About a year ago I decided it was time to move out of the point-n-shot cameras and back into the SLR cameras. After some research, I decided that since I couldn’t afford a full body rig and I like the small compact size of the Mirrorless camera systems, to go with the Sony NEX camera line. I did a lot of research and decided that the entry-level Sony Nex-3NL/B with its powerful Sony SELP1650 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens was the best option for me.
After using this camera for just over a year and taking it on a few road trips, a long vacation, carrying the camera as a carry on, I wanted to do a review that isn’t all technical or full of tests that the every day user doesn’t understand. There are plenty of those types of reviews out there.
Once the review was completed, I realized that it was to long to leave it as one article. So I broke it up into two parts. The first part isn’t really a review but an introduction to the camera. Next week, part 2 should go live.
Sony NEX-3NL/B Features and Specs
The Sony Nex-3NL/B is packed full of features and for an entry level DSLR camera its specs are impressive. Below are the features and specs taken directly from the Amazon sales page.
16.1 MP Exmor® HD APS sensor – “Get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements. Thanks to the large 16.1 megapixel APS-C sensor size and Sony Exmor® APS HD CMOS technology, the camera achieves gorgeous, high resolution photos even in low light.”
Retractable power zoom lens – “A new zoom lever on the body of the camera allows for effortless one-handed operation and smooth zooming even when shooting self-portraits, bringing compact camera convenience to the realm of interchangeable-lens models.”
Self-portraits made easy – “The NEX-3N’s flip up LCD screen makes shooting self-portraits a snap. Include other people, experiment with interesting angles or shoot against famous landmarks. When you press the shutter, the camera does all the work.”
Full HD movies4 – “Record stunning high quality 1080 Full HD Video in either 60i or 24p frames per second. Records in your choice of 1080/60i or 24p Blu-Ray quality AVCHD™ format or in PC-friendly 1080/30p MP4 format.”
Built-in flash – “Perfect when an extra burst of light is needed to get the shot, the built-in Guide Number 6 flash2 combines with high ISO sensitivity to enable shooting in just about any setting.”
Auto Object Framing fills the frame with your subject – “Now it’s easy to create beautifully framed images whether shooting people, close-ups or action. Simply photograph your subject and Auto Object Framing saves a trimmed image (in addition to original) that’s more professionally composed.”
Up to ISO 16000 sensitivity with advanced noise reduction – “With a new Exmor sensor that features the same adaptive noise reduction technology from Sony’s flagship SLT-A99V, the NEX-3N easily offers a wide range of sensitivity from ISO 100 to ISO 16000.”
Superior Auto mode – “Use Superior Auto mode to shoot photos and movies with the ease of a compact digital camera. In this mode, the camera recognizes the current shooting environment then adjusts settings for optimal results. Superior Auto also includes Auto HDR and Hand-held Twilight modes, both of which employ image compositing technology to handle difficult lighting by recording multiple images at high speed then compositing them to produce the final photo.”
Speed Priority Continuous mode – “Freeze fast-moving subjects by shooting at up to 4 fps. This is the ideal solution for photographing sports, children at play or other action.”
Newly designed anti-slip grip – “Perfect for self-portraits or casual snaps, the natural form ensures quick, comfortable handling and makes the camera easy to carry around. In addition, the textured grip prevents slipping even when shooting one-handed or when using exceptionally large lenses.”
Anti-Motion Blur mode – “Corrects for subject movement to capture amazingly clean and sharp images in low light. The camera leverages the large, APS-C image sensor and captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data from all six creates a single image that minimizes subject blur.”
Up to 480 Shots6 of battery life – “ Take up to 480 shots on a single charge6 with Sony® lithium ion Stamina™ battery power. Sony’s InfoLITHIUM® battery system enables you to see the percent of power remaining, so you can keep shooting in confidence.Take up to 480 shots on a single charge6 with Sony® lithium ion Stamina™ battery power. Sony’s InfoLITHIUM® battery system enables you to see the percent of power remaining, so you can keep shooting in confidence.”
Compact, easy-to-carry PZ 16-50mm kit lens – “For the ultimate in portability, the NEX-3N includes the collapsible SELP1650 as the kit lens. Ideal when traveling or anytime a compact, lightweight camera-combo is desired.”
Picture Effect modes – “The NEX-3N includes 15 effects that can be applied to photos or movies, giving you the means to vastly expand your artistic repertoire. The ability to view effects in real-time on the LCD screen11 before the shot lets you experiment with different looks until you are satisfied with the result.”
Photo Creativity feature – “NEX-3N provides easy access to most Picture Effect settings as well as controls for Background Defocus, Brightness, Color and Vividness. Just activate Photo Creativity, choose the appropriate item then adjust while viewing in real-time on the LCD screen. The ability to combine settings offers nearly unlimited creative control, and lets you compensate for tricky lighting.”
Hand-held Twilight Mode – “Get cleaner and sharper nighttime pictures—beyond the capability of traditional cameras—without using flash or a tripod. The camera leverages the large, APS-C image sensor and captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data from all six creates a single image of extraordinary detail and low noise.”
Face Detection/Smile Shutter – “Set NEX-3N to recognize faces and smiles. Face Detection locates up to eight faces in a composition then adjusts exposure, white balance and other settings based on these faces. Smile Shutter — adjustable in three levels — automatically takes a shot when smiles in the scene are at their brightest.”
Creative Style – “Tailor the look of photos and movies before shooting. Choose from one of six settings — Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset or Black & White — depending on the scene or your creative intent.”
PlayMemories Home supplied software9 – “Free, easy-to-use PlayMemories Home™ image management software automatically installs onto Windows PC’s for Sony Digital Camera users. Download photos and movies onto your computer then view, organize, edit, retouch, print, burn to disk, share or upload to social networking websites.”
Supplied accessories – “The kit includes a SELP1650 lens, lens cap, NP-FW50 InfoLithium rechargeable battery , AC-UB10 USB AC charger (in-camera battery charging), shoulder strap, body cap, and Micro USB cable.”
Lock-on Auto Focus – “Using the 15-point autofocus sensor and Sony’s subject recognition technologies, Object Tracking AF can maintain accurate focus on your subject even when it changes position in the frame.”
Sweep Panorama™ Mode – “Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter, sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together for an astounding panoramic image.”
If you are looking to purchase the Sony NEX-3Nt, Sony has discontinued this camera and the rest of the NEX line of cameras. They are still available new, used and refurbished on Amazon. But the new and refurbished are quickly disappearing.