Sony A3000 First Impressions Review
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.
May 26, 2015
Jun 29, 2016
Jun 23, 2015
Aug 27, 2013
I own it
I want it
I had it
|Patrick Finds Inner Peace by ecastellon|
from Your best photo of the week!
|Forks by Kukla|
from Arranged everyday objects
Calumet UK and Wex Photographic, two of the biggest photography retailers in the United Kingdom, are going to officially merge tomorrow.
macOS High Sierra came out today, but if you use a Wacom tablet you need to wait a few weeks before you upgrade. According to Wacom, they won't have a compatible driver ready for you until "late October."
Do you think a $3,000 Canon 80D video rig can compete with an $80,000+ Arri Alexa setup? Well it can't, but check out this video anyway to see how the rigs compare.
Seven simple rules to make sure you get the most out of your next photography outing.
Vitec, the company that owns popular accessory maker Manfrotto, has just acquired JOBY and Lowepro for a cool $10.3 million in cash. The acquisition adds JOBY and Lowepro to Vitec's already sizable collection of camera gear brands.
A master drone pilot has captured one of the most incredible (and highly illegal) drone videos we've ever seen by flying around, inside, onto, and under a moving train.
Intel just debuted their 8th generation desktop CPUs, and the lineup packs a performance boost for 'content creators' that photo and video editors might be intrigued by.
Canon is developing a 'Free Viewpoint Video System' that will turn real life sports games and events into immersive 3D interactive experiences. It's video game-like camera control IRL.
A veteran photojournalist, Rick Wilking secured a spot in the path of totality for the August solar eclipse. While things didn't quite pan out as predicted, an unexpected subject in the sky and a quick reaction made for a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
The new iZugar 3.25mm F2.5 super fisheye lens offers an insane 220-degree angle of view. That means it can basically see behind itself... good luck keeping your feet out of the shot.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that time you took a picture of the frozen pizza baking directions.
A Craigslist poster has discovered the worst possible way to photograph a car: taking pictures of pictures displayed on a cracked and scratched up smartphone screen.
With the iPhone X coming out soon, the title probably won't last, but the iPhone 8 Plus is officially the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 is second.
Kodak's new Facebook Messenger chatbot is trying to bring back the 'Kodak Moment' by digging up your old social media photos and trying to sell you prints and custom coffee mugs.
Affinity Photo for iPad was touted as "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." This update makes it that much more convenient.
Yashica has released a new teaser video, and this one claims they'll be releasing an "unprecedented camera" in October on Kickstarter. Ready... set... speculate!
Storage solutions company Synology has just released its very first 6-bay NAS tower. Combined with the DX1215 expansion units, it can hold and control up to thirty drives.
We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6.
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.