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Showing 1-10 of 89 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 113 reviews
on June 10, 2012
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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I'm an old school photographer... not that I'm old, but I had a 35MM SLR in my hands at about age 6. Learning early about F stops and shutter speed, fast forward about 25 years and I've had a lot of digital cameras over the years. I never found a need for a dSLR though I could enjoy the click of a shutter again, the cost just didn't make it realistic as a hobby for me. This is the bridge between enjoying the features of today's digital cameras while getting back that satisfying click of a shutter. Using the camera is not difficult, and if you don't want to mess with menus and settings you don't have to. You can zoom, shoot and download. Don't expect amazing close macros with the lens that ships with this kit.

As far as hardware goes the only specific feedback I have so far is what others have mentioned-- the charging is done IN camera, and it's slow. I've found the best luck topping off the battery after a few uses. This happens very quickly rather than 4 hours of charging when it's inconvenient. That being said you can get OEM and aftermarket batteries for this camera very inexpensively so it probably pays to invest in a second set of batteries to simplify things and reduce any issues coming from battery charging.

I've been satisfied with my results and have thoroughly enjoyed having a bigger sensor that's better able to manage low light situations and having more focal points enabling better control over intentional background blurring.

It's an enjoyable camera, weighted and balanced enjoyably and usefully, and the build quality is excellent for today's standards.

If you have any other novice questions, I'll do my best to answer them in comments.
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on June 12, 2013
I cannot express how much i love this camera. It was love at first snapshot when I was hanging out at the camera station in target one Wednesday night. I loved the look of it, the ease of use and it wasn't so heavy that carrying it around would be annoying. So I started in on research.

I decided to purchase the Sony Nex 3n, the newest version of the camera thinking newer must mean better, right? Wrong. It didn't live up to the f3 in any sense. The screen was noticeably worse and did not work very well in sunlight, the lens wasn't as good, the hand grip was far too small (and I have very small hands) which made the camera fairly front-heavy. I was extremely disappointed. The next day I returned it and ordered the f3 from amazon with a new SD card and filters for the lens for the same price. The only downside to the f3 was manual zoom but with the 3n being top heavy, my hand would have been supporting the lens anyhow.

I've had the camera a few weeks now and I love the picture quality. The size is perfect for my needs and the screen is excellent. My hand feels firm with the larger grip and the tilt back flash is very useful for indoor photos. I can now take a nice camera around with me without looking like I'm trying to be a photographer. Also the screen is far better in sunlight and a lot sharper. It far better depicts how the pictures will look on a computer. The manual controls are easy to understand and very useful when taking photos with less-than-ideal lighting situations. But the camera also adjusts very well in auto mode.

Overall, this is an amazing camera for the price and I would recommend it to anyone in search of great picture quality with a compact camera's size.
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on March 16, 2014
My critique is slightly unfair because the NEX-3N is a newer model and didn't exist when the NEX-F3 was around. But I highly recommend the NEX-3N with power zoom lens instead. It's more intuitive with the PZ lens for someone coming from a point-and-shoot background.

And most importantly, it's much more compact.

My review for the Sony NEX-3N is more descriptive — but in summary the NEX series is good for anyone who prefers to shoot in Auto, I Auto, or S Auto. If you like to customize your controls or shoot in Aperture Priority, the Sony NEX menus can be incredibly frustrating and settings can be inconsistent.

Since I prefer to shoot in Aperture Priority and customize my camera, I prefer the Olympus E-PM2 or E-PL5 instead.
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on May 30, 2013
I've had this camera for over two months now and after daily use, I would recommend it without hesitation. This camera has a solid build quality and feels great in the hands, it starts up quickly, offers all the features you'd expect from a dslr and takes great, quality photos. Battery life is superb and even though I have a spare battery, I haven't had to use it so far even after a full day of shooting. Several things keep it from getting 5 stars, however. The interface/controls and menu are unwieldy and somewhat difficult to learn. Even once you're used to navigating the menu, it's still sometimes awkward and slow to get the settings you want. The pop-up flash is nice to have, but I found it tends to be a bit harsh (tho still better than none at all). Finally, there is no built in viewfinder and the strap that comes with the camera is short and feels cheap.

