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Sony A3000 First Impressions Review

August 2013 | By Richard Butler
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Preview based on a pre-production Sony A3000

Sony's taking a different approach to the consumer interchangeable lens market with the A3000, essentially a 20.1MP APS-C mirrorless camera that uses the same E-mount as the Sony NEX line, yet which has the look and feel of a traditional SLR. Though not the first manufacturer to take this approach, Sony is the first to achieve the low starting price point of $399 for both lens and body. However, to achieve that price point the company had to choose lower quality components for the LCD and electronic viewfinder (EVF).

While small mirrorless cameras have caught on in much of the world, adoption is quite low in the US, with most consumers preferring more substantial-looking cameras like Rebel-class and mid-range SLRs. If they're going to spend several hundred dollars, the reasoning seems to be that most want something that looks like a professional camera. Superficially, the Sony A3000 is rather like the now-discontinued Panasonic G10, a low-priced mirrorless with an EVF and an LCD on the back, designed to ape, if not directly challenge Canon's Rebel and Nikon's D3000-series SLRs.

Sony A3000 key features

  • 20.1MP Exmor APS-C HD CMOS sensor
  • Compatible with Sony E-mount lenses and A-mount with optional adaptor
  • 1080 60i video
  • Built-in stereo microphones
  • Optical Steady Shot stabilization
  • 25-point Contrast-detect AF
  • 3-inch, 230K LCD
  • ISO 100-16,000 for stills, 100-3200 for video
  • 1/4000 to 30 second shutter speeds, bulb
  • Sweep panorama
  • Shooting tips, Intelligent Auto, other novice modes
  • HDMI out

From the front, the A3000 sells itself well, with handsome design and black spatter paint. The standard 18-55mm kit lens seems just a little small though, on the comparitively fulsome body. The grip is ample, and one could almost imagine a pentamirror fitting behind that Sony logo (though of course there isn't one).

However, the illusion falls apart when you pick up the A3000. While the feel of the grip is indeed substantial, the rest of the camera looks and feels hollow from the back. Its appearance also screams low-budget, with few controls. The LCD is more coarse than we're used to seeing these days, with disappointingly low 230,400-dot resolution; its 3-inch size amplifies the effect. The small EVF is also disappointing, and what appears to be a rubber pad around the outside is actually hard plastic, a hazard to glasses-wearers. Those who liked the menus of the NEX system cameras will feel right at home with the A3000's menu; those who did not will carry on hating. 

Perhaps the most glaring miscue is that there's no infrared proximity sensor to switch between the LCD and EVF. Instead you have to press a button on the top of the A3000, one that's difficult to reach over the Mode dial with your hand on the grip. A small thing, but for a camera that is designed to appeal to customers on the showroom floor of Best Buy and Costco, it'll likely fail the first test everyone will naturally put to the camera when they pick it up and look through the viewfinder - expecting it to perform like an SLR, they'll wonder why the finder is black.

Our concern is that while it was designed to appeal to those who want the perception of professional quality offered by the SLRs of other manufacturers (Sony openly admitted as much to us), despite its appearance the A3000 fails in two key ways: it neither feels like an SLR nor does it function entirely like an SLR either. And as potential buyers move down the counter trying the various other cameras on display, we think they'll notice the difference.

Of course, this is the enthusiast perspective. Naturally, a lot of people will look no further than the pricetag. This is a $400 interchangeable lens camera. It has a 20.1MP sensor. It captures 1080 60i movies with built-in stereo mics. Those specs are hard to argue with. And the A3000 has so many of the features that make Sony NEX cameras appealing, but packaged in an SLR-like body. For those willing to live with the low-res EVF and LCD, the Sony A3000 is undoubtedly a bargain. It enters a price range appropriate for older kids wanting a better camera, a smartphone upgrader, as well as simple impulse buys, gifts and anyone wanting a decent sensor and interchangeable lenses without spending a fortune.

Kit options and pricing

Expected to retail for $400, the Sony A3000 and 18-55mm kit lens will ship in early September 2013.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 676
12345
dmanthree
By dmanthree (Aug 27, 2013)

This camera reminds me of an exchange I had with someone at a wedding years go. He looked at my SLR, and said "I have to get one of those cameras." I asked why, and he replied that "I've been told that cameras with that bump on the top (the prism) can take pictures in the dark." He'd snap up one of these new Sonys in a second. This new Sony is bogus, but just might be a sales success. You never know.

