Sony has engineered an impressively small camera that takes incredibly good photographs. In fact, the a NEX-3 camera has all quality of a DSLR in about half the size and weight. Pulling off this minor miracle took some clever innovations in glass, silicon and software code.
Sony Alpha NEX-3 Overview and Highlights
Bigger Sensor, Better Pictures
In technical terms, the APS-C image sensor is approximately 13 times the size of the typical sensor. In human terms, you'll be taking photographs, not snapshots. The bigger sensor means softer backgrounds, for more attractive portraits. You'll see better into the dark after sunset, and all your pictures will benefit from 14.2-megapixel resolution.
The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are equipped with a powerful new 14.2-megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, specially tuned to deliver uncompromising still-photo and movie image quality. Equal in surface area and performance to the large, APS-C image sensors used in Sony's acclaimed a system digital SLR cameras, it offers exceptionally rich tonal gradation and true-to-life color. Proprietary Sony processing technologies are also incorporated directly into the sensor, assuring clean, low-noise signal output and ultra high-speed data transfer. World's Smallest and Lightest
The NEX-3 delivers the quality of a DSLR in a camera that's ready to go wherever you go. In fact, this is the world's smallest, lightest interchangeable lens digital camera (as of April 2010). It's roughly half the size and weight of Sony's smallest, lightest DSLR, the a230.
Equipped with an image sensor that's 13 times the size of the typical compact camera's sensor, a NEX cameras turn snapshots into photographs. The bigger sensor means images with softer background that make your subject stand out and stunning low-light shots. Expect More from a Camera
Sony has always recognized that a digital camera could take pictures in ways that film cameras never dreamed of. That's why we've created new capabilities to take your photography further than ever. These include Sweep Panorama, Auto HDR, Handheld Twilight and Anti Motion Blur modes.
Thanks to their powerful Exmor CMOS image sensor and BIONZ image processing engine, both these cameras can offer high-speed continuous shooting at up to 7 fps (approx.) in Speed Priority Continuous mode, and at up to 2.3 fps (approx.) in Continuous Advance mode. In addition, their 10-second self-timer also has a 3-shot continuous shooting setting.
Hand-held Twilight Mode takes six shots at high speed when the shutter is pressed, and then aligns and merges them into a single image, significantly reducing the graininess and noise that can degrade image quality when shooting in extremely low light. Combined with the outstanding low-noise performance of the Exmor CMOS image sensor, it lets you take exceptionally clear, beautiful, nighttime photos without using a tripod or flash.
Like Hand-held Twilight mode, Anti Motion Blur mode uses exclusive Sony image analysis and alignment technologies to combine six shots into a single image. Ideal for low-light and telephoto shooting, it makes it easy to get clear images that capture the mood and atmosphere of the moment. HD Movie
Capture vivid, lifelike HD movies in the PC-friendly MP4 format. The NEX-3 gives you a choice of 720/30p high definition or standard definition 480/30p.
One-touch recording means there's no need to fumble with menu settings when you want to shoot a movie--recording can be started or stopped simply by pressing the dedicated MOVIE button.
When you're shooting movies in AF mode with an E-mount lens, the camera smoothly adjusts focus and exposure in response to changes in the scene, and you can use the control wheel to instantly adjust exposure compensation on the fly. If desired, you can also preselect white balance and Creative Style settings before movie recording begins.
Although many recent video cameras incorporate high-power zoom lenses, none can match the framing flexibility and creative freedom of interchangeable lenses. With the NEX-5 and NEX-3, you get a choice of dedicated E-mount lenses for wide-angle, standard zoom, and high-power zoom shooting, optional ultra wide-angle and fisheye converters, and--via a simple mount adaptor--the full range and world-class optics of the a digital SLR lens lineup. Sophistication Made Simple
Some cameras bristle with knobs, buttons and dials. The NEX-3 replaces them with a simple turn-and-click Control Wheel and a pair of Soft Keys. These give you easy access to the full power of digital photography. To make learning even easier, Sony includes an On-Screen Help Guide and On-Screen Tips.
iAuto mode automatically applies exposure values and Scene Selection modes that are optimized to suit each scene. What's more, they combine this full-auto convenience with a Background Defocus Control function that lets you enjoy one of the biggest creative advantages of interchangeable lens photography--the ability to defocus the background to make your main subject stand out from the scene. Just press and rotate the control wheel to set the level of background defocusing you want--it's easy and intuitive because you can confirm the level of defocusing on the LCD monitor in real-time.
In addition to basic Help Guide information, these cameras are also equipped with built-in shooting tips. The tips provide information relevant to the current shooting situation or mode selection, and are designed with both beginners and more advanced users in mind. Two types of tip are offered: 1) tips about particular types of subject and scene, and 2) tips on general photographic technique. Since the entire library of shooting tips can also be accessed via the Camera menu and viewed as a single guidebook, it's like having a complete photography tutorial built right into your camera.
The main menu features six clearly labeled icons that can be selected simply by rotating and pressing the control wheel. Inside, standard scrolling menus provide quick access to settings for shooting and playback functions, as well as a host of other user preferences and camera settings. The wide-screen format of the LCD monitor also contributes to enhanced menu legibility, so text and icons are always easy to see and select. The Creativity of Changing Lenses
The beauty of SLR photography is the ability to change lenses to match your shooting situation. Now Sony brings that beauty to a compact camera. The NEX-3 gives you a choice of dedicated E-mount lenses, plus a choice of 28 A-mount lenses via an adaptor, sold separately.