The Sony NEX-C3 squeezes a new 16.2MP sensor into a yet smaller Compact System Camera body. Is it the best NEX yet? The What Digital Camera Sony NEX-C3 review…

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Sony NEX-C3

Overall score:90%
Image Quality:95%


  • Good image quality, improved start up time, button customization, small size


  • Poor menu system, no Quick Menu layout, Smart Accessory Terminal fitting, no viewfinder (nor accessory option), battery life still not long lasting enough


Sony NEX-C3 Review


Price as reviewed:


Movie/Video Mode

Sony NEX-C3 review – Movie/Video Mode

Sony NEX-C3: Movie/Video Quality

The NEX-C3’s movie mode doesn’t use the AVCHD capture format as often associated with Sony products, such as the NEX-5, instead opting for MP4 files straight from camera. This format will be more common given its compatibility with tablet devices, Macs and PCs.

The 720p files are captured at 30 frames per second and data is transmitted at a 9Mbps rate – not an especially high amount for high definition though clips still look decent in good light.

Sony NEX-C3: Movie/Video Focusing Modes


Sony NEX-C3 product shot frontAlthough it’s possible to set up single and continuous focus in the C3’s still shooting menus, the camera overrides these and a form of continuous (AF-C) focus is always on when shooting videos. It’s a subtle continuous AF that slowly but smoothly adjust focus (in tandem with exposure) but can sometimes ignore the central subject and not readjust focus – here a half-press of the shutter button activates single autofocus (AF-S) if desired. The latter is far faster at achieving focus but there can be undesirable mis-focusing issues and brightness adjustment that’s captured into the files themselves.

Sony NEX-C3: Movie/Video Manual Control


The NEX-C3 doesn’t provide full manual exposure control, though the Aperture Priority mode can be utilised to set the aperture in advance of recording. During capture it’s only exposure compensation that can be adjusted in real time.

Sony NEX-C3: Movie/Video Sound


The C3’s on board stereo microphone can be seen split to the left and right sides of the lens mount and is able to capture two channel (stereo) audio. The C3’s Smart Accessory Terminal can also be used to attach the optional ECM-SST1 microphone (sold separately) which has a wind sock to cut back on wind distortion. Other third party and more professional microphones are not compatible due to lack of a 3.5mm microphone socket.

  1. 1. Sony NEX-C3 review - Features
  2. 2. Design
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Image Quality
  5. 5. Movie/Video Mode
  6. 6. Value & Verdict
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