2 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Aug 27, 2013)

Bogus ? Really ? I purchased a new Sony NEX-3N body for $180 and here is a comparison @ 12800 iso with the $6,000 Nikon D4 :
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7352/9297888590_7b3dfd678d_o.jpg

8 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Aug 27, 2013)

@Joe, you do know that sensor is only small part of the whole image taking device? and high ISOs are useless if camera fails to AF? or still busy writing the last frame? or user simply can't compose with the subpar LCD or EVF? People are sooo fixated on sensors this days...

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Aug 27, 2013)

Whatever floats your boat, get the right tool for the job. I have about 20 cameras and use the one that best fits the job. Some people have managed to take some nice images with the A3000.
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/topic100871_post1203883.html#1203883

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (Aug 27, 2013)

@joe, only problem is that in identical situation a DSLR AF works MUCH better, especially in low light, when CDAF spends time hunting, while PDAF still can get instant lock on target.
Regardless if someone ""managed"" to take nice pictures with this trash.

1 upvote
Dimit
By Dimit (Aug 27, 2013)

Predictions:
1. Will definately be a best seller
2. E-mount gear will definately benefit in general
3. DSLR crap,irrespective apsc or m43 (G.. Pana,d3...Nikon,Rebels..Canon) will be substantially cheaper within the next 2-3 months
4. Upgrades will follow for sure,a lot of variables can be easily optimised
5. IQ similar to sony apsc brothers.In fact the luck of physical controls doesn't prevent that
6. If there would be a dpr review which would normally get 75,will eventually get 80 due to the price issue!!
7. Nobody is going to use it with other than the kit lens..no need!!
Decoding all,merely 300,comments above:
80% of them seem to like the idea of this cost/efficiency efford.It tells something,doesn't it?

10 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 27, 2013)

Actually, somebody will try to use it with 55-210.

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Aug 27, 2013)

1. It's cheap and has lots of megapixels
2. It's cheap and has lots of megapixels
3. It's cheap and has lots of megapixels
4. It's cheap and has lots of megapixels
5. For all other considerations, see items #1-4

4 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Aug 27, 2013)

@AbrasiveReducer, nailed it. Most people are driven by marketing. Marketing by the quantifiable parameters (aka: numbers) is the most effective.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Aug 27, 2013)

Prediction: market won't notice this camera, sales will be average, or beliw average. Clients satisfaction level will go down the drain as soon as they find out it's "not a real thing" and the prices of lenses are twice as high as on the A-mount. Soon after that Sony will dump prices of it below level of HX series compacts to clean up the warehouses, than NEX boys will annouce great success and fenomenal sales. Sony will try another similar camera for higher end market, it will sell in an acceptable numbers, but still far beyond NEX line. In 2-3 years noone will remember this creature.

2 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Aug 27, 2013)

Your average consumer doesn't know what actually makes the pictures better. Most of them think that the DSLR form factor style is all that is necessary for shooting better images. That is actually why super zooms sell so well. A lot of people simply think that bigger = better.

16 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Aug 27, 2013)

The average consumer today just uses their smartphone camera for stills and 1080p video.
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Nokia+808&s=int
https://vimeo.com/30606785

3 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Aug 27, 2013)

This camera might target the same market as the SLR-like-Megazoom, only this time is the real deal without the advanced Autofocus.

1 upvote
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Aug 27, 2013)

Sony is so smart. They know that the average consumers only look at the specs list when making a camera buying decision. They want to see if it has the most megapixels(Check), has Full-HD video(Check although it is 1080i according to dpreview), and does it have a really high ISO limit(Check).

Give the people exactly what they want to see for next to nothing. They will take better pictures with this camera than their pocket camera or phone and they won’t have to break the bank to do it. Once you have them locked into Sony lenses you will have a customer for life even if there are better options out there.

4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Aug 27, 2013)

compete in price if you cannot compete in quality
(fast AF, quality video, user-unfriendly menu etc.).

