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117 of 125 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent photos but a User Interface that needs improvement
Picked this camera up at Best Buy. So instead of relying on Amazon you should definitely check and see if one of your local stores has it in stock.

Anyway, the first thing you will notice about this camera is that its a bit larger than its predecessor (and the 5N). I've heard a lot of the reviewers bemoan the fact that its a larger camera, I guess those folks...
Published on June 10, 2012 by S. Vogt

versus
115 of 143 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What a nice performing camera but....................
I've had this camera for about three days. It is going back. The images it takes are excellent, the body size for me is just right (big hands), the zoom feature and the portrait framing are really nice features. The build seems to exude quality. Well, if it's such a great camera, why is it going back you ask? I took it out in the California sunshine at 10am and the LCD...
Published on June 24, 2012 by Geo. G.


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117 of 125 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent photos but a User Interface that needs improvement, June 10, 2012
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Picked this camera up at Best Buy. So instead of relying on Amazon you should definitely check and see if one of your local stores has it in stock.

Anyway, the first thing you will notice about this camera is that its a bit larger than its predecessor (and the 5N). I've heard a lot of the reviewers bemoan the fact that its a larger camera, I guess those folks like their cameras to feel extremely front-heavy? With the NEX-F3, the camera feels much more balanced and much more pleasant to hold and shoot with. Also, the deeper hand-grip up front and the placement of the shutter button are plusses as well. It's still quite compact, though.

On this camera, the battery charging is done in-camera like a cell phone. The camera takes a long time to charge though, from what I have noticed so far. The SD card has been separated from the battery slot but it still sits on the bottom of the camera. This can make it a real pain if trying to use a tripod.

The camera's weakest spot is its user interface. Sorry, I should not have to go digging in the menu system to change the ISO. And I should also be able to adjust the shutter speed and aperture while adjusting the focus area which I can't do on this camera. The system for changing settings on this camera is so menu driven that it might slightly irritate enthusiasts who want direct controls to quickly adjust settings. Basic direct access controls should not be a luxury Sony reserves for its more expensive cameras.

The LCD is bright and clear, and articulates. Although this one flips up so you can take self-portraits with it if that's your thing. When you flip up the LCD to face you and press the shutter, you get a 3-second countdown before it snaps a self-photo.

The video is excellent on this camera as is with most Sonys. I haven't played much with it other than shooting short clips but from what I have seen thus far it does really well. It doesn't have much of an enthusiast feature set though.

The camera has excellent image quality...on-par with its sub-$1,000 DSLRs peers. Even at ISO1600 you have to look very carefully to notice some effects of noise reduction and detail degredation. Sharpness and detail capture are excellent. The camera tends to underexpose a little but I would rather it do that than overexpose. The default color output is a little muted, but change the color setting to Vibrant and you get much punchier results (if you're the type of person that prefers more saturated colors). But if you're coming from a point and shoot or even an enthusiast compact, you will certainly notice the different in image quality with this camera. The 18-55 kit lens that it comes with is an okay performer. I think the 16-50 pancake zoom that just came out is a little bit better optically but as a starter lens, the 18-55mm lens is fine.

Shooting performance is top-notch, the AF is snappy even in low-light, and shot-to-shot times are good.

If you don't mind the quirky interface that this camera has, you'll find it to be an excellent performer otherwise. Excellent image quality, decent AF performance, and a comfortable shooting design.
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suits my needs, June 26, 2012
By 
Joy A. (Bentonville, AR) - See all my reviews
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I ordered The NEX F3 from Amazon and when I got it the LCD screen did not turn on. I contacted Sony and they told me to send it in for repair, so I just decided to return it to Amazon for a replacement. Amazon sent me a replacement the very next day and this time it worked. The NEX F3 suits me perfectly. I am not a professional photographer, just a mom who likes to take beautiful pictures, especially of her little kids, friends and I also take pictures at small events. I did not want a point and shoot camera, and I also did not want a compact system camera that looked like a point and shoot. After reading different reviews from professional websites, I decided to go with this one because I really like the way it feels in my hands and I also like the way it looks.(beautiful, sleek camera)
WHY I LIKE THIS CAMERA
Very easy to use
The auto portrait framing
180° tiltable 3.0" LCD for self portrait. (I like taking pictures of myself with my babies so this was very important for me)
Having a built in flash is also a plus.
The photo creativity interface, (the picture effective mode) My pictures look like it was taken by a professional. I used the SDHC EXTREME 16G C10 with this camera and it works very well and very fast.
I am very satisfied with this camera, I really love it.
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63 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars beats my old brick of a DSLR, June 26, 2012
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I'm writing this review after putting my nikon D50 up for sale on ebay. A lot of reviews are going to focus on the fact that manual controls are hidden too deep inside the menu (which is true!), but those reviews are missing the point - that this camera makes good decisions so much of the time that you'll rarely, if ever need to choose the aperture or shutter speed.

