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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a Bargain !!
Some reviews complain that you need to manually switch between LCD screen & viewfinder, others bemoan the lower screen & viewfinder resolution.
Some say it's too light or made of plastic.

I've used pro-spec SLR & DSLR's for over 30 years. This camera isn't perfect (none are) but the viewfinder & screen are perfectly useable, the body well built &...
Published 9 months ago by parascience

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good image quality but weaker in other areas
I borrowed an A3000 from a friend to shoot with for a few days. I'm currently using a 70d and A57, but have used quite a lot of DSLR's at all price levels, and a few of Sony's NEX cameras too.

It's important to point out that this is an "E" mount camera the same as the NEX models 3/5/6/7 etc. It WILL NOT take Sony Alpha mount lenses or Minolta AF lenses...
Published 10 months ago by Mr Baz


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a Bargain !!, 22 Dec 2013
This review is from: Sony Alpha A3000 20.1MP DSLR Cameras with 18-55mm Lens Kit, E-Mount (Electronics)
Some reviews complain that you need to manually switch between LCD screen & viewfinder, others bemoan the lower screen & viewfinder resolution.
Some say it's too light or made of plastic.

I've used pro-spec SLR & DSLR's for over 30 years. This camera isn't perfect (none are) but the viewfinder & screen are perfectly useable, the body well built & ergonomics are very good.

It has all the essential modes & functions. Exposure is excellent, focus is excellent. Sensor resolution is excellent. Kit lens is pretty darn good too.
Honestly if a beginner can't use this to take first rate pictures they perhaps shouldn't be taking pictures. With a little experience this £250 camera / lens will outperform just about every 35mm or digital Crop frame (and most full frame) DSLR's produced in the past.

It's a huge bargain with huge advantages - unless of course you're too lazy to manually switch between viewfinder & LCD or thing 2Kg of camera makes you a better photographer.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to Advanced Photography, 7 Jan 2014
By 
badlymademan (Shropshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony Alpha A3000 20.1MP DSLR Cameras with 18-55mm Lens Kit, E-Mount (Electronics)
First and foremost the picture quality of this new Compact System Camera is excellent. The high-resolution 20MP sensor is a full APS-C size and so suffers from very little of the "noise" inherent in smaller designs.

This camera is essentially a NEX model in a DSLR-style body. It's much smaller than regular DSLRs because of the lack of a mirror and pentaprism. So you pay your money and make your choice - compact flat slab with tilting LCD screen or more curvaceous, SLR-style button placement and handgrip. Either uses the same E-mount lenses.

If you haven't stumbled across this camera before and are thinking of buying it then do some research online and check reviews. It's hard to fault except from a semi-pro point of view or ergonomically. You either like it or not. For those that don't but still want a Sony get a Nex-3 or 5.

Being a new camera to the market you will need to check your software capability for editing the .ARW RAW files produced. (JPG is obviously not a problem). I discovered quite a few titles were not able to open the RAW format yet, despite it being from a major player. However Lightroom 5 and Aperture 3.5 do open the files without problems. I won't list programs that don't support it but just because the manufacturer says it supports Sony RAW doesn't mean it will recognise the latest format, unless, like Adobe and Apple, they keep their software right up to date. Do some research.

The mostly high-quality plastic camera comes ready-assembled, with the metal-bodied lens in place. Just pop in a memory card and battery and you're good to go. Charging of the cell is done in camera via the USB cable and remarkably small mains adaptor. You can buy an external charger but it's not cheap. There's also a strap and printed manual in the box but this book is in many languages and in small format on cheap paper. Download the online PDFs instead, they're easier on the eyes if not so convenient. There's also some free software to download - a picture manager and a RAW file converter/editor - for both PC and Mac.

Anything I didn't like? Yes. The EVF eyepiece view. This isn't as crisp and clear as an optical viewfinder. So that missing mirror does have a negative side after all. It works though and cuts out extraneous light when you are concentrating on a shot. The pixel density is just too coarse for comfort and the icons too small on it. Bear in mind that this is still an upgrade to the cheaper NEX models which only have the main LCD for composition and no EVF at all except as an expensive accessory. Given the many other advantages I can put up with this niggle quite happily.

