Previous page Next page

Sony A3000 First Impressions Review

August 2013 | By Richard Butler
Buy on GearShop


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.

Previous page Next page
54
I own it
10
I want it
3
I had it

Comments

Total comments: 681
2345
fibonacci1618
By fibonacci1618 (Aug 27, 2013)

Yesss... I see this asa serious threat to Canon & Nikon, challenging them to finally re-think their reluctance of not wanting to seriously go down the APS-C and FF mirrorless route. The EOS M and Nikon 1 were feeble attempts at skinny dipping in the pool of MILC without taking the plunge.

Now that Sony is really putting pressure on the Rebels and D3xxx series, me thinks Canon & Nikon can no longer hold back. The price difference between this A3000 and the entry-level DSLRs is substantial and cannot be ignored. If they do, Sony is likely to put a serious dent in their market share.

I'm curious to see if they introduce an "A5000" series that competes directly with the Nikon D5200, but priced at the D3200 level. Now THAT would really be something.

6 upvotes
munro harrap
By munro harrap (Aug 27, 2013)

Is it a catchall? Perhaps planned to entice would-be users of a better future machine? You can buy one now and gradually kit yourself out with nice Cosina/Zeiss lenses made for the mount and then "upgrade" to a better body-but trapped in the world of APS-C?

Covering all possibilities Sony again seems to be refusing to accept that the way forward for everybody is 36x24mm sized sensors. Their useless RX1 full-frame £2000 machine with no viewfinder? A "rangefinder" with no viewfinder, when the NEX-7 series finder would do perfectly? But releasing E-mount small sensor lenses and ignoring the Leica type market at full-frame level? Questions, Questions: its a jack-of-all-trades, master of none philosophy that maybe fits well into our lost and confused modern world, but I live on another planet and it makes no sense to me. Its just to maintain the market for APS-C? Nah, we,ve all got at least one already- so?

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Aug 27, 2013)

APS-C is not really being "trapped" for the majority of users. It provides all the IQ most will ever need - and will get even better.

Anyway Sony will bring out FF E-mount cameras for those who feel the need for a larger sensor - so it's no more of a trap than buying an APS-C DSLR.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
AndyGM
By AndyGM (Aug 27, 2013)

You are pre-supposing that anyone buying one of these will buy any additional lenses....

1 upvote
BeReal
By BeReal (Aug 27, 2013)

Let's see what happens after the full review, and I hope they use the new lens (18-105 or 15-70) (18-55 is %^$#* lens). If this camera deliver good quality pictures and the ergonomics make it comfortable to small-medium hands size, it will be a serious contender to gain a good market share and will put canon and nikon to re-think strategies (price and up-grades). For sure all we users independently of the brand that we use will win in the long term).

0 upvotes
Thoughts
By Thoughts (Aug 27, 2013)

The E-mount kit lens 18-55 looks more balanced on this body. Also the newly announced 18-105 or old 18-200 lenses should also feel better on this type of body.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Aug 27, 2013)

a camera for clueless noobs.

what is important on a DSLR and why we love it?
-> the great optical viewfinder.

this one is bulky without any reason....

Comment edited 60 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Sordid
By Sordid (Aug 27, 2013)

I prefer a good EVF over an OVF all the time.

6 upvotes
Stitzer23
By Stitzer23 (Aug 27, 2013)

Too small and people complain its too small and doesn't handle well.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Aug 27, 2013)

EVF is probably already at least as good as the penta-mirror viewfinders in the entry level DSLRs this is competing against - and it can show more information

@Stitzer23 - Funny - some people are saying it's too small and others saying it's too bulky. I'll bet no one making these comments has actually held the camera yet.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Timbukto
By Timbukto (Aug 27, 2013)

Its amazing how its form factor + paper specs is already causing too much praise and hype. Its worse than a 3N which is sold for cheap and better in many ways but the form factor is doing its job...clever marketing ruse but dpreviews preview did all it needed to do in revealing its pure plastic EVF eye piece. Also the preview has made it clear it feels cheap when DPR fails to say the same for other cameras I already consider to feel cheap. So it is definitely a try before buy camera. Shoots slower than a tepid 3N, much larger, and not cheaper than the 3N and LCD is even worse than the already lower specced 3N...