What I like about the camera:
1) The flash is mounted on this bendable plastic prop that can be bent to face upwards. This means that instead of your flash whitewashing your subjects, you can have it bounce off the ceiling, giving pictures a far more natural look. This feature has actually made the flash a usable option for indoor photography.

2) The lcd screen flips out, allowing you to take the "me, my wife and the palm tree" pictures you've always wanted to take. You'll see some reviewers carping about how the screen doesn't do a 45-degree bend (like on the nex 5N) for overhead shots, but ignore them - the screen does bend enough for you to take overhead shots.

3) The superior auto mode is the star of the show, so I'm surprised it's not turned on by default. It's this feature that makes me appreciate how far cameras have come over the last 5 years. This mode does a very good job of guessing what you're trying to take a picture of (children, potted plants, gazelles) and applying the right shutter speed, aperture size, etc. This mode also enables auto-HDR, which does a great job bringing out detail in a high contrast picture.

4) This is actually the result of point 3), but the auto white balance on this camera is terrific! With my old nikon I had to constantly be adjusting the white balance, setting it using a grey card, etc. This camera nails the white balance each time!

What I don't like:
There are some settings that seem to disappear if you power cycle the camera - like the picture effect, the "warmth" of the picture, etc. This can get annoying.
Overall, I have to say I'm quite pleased with the purchase. My nikon D50 used to be my camera of choice for the creative control it provided, but this is my new favorite, because it lets me spend more time taking pictures and less time fiddling with settings to get the picture right.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enthusiast's point of view..., July 20, 2012
I'm an photography enthusiast; I like to tinker with my settings (sometimes from shot to shot), so I was a little worried about the lack of external controls on the F3. I've been following the NEX camera's ever since their announcement a few years ago. I had always been fascinated with its features and performance, so I decided maybe the 3 programmable buttons on the F3 would be enough. Apparently the 3 soft programmable buttons are a bit deceiving... The 3 button actually allow you to program 7 settings for quick access! This is because the button in the middle of the dial can be programmed to hold 5 settings. If you choose this, when you press the middle button, it brings up a sub menu of (up to) 5 settings. This along with the 2 pre-programmed buttons (drive mode: single shot, multi... and exposure compensation) really gives you quick access to 9 settings.

Here's what what my setup looks like:
Pre-programmed:
*Up on dial (Display)
*Left on dial (Drive Mode)
*Down on dial (Exposure Compensation)
Soft Programmed:
*Right on dial (Digital Zoom: this actually looks pretty good, so I kept it on easy access)
*Bottom button (Shooting Mode)
*Middle button
>ISO
>Smile Shutter (Fun feature, takes a picture when the camera detects a smile - yeah I fell for it!)
>D-Range/HDR settings
>White Balance
>Auto-Focus Area

A few other notes.
+Good stabilization (I got sharp images even at 1/10 shutter speed)
+Great flash (you can adjust the angle to bounce it off the ceiling for a more natural look)
+Great low-light performance
+Great image quality

-A little too much noise reduction (even on the low setting, wish I could turn it off completely, but you won't notice it much until ISO 1600+)

This camera really exceeded my expectations. If you like tweaking your camera settings, I hope the lack of external controls don't deter you from getting this great camera. You have more control than you think. I primarily shoot in Aperture mode, so I can't vouch for how the program/other auto modes perform. I might try them out on an upcoming trip. If I do, I'll update my findings on this report.

