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Sony Alpha NEX-3 Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera w/18-55mm Lens (Silver)- 14.2 Mpix

by Sony
2.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

Available from these sellers.
With Zoom Lens
  • Enter your model number above to make sure this fits.
  • The quality of a DSLR in about half the size, weight
  • World's smallest, lightest interchangeable lens camera
  • Same APS-C sensor size, same resolution as Alpha DSLRs
  • 14.2 MP; up to 7 fps shooting; ISO 12800 sensitivity
  • Sweep Panorama captures incredible landscapes
6 used from $194.00 2 refurbished from $204.99

Technical Details

Product Description

Style: With Zoom Lens

Product Description

The performance of a DSLR without the size and weight. The NEX-3 stands apart as the world's smallest interchangeable lens camera.3 Experience gorgeous HD movies,1 astounding low-light pictures, continuous shooting up to 7 fps, incredible panorama shots, and Live View on a tilting 3" LCD4.

From the Manufacturer

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

Sony Alpha NEX-3 interchangeable lens camera from
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
Sony Alpha NEX-3 interchangeable lens camera from
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.
Sony Alpha NEX-3 interchangeable lens camera from

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.

Sony Alpha NEX-3 interchangeable lens camera from
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
Sony Alpha NEX-3 interchangeable lens camera from
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.

Sony Alpha NEX-3 interchangeable lens camera from
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.

Product Information

Style:With Zoom Lens
Product Dimensions 4.6 x 1.3 x 2.4 inches
Item Weight 10.4 ounces
Shipping Weight 2.2 pounds
Item model number NEX3K/S
Customer Reviews
2.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #9,532 in Camera & Photo
#191 in Electronics > Camera & Photo > Digital Cameras > Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Mirrorless Cameras
Date first available at May 11, 2010

Warranty & Support

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W. Jenkins on August 25, 2010
Style Name: With Zoom Lens
I'm experienced with 35mm SLRs and Digital Point & Shoot cameras, and I recently bought this camera (Sony NEX-3 with 18-55mm lens) because I have been disappointed with the quality of photos I can achieve with Digital Point & Shooters. Having been originally spoiled by my Nikkormat and Minolta 35mm cameras I found myself taking fewer and fewer pictures on my small Digital cameras simply because the pictures were just OK. So, with some important life events coming in the next couple of years I decided to upgrade, yet I dreaded the thought of carrying around a bulky and heavy DSLR.

The NEX-3 has solved this problem for me: Great pictures, excellent indoor pictures often with no flash needed, and much better portability than a DSLR.

Before purchasing I read the reviews and noted some were especially critical of the user interface Sony designed for the NEX series, so when I went to the store to try one I was expecting the worst. Instead, I found the NEX to have an extremely elegant and seductive interface, much better than any of the Digital Point & Shoot cameras I've had. I repeat, the interface is actually seductive. Now, if you compare the interface to a DSLR you will immediately see that the controls are not always visible and at-hand, they must be pulled up on the screen via the menu buttons. Therefore, I do not recommend this as a "downgrade from DSLR" camera until you have tried one in person. However, with my SLR experience I was pleased to see the animated representation of the P-A-S-M knob. And once "A" (aperture priority) is chosen, for example, the aperture adjustment is directly available as part of the viewfinder display. The interface is immediately recognizable to anyone with DSLR/SLR experience.
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Style Name: With Zoom Lens
I own numerous cameras ranging from small pocket point-and-shoot, underwater cameras, to high end heavy SLR's. If I had to pick one camera to replace them all, this would be the one! The two most outstanding features that put it in this position of distinction are its light weight, and the large APS sensor which produces excellent images even in dark rooms without flash, that are equal to those produced by an SLR.

The images are sharp and free of the "grain" that the small cameras produce. It is light enough to carry around all day. Others have commented about battery life, but I am able to shoot 300 images using up only 30% of the battery. This means it is capable of shooting 1000 images on a charge ( without flash ).

The zoom 18-55 mm zoom lens is of good quality, and since I usually shoot indoors, is of more than adequate resolution, even with ISO of 1600. The wide angle 16 mm does appear sharper however. I also purchased the full frame Fisheye attachment which is much fun to use and even works in Panorama mode.


The video mode is quite good, and even the sound quality is surprisingly good with the built in microphone. The flash does work but is slightly clumsy, and I had to read the instructions to get it to work ( It has to be screwed in and flipped up ).

Cons: The menu system is overly complicated, and more buttons are needed in the camera. I have been using Sony cameras for years and know the system well, but even I had problems with it. I would like if a Macro Lens were available, and also a short zoom of about 100 mm, and a normal portrait lens of about 50 mm f/2.0 for available light - narrow focus. It should be noted however that there is an adapter of other Sony lenses available.
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Style Name: With Zoom Lens Verified Purchase
As a photography enthusiast for many years, I've been looking for something that was not as complicated or as costly as a DSLR. I stumbled across the NEX-3 and the price point was appealing. After a lot of research, I purchased this camera several weeks ago from Amazon Warehouse Deals as a "used" item, saving me over $100! I wasn't sure what to expect, but this camera was basically brand new. It was labeled as "Like New" so I'm guessing it was purchased and opened, then immediately returned. As of writing this review, I see there are none left at the price I paid, so I got lucky.

Since receiving the camera, I have taken close to 2000 photos with it. Every review I've read here and on popular gadget websites is spot on. This is an amazing upgrade from a P&S and will not disappoint. In fact, I purchased this camera right about the same time as my cousin purchased a Nikon d5100 and she was questioning if she made the right choice after seeing the photos I uploaded to Facebook. I've managed to take some pretty amazing shots with very little knowledge about shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Meanwhile, my cousin is struggling with her DSLR. I've learned a lot about photography from using the NEX-3. The Intelligent modes are great, but now I shoot mainly in A/S/M which offers me a lot more control. That's the beauty of this camera. It's pretty good even in the auto modes, but really excels in more experienced hands.

Without getting into too many details, I'll just say that this camera is amazing if you're a looking to get into photography as a hobby. And if you're getting into photography, you also know that lenses are important, even more so than the camera itself.
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