Sony NEX-C3 Concise Review
Body & Design
Two things are immediately striking about the NEX-C3: that it's small and that most of its styling cues are from compact cameras, not DSLRs. We've shown it here with the 18-55mm zoom, rather than the 16mm F2.8 lens with which it can also be bought in a kit, because we feel this is the more appropriate lens for the overwhelming majority of compact camera users Sony is hoping will buy the camera.
Obviously there are limits to how small the zoom lens can be made (larger sensors require longer focal lengths to provide any chosen field-of-view, so the NEX needs an 18-55mm lens to give the same zoom range as a 5-15mm lens would on a typical compact), but the degree of downsizing Sony has achieved won't have been a small job. Without adopting the collapsible lens design favoured by Olympus and, more recently, Samsung, it's hard to imagine offering a zoom camera with an APS-C sized sensor in a smaller package.
Of course one of the ways Sony keeps its NEX models so small is by not building a flash unit into the body. The C3 does include an external accessory flash, attached using a proprietary, fiddly screw-secured connector, but this adds to the camera's size and inevitably, to an extent, detracts from its convenience.
Sony also offers an optional plug-in stereo microphone, the ECMSST1, that plugs into the same accessory slot on top of the camera as the flash.