Sony Alpha NEX-F3 Review
The NEX-F3 records Full HD video (that's 1920 x 1080) at your choice of 24p or 60i (note that the higher-end NEX models also do 60p). Sound is recorded in stereo, and the AVCHD codec lets you keep recording for up to 29 minutes. For both the 24p and 60i resolutions, there are two qualities to choose from (FX and FH), which have bit rates of 24 and 17 Mbps, respectively.
While AVCHD movies look great on your HDTV, editing and sharing them isn't so easy. Heck, just finding them on your memory card is a pain. Thankfully, Sony also supports the MPEG-4 codec, which is much easier to work with. The bad news is that there are two resolutions available with MP4: 1440 x 1080 and 640 x 480 (both at 30 fps), and recording ends when the file size reaches 2GB.
The NEX-F3 gives you access to the same bells and whistles that are available for still shooting. Want to use the Picture Effects (like toy camera or selective color) in movie mode? No problem. The camera can focus continuously, keeping subjects in focus as they move around or if you adjust the zoom. If your lens has image stabilization, that'll be active as well.
If you want to adjust the shutter speed, aperture, or ISO, that's also available - even while you're in the midst of recording. What you can adjust depends on the shooting mode. If you want the most manual exposure control, set the virtual mode dial to the 'M' position. The NEX-F3 also offers a wind filter, which is handy when you're recording videos outdoors. One thing you cannot do on the NEX-F3 is take a still image while simultaneously recording video.
I have three sample movies for you. The first two are two train videos, and were recorded at the high quality (24 Mbps) 1080/60i setting. The third video was taken at the normal quality setting at the same resolution. Note that I had to deinterlace these for web viewing, and since I'm no expert at that, you may want to download the original MTS files too.
Sample Video 1
|1920 x 1080, 60 fps, 38.1 MB, QuickTime/H.264 format
Download original MTS file (38.1 MB)
Sample Video 2
|1920 x 1080, 60 fps, 25.4 MB, QuickTime/H.264 format
Download original MTS file (25.4 MB)
Sample Video 3
|1920 x 1080, 60 fps, 22 MB, QuickTime/H.264 format
Download original MTS file (22 MB)