Really do not see the pure plastic eye piece giving good impressions to anyone except the uninitiated.

1 upvote
Sordid
By Sordid (Aug 27, 2013)

Dude. Calm down. You'll wet your bed otherwise.

5 upvotes
ianimal
By ianimal (Aug 27, 2013)

Very cheap for a ASP-C. I wonder if you add $600 if it would be possible
with a FF sensor size camera for $999?

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Aug 27, 2013)

that won't change much with a same small aperture lens.

0 upvotes
1MPXL
By 1MPXL (Aug 27, 2013)

Im curious to see a mix of the SLR shape with NEX7 controls. Ahhh the lenses are so nice! keep em coming, GO Sony!!!

0 upvotes
Azurael
By Azurael (Aug 27, 2013)

A shame they had to cut a decent EVF and eye sensor to hit their price point, it would have made it easier to recommend as a cross-sell to entry level DSLRs... But this probably isn't 'it' for the NEX/Alpha mash-up. I guess this probably spells the beginning of the end for 'A' mount. But maybe that means I'll be able to afford a (cut price, end of line) full frame body sooner rather than later.

1 upvote
Blake Willis
By Blake Willis (Aug 27, 2013)

More like Sheep in Wolf's clothing...

I assume that this was launched at the same time as more huge E-mount lenses so that there is finally an E-mount camera that doesn't look & handle ridiculously behind them.

But an EVIL camera bigger than Canon's SL1? Might appeal to the ultra-budget-conscious, but not to me...

Just think, if Pentax had priced the K-01 at $400 they could have beaten Sony to the punch long ago :-)

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Aug 27, 2013)

this camera is for clueless noobs who should go and buy a P&S.

so i guess sony users will like it.....

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Aug 27, 2013)

it's better business to deal with clueless noobs.
smart guys can go away.

5 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Aug 27, 2013)

With slight problem that K01 used K-mount. That meant that that camera had ZERO lenses that were optimized for CDAF, the only AF system available on K01.

There was no EVF either, but lets ignore that. The first argument above (no CDAF optimized lenses) was a serious flaw by itself.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Aug 27, 2013)

Those huge lenses you talk about are designed with the FS video cameras in mind. Just Google FS100 or FS700.

4 upvotes
Sordid
By Sordid (Aug 27, 2013)

"if Pentax had priced the K-01 at $400"

Yeah, I know!
If Porsche sold the 911 for 10k, everyone would have one.
Wouldn't that be awesome?

2 upvotes
Andrew Butterfield
By Andrew Butterfield (Aug 27, 2013)

The benefits of an interchangeable lens camera with a large sensor are the very reasons amateurs get terrible pictures from them. At least two of my friends were sucked in by the 'pro' look of an SLR, and their photos are far worse than other friends who use ancient compact cameras on auto and take care over framing. If you understand nothing about how aperture affects depth of field, this kind of camera will give you lousy photos half the time. This camera is cynical and marketing-led and the people who buy it will be getting the wrong kind of camera for them. They need a reliable auto mode, a fast lens and a small sensor. And most of them already have that on their phones. if you want a viewfinder, get a Panasonic LF1. At least if fits in your pocket.

9 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 27, 2013)

Impressive!

Well done Sony!

To be significant in the future you need to catch the young ones.

16 upvotes
tecnoworld
By tecnoworld (Aug 27, 2013)

Ugly and bulky imo. And cheap of course!

6 upvotes
Vlad4D
By Vlad4D (Aug 27, 2013)

It is ugly and bulky only because most people think that only ugly and bulky cameras can make good pictures :)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
15 upvotes
tecnoworld
By tecnoworld (Aug 27, 2013)

you're very right, unfortunately. But there are also ppl thinking the new gx7 is very good looking, and I'm among those. I'm not into m4/3, otherwise I'd go the gx7 route immediately, over Olympus.