(P.S. The first thing you should do when you get this camera is: bring up the menu, go to setup, scroll down to "Help Guide Display" and turn it OFF! Seriously, the little popup help in the menu is pretty annoying).
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS CAMERA, July 9, 2012
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I love taking photos of almost anything. Thing is, I am not very good even for an amateur. So after a few months of reading and watching many reviews on the NEX C3, NEX F3, NEX 5N and the expensive NEX 7 I decided on the F3. I have not been disappointed. I bought the F3 with the 18mm-55mm kit lens and immediately started shooting, for me, amazing photos. I used the macro a lot at first and got such vivid, sharp, clear pictures that I couldn't believe I took them. So for me I needed a camera that would shoot outstanding photos with little effort or skill on my part. I had a DSLR but after a year of lugging that around I sold it for something a little lighter, the Sony NEX F3. Actually it is a ton lighter in weight even with the kit lens on that I never am without it. I mean, NEVER, without it. The good thing is that it is so easy to use and extremely light weight.

Some of the reviews between the 5N and F3 said it was a drawback for the F3 not to have a touch screen. No problem for me at least. I can go from scene mode etc by just touching the big button on the right of the screen and use the scroll wheel to widen or tighten a shot or scroll through pictures already taken. I am not much for touch screens as I don't like to put any more fingerprints on the screen than I have to so this was a no brainer for me. Also the discussions between the F3 and C3 and the LCD screen. True the C3 has the screen that will tilt down more than the F3 when shooting above your head in concerts, etc (I don't don't go to concerts or ever need to shoot above my head) but with the F3 you have the auto self portrait. After going to Sante Fe, NM and being in the sun I didn't find the tilting of the screen to be of any importance to me. The auto self portrait, I thought, would be a wasted function but to my surprise I used it more than I thought I would. It was neat to be able to take of photo of myself and my husband together (we had to get real close) while at the dog park and I didn't need to ask anyone to take our photo or use a tripod which I don't have and would not haul it around at the dog park anyway. So I can't say it is a useless function and I actually enjoy using it in areas my husband and I want to show others where we are. True if someone took a photo of us it would probably look better but the photos we have are clear and fun. People say it takes a long time to charge the battery on a PC but with the provided wall charger I found the battery charges quickly so again not a problem for me.

Another thing is the movie function of the F3. I have taken several videos and all are clear, sharp, and look like I took it with a full size video camera. You can use the settings to determine the sound but I used the sound as set in default and loved it. Be sure to load the CD into your computer to do reviews of all photos especially the video or you won't have sound. Since I don't do video much anymore and only need it for under 10 minutes (if I even need that much)this is perfect and it saves me money on the purchase of a video camera. I read reviews that the 5N heats up and shuts down after using video for several minutes which was another reason I went with the F3 besides the extra $100 for the 5N.

Things I had to consider in purchasing an expensive smaller camera were as follows....

PROS:

1. I have RA and holding a larger camera with a heavy lens is no longer an option. So those of you with physical problems this may help as I can literally hold this with one hand and take amazing photos. I also only have the use of 1 eye and still can take wonderful photos.

2. I didn't want to spend all my time learning another camera.

3. Point and shoots didn't give me as much as my DSLR and I found them somewhat limiting but the F3 gives me as much as I want to do nowadays and can do a whole lot more if you want it too.

4. The video on the F3 is amazing so I didn't have to purchase a separate video camera since my old one bit the dust a few years ago.

5. The F3 was so easy to use. I literally charged it up overnight and started using it the next morning after just quickly going through the manual. If you use a camera a lot then you can just read about the functions particular to the NEX's and just start shooting.

6. Battery life is good for me. I used is for 3 solid days while visiting Sante Fe, NM and took I don't know how many photos but still had 85% battery left on our way home. I watched a video review of the F3 and they said you can take about 470 photos on 1 battery charge. I believe it as I also took small videos as well.

