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Just Posted: Sony NEX-3N hands-on preview with samples gallery

By dpreview staff on Feb 25, 2013 at 13:01 GMT

Just Posted: Sony NEX-3N hands-on preview with real world samples. We've had a chance to use and shoot with a NEX-3N and, now that Sony US has announced the camera, we can publish our look at the latest model. The 3N is the fourth entry-level NEX camera and the smallest so far. Despite this, it includes most of the features of its predecessors. We look at what has been added and what it lacks, compared to last year's NEX-F3.

126
I own it
13
I want it
14
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 64
tomservo33
By tomservo33 (Feb 26, 2013)

Well, it is quite strange, how Sony can make such innovative, comfortable to use, generally feature rich cameras, that consistantly deliver SOFT images. I suspect that the issue is Software, not the sensor, lens, etc... Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it is not an "Issue" but an intentional feature/style. I have heard many discuss the AA, the agressive sony noise reduction; and compared to other APS-C cameras, and m4/3, the Sony shots all suffer from a general softness that seems to be caused by either aggressive and unnecessary noise reduction, or an odd JPEG engine. I feel that the RAW files are all quite good if I had to do Post-P. and I would have bought a Nex-6 if the Jpegs didn't look a little bit softer, consistantly.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (Feb 26, 2013)

What soft images? Got anything to show what sharp images look like from your own collection?

1 upvote
ijustloveshooting
By ijustloveshooting (Feb 27, 2013)

definiteley disagree with you ... i have razor sharp photos from kit lens to 50mm F1.8 ... have you ever had a nex recently?

1 upvote
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Feb 27, 2013)

Do you actually own a NEX or are you like most commentators on here happy to give a verdict without actually owning the product? As both a NEX (C3 and NEX-6) and 4/3rds owner, with an assortment of lenses, I find no issue with softness (no more than I would expect without using high quality glass) and should I have to compare the two formats, the NEX wins hands down (mainly for IQ and DR).

3 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Feb 27, 2013)

I have read a couple reviews that were critical of the Sony NEX Sony 16-50mm kit lens, and look forward to DPRs review comments on that issue.

0 upvotes
photog4u
By photog4u (Feb 27, 2013)

Taken on the whole, even the reviews that have been somewhat critical of the lens still thinks it better than the original 18-55 kit lens. I shot with it on my NEX-7, 6 and 5R and found it to be MUCH sharper than the 18-55 and way stealthier than the previous beer can.

0 upvotes
tomservo33
By tomservo33 (Feb 27, 2013)

Like many here, we rely on review data, samples, and user portfolios to inform our decision, since most of us cannot afford to spend big money on a new system without knowing if will be a satisfying improvement and a wise investment; over what we have sunk $$$ thousands into already...I would love to rent a Nex6 for a week but there are few shops left, and none of them rent anything other than Canon/Nikon system gear.

0 upvotes
photog4u
By photog4u (Feb 27, 2013)

tomservo: Whats your point?

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Scott Birch
By Scott Birch (Mar 9, 2013)

tomservo if you only rely on review data, samples and user portfolios then that, surely isn't enough. it only goes to show that most comments on these fora are uninformed and of little use. can the real users and photographers please stand up?

0 upvotes
Marcelobtp
By Marcelobtp (Feb 26, 2013)

Did you guy really looked at the files? I am the only one who thinks the noise is just too much? Every image for me is just washed by the color noise, no fine detail and the lens is just soft. I have my nex 3 and i do think it has the same softness. I will wait for the raws, but something is not right...

0 upvotes
photog4u
By photog4u (Feb 26, 2013)

Nope...look pretty darn good to me, especially coming from an entry level ILC. Your monitor may be failing ;)

0 upvotes
vapentaxuser
By vapentaxuser (Feb 27, 2013)

I really looked at the files and they looked pretty good to me. About on par with other contemporary sub-$1,000 APS-C cameras.

0 upvotes
Grosse Fatigue
By Grosse Fatigue (Feb 26, 2013)

It is a lovely looking camera. I wish the nex6 and upcoming new nex7 looked the same.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Feb 27, 2013)

Why - the whole point of the NEX-6/7 is that they are more comfortable to hold; not to mention the fact they have built in EVF's ... so could never look like this model ... silly comment really!