Anything else missing? Yes, there's no option for a remote control. Although rumour has it a £90 wired remote from other Sony models *might* work, I'm not willing to risk an expensive failure. Certainly there is no Infra-Red option nor details on Sony's web-site.

Finally it really is worth considering this camera given the large pixel count of the main sensor. Yes you can buy true DSLR cameras now at only 40-50 pounds more but they are probably 10-12MP models and even at that price point usually come without stabilised lenses. The Sony is a great step up from point-and-shoot cameras and offers superb quality results but is not a true DSLR.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good image quality but weaker in other areas, 3 Nov 2013
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(#1 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sony Alpha A3000 20.1MP DSLR Cameras with 18-55mm Lens Kit, E-Mount (Electronics)
I borrowed an A3000 from a friend to shoot with for a few days. I'm currently using a 70d and A57, but have used quite a lot of DSLR's at all price levels, and a few of Sony's NEX cameras too.

It's important to point out that this is an "E" mount camera the same as the NEX models 3/5/6/7 etc. It WILL NOT take Sony Alpha mount lenses or Minolta AF lenses unless you purchase an adaptor. This greatly limits the choice of lenses you have (native mount lenses). You can however see what lenses will mount based on the Sony product code. A mount lenses are SAL, E mount lenses are designated SEL.

I think it is very confusing to potential buyers to re-name the more recent NEX models "Alpha" as buyers might assume Sony Alpha lenses will fit this, which they won't.
First off I will say it's disheartening to have to review such a camera and award such a low mark, there are a few areas where the A3000 has some potential. Sadly there are some very serious issues with the camera which make it a slightly embarassing product to have to review.

Pros:
+ The 20mp sensor is really quite decent, with good noise and dynamic range performance. Not much to complain about here
+ 18-55mm kit lens isn't bad at all really, for a kit lens quite respectable optics wise (nothing amazing but reasonable)
+ It has a hot shoe
+ Jpegs are quite punchy and appealing out of the camera
+ It has a metal mount (well partial metal, plastic lugs with a metal front plate)
+ Battery life is ok at 400 shots roughly in real world use, ok for a compact system camera but below a DSLR one
+ You can buy adaptors to fit many lens mounts, such as manual focus lenses

Cons:
- There is no "eye sensor" so when you put the camera to your eye to focus you are greated with complete darkness! You are forced to press the button on the top plate to switch between the rear LCD and EVF. A pretty huge oversight from Sony
- Low build quality body. Cheap lightweight plastics, feels poor with creaks and flexing. Even the buttons feel low grade. A tacky hard plastic door covers the SD slot and USB port (also used for remotes) On/off switch sticks half way frequently
- The EVF is astonishingly bad, it is both very small, and very low resolution 201,600 dots. This compares very poorly with Sony's SLT models and it more in line with a cheaper bridge camera than anything else, optics are low quality with smearing in the corners. Pretty much unusable in my view.
- Hard plastic eye cup, I don't wear glasses but it could annoy those who do. Not at all comfortable
- Poor, fixed position, low resolution rear LCD with viewing angle issues, a 230k LCD might have been fine 6-7 years ago, in 2013 it just looks very out of touch. Contrast is low and not that easy to use in brighter light
- No front control dial, NEX type controls are not suited to a body like this
- AF was ok accuracy wise, but it's contrast AF only and not up to the speeds of phase detect (even super budget) entry DSLR's; quite slow AF with the kit lens
- Poor cont' shooting at a mere 2.5fps, or 3.5fps in shooting priority. Small buffer too
- Weedy GN 4 (at ISO 100) built in flash. Fine for a compact camera but seriously underpowered for a DSLR type body
- Poor, smeared jpegs at higher ISO levels, over zealous noise reduction (and it can't be turned down)
- Usual NEX menus (which you either love or hate I can't say I care for them) You also have the usual NEX bits like focus peaking and sweep pano etc which is ok.
- Battery charges in camera (via supplied mains to USB charger) This means you can't charge batteries outside the camera.