2 upvotes
Maaku
By Maaku (Aug 27, 2013)

If SONY is so smart , Why are they on the edge of bankruptcy.?
Name a single significant SONY product

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Aug 27, 2013)

Not so smart....though the NEX line is pretty successful for that APSC IQ in a compact size, it wasn't good enough since many expected the decline of entry level DSLRs which didn't happen.
Consumers kept buying the DSLRs and Sony thought its probably the DSLR body that mattered.
Can't wait to see how good this will sell in the coming months.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (Aug 27, 2013)

"Name a single significant Sony product"

They invented the Walkman cassette; they co-developed the CD (with Philips); the Trinitron colour television tube; and in the 1950's they produced the first commercial transistor radio. And in the field of audio, they've produced some exceptional reel to reel recorders, but these will slip under the radar if one's interest is limited to photography.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
1 upvote
wy2lam
By wy2lam (Aug 28, 2013)

Name a single significant recent Sony product (*recent = after the walkman)...yeah they make some good recorders - but it slips under the radar if one's interest is anything other than recording audio.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Aug 27, 2013)

In a 1:1 test I guarantee this camera will take better photos than any other sub $400 camera out there.

20 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Aug 27, 2013)

Not so fast, we still have the low priced EOS-M and the NEX 3n.
Yet, both above doesn't have an EVF.
The 3n which I like and compact, doesn't have a hotshoe.

I like a cheap EVF for shooting situations under bright sunlight but use the LCD most of the time. Having said that, they could have gone with a better LCD as it is only as good found on my 2009 Sigma DP2.

0 upvotes
sifumo
By sifumo (Aug 27, 2013)

Neither the eos m nor 3n(which I like in general) started at this price point. Imagine this will see sales(not clearance) prices in the $300 range at some point.

1 upvote
ntsan
By ntsan (Aug 27, 2013)

EOS M with 22mm will spank this at night/low light for cheaper price, unless you are willing to spend another $300 for prime lens

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Aug 27, 2013)

Sony has made a great many compromises.

Still $400 kit launch price point was never challenged before. For that alone IMO Sony deserves the praise.

After reading the first impressions, though, I'm not so sure that the camera is really capable of going against the current crop of prev-gen cameras - the cameras which have the street price of the $400 right now. (Panasonic G5 kits can be found at the price and G5 has decent (swivel!) LCD and decent EVF.)

P.S. I would have never expected that the A3000 would be actually larger than the Panasonic G6. But no: G6 is actually smaller.

3 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Aug 27, 2013)

I am starting to think that most of your average consumers think that the DSLR body style is what actually makes the pictures turn out better. I bet most of them couldn't name a single component of the camera that actually affects image quality.

6 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Aug 27, 2013)

True. But just wait for their faces when they'll find out it's not a DSLR. Hahahahaha :D

1 upvote
vadimraskin
By vadimraskin (Aug 27, 2013)

If I were to shop for a "better" camera for my daughter, who is just entering a photography, I would probably stop by and look at this camera but pass by in favor of Rebel or D3200 (?). Too many budget cuts on this one to appeal to me or anyone who knows a little bit more about photography. As for the rest of the entry-level market, I think Canon/Nikon have this part covered pretty well by now and Sony has a tough competition here. Name recognition, consumer awareness is a huge factor in US. When everyone around you uses Canon/Nikon, Sony will not look like an obvious choice. It seems that A3000 won't encourage too many buyers to part with their money.

4 upvotes
whtchocla7e
By whtchocla7e (Aug 27, 2013)

Hypothetically, you're shopping for a camera for your daughter. You see the Sony but it doesn't appeal to YOU so it's automatically no good for a beginner?

Your beginner daughter needs weather-sealing, high fps, PDAF and everything else? Do you decide that for her, too?

4 upvotes
alphauser
By alphauser (Aug 27, 2013)

Why would you compare Rebel & D3200 (Both are Traditional DSLR) with mirrorless camera (A3000). To make a point you should compare low models from Alpha mount.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Aug 27, 2013)

Because it's obviously aimed as a competition for D3000 - just look at the name. Only people won't be so happy when they find out it's not a DSLR after all. Lol.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Aug 27, 2013)

It almost seems like Sony said "If we can't make money on cameras then we will make sure no one else can either".

6 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Aug 27, 2013)

Funny, but is more like bait to gain market share to the E mount system.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Aug 27, 2013)

a fish will have to pay $400 before it can bite the bait.