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ksec
By ksec (Feb 26, 2013)

It does Video, 1080p24 ( Most still dont offer p as a choice )
It does RAW,

Its Image IQ is very good or excellent. To the point where you should worry more about your photographic skills rather then the camera.

Apart from hotshoe ( Which i admit i rarely need or use )

Why would i need to buy a much more expensive camera?
Please dont Flame me, It is an honest questions.

4 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Feb 26, 2013)

"Why would i need to buy a much more expensive camera? "

1080p60 and faster autofocus?

0 upvotes
Grosse Fatigue
By Grosse Fatigue (Feb 26, 2013)

Well you need a hotshoe to take self pictures.

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Feb 27, 2013)

Because if you're like me you cant resist having the latest features ... whether or not you need or will use them LOL!

0 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (Feb 27, 2013)

For better ergonomics, higher performance (like faster burst, AF etc.), more physical dials/buttons, better build quality, more features like EVF, touchscreen, wireless and so on. If you don't need all, then great - save some money.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 26, 2013)

So that's were you guys are keeping all the rainbows, in Seattle? Seriously nice sample gallery, the files look terrific from this camera as they do from all NEX cameras.

Question:

It does 1080 @ 60i and 24p? Or 108060p and 1080p24? (I suppose the latter would be too good to be true, but I couldn't find the answer in the specs).

Also, does the 16-50 have a dedicated lens hood?

Thanks for the preview and fine images.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 26, 2013)

Thanks marike6 - we didn't get much in the way of sunshine this weekend, hence the gallery being a little short.

I'm not aware of a hood for the 16-50mm. There's no bayonet to attach to, so it'd have to use the 40.5mm filter threads, which seems unlikely.

1080i60 (up to 24 mbps) and 1080p24 (up to 24mbps) are the numbers we've been given.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Feb 26, 2013)

The NEX-3 series has always only supported 60i, not 60p. (Deliberatey dumbing-down not to threaten the sales of the 5/7 series.)

0 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Feb 26, 2013)

Does the NEX-3N built-in flash have bounce capability like NEX-6 and RX100 etc?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 26, 2013)

Officially, neither of those models have bounce flash capabilities but yes, the flash will fire if you hold it to prevent it fully extending, and point it towards the ceiling.

2 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Feb 26, 2013)

Thanks! I know that the bounce capability is not official but on my RX100 I use the "unofficial bounce" flash a lot and would like a small NEX with this capability.

However I didn't get the "hold it to prevent it fully extending" part. On my RX100 I let the flash fully extend and then pull it backwards with a finger, which makes it point upwards. Is it different with the 3N?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 26, 2013)

No, I'm just describing the same thing differently.

0 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Feb 26, 2013)

Perfect. Thanks again!

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Feb 27, 2013)

Sony actually promote the RX100 as having a bounce feature flash ... so I was a little disappointed to find I actually had to hold it in place with my finger! Works well though, but a bit naughty/silly of Sony.

Personally, I'd just buy a NEX-C3 if a bounce flash is important (and you prefer the fact the C3 screen is more flexible in terms of movement and it has a better screen (not to mention now considerably cheaper on eBay!)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (Feb 25, 2013)

What about DSC04969?
Is that straight out of the box?
DRO(+) or HDR?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 26, 2013)

It's DRO Auto, not HDR. All of the images are unmodified, out-of-camera JPEGs.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 25, 2013)

You know, for $500, including the pancake 24-75mm equivalent zoom, this would seem to be a very nice "premium compact" alternative.

5 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 26, 2013)

Except it's not compact...

0 upvotes
NowHearThis
By NowHearThis (Feb 26, 2013)

Depends on your definition of "compact".
http://camerasize.com/compact/#442.360,382.335,402.358,396,ha,t

Even compared with the diminutive Nikon S1, the NEX with it's much larger sensor *IS* compact. Not razor thin, but compact.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 26, 2013)

It's compact like an LX7 is. Meaning, small but not going to fit in your pocket. (And yes I know it is a little thicker than an LX7, but it's the same category of size.)

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 26, 2013)

It's quite bit larger than an LX7. It's small for and APS-C camera, but not small in absolute terms.

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Feb 27, 2013)

Fits nicely in my Gillet pocket!

