There was a time when you had to choose between the true photographic quality of a professional-looking SLR and the carefree shooting spontaneity of a pop-in-your pocket compact camera. But things have changed. Now one of the world's lightest, most compact interchangeable lens cameras - the revolutionary new Sony α NEX-3 - gives everyday photographers all they need to shoot high quality, impressive photos without having to master any complex photographic techniques. The NEX-3 is a small, easy-to-use camera that will help you shoot professional looking photos and stunning HD movies as and when the mood takes you.
With the built-in help guide, getting
to grips with the NEX range's
extensive functions couldn't
be easier. View larger
One of the world's lightest interchangeable lens cameras
Sony has taken a radical new approach to camera design with the NEX-3, eliminating the mirror box and viewfinder optics found in conventional SLRs. This means you get an interchangeable lens camera that offers a class-leading combination of low weight, compact size, and SLR-class photographic performance. In fact, thanks to its low standalone weight and trim waistline, the NEX-3 is one of the lightest, most compact interchangeable lens cameras in the world today.
New, easy-to-use menu system
The main menu is completely intuitive so you won't have to go scrabbling for the manual every five minutes. It features six clearly labelled icons that can be selected simply by rotating and pressing the control wheel. Inside, standard scrolling menus provide quick access to settings for shooting and playback functions, as well as a host of other preferences and camera settings. The wide-screen format of the LCD monitor also makes it easier for you to read the display so you'll be able to find the text and icons you need straight away.
Built-in help guide
The NEX-3 guides you every step of the way. A popup window appears each time you select a mode or you scroll through menu items with the control wheel. This window contains helpful information on each item or function to help you take better pictures without fuss.
These simple on-screen guides make the camera brilliantly easy to use. They also make navigation completely clear as you'll always see which functions are in use at any time.
Enjoy detailed creative control
over how much your subject
stands out from the background,
with Background Defocus
Control. View larger
Shooting tips to help you boost your skills
Built-in shooting tips can help you get the most out of any given shooting situation or mode selection; whether you're a beginner or a more advanced photographer. As well as tips on particular types of subject and scene you'll find advice on general photographic techniques. You can access the entire library of shooting tips via the Camera menu so you'll always have a complete photography tutorial on hand.
High resolution Sweep Panoramas
Imagine you're standing in front of an incredible, immense view and you want to capture its scale and grandeur. Just choose Sweep Panorama from the Shoot Mode menu. It's beautifully simple to use: just press the shutter button and sweep the camera from side to side, or up and down. The camera will take a series of photos at high speed and seamlessly stitch them together into a single panoramic image of breathtaking beauty, with all the resolution and image detail you need for large-format printing.
Background defocus to make your subjects stand out
The NEX-3 features an iAuto mode which automatically sets the best exposure values and Scene Selection modes to give you the optimal settings for each scene. What's more, it combines this full-auto convenience with a Background Defocus Control function that lets you enjoy one of the biggest creative advantages of interchangeable lens photography - the ability to defocus the background to make your main subject stand out from the scene. Just press and rotate the control wheel to set the level of background defocusing you want - it's easy and intuitive because you can confirm the level of defocusing on the LCD monitor in real-time.
720p High Definition movie recording
Not only does the NEX-3 offer you SLR image quality but it (and its sister camera the NEX-5) is the first Sony interchangeable-lens camera to offer movie recording. And High Definition recording at that. Thanks to its high-speed, low-noise sensor your pictures will be sharp and your movie soundtrack will be clean. Once you've shot your HD movies, in MP4, it's quick and easy to post video clips onto your blog or video-sharing websites.
Rich tonal gradation and true-to-life colour
The NEX-3 has a powerful new 14.2-megapixel Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor which allows you to take DSLR quality images with rich colour and realistic detail. This sophisticated sensor is not only the same size, but it delivers the same performance as those used in Sony's acclaimed α system digital SLR cameras. So, whatever you're shooting you can feel confident you'll get true-to-life colour as well as clean, low-noise signal output and ultra high-speed data transfer.
High resolution LCD display
The camera's large, tilting 3-inch Xtra Fine LCD widescreen monitor has LED backlighting and a stunningly crisp high resolution display so it's crystal clear for you to see your subjects and review your shots. Viewing and focusing is also made easier by Sony TruBlack technology, which cuts reflection and glare with a special anti-reflective resin layer, as well as anti-reflective film. So, however bright the weather, you'll be able to see vibrant colours and deeper, richer blacks.
Rich realism made simple
Auto HDR mode allows you to capture evenly exposed photos even in the most challenging lighting conditions like sunsets, backlit cityscapes, and other dramatically lit scenes. It achieves a super-realistic range of shadow and highlight detail by taking three exposures in rapid succession; one to capture a normal exposure, one to capture shadows, and one to capture highlights. The three exposures are then digitally combined into a single stunning image that's saved along with the normal exposure.