I really hope Samsung goes the opposite route than Sony. NX20 is now in the shape of a dslr and so is the announced galaxy nx. I hope NX30 will be in the form of a modern rangefinder.

1 upvote
Frederik Paul
By Frederik Paul (Aug 27, 2013)

Looks more like a Bridge camera to me, very cheap look, including LCD. The upgrade path thinking is okay, but it could backfire when people regard the camera as too cheap and don't buy.

1 upvote
Vlad4D
By Vlad4D (Aug 27, 2013)

If it is too cheap - just wait for A-5000 or A-7000

2 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Aug 27, 2013)

A good, cheap starter camera that has a familiar form factor (looks like a DSLR) to get people into the Sony E system. Smart.

But would it have killed them to just put a rubber bumper on the viewfinder?

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Aug 27, 2013)

that would bump up the price ;-)
come to think of it, I've seen those on ebay for a few bucks

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Aug 27, 2013)

Definitely a smart marketing move on Sony's part - having a price-killer entry-level that gives you an upgrade path by keeping the lenses.

At first (as in my comment under the product announcement) I thought this might also compete with the NX20/NX30 and be a new option for mirrorless Sony fans not satisfied with the NEX ergonomics, but I see now that it is positioned lower-end - with it's low res screen and cheap feel to it. That doesn't mean I wouldn't recommend it to the masses and those looking to finally replace their film DSLR with a casual use (pretending-I-know-what-I'm-doing) replacement well suited to their needs (D3200 and Rebel turf).

I totally agree with DPR's view that this is a great alternative to small sensor P&S cameras and the intended target market.

"MADE IN CHINA" I suppose...

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

But which upgrade path? The only other cameras to take those lenses are the NEX cameras with a fully different formfactor and design philosophy.

3 upvotes
Marvol
By Marvol (Aug 27, 2013)

I think you just answered your own question.

Why would upgrading from a P&S to a bridge - also vastly different philosophy - or to an entry level DSLR - ditto - be considered the 'proper' upgrade path, but from this ax000 to NEX (when you can even keep your lenses) not?

Also we shouldn't presume this will remain the only Ax000 body, of course. There's plenty of room to change that first digit to a 5, 6 or even 7 ;).

0 upvotes
Rad Encarnacion
By Rad Encarnacion (Aug 27, 2013)

@TrojMacReady
Logical conclusion: there will be better and more expensive E-mount Alphas in the future.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Aug 27, 2013)

@Marvol:
It makes little sense to go from small to large and more "serious looking", back to small for most people.

@ Marvol and Rad Encarnation:
You are both assuming yourselves there will be an upgrade path, which there might be, but as of now, there isn't. And the future is unsure at best, so Timmbits' comment in this regard, do raise question marks. It's like saying there's was an upgrade path for EOS-M users with their dedicated EOS M lenses, at introduction.

Fastforward more than a year later....

3 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (Aug 27, 2013)

One thing though, how much would it cost to put in a rear dial?

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Aug 27, 2013)

I'm sure everyone has their own "one thing though..." that they wish were included. For instance, I wish there was a rubber eyecup on the viewfinder. But at such a low, low price, I doubt they had much wiggle room to include this or that.

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Aug 27, 2013)

$100 - in fact, rear dial, rubber bumper on VF, tilting LCD, higher-res LCD... all those things everyone is going to complain about, will surely be addressed in another model for a $100-$300 more. ;)

5 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (Aug 27, 2013)

good points.

0 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (Aug 27, 2013)

I note that the words "first impressions review" only appear in the body of the front-page news text and not in the headline. I also not that the category label is "Preview" rather than "Review" which had been used on a different First Impressions text recently.