CONS:

1. The price of additional lenses. One review explained that the "mirror" technology is the reason for the high price. I understand newer technology, especially if it is compact, but seriously? A lens that costs more than the camera with a kit lens? Common on. The sad fact is that for us that want great photos and video today, could wait a few years and most likely get a better camera with all the lens for a little price. Life, for me, is too short to wait.

2. Doesn't have a built in viewfinder. This was the biggest draw back, especially in the sun but since I wear a hat to protect me from the sun it aided in seeing the object I wanted to shoot. You can buy a viewfinder but I looked into the one by Sony and it was very expensive so again I will wait and use my hat which I have to wear any way. I believe the NEX 7 has a lot more plus a built in viewfinder but for at least double the price. These days if I can get what I want to start with immediately then I can search around and get the rest for better prices. You can get a bundle with a couple of lens but you will pay handsomely for it. It is all about being able to afford the options, at least for me and as I use the F3 I will see just what lenses I want and don't want.

I really can't fault this camera. I am sure a professional could find drawbacks but since I am a grandmother and use it for the places we travel to, shooting videos of my alpacas, graduations of grandchildren, and just general shooting of things around town, this F3 is more that I had hoped for or dreamed of. Since I carry it with me everywhere I hope to capture some unusual scenes and perhaps that shot of a lifetime.

I did purchase a Lowepro camera bag that is shaped like my camera at Walmart for $18.00 as opposed to the same bag at Best Buy for $25. It is padded pretty well, strap is good and has an open pocket in the back that I put extra things in so I don't have to carry a purse. However, it is small and I am looking for a slightly bigger one to carry just a few more things in but if I never find it this one is fine and will serve me well.

My camera fulfillment was through Amazon and as a Prime Member I got free 2 day delivery. The camera was delivered on time, in absolute perfect condition. I also bought the 2yr ext. warranty and it was delivered digitally as stated.

Again, I can't fault this camera and you should try it if you want more than a point and shoot, shoots almost as good as a DSLR without having the cost or weight of a DSLR.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best for Self-Portrait/Low-Angle shots. Sony makes the best sexy "mini DSLR", September 19, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I used to work in camera sales, many people wanted a "DSLR" just for the look of it to look "professional", but what good is it if you can't be carrying it most of the time. People would say they don't want a cheap "toy looking" point-and-shoot camera -- and want that nice "background-out-of-focus look" (Bokeh) good quality pictures.

To get that DSLR quality images, it is mainly the size of the sensor and lens. Megal Pixel really has nothing to do with how great the image quality is going to be; it is only the resolution/size of the picture. If you remove the lens, you can see that DSLR cameras have much bigger sensors than small tiny cheap ones on point-and-shoot cameras or cellphones.

Well, without all that bulk on a DSLR, what we got is a nice hybrid camera like this. So don't judge a book by its cover.

This type of camera is usually referred to as Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera (MILC) or EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder with Interchangeable Lens) camera.
Although it is compact (minus an optical viewfinder), under-the-hood, Sony has an APS-C sensor, a sensor as big as a DSLR, inside. Other companies like Panasonic, Olympus, Nikon also produces these hybrid "EVIL" cameras, but their sensor are much smaller called Micro Four Thirds.

The 18-55mm lens on this camera is as big as the camera body itself. The chrome-body of the lens is really beautiful and doesn't feel cheap like most standard-lens that come with a camera.

Apart from the more ergonomic body design than the previous NEX camera, the main selling point for the NEX-F3 is the 180 degree LCD that flip for self-portrait shots.
If you have the Self-Portrait Mode on, when you flip the LCD to the front facing you, it'll automatically turn on a 3-second self-timer (countdown bar will display on the right side) after pressing the shutter. (although I wish there was an faster way to toggle this on/off)

Also what's new is the Auto Portrait Framing technology. Using Face Detection, if a face is detected, it'll automatically crop the picture for you to get a tighter framing/"portrait" shot; it will still keep the original picture, but it creates another copy of the cropped version. It sounds like a gimmick but it's interesting to have. Sony is way ahead of technology like their Sweep Panorama is very impressive, whereas other manufactures panorama stitches them horribly.