So basically we have a NEX body, shoved into a DSLR "type" shell (and a poor quality shell at that)
If you are a NEX user and want another body or a 20mp sensor, I strongly suggest you try one of these in a shop before you purchase to see if you can live with the many annoyances and many design oversights.

If you are in the market for a DSLR type body, forget this entirely you'll spend more time crying behind the camera than you will smiling. There are many DSLR's around. All of which are much better thought out than this.
If you are an A Mount user don't forget this does NOT have in body stabilisation (none of the E Mount NEX bodies do) I think you will be far better served with an A Mount body many around and plenty of second hand choices.

The decent 20mp APS-C sensor can't make up for what is basically a very poorly made, badly designed camera that you likely will not want to use (yes it's that bad) I didn't expect much, I can live with the keep it simple approach and cut down in a few areas. I wasn't that blown away with the Sony A58, but it's a much nicer camera than this offering.

One of the reasons I'm left scratching my head is the concept of a "compact system camera" or ILC/Mirror less is small size. Yet the body here is almost as big as the A58 model. I'm not sure I understand the thinking of the design team who made this product (if they were thinking that is) I just can't see how this appeals in any way to a "potential DSLR/DSLR type" buyer. The NEX "appeal" is more about small size compact bodies, and this is far from that
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Camera, 3 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony Alpha A3000 20.1MP DSLR Cameras with 18-55mm Lens Kit, E-Mount (Electronics)
I was looking to upgrade my Canon DSLRs with a new body, but I saw this Sony camera at a much lower price. After checking professional reviews and the comments on Amazon I wasn't sure at first due to some comments about handling and the LCD screen.

After handling one and taking a few test shots locally I bought one immediately from Amazon where the price was much lower.

The image quality, which is the most important criteria for me, is absolutely superb.

I've always shot Raw images but the JPEG's from this camera are so good I can just keep the raw files as a back-up.

The supplied lens does a great job and seems very high quality for a kit lens. It also has internal focusing so you can use square filters without them rotating.

Handling is very good in my opinion, with all functions easy to find and use on the cameras menu.

The LCD screen, which some have commented upon is excellent in my opinion, when switched to the sunny setting.

Switching to the viewfinder by using a button does not bother me personally, I have other cameras with an auto function for that, but don't miss it when it isn't there.

One thing I did not like was the battery charger which charges the battery inside the camera. Very slow and inconvenient if you have spare batteries. I overcame that by buying a low cost plug-in charger from Amazon.

I would highly reccommend this camera to anyone who wants to produce very high quality photos and even just using the auto settings will produce superb results.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing price - decent camera, 24 Jan 2014
By 
L. Gill (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony Alpha A3000 20.1MP DSLR Cameras with 18-55mm Lens Kit, E-Mount (Electronics)
I recently bought this camera around the new year, after my old olympus digital camera finally gave up. I'd been playing around with old Minolta film SLR cameras for the past year and had been seriously thinking about buying myself a DSLR or even a compact system camera- but had never been able to even consider it with the ridiculous prices!
This camera is a bargain - OK, so it's technically not an SLR, but a compact system in the body of an SLR. I bought an cheap adapter to mount my Minolta lenses and have been taking photos with it every day.
I didn't ever expect it to be a top of the range camera and have been pleasantly surprised with it's performance. It is capable of taking some fantastic images - I'm still trying to get my head round all of the features.
The battery life is good as well, even though it does need to be plugged in to charge. it's also light and really easy to hold.

Obviously, if you're wanting a DLSR, then this probably isn't the camera for you. Personally, I have no complaints about this camera - I did my research and knew what to expect from it. It seems to be a shame that there are people who are naive enough to buy a camera without looking into it first.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sony Alpha A3000, 21 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony Alpha A3000 20.1MP DSLR Cameras with 18-55mm Lens Kit, E-Mount (Electronics)
Had this about two weeks. Don't know whether or not to return.