0 upvotes
Robert Spanjaard
By Robert Spanjaard (Aug 27, 2013)

You think this is crazy? Wait until you see the Hasselblad version. :-)

4 upvotes
BelDDB
By BelDDB (Aug 27, 2013)

design failure at back already drives me away

2 upvotes
Vlad4D
By Vlad4D (Aug 27, 2013)

A-3000 looks very good at that price. This makes me think that A-5000 will be awesome and A-7000 will be completely amazing. I will wait for my A-7000 :)

3 upvotes
perry rhodan
By perry rhodan (Aug 27, 2013)

OK, this got me thinking. The color and toning of this pre-view is very strange, not belonging on a "serious" site. It's 400 for starters with the kitlens. "_Ape_ the prof look from Canon and Nikon". For 400?

My first thought was: "Someone has hijacked DPR, must immediately notice the MODS!" Yuk! If not, oh well, life goes on. Gone are the "black boxes" from my screen.

2 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (Aug 27, 2013)

NWTT

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Eric Hensel
By Eric Hensel (Aug 27, 2013)

I keep seeing questions about IBIS. It's an E-mount, a Nex, essentially, and the Nex has stabilized lenses, not IBIS. Simple.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Aug 27, 2013)

yes... but Panasonic's GX7 proves that line of reasoning to be unreliable.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Aug 27, 2013)

it's easier to make sensor shift stabilizer for smaller sensors.
for optical vs sensor movement, probably we need both.

1 upvote
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Aug 31, 2013)

Panasonic took a real risk by adding IBIS to the GX7.

Sure... it will help sell more GX7 cameras.... but if they add IBIS to more models, it will open up the possibility of Panasonic users buying Olympus telephoto and telezoom lenses for their Panasonic M4/3 cameras. Previously, they had no option other than buying Panasonic lenses if they image wanted stabilization.

I think it was a pretty bold move for Panasonic.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
draschan
By draschan (Aug 27, 2013)

it seems awkward to build huuuge mirrorless cameras. given the fact that in US small cameras don't sell well it really makes sense though. (big cameras look more "pro"? personally I never got it) it seems like a smart move from sony. the manufacturing of a mirrorless costs less than dslr. This camera will be an amazing machine at an almost ridiculous price point making it a no brainer for people who can live with the nex lens lineup. personally I hope bodies keep shrinking, sensors growing...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Aug 27, 2013)

Small cameras don't sell in the US? The best selling DSLRs in the US are the small Canon and Nikon entry-level DSLRs (Canon Rebels, Nikon D3100/3200's) which are all pretty small. By making the A3000 approximately the same size as these small Canon's and Nikon's (that was probably no accident or coincidence), and pricing it so aggressively, Sony clearly wants to take a bite out of these Canon and Nikon small-DSLR sales.

1 upvote
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (Aug 27, 2013)

And I think they will do well. People don't know the difference between a mirror or mirrorless, just want something that looks serious. Sony can save on not building a mirror box, pentamirror, or phase autofocus and easily undercut Canikon on the price.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Aug 27, 2013)

@T3: I think he's referring to the over forty percent drop in sales in some categories, such as Nikon-1, disappointing Oly sales, and the 1/2.3" market in general.

1 upvote
rxbot
By rxbot (Aug 27, 2013)

It should attract some people entering ilc or perhaps even second body backup for some others. Others may say spend a couple hundred more and get a Pentax K-30.

1 upvote
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (Aug 27, 2013)

Definitely it will win with those buying K-01. That being said, K-30 looks like a significantly more capable camera.

0 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (Aug 27, 2013)

I find it really hard to say anythin negative about a camera like this that can produce nex 3 quality shots for THAT price point AND come with an EVF, as cheapo as it may be.

I wouldn't buy it but had this been available when i first bought my 3c, I would have easily bought this instead.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Aug 27, 2013)

so it doesn't have sensor shift image stabilizer as many expected.
probably Sony don't expect target users to ever change the lens?

0 upvotes
thecameraeye
By thecameraeye (Aug 27, 2013)

Looks like it. They will probably introduce a higher-end SLR-style model for the enthusiast market.