In photo video/playback, if you press down on the scroll wheel, you get to view thumbnails. There is only 2 display choices, though: 6 images or 12 images (Go to Menu>Playback>Image Index). If you scroll to the very left of the playback screen menu and press the center button on the scroll wheel, you can change between displaying Still, MP4, or AVCHD View. And if you press Up/Down on the scroll wheel while the very left menu is highlighted, it will scroll to the very first image. I wish there was a way to jump between dates or jump pages without having to scroll down on the thumbnails.

Pros:
- Best for Self-Portrait shots; good for taking picture on a date/friends. Can tilt 180 toward you - Also best for super low-angle shots.
- APS-C sensor (as big as the ones on a full-size DSLR) - takes fantastic "background blurred" (Bokeh) photos
- Full Manual while shooting video (adjust ISO, shutter speed, aperture, focus while recording) - I love that you can shoot under 1/30. Shoot at 1080 at 60i or 24p (at 24 Mbps or 17 Mbps compression)
- Built-in Flash (With the NEX5, you have to attach a flash) - also you can hold/tilt the flash up with your finger, before you press the shutter, to bounce the light for a more natural photo; it works pretty nice!
- 3 physical customizable buttons (circle button right under the dial; right directional button on the wheel; and the middle circle button on the dial) -- if you set Soft key C (the round middle button on the dial) to Custom, it'll allow you to assign 5 more additional shortcut menus

Thank goodness for the customize buttons because I like to set the "Right Key" to ISO because it's much faster than having to go through the cumbersome Menu and it's under Brightness/Color (kind of confusing because one might think it's under Camera settings) and scroll to ISO.

- Peaking mode highlights the edges of what's in focus allowing you to get sharp images -- this is a fantastic feature, especially for more advanced shooters using manual mode or manual lenses on this camera.
- Combined with the peaking mode, there's also a Manual Focus-Assist to zoom in more for easier view for more precise focusing. I love it.

I use an adapter like this RainbowImaging Canon EOS lens to Sony E-Mount to use my new Canon lenses on this body. There are obviously limitations but it works! It gets pretty nice photos too. I can also use my old Canon FD lenses with this camera, having this adapter: Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter, Canon FD, New FD, FL Lens to Sony Alpha Nex E-mount Camera Adapter. Sony can make love with Canon.... (sorry if that turned some of you off or sounded dirty)

I also recommend getting Sony SEL16F28 16mm f/2.8 Wide-Angle Lens for NEX Series Cameras for wider shots and it makes this camera even more portable with its "pancake" size lens. If you happen to get that lens, you'll definitely want to get the Sony VCLECU1 High Definition Wide Angle Conversion Lens - Silver that attaches to the pancake 16mm, which makes it a much wider.

- Beautiful lens (E-Mount 18-55mm lens) and comes with a hood
- Sweep Panorama (Sony has the best technology to stitch them together - the edges are just clean and smooth. Very impressive.)

Cons:
- The LCD screen is not good for high angle shots - in other words, it doesn't really tilt down for that angle - I really wish it did.
- I wish there was a faster way to disable the Self-Portrait Self-Timer than having to go to the Menu/Setup and setting that option to on/off; there should have just been a simple option to toggle that with the Left scroll wheel button or something if the screen is all the way to 180 degrees (instead you'll get an "Invalid with current Self-portrait Self-timer setting. Set Self-portrait Self-timer to "Off"." message)
- In FLEXIBLE SPOT focus mode, it would have been nice to be able to use the dial wheel/turn to move faster to the direction/spot that you want; a bit disappointing since this is how I could quickly move to the spot with the HX30v.
- No separate battery charger - have to charge via camera (although that is also a plus being able to charge via micro-USB)
- Lowest ISO setting is at ISO 200.

This is a great camera for both beginners and photo enthusiasts. It's feature-packed and there's something that will make one happy. Girls will definitely love the self-portrait feature...

