Sony Alpha NEX-C3

Announced Jun 8, 2011 •
16 megapixels | 3 screen | APS-C sensor
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Product description
Announced Jun 8, 2011

Sony NEX-C3 features a 16.2MP seen in the SLT-A35 promising improved battery life. It is directly aimed at offering a compact-camera-like experience to users looking to upgrade to a large-sensor camera. Like the SLT-A35, it features the 'Picture Effects' processing filters. Apart from the improved sensor, important feature additions and refinements that were made to the previous NEX model's firmware have carried over to the C3. The addition of more customization, in the form of assignable left and right buttons on the control dial and 2 more short-cut slots in the custom menu will be very welcome to anyone that wants to go beyond the C3's automatic exposure modes.

The NEX-C3's image quality is excellent. The new 16.2MP sensor employed in the C3 is capable of capturing images that rival the best APS-C format DSLRs on the market, and up to ISO 6400 image quality is impressive. Even at ISO 12,800, image quality is perfectly acceptable for online use and for small prints, and far ahead of most of the C3's Micro Four Thirds competitors. We wouldn't call the NEX-C3 a DSLR replacement by any means - its ergonomics alone mean that it has a very different appeal. However, its combination of high-end compact style handling and semi-professional DSLR image quality mean that it is a highly attractive option for anyone looking to move up from a compact camera, and potentially also to DSLR owners hankering for a smaller second camera.

Product timeline
Article, Dec 20, 2011
Group review, Dec 20, 2011
Review, Aug 22, 2011
News story, Jun 8, 2011
Quick specs
Body type Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution 4912 x 3264
Effective pixels 16 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (23.4 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800
Lens mount Sony E
Focal length mult. 1.5×
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 920,000
Min shutter speed 30 sec
Max shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Format MPEG-4
Storage types SD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Weight (inc. batteries) 225 g (0.50 lb / 7.94 oz)
Dimensions 110 x 60 x 33 mm (4.33 x 2.36 x 1.3)
GPS None

See full specifications

Our review

The NEX-C3, like its predecessors the NEX-3/5, is a well built, easy to use interchangeable lens camera. The NEX-C3 is capable of image quality that rivals the best of its APS-C DSLR competition while being significantly smaller and lighter. As well as effective handling and excellent image quality the C3's user-friendly iAuto mode as well as full featured PASM modes should satisfy most photographers.

Good for: Compact shooters looking to upgrade but don't want the bulk or complication of a DSLR, as well as DSLR owners looking for a smaller alternative.

Not so good for: People looking for a truly 'pocketable' DSLR alternative.

Read the full review

Silver Award
74%
dpreview score
Scoring
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Value
Sony Alpha NEX-C3 videos
Sony Alpha NEX - C3 Hand-held pan
00:13 (2 Aug, 2011)
Sony Alpha NEX-C3 Review Samples
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Sony NEX-C3 preview samples
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