0 upvotes
PeterTom
By PeterTom (Aug 27, 2013)

There seems to be a mistake in the specifications.
It says:
Dimensions: 102 x 58 x 38 mm

But then the red numbers in the picture at the top of the third page shows width 128mm and height 91mm.
And the comparison picture on the fourth page, when compared with Canon 100D shows that it is wider than Canon (so 128mm seems to be the real value because Canon is 117mm), but a bit lower (so I am confused because according to dpreview Canon is 91mm tall, too, but the difference in the picture is not as big as 58 vs. 91, IMO).

DPreview, please try to measure once more :)

2 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Aug 27, 2013)

Noticed that too. Are those by chance the measurements of the NEX 5T?

0 upvotes
Joe M.
By Joe M. (Aug 27, 2013)

It looks like they took a HX300 Body and stuck a APC Sensor in their and added a E-mount and Voilà we have and A3000 Alpha ILC camera. They both don't have the eye sensors but the HX300 has a tilting screen which this does not. But hey it is only $400 street pricing should be $300 to $350.
Not a bad price and camera if you can live without a large EVF and a OLED EVF, The LCD I believe is the same Resolution as the A37, which I own and that LCD works fine.
I don't need it unless I find it at a really really great deal in the future.

3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Aug 27, 2013)

Well, lucky you - lenses for your camera cost half the price of lenses for that... Thing, not to mention the fact that you have by far better choice of them.

0 upvotes
ntsan
By ntsan (Aug 27, 2013)

EVF is only 200k

0 upvotes
bcalkins
By bcalkins (Aug 27, 2013)

It will be interesting to see if this model actually increases demand, shifts people to more expensive Sony's or keeps people on Nikon/Canon, etc. I like where Sony is headed with the E Mount on a dSLR form factor. Canon could do the same with the SL1: EVF & EOS-M mount.

I do think the EVF manual switch and lower res could be a deal breaker for people comparing at the store.

0 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Aug 27, 2013)

Very interesting product.
It basically leaves what matters most. Lens and Sensor but compromise the rest to bring the price point to the lowest.
Same quality as many DSLRs yet affordable as a P&S.

They can push this concept even further by eliminating the EVF and using an even cheaper screen.

It remains to be seen if the cheap components can last at leas 8 years.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Sangster
By Sangster (Aug 27, 2013)

8 years? It will be obsolete in 3 or less.

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (Aug 27, 2013)

Ha! Ha! Probably sooner, one year at the most.

You can give this away to your grandmother after your holiday trip to Africa.

0 upvotes
RonHendriks
By RonHendriks (Aug 27, 2013)

So basicly this thing takes better images then the Hasselblad Lunar!!!!!

5 upvotes
techmine
By techmine (Aug 27, 2013)

A very good entry to this category. I remember 2009 when I bought my first DSLR - D40 with kit lens for $500. Love it till today. 3-point auto focus and limited ISO are age old but the photos it takes are amazing. Fast forward to this one, everything is an upgrade. I see a lot of happy first time DSLR users, provided Sony didn't screw anything else.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Aug 27, 2013)

There were DSLR in similar price point for years. Heck: I bought Alpha 200 ages ago for less than that, brand new from the shop!

0 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (Aug 27, 2013)

Following mgatov, I am surprised no one pointed out that Hassleblad will make a $4000 version of that, with a wooden grip.

0 upvotes
SDF
By SDF (Aug 27, 2013)

$399 retail, I'm going to see plenty of these in Costco, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy.

3 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Aug 27, 2013)

This is in stark contrast to the Canon G16 that has nice handling and heft but with a sensor for point and shoots (which also costs more).
It is a joy to use but I'd rather choose a camera that produces images that are a joy to work on.

9 upvotes
mgatov
By mgatov (Aug 27, 2013)

This is a 'poor man's Hasselblad Lunar." It is an ergonomic shell wrapped around an NEX.

7 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (Aug 27, 2013)

Priced at $400, or perhaps discounted to $350 a few months hence, this might sell to people who occasionally need something better than a phone camera, but aren't about to sink >$600 into a DSLR. If priced below the NEX models, it might displace them, since the NEX are essentially giant lenses that bob in front of undersized sensor packets with too little grip.

It offers focus peaking, which some more expensive cameras don't, and offsets the modest EVF resolution.