Overall, this is a great camera for someone who wants to explore photography as a hobby and/or someone who's looking for a more compact camera that still offers the full suite of features with interchangeable lenses.

PROS:
-Solid build
-Great picture quality
-Great battery life
-Compact/easy to use
-Tilt screen is convenient

CONS
-Menu/controls are awkward and sometimes difficult to navigate
-Flash might be a bit harsh
-No built in viewfinder
-Strap feels cheap
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on March 19, 2013
This camera is perfect for anyone who wants higher quality photos and camera features without the complexity of a professional model camera. I've been using it for sports photography and the quality is excellent. It also handles poor indoor lighting conditions (swim meets) very well, without having to manually adjust anything. The intelligent auto setting does it all for you.
I'm sure there are some things that this camera cannot not do that the true professional photographer must have, but for anyone looking for a step up from the typical entry level camera, you will not be dissapointed. The photo quality does not even compare. I highly recommend this camera. Also - the HD video is quite good as well - an added bonus.
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on April 6, 2013
Just got this camera in the mail yesterday and I couldn't wait to start using it. I took a collection of photos with various settings, lighting, and distances...and all of the pictures came out great.

I'm not a professional photographer and in fact, this is my first digital camera that's not a point and shoot. So if you fall into the same category and is considering a mirrorless camera (as these are called), I hope my review helps you make your decision.

That said, I disagree with other reviewers saying that the interface is hard to grasp. I'm by no means a tech wiz, but I was able to figure out most of the interface without having to read the manual it came with. As you scroll over each option in the setup menu, shooting modes, image size, etc. a popup comes to the screen that explains to you what it does. For instance, I go to shooting modes on the main menu, it tells me that the Super Auto Mode sets everything (aperture, focus, shutter speed, etc.) automatically for me based on the picture I'm taking. That's probably the mode I'll use the most. Then I scroll up a few slots, and there's a mode called "Speed Priority" and i wait a few seconds, and the pop up once again comes up and tells me what it does. It sets the aperture and shutter speed to help take pictures of something that is moving. That's pretty easy to understand. So I know if I'm taking a picture of someone moving, I should probably use this setting. There are also modes where you control everything, if you're that knowledgable about photography. I'm writing this review without the camera in my hands, so I may wrong with what it changes and doesn't change...but the point is that the camera tells you everything you need to know about each setting and option when you hover over them.

The images come out great. You can set how much background defocus (how blurry the background of your focused object is) and how much zoom you want with the push of a button and scrolling up or down on the scroll wheel. The same can be said with the digital zoom. It's worth noting that the zoom isn't very much - I think it only goes 4x + whatever zoom your lens is capable of. That is fine for me. I suggest you go to Flickr and search for Sony NEX F3 group and there you'll see a variety of photos taken by people using that camera.

The light sensitivity is pretty decent. I've taken a variety of pictures and found that the flash really isn't necessary in most instances unless you're in an area where there is almost no light at all. I'm happy about that since flash can throw off some photos.

The screen does pop up...but it doesn't swivel 360. It just does a simple 180. It's useful for self-cams but I can't figure out (right now) what else it's useful for. That said, the screen isn't very easy to push back down. It takes a bit of patience and getting used to - to push it down without worrying about damaging the camera. I probably won't be using it often anyway. It does however, come with a flyer that tells you how to properly do it.

There are a few other settings you can use, including some picture effects. A nice and fun addition to the whole thing. I've tried using the panorama mode. That's easy to use too, though I think the iPhone is more user friendly in that aspect. But even then, the camera's panorama mode is pretty simple. You just do as you would on the iPhone and sweep it slowly across. It also does panorama up and down I think. Though i have yet to play with that. I'm not very big on taking Panoramas.