0 upvotes
rpm40
By rpm40 (Aug 27, 2013)

Does any E mount camera have IBIS?

0 upvotes
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Aug 27, 2013)

There is definitely a huge market for SLR body with E-mount. With an adapter and a cheap but good quality legacy lens, this combination just beats M43 and super zoom cameras with small sensor. I just want to see if the Panasonic FZ200 and G6 will be firm on $549 and $799.

Sony just gets the ball rolling.

11 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Aug 27, 2013)

fz200 is a babysized sensor and you won't get anywhere near the IQ of an APS with it.

2 upvotes
Jylppy
By Jylppy (Aug 27, 2013)

Does the fact that this is bigger than Canon 100D mean that there is lower limit for usable camera size? Did Sony choose to waste space just to make the handfeel better or to save in cost? (or the both).

I have big hands and Canon 100D is too small for me. 5DII is handy size ;-)

2 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (Aug 27, 2013)

Good question. You could be right.

A number of people here seem to feel the design is poor and deride it for being the old SLR style when cameras can now be made in the new NEX style.

Maybe the new NEX style is just different for the sake being different. Maybe it is easier to hold a camera shaped like this one.

Of course, the NEX design isn't un-holdable! Just depends on how much holding one may do.

Be interesting to see where things go. Little square cameras or chunkier (perhaps..) easier to grip.

0 upvotes
mikiev
By mikiev (Aug 27, 2013)

I'm thinking they are primarily establishing a larger body-size E-mount than existing NEX, so that they can add internal features in future upgrades.

Since NEX bodies were originally a very space-efficient design - NEX-5 was TINY compared to my NEX-7 - if Sony wants to add features like the SLT's IBIS they are going to need a larger form-factor.

Secondary reason is seeing the frequent comments - especially in Alpha/SLT forum - that move from SLT to mirrorless has people worried that if future Sony models are NEX-style design that it will be difficult/uncomfortable to use larger glass [70-400, 300 f/2.8, etc]

0 upvotes
Tonkotsu Ramen
By Tonkotsu Ramen (Aug 27, 2013)

why did this product get the textured body.. yet it was removed from the A58? pretty silly decision to me

0 upvotes
John A Wake
By John A Wake (Aug 27, 2013)

Wedding photography prices just went down to £50 for a full days shooting all 3000 images fully edited on CD. :-)

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (Aug 27, 2013)

it has ISO 100 unike NEX-3N.

1 upvote
nopt
By nopt (Aug 27, 2013)

So... what's actually inside this thing? I am surprised how deep the body appears to be. Is there a bunch of empty space between the sensor and the LCD?

0 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (Aug 27, 2013)

i thought they put in a huge battery to rival the performance of DSLRs. unfortunately, 480 shots say they haven't.

0 upvotes
misolo
By misolo (Aug 27, 2013)

Less miniaturization makes it cheaper to make.

4 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Aug 27, 2013)

I'll bet this has basically the same guts as the NEX3N.

People who this is aimed at want something that looks like a DSLR at a bargain price.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
1 upvote
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (Aug 27, 2013)

By agentul: "i thought they put in a huge battery to rival the performance of DSLRs. unfortunately, 480 shots say they haven't."

Huh? It's CIPA is 480 vs 380 for the significantly more expensive Canon 100D DSLR -- which is arguably the closest comparable DSLR. Yeah, the 70D claims CIPA 920, but you could buy THREE A3000+lens kits for LESS THAN the price of a 70D body. So, compare 3*480=1,440 vs 920 if you insist on such a pointless comparison. ;-)

The NEX cameras are amazingly dense inside, which adds some cost and can worsen issues like sensor heating. I assume the A3000 is simply less dense inside, allowing cheaper component choices, more space for battery & cooling, easier assembly and repair access, etc.

1 upvote
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (Aug 27, 2013)

At $400 and looking as it does, this should help attract 1st-time NEX buyers, especially in the US market. It seems just a little skimpy on some things, like the lack of LCD movements, but having a 20MP sensor and EVF at this price point is impressive.