One question is whether the budget build quality will be as resilient as a Civic or as vulnerable as a Yugo. Another question is whether the APS-C sensor will perform on the same grade as a NEX6 or NEX7, or be "crippled."

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (Aug 27, 2013)

You can buy a DSLR below 400$ too. And it will perform better than ILC3000.

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
1 upvote
harry
By harry (Aug 27, 2013)

I think the relative "bulk" size would kill the sale. So many times people would prefer a more compact size like NEX or RX100 precisely because of not wanting to carry something big.

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Aug 27, 2013)

.. strange, bulky DSLRs continue to out-pace and outsell mirrorless designs. hmm..

7 upvotes
andyvanzz
By andyvanzz (Aug 27, 2013)

What bulk? If the specs are correct, it is smaller than my iPhone (except for the depth of course). I am puzzled why people keep comparing it to a DSLR. It is nothing like a DSLR exept for the form. It's a tiny body with a viewfinder and a large sensor at a very low proce. I never wanted NEX because of the price but this one is really tempting.

PS. Apparently DPR editors decided to trim the size of the camera by one inch in all directions. So it is not smaller than the iPhone, my apologies. Still I don't think it is bulky at all.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (Aug 27, 2013)

It's as big as DSLRs. Not smaller.

0 upvotes
Jon Stern
By Jon Stern (Aug 27, 2013)

The photo accompanying this article has really bad chroma noise. I presume it was taken with a cellphone in low light!

0 upvotes
Bob Janes
By Bob Janes (Aug 27, 2013)

Good price point for a mirrorless with EVF: if people want a better viewfinder and rear screen, the NEX 6 seems to fill the bill...

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Aug 27, 2013)

you are right, the bait is cheap.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (Aug 27, 2013)

The kit costs less than many lenses. With focus peaking, EVF resolution matters less. People don't look for cellphones with EVFs, so why let that factor break a deal anyway?

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 27, 2013)

@DPR: the spec says "ISO 100-16000 selectable in 1 EV steps" - but it is impossible to select ISO 16000 in 1 EV steps from ISO 100.

0 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Aug 27, 2013)

The nex7 is likely the same. 1 EV steps from 100-12800 and one non-full step to 16000.

0 upvotes
SDF
By SDF (Aug 27, 2013)

The question is will you get the Sony's APS-C sensor a3000 with lens for $400 or wait for rumor Olympus' m4/3 EM-1 $1500 body only?

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 27, 2013)

The rumored E-M1 is a pro sports camera (according to the rumored specs), a3000 is anything BUT pro or sports.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Aug 27, 2013)

E-M1 for pro sports, what a joke.

8 upvotes
halfwaythere
By halfwaythere (Aug 27, 2013)

Compared to this one it certainly is. :)

4 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 27, 2013)

Will see. If it can do 9 fps+ with tracking with 4/3 35-100/2, 150/2, 90-250/2.8, 300/2.8 it will be great for pros and sports shooting, beating any APS-C system in quality (and price of the lenses) and providing a viable alternative to FF pro systems (1Dx/D4) at half the price and weight (as a total with lenses).
If it cannot do the tracking, or just 4 fps, say, it is overpriced and dead in the water.

4 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Aug 27, 2013)

@SDF: "The question is ..."

LOL I first giggled at your question (which I had to read twice). But then I read the responses... LOL People here have forgotten what humor is. Time for everybody to relax and go read the fresh caturday image threads.

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Aug 27, 2013)

I have an honest question. Do people really think this camera would be better off at say $800 with a 2.3M OLED sony viewfinder, 921k Rear LCD, and RX100/RX1 like menu system? It would have the same mount and same image sensor. Are those changes worth doubling the price? I think sony nailed this. People want APS-C, ILC, a viewfinder, and a professional looking grip for as cheap as possible. Canon's made a killing meeting that spec list.

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 27, 2013)

I bet the cost of extra pixels in EVF panel or display panels of the same size is absolutely negligible. Especially given that Sony itself makes them. It is not like somebody makes them pixel by pixel. In this case they probably need to load some ancient production lines left after sales of $80 cameras with the same screen went south.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Aug 27, 2013)

Cameras in this price bracket get updated yearly. They have to keep something for next year's model - or for a better spec A5000 that may be released in a few months time.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 50 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 27, 2013)

CFynn, absolutely agree with you. Expect a5000 and a7000 soon. :)

0 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (Aug 27, 2013)

Question: will the a7000 be a competitor, or the replacement, to the a77 SLT? Will there be a FF a9000 in 2014?

