Sony Alpha NEX-F3 Review
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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While the NEX-F3 is compact when using a pancake lens, it becomes more of a handful (no pun intended) once a zoom is attached.
NEX cameras use Sony's E-mount, which has a relatively small lens selection at this point. Sony doesn't build image stabilization into the NEX bodies, so you'll want to look for a lens with 'OSS' if you want this feature (the kit lens has it).
|One of the best additions to the NEX-F3 is a built-in flash, which you'll find to the upper-left of the lens mount. The flash has a guide number of 6 meters at ISO 100 which, while not very powerful, is typical for an ILC. If you're clever, you can hold the flash back a bit for 'bounce' functionality. Those who want to add an external flash are limited to the single model I mentioned back in the accessories section.|
|Here you can see the stereo microphones, which straddle the lens mount.|
|The biggest new feature on the NEX-F3 is undoubtedly its articulating LCD, which can flip upward 180 degrees to face your subject. This makes self-portraits a whole lot easier than before. The live view on the LCD appears as if you're looking in a mirror, so the text on your t-shirt will be backwards (but normal in the actual photo).|
|The F3's display has the same 3-inch size and 921,000 pixel resolution as the one on the NEX-C3. That makes everything nice and sharp, as you'd imagine. One thing I don't like about the displays on the NEX cameras is that they're 16:9, which is great for movies, but not so great for stills (which are 4:3). Outdoor visibility on this LCD was average, which means 'not great'.|
|If you want to use something other than the LCD to compose your photos, then you'll be pleased to hear that the NEX-F3 now supports Sony's gorgeous XGA electronic viewfinder. It attaches to the Smart Accessory Port that you'll see in the top view.|
|To the right of the LCD you'll find two more buttons and the four-way controller / scroll dial combo. Since the F3 has virtually no direct buttons, expect to be using these frequently to operate the menu system. The two unlabeled buttons are 'soft buttons', whose function depends on the current situation. The 4-way controller / scroll dial combo are used for menu navigation, adjusting exposure settings, reviewing photos, and more.|
|Above the screen, on the angled part of the body, you'll find the flash release, as well as buttons for entering playback mode and recording movies.|
|There isn't too much to see on the top of the camera. Under the plastic cover on the left you'll find the Smart Accessory Terminal (version 2), which supports an electronic viewfinder, external flash, or stereo microphone (see above).|
|The only things to point out here are the NEX-F3's speaker and I/O ports. The I/O ports are kept under a plastic cover, and include micro-USB and mini-HDMI.|
|On the bottom of camera you'll find the memory card and battery compartments - yes, there's one for each. Both are protected by plastic doors of average quality. While you won't be able to access the memory card slot when using a tripod, the battery will be reachable. The included NP-FW50 battery can be seen on the left.|