Only decent 'pocket' camera I've ever owned was the S95 - although I've just purchased an RX100 so we'll see how we get on with that if we ever get any sun (facilitating the wearing of tight denim shorts ;-)

0 upvotes
shadowz
By shadowz (Feb 25, 2013)

Does the 3N have body / lense based steady shot .?..

0 upvotes
jimr
By jimr (Feb 25, 2013)

OIS

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 25, 2013)

The lens is stabilized.

0 upvotes
shadowz
By shadowz (Feb 26, 2013)

Thank u :)

0 upvotes
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (Feb 25, 2013)

Meh... (shruggs shoulders)

2 upvotes
photog4u
By photog4u (Feb 25, 2013)

Kinda tough getting exciting about a 3N when your shooting with an AR15...right Captain my Captain? ;)

3 upvotes
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (Feb 25, 2013)

Lol
It's shooting the real big guns that get me excited. Cannons, Gatling gun, elephant rifles and long range medium to large bore stuff. The AR15s and other like and variants are only fun rapid fire pretending to be Al Pacino in Scarface. Rapid fire is useless though unless you can shoot straight like moi.

1 upvote
AmaturFotografer
By AmaturFotografer (Feb 26, 2013)

Canon fanboy.. hahaha. Kidding.

1 upvote
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (Feb 26, 2013)

Cannon yes ;)

1 upvote
GeorgeZ
By GeorgeZ (Feb 25, 2013)

I'd REALLY like to know what was the point in posting the rainbow photo? Why would you post a photo that clearly went very wrong?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 26, 2013)

Sorry, selecting images based on tiny thumbnails, I've uploaded the wrong image. I've uploaded the one I'd intended.

0 upvotes
AmaturFotografer
By AmaturFotografer (Feb 26, 2013)

Conspiracy to discredit this little camera, hahaha.. just kidding.

0 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (Feb 25, 2013)

Another cheap good camera.

Do we really need to buy more expensive ones?

4 upvotes
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (Feb 25, 2013)

Not really for IQ where gains are (minimally) incremental. Personally, if this had EVF, hotshoe and a dial mode wheel, it would pretty much do it all (those are technically the only reason I see any reason to upgrade from even my old NEX-3).

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 25, 2013)

Who needs a Bimmer when we can all get Kias, right?

0 upvotes
BingoCharlie
By BingoCharlie (Feb 26, 2013)

EVF, hotshoe, and dial mode wheel sounds a lot like a NEX-6.

3 upvotes
AmaturFotografer
By AmaturFotografer (Feb 26, 2013)

NEX-6 is also cheap for its class.

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Feb 27, 2013)

Having just paid £475 for a Sony RX100, I'm inclined to think the new Sony is a bargain!

Horses for courses!

0 upvotes
jimr
By jimr (Feb 25, 2013)

"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."

From the Sony USA website....

1 upvote
vapentaxuser
By vapentaxuser (Feb 25, 2013)

I hate to drag K-n R--kw-ll into this comments section, but he keeps making statements to effect of "Sony doesn't have resources to do what Canon and Nikon do in terms of perfecting image quality" - which seems like a bunch of baloney. I mean, maybe that was true a few years back, but I think the images that come from this camera and other recent Sony cameras compare very nicely with the big two.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
GeorgeZ
By GeorgeZ (Feb 25, 2013)

1st- he's so much of BS that oyu don't need to reference to him at all. It's pointless.
2nd- you seem to forget many other, Olympus, Panny, Fuji or Pentax e.g. who have been on their heels for many years.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 25, 2013)

Many people end up using Adobe to perfect image quality anyway, and they definitely have the resources.

2 upvotes
DFPanno
By DFPanno (Feb 25, 2013)

RAW ?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 25, 2013)

Yes, it shoots Raw.

1 upvote
Ibida Bab
By Ibida Bab (Feb 25, 2013)

wow, I love it, very promising.

0 upvotes
flangad
By flangad (Feb 25, 2013)

still waiting for NEX6 and more important: 16-50PZ E-mount lens full REVIEW

3 upvotes
photog4u
By photog4u (Feb 25, 2013)

Very nice indeed. I'd like to see 4978 shot at 5,6 or something a little closer to the lens' sweetspot.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 25, 2013)

So far, I've shot it in its auto modes (given the audience it's aimed at). The camera seems to love using tiny apertures. I'll shoot some more in A mode it we get any sun today.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 64