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 27, 2013)

I bet we will see a few more A-mount APS-C cameras before Sony will finally give up competing with Rebels without cost advantages of mirrorless. So a7000 will not be a replacement if released within a year. But first Sony should make a good OSPDAF.

0 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (Aug 27, 2013)

I shoot Micro Four Thirds, but nevertheless I welcome this Sony camera because it will help forced down prices in other parts of the mirrorless segment.

The image quality of this camera is probably as good as any APS-C camera on the market, or close to it, for only $400 including a lens.

That's a really good deal.

Well done, Sony.

12 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Aug 27, 2013)

The image quality will mainly depend on the lens you put on it. Very grand of you by the way to be so tolerant of anything that is not Micro four thirds. I feel much safer now.

1 upvote
wb2trf
By wb2trf (Aug 27, 2013)

This is the beginning of the real payout of mirrorless cameras, the cost and IQ hammer on the dslr. A dslr line does not want to get into a price war with this thing, or its future relatives, because this has got to be so much cheaper to make. This, and all of its future relatives, can offer better image quality at far lower cost of manufacture than dslrs. My guess would be that we will see the low end of the dslr price range drift upwards over the next several years as the other makers realize that the handwriting is on the wall and they can only fight this new class of camera with mirrorless cameras that are cheaper to make. I suspect if you take the Nex to EOS-M time gap and subtract a few months you will find Canon and Nikon versions of this in the market replacing their low end dlsrs.

5 upvotes
rpm40
By rpm40 (Aug 27, 2013)

I think Sony is going to nail it with this one. Many consumers don't understand the finer points like sensor size, apertures, and so on. They understand that a big camera that looks like an SLR will give you better images- and generally, that's right. They will see this and think "wow, I can get an "SLR" for $399!" And this camera will probably serve that crowd well- it will deliver the high IQ they thought they would get from a big camera, and with it's simple menus and the perks of mirrorless, it will be a very easy transition.

This camera will bring LOADS of new users to the e mount world. Good for Sony, good for NEX, good for mirrorless in general.

16 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (Aug 27, 2013)

A main goal would be to avoid the awful menu structure of the first NEX cameras.

2 upvotes
M0P03
By M0P03 (Aug 27, 2013)

Sony has made good job for price drop. Resonable 400$ for EVF mirrorless APS-C comparing to 1000$ for smaller sensor Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7. Shame on greedy Panasonic.

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Aug 27, 2013)

Sensor size isn't everything, and "greedy?" They're for profit electronic corporations, of course they are. You're comparing Panasonic's high end camera with Sony's strimpped down no frills camera.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Aug 27, 2013)

Pana have a tradition to price their cameras overly high which will fall half quickly.

yes sensor size means less than lens aperture, that Pana and rumored Oly f/2.8 zooms have a 1/3 stops larger aperture than Sony f/4 ones thus better low light performance.

3 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Aug 27, 2013)

"greedy" panasonic is currently matching the A3000's price with the G5 which has a smaller sensor but a much better viewfinder and articulating lcd in roughly the same size package.

2 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (Aug 27, 2013)

Shot across the bow of Nikon and Canon.
As a Nikon guy I've been expecting this and I believe will push Nikon over the edge to bring out a new APS-C interchangeable lens camera line with a new mount and no mirror - the natural progression of their DX cameras.
It's my theory as to why Nikon has not put out a lot of high end DX lenses - they knew DX would be going mirrorless and require a new lens mount to make their bodies smaller, thus why put out a lot of expensive DX glass that would then only be useful via some sort of an adapter.

Interesting times ahead.

3 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Aug 27, 2013)

At this price maybe a sort of "Volkswagen Beetle" or "Model-T" of interchangeable lens digital cameras. Ugly enough anyway

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
taktak91
By taktak91 (Aug 27, 2013)

Nikon won't abandon current the lens mount any time soon.
CX was the new, no mirror mount. Its reception was not as high as expected.