It's also capable of shooting 3D. Those are options I don't find relevant to me either since I don't have a 3D tv and don't plan on having one anytime soon. Maybe someone else will review that feature.

If you're worried about other competing cameras, you can compare them using snapsort.com for a thorough comparison and their comparison on which cameras are a better buy.

OVERALL:

Would I recommend this camera to a friend? Yes.
Am I happy with my purchase? Yes.

Just to be clear...on what it comes with in the box:
- camera body (obviously)
- lens (again, obviously)
- neck strap
- battery
- charger w. usb cable that connects to the charger and the computer
- lens cover
- CD for the image data converter that works with both PC and Mac if you need (or you can download and install it online if you don't have an optical drive)
- manual, accessories catalog, warranty card, flyer about how to put the screen back down properly (see above), 15% off next accessory from Sony Store coupon

FYI, if you're picky about where the camera is made it's in made in Thailand. The lens is made in Japan.
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on April 11, 2013
I have had this camera for a little over a week now and it is a great camera. This is definitely not a low budget camera but an almost professional level camera. This takes outstanding photos and is very simple to use. The flash being built in is great and is very responsive. I have only taken pictures in Auto and intelligent Auto so far but I am impressed. Low light pictures are good in auto without the flash but great with the flash. Pictures of my four month old son are great with the background blur, it just makes the portrait pop.

I played around with the magic functions too and I really love the results with the pop color effect. This effect makes the one color of your choosing (green, red, blue, yellow) show up on a black and white photo. Very cool when you want this color to stand out for an artsy photo. I did find the accuracy of this to be good but not great. Some times with the lighting your color of choice will not show up if a colored area is shaded slightly or you will get color where you don't want color just because it picks a shade close to the basic color and makes it that bold color when it was only slightly that color. Long story short its not perfect but if you can control the circumstances this function adds artistry to your photos.

People complained this camera is larger than the c3 it replaced but I wish it was larger (at least the hand griping area). My hands are large and I can not grip the camera with my right hand with all my fingers which makes for some awkward finger placement while taking pictures. Before buying this camera my wife and I thought that our cellphone pictures of our son were of good enough quality but when cropping, zooming and looking at on a retina display iPad we quickly realized we were not doing our son justice with our cell phone pictures. I knew when buying this camera that it was a lot of money but investing in quality craftsmanship is always a great decision and I believe I have made a great decision in buying this camera.

***UPDATE***
I still use this camera as much as possible. I have probably taken 2500 pictures so far with this camera and I like it a lot. I purchased the Sony Macro lens for use with this camera and that opens up a lot of great photo opportunities with the camera and lens. I like that the camera lcd flips to face the front for impromptu selfies. Camera performs well in low light situations and rarely does my flash fire when I think it may need to.

The speed of the continuous shooting is amazing. I have some great action shots of my now 2 year old son jumping into a pool during this past summer and his grandfather waiting to catch him. Moments like that are great to capture with photos and video.

I am saving up to buy the 55-210mm lens as I enjoy nature and want to capture pictures of birds and other wildlife that are too far away for the stock 18-55 lens that I currently have. I love this camera.
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on October 8, 2013
Mainly I distinctly migration for size . To me it makes me easier to transport the F3 (if it is with a small lens better because I fit in your pocket ) , the D5100 is never comfortable (even without the lens). I have no longer the need to carry an external flash because the flash integrated in the F3 is retractable (you can even lean backwards more than 90 degrees) . I understand that I had to sacrifice some quality in the image ( but not much) , I also took sacrificing the viewfinder ( I think this was the most important , but they sell one as an accessory for F3 , the idea is not so much to carry the especially when the F3 instead focuses very fast and is using the screen, not the case with the D5100 ) . I can say that I miss the most exposure modes (especially on scene mode ) , however the F3 brings enough help . Sincerely F3 is a camera more for an advanced user like me for a professional photographer in the beginning who would serve more the D5100 . In conclusion, the F3 is a great camera ( it has everything ) and is the best price / value that we can find , I assure you .
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on March 30, 2013
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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