Sony NEX-3 review

Review Date : Mon, 2 Aug 2010

Author :

Sony NEX-3 product image front angle 16mm
Sony NEX-3 product image front angle 16mm Sony NEX-3 product image front on red Sony NEX-3 product image top 18-55mm lens Sony NEX-3 product image front angle 18-55mm and flash Sony NEX-3 product image rear back Sony NEX-3 product image top 16mm lens Sony NEX-3 product image front on with flash

Sony's entry-level NEX-3 Micro System Camera is compact-like in appearance but has changeable lenses and produces DSLR quality. The What Digital Camera Sony NEX-3 review...

Pros: Affordable, image quality, small size
Cons: Fiddly flash unit, excessive menu digging, limited to three current lenses

Released in tandem with Sony's NEX-5 Micro System Camera, the NEX-3 is a similar offering with a few dressed-down features to offer a more affordable, yet still highly capable system...

Sony NEX-3 review - Features

Not to be confused with Micro Four Thirds (Panasonic & Olympus) cameras, Sony's standalone venture into the Micro System Camera market employs the company's new APS HD CMOS sensor, meaning the tiny-bodied NEX-3 benefits from a sensor the same size as that found in most DSLR cameras.

Producing 14.2MP stills up to a sensitivity of ISO 12,800 (at full resolution), the NEX-3, like its big brother NEX-5, is all about DSLR-like quality from a very compact package.

 Sony NEX-3 review sample image

Sony NEX-3 review image - click for full size gallery

As well as being among the smallest and lightest system cameras on the market, the NEX-3 is also capable of capturing 720p HD movies using the Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) format that's output straight from camera without the need to process.

Point-and-shoot capability is the NEX-3's forte and yet there are full manual controls as well as an abundance of scene modes and Sony-exclusives. On the latter front there's the Sweep Panorama mode that takes a series of images while you move the camera through 224º in real time to generate an auto-stitched 23MP panoramic image. Plus with a recent firmware upgrade this can be captured in 3D and output to a compatible 3D TV or device.

Martin Evening

Martin Evening

Photographer, Photoshop Alpha Tester, official Adobe roadshow speaker and lecturer. But perhaps best known as the author of the worldwide, definitive, best-selling series of Photoshop guides, Photoshop for Photographers.. Visit his website.

Price as reviewed



Features 19/20
Design 16/20
Image Quality 19/20
Performance 18/20
Value 18/20
Overall Score 90%