive than the camera and they don't offer the same performance as other lenses.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2011
Style Name: With Zoom Lens
I am a handicapped man whose balance is almost nonexistent, and whose hands have a pretty bad tremor, but even I can take wonderful shots with this, and when I loaned the camera to my able-bodied friend the results were truly painterly. The automatic focus features are really easy to use, and the results are very, very nice. The only reason I wouldn't say "stop looking and buy this,"is the flimsy and badly designed flash attachment. This camera's sensor does take great shots even in the twilight, but it's not magic and needs the flash when it's dark. The flash attachment hooks tenuously via pins into some holes on the top of the camera concealed by a lid that feels as if it may break if used much.(As does the lid over the USB port.) The flash attachment falls off at the slightest tap, and often if the camera is merely hanging from my waist. It is just a matter of time before it falls into the sea or somewhere else where it's irrecoverable. I have complained to Sony about this, but stunningly I received no reply. Sadly, I cannot recommend this otherwise nice little camera until Sony fixes the flash. (If one spends the best part of $500 on a camera, one should expect a decent flash.)
(ipdate, Dec. 21, 2011) I have been told the flash has a thumb-screw, and so it does. Small and hard to reach, but it's there. I was prepared to completely re-write this reveiw, without any negative comments, but the thumb-screw had no discernible tightening effects whatsoever. (Maybe mine is just defective.)
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on June 29, 2014
Style Name: With Wide Angle LensVerified Purchase
Be sure to cover the LDC screen with a protective film ,the anti-glare coating is very weak, it will scratch/rub off very quickly
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on June 17, 2014
Style Name: With Wide Angle LensVerified Purchase
This was my first DSLR camera and I love it!! I love Sony products because they are very reliable and cost of the camera was a steal of a deal. I love that it is small and has interchangeable lenses. I am going to upgrade to a newer sony with a viewfinder soon and I will still be able to use the lenses without buying others.
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on December 2, 2013
Style Name: With Wide Angle LensVerified Purchase
Nice beautiful looks, and nice photos as well. Well balanced in weight and size. Comfortable to carry around without the extra bulk.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2011
Style Name: With Zoom LensVerified Purchase
This is a great product in every aspect. I did alot of research and there isnt really anything that can compare to this product in regards to quality and the available features at this pricepoint. I strongly recommend this camera.
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on August 28, 2014
Style Name: With Zoom Lens
Good Camera! Cant complaint!
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