Thursday, February 24, 2011

The NEX-3

It has been too long since my last blog posting - way back in March 2008! Way too long. I intended to resume blogging in January this year. Time flies and that did not happen. It is now already end of February. Rather late than never. Lets get the engine starts running.

I bought a Sony NEX-3 Compact Interchangeable Lens Camera December last year. Interchangeable lens camera was primarily dominated by Micro Four Thirds models from Olympus and Panasonic. In recent years, Sony ventured into the risk of producing its own Alpa-Nex series; started off with Sony NEX-3, followed by Sony NEX-5. The NEX-3 uses a larger APS-C sensor—the same one used in Sony's smallest and lightest D-SLR, the Alpha-A230.

I was in dilemma to choose between a D-SLR camera or the NEX-3. Eventually, I opted to the NEX-3 after much considerations and surveys simply because
the NEX-3 can compete with D-SLRs that fetch twice of the price of the NEX-3, offering superb image quality, speed, and a robust feature set in the smallest body I've seen in this class of camera. I have no regret owning the NEX-3, not at the moment at least.

The NEX-3 offers 2 type of lens. Sony called them "E-Amount" lens. The 16mm f/2.8 kit lens and the 18-55mm f/4.5-5.6 kit lens. I opted to the later. The NEX-3 offers full VGA resolution, the 921,600-pixel 3-inch LCD on the NEX-3 is the sharpest of any compact interchangeable lens camera I've seen, and it's easy to view in even the brightest light.

The best part is its size. This 311.8 grams camera measures just 2.4 by 4.4 by 2.4 inches, small enough to comfortably stow in a coat pocket or purse, ideal for travelling purposes without missing the opportunity to capture superb quality photos. Its limited but user friendly dedicated controls—a shutter release with zoom toggle, power, and playback buttons, in addition to a scroll wheel and three variable buttons contributes to the NEX-3's compact design. The display is amazing. Its sit on an articulating arm and can tilt as far as 90 degrees up or 45 degrees down, so you don't need to keep the camera at eye level to frame your shots.

What is good next? The NEX-3 features speedy start up, averaging 2 seconds between the time you power on the camera and it captures its first image. The NEX-3 also snaps 2.3 frames per second in continuous shooting mode, and an even-more-impressive 7 frames per second in Speed Priority mode. I was able to capture up to 14 consecutive images in this mode when I tested my NEX-3 on my palm!

You got to try out the NEX-3's panorama mode. Its allow you to simply move the camera up, down, left or right to create one panoramic shot. The Anti-Motion Blur feature fires six frames, analyzes each, and takes the least noisy portion of each to merge into one crisp image. Shooting HD video with the NEX-3 is a treat. Thanks to the NEX-3's larger APS-C sensor and refocusing is fast and silent. You can then watch your HD video recording via your HD TV.

Things always come with pros and cons. The NEX-3 is not an exception. At least as at now, I think that the major downside is that you have to get 2 major side accessories - the viewfinder and the flash device.

Overall, the NEX-3 produces superb image quality, low-light performance, and speed - the smallest compact interchangeable lens camera currently available. Beautiful, tilting 3-inch LCD. and silent focus when recording HD video. Try it out!

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