If you don't care for the self-portrait/auto-framing/built-in flash and want something more powerful/speeds -- the F3 shoots about 5 frames per second (same as with the NEX-C3), which is more than enough for most people -- but if you need something more, double than that at 10FPS, then check out the NEX-5N or NEX-7 (I would love to have that)

Overall, being picky, it's not perfect, but I really do love Sony's hybrid cameras. The NEX cameras were always an easy item to sell because it just has a lot of impressive features to show off on its own; it was always great to sell something where I had a lot of confidence in the product to make the customer happy and not just try to sell them something. If you want nice quality DSLR-shallow depth-of-the-field-"Bokeh", without all the bulk in your hands, then you need to get this hybrid camera with a APS-C sensor. Again, it's a fantastic camera for anyone, whether you're a beginner or advanced shooter... oh, and did I mention girls will love it too? (Self-Portrait mode)

Highly Recommend.
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115 of 143 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What a nice performing camera but...................., June 24, 2012
By 
Geo. G. (Van Nuys, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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I've had this camera for about three days. It is going back. The images it takes are excellent, the body size for me is just right (big hands), the zoom feature and the portrait framing are really nice features. The build seems to exude quality. Well, if it's such a great camera, why is it going back you ask? I took it out in the California sunshine at 10am and the LCD screen was so dim I couldn't see what I was supposed to be shooting. OK, so I change to the highest manual setting. Not much help although a little better. Still not very bright. So I change to the Sunny Weather setting; this should do it, right? Fraid not. The screen is still dimmer than my Panasonic FZ150 point and shoot. Is is practically impossible to compose a picture on a, what I consider to be poorly designed LCD screen. It is so reflective as to be almost mirrorlike. You have to shade the screen somehow and it still doesn't help much. The designers must never venture outside in the sunlight when they design/test the screens. It breaks my heart to send it back but you either pay another $350 for a viewfinder attachment or live with a camera where composition is a guess and by golly venture when you have no shade to hide in. I don't think the screen on my particular unit was defective, just a poorly designed part of the camera. The screen on my FZ150 was at least a third brighter and practically non-reflective compared to the F3. Sony should ask Panasonic how to design a screen. A gigantic screw up on an otherwise excellent camera! (Could it be a purposeful ploy to force you to shell out another $350 to buy the viewfinder?) I know this review may sound cynical but I really wanted to keep this little beauty but if you can't compose a picture, what good is the camera? I may have to spring for the SLT A57.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stopped Working Properly, March 30, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bought the NEX-F3 to upgrade over the NEX-C3. I enjoyed the C3 a lot, but having to install a separate flash whenever I needed the light was a huge hassle, and the flash almost seemed to overpower that camera. I also didn't like that the C3 wouldn't allow me to flip the LCD screen to point toward where the photo was being taken. Very inconvenient if you want to be in your own photos. The F3 was the only camera in the NEX line at the time that came with an internal flash and a flip-up screen. As a side note, they've since released the NEX-5R which also has these same features. But it's basically the F3 with wi-fi...a feature which is of little value to me.

So I was willing to sacrifice a little of the compact size of the C3 to gain these two needed features that came with the F3 upgrade. But the F3 arrived and just felt like a cheaper camera. I should have been concerned.

Six months later I have just sent back the F3 to Sony for its second round of factory repairs. The camera worked great for about two months. And then, without any clear cause, the camera just started to malfunction. The camera now turns itself off whenever it feels like it. Move the LCD screen...turns itself off. Change a photo setting...turns itself off. Fire-up the flash...camera turns itself off. Turning it back on usually requires removing the battery and then reinstalling it. For a camera that cost me $600 dollars in June of 2012, having it malfunction so fundamentally in less than seven months of ownership is just terrible.

I really wish Sony would get its act together with the NEX line. They seem to be releasing updates to the line faster than I get iOS updates to my iPhone. And each new update seems to produce an NEX camera of lesser quality and craftsmanship. When they stop selling a camera I just purchased eight months ago, and when that camera stops operating properly in the interim, then I start to think I was ripped off by Sony and suckered into buying a flawed product. Not good.

On the positive side, there are many things I really love about the NEX line. Most importantly, when the cameras work, I've been able to produce really great photos on a consistent basis. I'm just the average amateur photographer, so the ability to significantly improve my results like this has been great. Helping you do this are some easy-to-use picture effects. And I love that you can see these effects on the LCD screen before you take the photos. Despite what others have said in their reviews here, I think the NEX line have a very easy menu system to getting at these key features. It's easy to learn and I don't seem to have problems hitting settings or function keys by accident.

Of course, all this assumes the camera is operating properly. I sent mine back to Sony to get repaired and it was returned to me without the problem having been solved. So it's back off to the factory for more work. If they're smart, they'll just swap it out for a new one. Looking like the one I bought is just a dud.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond my expectations!, September 19, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a novice when it comes to cameras, mostly just a weekend dabbler. The Sony NEX-F3 has performed beyond my expectations in a digital camera. I was pleasantly surprised by the crisp, vibrant images this camera captured. The camera's looks gives the impression of a professional piece of equipment, and feel and handling of the camera delivers in the same fashion.

Right out of the box, this camera can easily be a point-and-shoot camera or if you have the expertise, manual adjust the settings for your shots. There are several, easy to use modes on this camera (as listed on the camera's menu):
- Intelligent Auto: Automatically identifies the scene's characteristics and shoots a photo.
- Superior Auto: Enables a wider range of shooting settings than Intelligent Auto including automatic scene detection, auto HDR and image saving.
- Program Auto: Automatically sets aperture and shutter speed. Other settings can be set as desired.
- Aperture priority: Adjusts aperture to change the range in focus and amount of background blur.
- Shutter priority: Adjusts shutter speed to control how moving subjects are captured.
- Manual: Adjusts aperture and shutter speed manually.
- Sweep Panorama (2D): Creates panoramic image while you move the camera left/right or up/down at a fixed speed.
- 3D Sweep Panorama: Shoots 3D panoramic images when moving camera left/right at constant speed.
- Anti Motion Blur: Reduces blur indoors with poor lighting or for telephoto shooting to obtain clear image.
- Scene Selection choices of: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports action, Sunset, Night portrait, Night View, Handheld Twilight.

All of the digital cameras I have purchased in the past came with a memory card but this one didn't. I purchased a SanDisk Extreme 64GB SDXC card since I wanted a memory card that would give this camera the maximum in performance and it shows when shooting in continuous mode.

The tiling LCD screen makes viewing easy while taking pictures or self-portaits and when the sun is behind you while taking pictures just tilt the LCD at an angle to reduce the sun's glare on it. I also bought eForCity Sony Alpha NEX 3 / NEX 5/Nex-5N / Nex-7 Premium Screen Protector Crystal Clear Reduce Glare 2 Pack to protect the LCD from scratches and provide additional glare reduction from the sun while outdoors.

I haven't done much with video recording with camera since I usually use another device for videos.

The most impressive feature I love about this camera is how it reduces the blur when taking pictures of subjects while they are in action and how clear the images are. The second most impressive feature is how well it takes pictures in low light settings.

The only thing I wish I could do on this camera is connect wireless and send pictures but I know that in some cases that wouldn't be realistic given the size some of the photos can be depending on the setting you pick for your photos. But I still wish it. ;)

ETA: Two software applications comes on CD with this camera, PlayMemories Home and Image Data Converter SR v4.0. Image Data Converter SR v4.0 is an application that allows you view and process RAW images from the camera. PlayMemories Home is photo and video editor/organizer that let you view on a monthly calendar layout photos taken on specific days. It has basic editing tools: cropping, red-eye removal, auto color correction, etc. It also let's you share your photos or video from it. You don't have to install this software if you already have a preferred photo/video editing application.

So far, I'm in love with this camera and haven't found much that I don't like about it.

I would recommend this camera to anyone looking for a camera that will deliver high quality photos in various environments from gloomy indoors to a sports event outdoors to night shots without having to an expert with a digital camera but leaves room for growth.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb photos from an entry level ILC!, August 23, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Just like most of the Sony's NEX lineup of Interchangeable Lens camera, The NEX-F3's performance is very good especially for people with little or no experience in photography. The Intelligent and Superior auto modes makes anyone feel like a professional photographer with outstanding photo results.

