Sony Nex3

A long long time, in a galaxy far far away, I had a unit of the Sony Nex C3 to play around with. I was holding the unit on loan for someone, and while testing out the general functions, I got a pretty good feel of the camera overall.

First things first, the Sony Nex C3 is in a different league from normal point-and-shoots. It's classified under the Micro Four Thirds category putting it somewhere in the 'prosumer' category - in between the compacts & DSLRs. I've seen some other cameras from this category in action, with some great features, but it lacked the kind of power the Sony Nex C3 demonstrates in terms of image quality and shootability rate.

On first impression, it's chunky. Like, reeaaalllyy chunky. It's certainly not pocket-sized like any average point-and-shoot that I've been used to; the size of the lens itself is only slightly smaller than the lenses I use on my normal DSLR. The body of the camera itself may be made of plastic (unlike its newer sibling NEX 5 that has a magnesium alloy build), but it turned out to be surprisingly solid to tote around.

It's still got all the fancy features and filters that most compacts from Canon use - vignetting, soft focus, color editing, etc. With a camera like this, you'd find yourself using color-added features and filters more than the auto mode.

It's got a punchy feel for colors and fast focusing - chekkidout! I think the soft-skin effect was on in most of the pictures, and some vignetting here and there :)

Supermarket colors - never have fruits looked so appetizing

Dinner with Karen

At Palette Palette

Side note here, I was at Palette Palette late at night, and the place only had some candles and few lamps for lighting. Despite that, the Sony NEX C3 managed to get some bright, sharp shots despite the dim-lighting. No flash in any of the pics btw!

Random drive-by shooting in KL. Geddit, geddit!

Posterization Effect

Soft skin mode heehee :D

Punchy colors!

Pop Art

We were playing Taboo - Palette's a nice place to hang out btw!

High Contrast Mono

Retro Mode

Vignetting effect (Toy Camera)

Side note, in between changing of modes, one of the things that I didn't quite take to was the general interface of the camera. I found the transition of modes, and layout of the Menu and Options quite clumsy and not quite intuitive as I would like. However, I heard that they've improved on this in the newer NEX 5, if anybody knows if this is any good, let me know! :D

I should mention however, that Sony has made it easier for non-pros to control certain settings on some modes, like background defocus (basically bokeh la). Basically the camera will tell you to turn the dial this way for more focus in the background, and the other way for less (making it look more DSLR-like lots of bokeh, putting focus on the main subject of the pic). Same goes for a 'turn this way for shooting things that are moving' kinda function. From the terms used, to the icons used, it's almost like they programmed it for noobs who want to move on to a DSLR :D

Pro's? It's got great image quality, and it also has a pretty wide range of creative filters & features that are great fun to play around with.

It's got a flip screen as well, which I honestly didn't utilize all that much. This LCD flips out for waist-viewing & overhead angle shots, but I'm a girl. I prefer sideways-flipping LCDs for cam-whoring purposes :D

The build of the camera and the lenses are quite top-notch - the lens in particular has smooth zoom/focus rings and looks very smart with its metal finish. This series comes with a range of interchangeable lenses, including some prime lenses which have gotten rave reviews somewhere on the net.

There are a few things Sony has going for them, one being that not many other notable camera brands have great Micro Four Thirds cameras. Sony also has the best Sweep Panorama mode that I've ever had the opportunity to use (CANON are you listening?) which other brands should take note of.

Cons? It's fairly expensive, you could get some basic entry-level DSLRs for this kind of money, but most DSLRs won't come equipped with this much effects and filters. The kit lens is better than most though, I'm not as tempted to invest in lenses like other DSLRs.

The flash unit is also an attachment - cumbersome to carry around, but most of the time its preferable to shoot without the flash unit. If you find the need to have additional lighting, the flash unit is very portable (roughly the size of 2 large erasers?) but mafan to screw on.

My biggest irk is the UI of the camera, with most Sony models actually. The NEX 3 doesn't have a mode dial, and the navigation through the menu can be confusing. There's a lot of steps to change one little setting for a shot, and I found this a bit annoying especially when switching modes from HDR.

I wouldn't mind toting this around, it may not fit in my pocket, but it'd fit okay in a medium sized handbag that I usually carry anyway.

Overall, it's a very tempting camera to consider if you've got the moolah to spend. Should I should I should I? :D:D:D


Sha said...

hey , not bad lah the quality of those pictures with the Sony NEX3

mine? currently used my handphone's camera ...hehe