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Sony Alpha NEX-3 review

Published On 28-May-2015

We actually like Sony NEX cameras very much. All those cameras are quite easy to use and also thanks to their immense sensors that provides the best image quality in dull light conditions of any compact system camera (CSC) range. Even though, the entry-level models have inclined to be outshined through the more stylish as well as the feature-packed affordable models for example the superb Sony NEX-5R.


The design of NEX-3N sets to change this model. For one thing, the cost is quite low, and the camera is available at almost £320 that is almost £100 less as compared to the earlier entry-level models at its unveiling event. The good news is that it is comparatively heavier  and18-55mm kit lens has been abandoned in favour of the smaller and lighter 16-50mm lens that we initially watch on the Sony NEX-6. From edges it is quite sharp as compared to the 18-55mm lens, as well as the smaller design makes the 3N the most pocket-friendly NEX to date. The zoom function of the camera is motorized, which permits it to fall down when it is not in use. At almost 71mm from the lens cap to the LCD display of the camera, this camera will just fit into sensible trouser pockets, and can easily fit into coat pockets, handbags and wallets.

Several other features of the camera have been sheared out as compared to the NEX-5R, which presently retails for almost £420, or £430 along with the 16-50mm lens. There is no Wi-Fi, and the LCD display screen is not touch-sensitive. Moving the autofocus point by utilizing the navigation pad is much slower as compared to the touchscreen of 5R. However, these are luxuries that we could imagine our lives without. On the camera, there is no command dial or Fn button, however similar to the previous models, it is possible to reconfigure the back controls to get the fast access to approximately six user-defined settings.

The camera also does not contain the magnesium alloy body of 5R. Its plastic cover is not as slim or as stylish however it yet feels quite hard and durable as well. The main advantage of the camera is it’s built in flash, which is much more practical as compared to the clip-on unit of 5R. Similar to the Panasonic GF6, this pop-up flash of the camera can be slanted back and up to bounce light off the top limit, providing the camera dimmer, flattering light as compared to the direct flash.


It was quite fast to focus, at less than half a second between pressing the shutter button as well as to capture an image. It took 0.8 on average between shots and the result is not so bad however the Panasonic GF6 quite faster. It was much better in continuous mode, recording at 11 frames at approximately 4 frames per second before slowing only slightly to 3.4 frames per second.


The major difference is the quality of the LCD display screen. At almost 460,800 dots it is not as detailed like the 5R's 921,600-dot screen. More meaningfully, it vacillates badly from the reflections when it utilized in the brighter situations. The screen can tilt up to almost 180 degrees for waist-level recording as well as the self-portraits, however even along with it facing directly towards the consumers, it was quite tricky to watch outdoors, and virtually quite impossible in direct sunlight.

Image Quality

The 3N has the capability to take impressive images. Its images are quite sharp and detailed as well; moreover there is an automatic correction for vignetting and chromatic deviations. Similarly along with the other megapixel NEX cameras, noise levels are quite low. Low-light image quality is still the strongest Suit of the NEX there is hardly any noise here and lots of detail.

The video mode of the camera is well detailed, along with the 1080p or 1080i shooting at almost 25 frames per second and full control through the exposure settings for the consumers who requires it. It also gives impressive results in the bright light conditions however it was pretty in noisy conditions.

Final verdict

The pocket-friendly design of the camera, impressive image quality and also the oddly bargain price are an alluring combination. Firstly we found that the display screen reflections took the enjoyment out of utilizing it outdoors, however when we would locate the Sunny Weather setting, this immobile being a major issue. We still gave preference to the more feature-packed Panasonic GF6 and NEX-5R (or the only proclaimed NEX-5T which adds NFC to the 5R for the convenient connections to other devices). Even though, if your budget would not stretch that far, the NEX-3N is an exceptional choice for the consumers.

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