Here are some of the PROs and CONs before I go into an in-depth review.

PROS:
[+] Superb low light performance up to ISO 1600!
[+] Fast and responsive startup time under 2 seconds
[+] Very Fast burst modes with compatible SDHC class 10 cards - 3 frames /sec or more with Autofocus!
[+] Better than average battery life
[+] Intuitive menu screen that actually tells you what the mode really does with backgrounds! - Nice!
[+] Records at full HD (1080p) 60i or 24p with full image stabilization, autofocus, manual control and zoom.
[+] Dynamic range optimizer and HDR feature makes the photos come out really detailed, crisp and clear.

CONS:
[-] Some quirkiness seen with the body design as fingers can block the self assist beam accidently
[-] The Pop-up flash is purely mechanical in design and does not come on automatically.
[-] The LCD hinge design is bad and will not last long if you keep flipping it at 180 degrees for self portraits.
[-] Internal battery charging is via USB and takes a very long time - cumbersome process.
[-] You have buy a separate charger and batteries like Wasabi Power Battery and Charger Kit
[-] If you battery is low it will work but will fail to load the contents of the SDHC card! - Firmware Bug?
[-] Lens noise gets recorded when you zoom in and out manually onto audio tracks while in movie mode.

The overall impressions by holding the camera were - WOW! This entry level mirror-less Interchangeable lens camera is small and lightweight!. The snappy response and quick startup time and also near perfect photos every time complimented the fact that the included optically stabilized lens system does an excellent job in getting good results.

What I was most impressed was the low light performance of the photos. The Superior auto mode does very good job of keeping the noise level low even at ISO 1600. If you have moderate to good lighting conditions every photo you take is perfectly exposed crystal clear and with rich details. There is some tendency to underexpose some photos but nothing that you cannot fix later using photo editing tools.

There is trick that I learnt from my wife when she told me you can face the flash up when you shoot with flash and get outstanding results. The NEX-F3's Flash bulb can be tilted in any angle you wish manually using your fingers, this proved a valuable tool in aiming the flash beam up the ceiling for example to produce a diffused light when taking portraits and get excellent results! - try this trick you will love the results.

This being an entry level camera in the lineup NEX series This camera boasts the auto modes like Superior auto mode which I like the most as the camera is seen to take multiple photos and stitch them together to provide an excellent balanced photo results.

There are tons of manual modes and SCN modes that one can play with to their heart's content to get creative with the photos. Also love the automatic portrait mode wherein it detects and crops portraits of subjects and saves into separate files.

The camera in my opinion is better than most of the entry level Interchangeable cameras from various other manufacturers. The build quality is very good especially the Lens, It feels solid and functions perfectly.

After having said all good things about this camera there are some obvious quirkiness noticed, One of the biggest problem I found that if you attempt to manually zoom while recording movies using this camera the lens gear noise gets recorded in the audio tracks and sounds very bad.

Also, it is a fact that the 'USB' port is used for charging the internal removable battery. In my tests I found out that it takes a very long time to charge and while it is doing so, you really cannot use the camera during that time frame. The LCD displays that it cannot connect to the USB device! Sony must fix this by firmware update wherein if it detects a power supply connected to the USB port it must disable the USB storage mode of operation and let users use the other functions of the camera like viewing stored pictures. Or just display "charging" and not allow users to start the camera.

The design of the camera is somewhat 'hybrid' of DSLR looking lens attached to a point and shoot camera's body! therefore I personally feel that there may be people who do not like this design and may take a while to get used to that big lens hanging out of the tiny camera.

Overall SONY NEX-F3 is a good value, the accessories on the other hand are somewhat on the expensive side, and the most noteworthy upgrade in terms of accessories would be the Sony FDA-EV1S Electronic Viewfinder for NEX-5N Digital Camera.

Bottom-line: As long as you can ignore the long internal battery charging time and if you have money to spare to buy small and interchangeable lens types of camera, this camera will not disappoint you as it takes very good pictures!
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