The review is negative about it not being a real DSLR, but I haven't seen that as a negative for a long time now. Being able to see exposure, focus peaking, and other things in the EVF's 100% view is a huge advantage over any optical finder, and especially the 95% view thing in a Canon 100D. Heck, the A3000 even gets better battery life than the 100D: CIPA 480 vs. 380. As for the "feels hollow" comment, I think most people will say it feels lighter -- 281 grams vs. 407 for the 100D. I'll also be surprised if the 20MP sensor doesn't DxOMark significantly better than the 18MP one in the 100D. Maybe the 100D will AF a little faster? ;-)

15 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Aug 27, 2013)

yet it has bracketing and stereo mic which the D3200 doesn't have. the LCD is rather low resolution too... but at this price, you can't complain

2 upvotes
Clyde Thomas
By Clyde Thomas (Aug 27, 2013)

So why is this (or NEX) considered an Alpha?

Different menu and battery. And there is more than one smart adapter for lenses. Get AF adapter for Canon EF and Contax G now. Manual adapters for anything.

What makes this an Alpha?

0 upvotes
Rad Encarnacion
By Rad Encarnacion (Aug 27, 2013)

My guess is the shape.

It looks like Sony will be going with NEX branding for cameras that use the current NEX shape, while using the Alpha branding for cameras that use the DSLR shape.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Aug 27, 2013)

why not if cheating makes profit.

0 upvotes
Marvol
By Marvol (Aug 27, 2013)

I think Sony calls everything Alpha that has interchangable lenses. The neck strap of my NEX-6 has an alpha on it.

For the same but opposite reason they had the RX-1 under the Cybershot moniker - regardless of sensor size (or anything else that may have mattered), it does not have an interchangeable lens.

1 upvote
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (Aug 27, 2013)

Actually, this is a darn confusing naming. At store.sony.com the A3000 is grouped under "DSLRs" with it right next to the A99 on the entry page. Of course, Sony hasn't been making traditional mirror-based-optical-viewfinder DSLRs for some years, but the A3000 is the first mirrorless to be grouped in that category.

NEX cameras are a different heading entirely. The slugs distinguish the DSLRs and NEX as "Top technologies for professional-quality photos" vs. "Performance of a DSLR in about half the size and weight." Incidentally, the size distinction is real, but not quite for the weight -- the 3N is 269 grams vs. 281 for the A3000.

Catch is, "A" used to mean A-mount, and the LA-EA2 adapter to make the $400 A3000 a full-functioning A-mount lists for $350. Also strange that it has the NEX menus rather than the ones normally found in A series cameras.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 15 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
tokyojerry
By tokyojerry (Aug 27, 2013)

This is one camera I will completely bypass altogether. Low-resolution live viewfinder low-quality EVF, no articulating screen, no dial controls, and that horrible NEX menuing system. I'll stick with my NEX6 for now and see what Sony does about the new upcoming Sony full frame NEX as well as the mirrorless Alpha series. But I on other hand, when considering the price one will pay for this camera and that it has a 20 megapixel APSC sensor inside, and if you don't mind carrying around a bigger camera in lieu of a high-priced point-and-shoot camera, might be a bargain.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Aug 27, 2013)

Hold on... lets get serious.

This is a $400 camera, including the lens. And in a few months, you will probably see it selling for $349. This is CHEAPER than every current high end compact with a 1/1.8" sensor. Those floor mats in your BMW probably cost more than this camera does.

Unless Sony has somehow screwed up this version of the 20 MP sensor, the IQ should be superb for both stills and videos.

Were you expecting a pro quality build at this price? Or a 1,000,000 dot LCD with swivel screen? Or perhaps a killer EVF?

Sony just took a shot across Canon's bow. And created a very nice second camera for NEX users.

This is a lot of camera for the price. Sony will have a hit on their hands.

