A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending an event with Sony and was handed the Sony NEX-3N. Being a photographer and always carrying around a large DSLR can get a bit tiring, so this NEX-3N came right on time.
The Sony NEX-3N has a 16.1-megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensor (also known as cropped sensor. It’s the main part of the camera and the sensor is the reason). Every camera manufacturer is different, even sensor models are different with each manufacturer. Below you’ll see a image that explains image sensors in the simplest format, the Sony NEX-3N’s image sensor falls within the yellow line at 1.5x crop frame). The chip is physically larger than what you’ll find in a regular point and shoot camera, and it’s comparable in size to the sensors that are available in most full-size DSLRs.
The NEX-3N’s best feature is its size with a body that measures roughly 4.3 inches in width, 2.4 inches in height and 1.4 inches in depth. It’s also fairly light, at 7.4 ounces (body only), yet it still feels like its very well made.
- Attractive price
- APS-C image sensor
- Excellent high ISO performance (ISO indicates your digital camera’s sensitivity to light. The higher the number, the less light is needed to take a photo that is correctly exposed (not too dark or too light)
- 180° tilting LCD (LCD screen can be flipped up for better “selfie” captures)
- Built-in flash
- Small size
- Interchangeable lenses
- Also comes in 2 different colors (white and black)
- Screen not as sharp as on previous NEX models
- Kit lens is somewhat of a disappointment
- Front-facing LCD without downward tilt
I think the Sony NEX-3N is worth the price at about $340 on Amazon. But it usually retails for about $500.
For those that love shooting video, the 3N can shoot at 1080/24p or 60i in AVCHD mode, or 1,440 x 1,080 and VGA in MP4 mode. The 3N also has optical image stabilization, which can come in handy when trying to shoot without visible movement.
Overall the compactness of the 3N is impressive, the built in flash is not too overwhelming, the ISO performance is parallel with the likes of Canon and Nikon’s entry level DSLR’s. For me it’s a great walk-around camera when I don’t want to carry my 50lbs Canon 5D Mark III around.
Sample Images taken with the 3N: