Even now in 2017....But read on please...
First off: I had many cameras throughout the years, analog first of course and then later compact's, a whole army of DSLR's and enthusiastic compacts including a fair share of m43 cameras (I still like).
Currently I own the Panasonic DMC-GX80 with the standard zoom lens provided and a couple of primes from Olympus and also Panasonic plus the Panasonic flash. Very good kit, no question. Due to some reasons I have to slim down and did not really want to give away much of picture quality.
So I stumbled across an older Sony A3000 as a demo unit in a shop. The back screen was slightly scratched and I negotiated another 15% off. In the end I paid 211 Euros including of course the OSS lens, all in original box and the standard 2 yrs warranty.
So far so good. I was immediatley put off by the EVF (horrible, but diopter adjustment quite efficient as need due to wearing specs). Also back screen LCD quite low in resolution but better usable than the EVF.
As a former NEX 5R user I was immediately familiar with the operation, so no problem here, except the typical ...grrrgrrrrr.. approach of Sony for that kind of menu structure.
So I bought that as a cheapo so at least to have some decent camera but did not want to go full DSLR again (weight etc.... plus money of course). I really liked my former Sony A57 I had even though the sensor not as good as the A3000 or the A58.
Having played arround whole weekend (yepp sometimes have that luxury in time) I re-enabled all my tricks and experience as a former NEX user and made myself familiar. Shot a whole lot of pictures (portraits, landscape, some silly stuff..whatever came across the lens..hehe). But did NOT at all check them on a computer.
Played with bracketing series, the special effects, panorama and of course going full manual, doing some video. All being checked on the rear LCD screen.
Later the evening I decided then to put the SD card into my computer to just give it some check. I did not really expect so much. My expectation was like....If it does ok I am happy as a temporary camera. But then....(mind you I only checked images taken on the rear LCD screen...which did not reveal too much due to its lower resolution...)....it really happened and I am still surprised.
No matter whether full manual or A priority or full automatic program. The pictures (jpg only tested) came out in a way that I said to myself "wow!!!"...
and that in 2017 after recent DSLR from Canon, a M3 with good glass, a Panasonic GX80 with really good prime lenses...
If you can get used to the typical NEX (now called Alpha...) series of menus, can live with fewer buttons for direct control (though 2 can be programmed), can accept a kind of mediocre EVF (though in the end it is kind of usable), a lower resolution rear LCD and also can accept that your peers might look at you funny with their blown up Canikons (they mostly use in automatic mode anyway....my own experience...) I only advise you to get one. Just try to get it cheap...say max. 300 Euros or so (new that is then) .
The sensor really resolves very nicely (even by nowadays standards) and for me IQ is better than the m43 league....Clearly to see if you need cropping...(I know if you compose right you do not need to ).
Will I keep it? Yes, yes and yes.
Will I buy another better camera if budget allows? Yes, possibly but then still I will keep it as it is lightweight, has a good grip and delivers really good quality images. Even in automatic easy to use and good results. I'll just toss it in a bag and go with it for travel etc...or let my wife use it.
My rating of course related to price I paid but also would be same if I had paid like 300 or 300 max...
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