45 upvotes
wjlonien
By wjlonien (Aug 27, 2013)

I'm with you on this Marty. Perfect 1st camera for your kid for instance, and much easier to hold than a Nex or Pen. And for that price? Awesome cool stuff.

15 upvotes
b534202
By b534202 (Aug 27, 2013)

Another Rebel T3 price drop soon then?

1 upvote
thecameraeye
By thecameraeye (Aug 27, 2013)

This is probably the best way to revive falling mirrorless sales. Customers want DSLR controls in a cheap body? Here you are. It looks like a brilliant decision on Sony's part.

5 upvotes
Robert Spanjaard
By Robert Spanjaard (Aug 27, 2013)

@thecameraeye: That's the biggest problem I have with this camera. I expected to get DSLR-like controls too. But this camera only has DSLR styling; no DSLR-like controls at all.

1 upvote
CFynn
By CFynn (Aug 27, 2013)

I suspect almost no one buying this camera will have previously owned a "real" DSLR - so they won't miss the DSLR-like controls (which would have pushed up the price).

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Aug 27, 2013)

> For those willing to live with the low-res EVF and LCD

these are things people notice immediately at shop. low resolution display gives an impression that the image quality is also bad unless Sony provide free PCs with high resolution display and Wi-Fi connected to the camera.

4 upvotes
hippo84
By hippo84 (Aug 27, 2013)

Don't forget, it costs $399! Even SL1 body costs $649! For SL1 body price You can get A3000 kit + Sigma 60/2.8.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
16 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Aug 27, 2013)

the silly one has been making good profit for Canon and they should be able to lower the price significantly for market share.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
parallaxproblem
By parallaxproblem (Aug 27, 2013)

So you like it then...? ;-)

0 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (Aug 27, 2013)

I think this is excellent. It is a very cheap camera that could better serve for hand-held photography than those diminutive mirrorless bodies. There definitely was a void in the market, because G series from Panasonic was much more expensive, there were no alternatives, and their sensors weren't that great.

12 upvotes
madecov
By madecov (Aug 27, 2013)

This is a first model. There will be a 5000 and above. I think this may be a step in the right direction. Mirror less sales are not great outside of Japan, maybe models like this will jump start things.

8 upvotes
beavertown
By beavertown (Aug 27, 2013)

What is the point to buy the G16?

1 upvote
Esign
By Esign (Aug 27, 2013)

Well, you can put a G16 in your briefcase, jacket pocket or wear it in a belt case. And, like the G15, it's a lovely, sturdy, easy to use camera with an excellent display. Best skin tones of any camera I have used, no Sony orange tan. Tele 140mm f2.8 really useable. This Sony is no match for G16.

4 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Aug 27, 2013)

Sometimes people type LOL and I really honestly doubt that they laughed out loud.

I laughed out loud, Esign.

2 upvotes
Northgrove
By Northgrove (Aug 27, 2013)

The G16 can't be compared to the A3000. The reason one would buy a G16 as a secondary camera would be its size.

1 upvote
Robert Spanjaard
By Robert Spanjaard (Aug 27, 2013)

You really can't compare a typical first camera and a typical secondARY camera. They serve completely different functions. But the G16 actually has much better controls than this DSLR-shaped... thing. And it's pocketable. Ofcourse, with its smaller sensor, IQ will probably be better on the A3000.

0 upvotes
beavertown
By beavertown (Aug 27, 2013)

G16 is a rip off.

0 upvotes
Sangster
By Sangster (Aug 27, 2013)

Why didn't Sony attempt to make the body thinner?

2 upvotes
Vlad4D
By Vlad4D (Aug 27, 2013)

Because there is a NEX line for that.

5 upvotes
aliquis
By aliquis (Aug 27, 2013)

Can't I just get a camera which fill the following criteria:
1) No mirror box.
2) Built in image stabilization.
3) APS-C or bigger sensor.
4) Decent range of lenses / good lenses the few that exist.

Do 2 and 3 exist in any camera? Why not? Because they want to build them small? If they want to build up look and make it look like a DSLR then ..