It has a sub par EFV and an LCD which is only adequate. However on the plus side it produces incredibly good images from its 20.1mp sensor combined with any e mount Sony lens (I have a several). It is lightweight and has the heft for stability and for my hands is the most comfortable camera I have ever used (over 55years of owning cameras). I have the 5n and 3n and the white balance seems to be more accurate on the A3000. Its low light performance is excellent and I think it better than my old Canon 450D with various lenses.

The on/off switch is stiff but that may be due to my arthritic fingers. The side mounted SD slot is convenient and it takes an FW50 battery which seems to be the Sony Nex standard up to now (good on Sony) - can use it on my other cameras. No charger - just USB plug in to mains.

I recommend the camera to any "newbie" or experienced photographer wanting another toy.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feature-rich, user-friendly, and captures excellent images..., 19 Dec 2013
By 
North American Technology Consumer (Mid Atlantic, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sony Alpha A3000 20.1MP DSLR Cameras with 18-55mm Lens Kit, E-Mount (Electronics)
First, here's what I've learned since acquiring this camera: even though it can accommodate interchangeable lenses and has an apparently conventional viewfinder, it is NOT a DSLR. Technically, it belongs to a category of cameras known as "ILCE" ( "interchangeable lens digital camera").

Unlike a DSLR (or SLR) there is no mirror system to provide true TTL image viewing. Instead you can select between two viewers: the electronic viewfinder or the 7.5mm LCD panel on the rear of the camera.

SLR/DSLR veterans will immediately recognize most of the basic functions provided by an infinity rotating mechanical mode dial on the top of the camera. This offers two fully automatic modes ("intelligent Auto" and "Superior Auto", two traditional priority modes (aperture and shutter), a scene selection mode, a panoramic shooting mode and a full manual mode. For both the priority modes, the additional adjustments are then made via a control wheel on the rear of the camera body.

Video is captured by pressing a prominent "Movie" button adjacent to the viewfinder. Yes, you will be taking some inadvertent videos as you get used to this camera. HD video is captured in the .mts HD format.

This camera accepts both standard SD cards or Sony's proprietary Memory Stick form factors.

Ergonomically, this camera is comfortable to hold; the right side of the body has a protruding grip area with a textured rubber coating that aids handling (especially in cold weather). Like most cameras large enough to accept interchangeable lenses, it is obviously designed with right-handed users in mind. With the included lens installed it weighs just over 16 ounces.

It is hard to find any faults with the overall layout of the camera. While I wish there was an manual button on the lens mount to switch from manual to auto focus modes, the electronic, menu-driven option for this (along with the flash mode) is available in the top-most level of menu options.

The quality of both still images and video is excellent. Shooting in a variety of lighting conditions and distances, I found a very neutral rendering of most colors. Video quality is also very good. The integrated microphone provides surprisingly good audio.

This is a camera that is generally intuitive to use (and what is not intuitive is *excellently* described in an included user guide (and a supplemental creative handbook).

One minor quibble: even though the model of this camera is "A3000", if you want to find information about it on Sony's support site, you should now that is known there by the model number "ILCE-3000').

This has become my go-to for quick pictures, even though I have some more capable cameras available.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good step-up for compact camera users., 25 Nov 2013
By 
Pallus the Phallus (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Sony Alpha A3000 20.1MP DSLR Cameras with 18-55mm Lens Kit, E-Mount (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Some unfavourable reviews of this camera seem to be from experienced DSLR users finding fault with an entry-level model.

I agree that the electronic viewfinder is poor, especially in bad light. Less important to me is the fact that it doesn't shoot quite as many frames per second in burst mode compared to cameras costing 3 times as much. Or that it doesn't automatically know when you're looking through the viewfinder and switch views accordingly (a common complaint).

Personally, I value picture quality over all other aspects and here I think Sony have given the right priority.