1 upvote
jhinkey
By jhinkey (Aug 27, 2013)

Exactly - CX has not done well, APS-C going mirrorless via Sony, Fuji, etc. will put a lot of pressure on Nikon to do the same with their DX lineup. You can bet that Nikon has been working on a mirrorless DX camera (and FX for that matter).

0 upvotes
Adrian Van
By Adrian Van (Aug 27, 2013)

Decent value for the money with very good sensor IQ. However the limitations of the features, low end screen, and plastic body, would not appeal to me in the long run and I would likely end up selling, or wanting a Rebel or Panasonic G6 or another m43 for better screen. But then again, I am not target audience. The next model up with some improved features may interest me.

Good start though, Sony. I did not like the small bodies of early NEX cameras compared to first kit lenses, although Nex7 was better in size and Nex 6 with retractable lens is good too. I do like the grip on this new Sony camera better than the small one on SL1 by Canon which I tried in store. Based on price, it should sell well to consumers or some prosumers.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 27, 2013)

Rebel or Pana G are no different and also mostly plastic.

0 upvotes
Adrian Van
By Adrian Van (Aug 27, 2013)

Except for the significantly better LCD resolution screen on Canon and Pana G, and decent AF speed with Rebel having Phase detect and mirror. The Pana G6 has fast contrast detect and rotating screen. Of course there is more price to get those features. What will the Sony have for speed with AF? Don't know yet.

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (Aug 27, 2013)

Lots of objections. Already Gear Shop listed?

0 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (Aug 27, 2013)

Great camera, an extra Zeiss like the 21mm lens on it. One cannot buy a better quality/price combination to date.

Congratulations to Sony, starting to lead the pack in a smart way.

4 upvotes
captura
By captura (Aug 27, 2013)

It comes equipped with a black 18-55 OSS e-mount lens from the NEX.

0 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (Aug 27, 2013)

Mostly I try to avoid the standard zooms. I just got the Zeiss and would mount it with an adapter, doing manual focus range in the city walk around or landscapes.

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (Aug 27, 2013)

This is right in the Panasonic GH, G wheelhouse. A bit of Samsung's NX5/10/11/20. Olympus OM-D E-5. Most, most welcome. This is what many of use want. Smaller "DLSR" form achieved through mirrorless mount and EVF. Tired of holding the camera out at arm's length and hoping I see the composition. But I want smaller and ability to mount vintage lenses. BRILLIANT FUTURE.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
captura
By captura (Aug 27, 2013)

Check out the specs. This is a stripper model, much like the older Panasonic G10.

0 upvotes
Roman Stedronsky
By Roman Stedronsky (Aug 27, 2013)

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing? No. It is Sheep in Wolf's Clothing! :-)

But concept is appealing to me I will wait and see what Sony brings to market next year. What about upgrade for my A77. If it will worth it I could even switch mount...

7 upvotes
captura
By captura (Aug 27, 2013)

That's what I posted last night.

0 upvotes
Nick Savoiu
By Nick Savoiu (Aug 27, 2013)

Sheep in wolf's clothing?

1 upvote
SDF
By SDF (Aug 27, 2013)

more like Dark Knight...

0 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (Aug 27, 2013)

This will work for Sony, no doubt about it!

1 upvote
Dim Bystritsky
By Dim Bystritsky (Aug 27, 2013)

Excuse me.
Is it o'k to show such nails on so popular site?
I was shocked.
Sorry again if I'm not polite.

To topic.
Waiting for E-mount FF-camera. With on-board stabilization.

0 upvotes
kaiser soze
By kaiser soze (Aug 27, 2013)

There are two ways to look at it. It is a cheap camera that seems intended to offer showroom appeal to people who aren't very sophisticated in their knowledge of cameras. But it also is a camera thay will produce outstanding image quality, even without consideration of the very low price. Unquestionably, it is a great value for the people to whom it is intended to appeal. It is difficult to guess whether a camera of this sort will sell, but given that it is a great value notwithstanding the many corners that were cut, it deserves to be a very popular model. If it does prove to be a popular camera, it will increase the owner base for E-mount lenses, which will be a very positive thing for all owners of E-mount cameras. This is a very, very smart move by Sony. Compare it to what Canon and especially Nikon have done in mirrorless, and you can't help but sense that Sony has the brightest future in camera manufacturing.

