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...

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Sony NEX-3

Overall score:90%
Image Quality:95%


  • Affordable, image quality, small size


  • Fiddly flash unit, excessive menu digging, limited to three current lenses


Sony NEX-3 Review


Price as reviewed:

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.

  1. 1. Sony NEX-3 review - Features
  2. 2. Design
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Image Quality & Value
  5. 5. Verdict
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