Olympus make cameras I would really like if they wasn't four-thirds.

3 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Aug 27, 2013)

People tend to keep lenses for a long time and change bodies more frequently. If you only owned two lenses why would you want to pay for stabilizer in your camera over and over and over rather than just have it in the lenses you'll have for 20 years? I think it is very likely in-camera stabilizers are more expensive and power hungry than those in the lens.

4 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (Aug 27, 2013)

What's wrong with 4/3rds sensor? Image quality is practically the same and you can achieve depth of focus of an APS-C with a few F0.95 or F1.4 lenses.

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
bmlsayshi
By bmlsayshi (Aug 27, 2013)

Mark me down as another person who won't buy a camera without in-body stabilization.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Aug 27, 2013)

Be honest, were you really shopping for the lowest end model anyway?

1 upvote
liviutza
By liviutza (Aug 27, 2013)

Pentax K-01 fills your list pretty well, with its own shortcomings. And it's about as expensive as this Sony.

5 upvotes
perry rhodan
By perry rhodan (Aug 27, 2013)

AF, brrr.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
EinsteinsGhost
By EinsteinsGhost (Aug 27, 2013)

"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, despite its appearance the A3000 fails in two key ways: it neither feels like an SLR nor does it function like an SLR"

Ahem. Pathetic review. Please do not make a habit out of it. Unless you can really prove that professional quality for images cannot be taken with this camera but can be with competing DSLRs. Seriously? Looks? Feel? Or, perhaps I'm trailing recent advancements in photography reviews where color of lipstick takes a higher priority.

12 upvotes
aliquis
By aliquis (Aug 27, 2013)

I guess how it functions in your hands are quality for them to.

3 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Aug 27, 2013)

Pretty sure they were referring to the build quality and controls there. There are some control/menu layouts that lend themselves to certain situations more commonly frequented by professionals and professionals in certain situations might demand more in terms of build quality.

4 upvotes
Mel Snyder
By Mel Snyder (Aug 27, 2013)

Can the resolution of the EVF be that low? I almost ordered one as a backup to the NEX-6 for an upcoming trip. At under $400 with lens, they are clearly gunning for the Costco market

1 upvote
Sangster
By Sangster (Aug 27, 2013)

Build quality only needs to last 3-4 years. Cameras are like computers. They become obsolete so fast. Sensor technology is still evolving.

2 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (Aug 27, 2013)

Yes, it's a comment made about build quality, not its image quality. The sample we have is not final for image quality, so testing image quality is not allowed. The point isn't that it's a bad camera. The point is that Sony built it for a certain group of people and we wonder whether it will appeal to them, regardless how good the 20MP sensor is likely to be. The good news is it's an NEX, so it's likely to be pretty good quality as a camera, and it comes at a low price. Those in the know might enjoy using the A3000; and indeed plain consumers might too. Only time will tell.

15 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Aug 27, 2013)

"despite its appearance the A3000 fails in two key ways: it neither feels like an SLR nor does it function like an SLR"

And to add insult to injury, the dpreview staff looked inside the camera and found NO REFLEX MIRROR! The dpreview staff was shocked and dismayed!

LOL

2 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Aug 27, 2013)

This is clearly designed as a real "entry level" camera. How many people buying this camera will have previously a real DSLR? Users won't be familiar with how an SLR feels or functions.

The first NEX3 was pretty crippled too and cost more.

This has a small flash and an EVF as well. At the price it is hard to complain.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
imsabbel
By imsabbel (Aug 27, 2013)

Yeah. Article was REALLY weak. They had _previews_ that were twice as long before, with more content.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Aug 27, 2013)

Nice nails on the girls hand :).

1 upvote
neo_nights
By neo_nights (Aug 27, 2013)

Agree! Whose hand is it?

0 upvotes
babola
By babola (Aug 27, 2013)

What Barnaby does in privacy of his home is no one's concern.

14 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Aug 27, 2013)

Hey now, steady on.

10 upvotes
Total comments: 681
2345