18 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Aug 27, 2013)

It is a ton of camera for the money. Condescending comments about the target customers being ignorant about cameras is a bit arrogant. Price and feature combinations like this are inflection points in the market much as the Canon AE-1 was in its time. Every generation of enthusiasts have sneered at the new developments in the field only to see them become the standard soon after.

7 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Aug 27, 2013)

19 picture`s A3000 & ZEISS16-70 F4 :
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/topic100871_post1203883.html#1203883

7 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Aug 27, 2013)

It really doesn't matter whether the camera is bad or not. At $400 everyone who walks into Best Buy shopping for a camera will end up with one. Price is the number 1 factor in the advanced camera segment right now and Sony knows that.

13 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Aug 27, 2013)

I think the Canon T3/1100D is about the same price.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Aug 27, 2013)

@justmeMN - the Canon T3/1100D is not very good at shooting video, especially considering that it can't AF during video. That's a big downer for most consumers who would expect AF with video. The A3000 also does cool things like Panoramic Sweep, which the Canon can't do. I think the A3000 will definitely take a chunk out of Canon's low-end DSLR sales.

6 upvotes
GonzaloDVial
By GonzaloDVial (Aug 27, 2013)

also, de canon T3 has only 12mp and costs $50 more

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Rebel-T3-Digital-18-55mm/dp/B004J3Y9U6

1 upvote
SWSF14
By SWSF14 (Aug 27, 2013)

What a blessing, folks. The most compelling thing is the price, which will drive competitors down.

Nothing wrong with nitpicking, gearheads want the best. But you better hope that this one succeeds.

4 upvotes
YLK
By YLK (Aug 27, 2013)

I think we should not ignore the fact that the E-mount lense line is growing, and apparently soe quality glass is being added to the collection. A3000 could be a perfect, cheap second body for those, who on sunny days prefer more advanced NEX8 whatever.

3 upvotes
marcoventuriniautieri
By marcoventuriniautieri (Aug 27, 2013)

They should make the Hasselblad version of this one.

7 upvotes
Catalin Stavaru
By Catalin Stavaru (Aug 27, 2013)

Hasselblad Foolar, the cheapest Hasselblad camera at only $1500.

1 upvote
Sordid
By Sordid (Aug 27, 2013)

That will be my IR camera!!!

2 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Aug 27, 2013)

Money talks. This camera just undercut everyone by almost half including Sony's own RX100 M2.

6 upvotes
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (Aug 27, 2013)

So what is the EVF resolution? Read the wpecs and article 3 times and I dont see it.

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Aug 27, 2013)

"The Sony A3000's electronic viewfinder is small and fairly low resolution by today's standards, with a 201,600-dot LCD,"
http://www.dpreview.com/previews/sony-alpha-a3000/3

I am sure there will be an A6000 with 2.3 million dot resolution OLED EVF like in the NEX-6.

5 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Aug 27, 2013)

In the Features section of the Sony web site they say "over 200k dots". (Resolution isn't included in the Specs section, on that web site.) For comparison, they say that the Sony NEX 6 viewfinder has "2359K dots".

0 upvotes
GonzaloDVial
By GonzaloDVial (Aug 27, 2013)

I read in SAR it's 1.44m

0 upvotes
captura
By captura (Aug 27, 2013)

The sensor, screen and EVF seem to be transplanted from the a58 model, a very inexpensive DSLR. The sensor is 20 mp and the screen is 230K, non flipping. Very, very basic withy few controls or features.

0 upvotes
Marvol
By Marvol (Aug 27, 2013)

An interesting side effect of having the E-mount is that these DSLR-styled cameras (if more appear as seems likely, especially a "5000") will be able to fit just about ANY lens using adapters.

That includes Canon's and Nikon's own lenses.

For the 3000 this isn't so interesting but imagine focus peaking-assisted MF, swivel LCD, high-res EVF, etc, in a 6000, and then being able to fit any type of glass. To many people fitting adapters plus large lenses looks too weird, plus handles awkwardly, on NEX bodies, but will be perfect on a higher-end DSLR-styled body.

This might be the most interesting way in which Sony aims to take market share from the Big Two.

3 upvotes
Sonyshine
By Sonyshine (Aug 27, 2013)

It looks to be excellent value for money, IQ should be good too and it will handle well with the LA-EA2 and A mount lenses.

Clever move Sony!

5 upvotes
Total comments: 676
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