With a 'proper' senser and decent lens, this does undoubtably give DSLR-like results. The camera is very comfortable to hold with the ergonomically designed grip and the shutter makes a very satisfying clunk (even though there's no mirror to flip up). The body is admittedly comparatively light for a DSLR but I think this benefits ease of use and portablility. It also shoots video if that's your bag.

There are many functions which may distract from the ability to take creative control onesself. These include Smile Priority where you can specify, in any given group, which person's smile you want to trigger the shutter. Thankfully, these options can be switched off.

One niggle is that useful flash compensation is not found in the flash menu.. it's under Picture Brightness. I think all flash functions belong grouped in the flash settings.

I would also have liked more dedicated buttons. My Olympus E-420 has a dedicated AEL/AFL lock button which is a convenient shortcut to manually adjusting focus/exposure. The Sony is more menu-driven but I suppose this keeps the cost down.

Two things which would NOT cost very much are a plastic flash shoe cover and a body cap. And maybe a wee tether attached to the lens cap.

So, maybe it doesn't have a blisteringly fast 'burst' mode and an optical viewfinder would be preferable over the poor EVF one but despite the faults I would recommend this camera to anyone who wants to progress from a compact camera without spending a mint.

.
.
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[My Ref: Sony DSLR-like camera, Nov 2013]
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Picture quality is "Key"!, 3 Oct 2013
This review is from: Sony Alpha A3000 20.1MP DSLR Cameras with 18-55mm Lens Kit, E-Mount (Electronics)
Whilst I personnally only had about a weeks worth of play with this camera, That is really all i needed to get the general idea of what market it's aimed at. Everyone, who has a desire for picture quality, video quality and that first time experience with a DSLR (However, This is a mirrorless camera in a DSLR body). This really is a fantastic camera, fast and precise when in auto mode but fun and expressive in manual or filter effects mode, or both. As far as an introduction into DSLR type functions, the end result is utterly positive. If i was to say one bad thing about this camera, it is a personal preference, but you are required to push a button located to the left of the dial next to the flash to toggle between live mode (LCD Screen) and the electronic 100% accurate viewfinder. Like i said, it's a personal thing that i just prefer automatic switching between them.

For a full unboxing & overview, check out my YouTube channel "HenPortMedia" or copy the link below:

Link: http://youtu.be/nsfEfCup9kc

I hope this has been informative.

Laurence
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sheep in Wolf's clothing?, 22 Nov 2013
By 
RM/TM (UK.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Sony Alpha A3000 20.1MP DSLR Cameras with 18-55mm Lens Kit, E-Mount (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm new to the world of anything other than point and shoot photography so it was some anticipation and a little trepidation that I awaited the arrival of the Sony A3000.

This camera is a little bit of an oddbod. It looks like a DSLR but it's actually mirrorless and takes the same E mount lenses as Sony's compact range. So has much more in common with the Sony Nex range than it's DSLR lookalikes. Having said that, it comes with a 20MP CMOS sensor, which is a little better than that commonly found on the NEX range and unlike all NEX's apart from the much pricier NEX 7 it also sports an electronic view finder. It also has a pop up flash and a mount to add bigger flashes, microphones and other Sony accessories

If you're already au fait with the Sony NEX range the controls will be familiar. A top rotating dial has the usual auto, manual, shutter, aperture setting as well as an enhanced auto and scene modes. Video is activated by a red button just to the right of the EVF. The menus are controlled via a D pad at the back and has a rotating bezel rocker which comes into play when adjusting manual setting.

There have been compromises made to deliver this camera at a sub £300 pound price point. The most obvious are the plastic casing, which although solid is much less well built than it's more expensive metal bodied cousins. The view screen is much lower in resolution than most of competition and doesn't come with touch screen controls. The EVF can only used when top evf button is pressed. Main screen goes dark when EVF is on. It's also very low resolution and the eye piece is hard plastic, so glasses wearers beware of potential scratching.

I haven't been through all the functions of the camera in use but in auto modes it feels easy to use, focusses quickly and produces really fabulous images. The frames per second rate is slow and this might hamper those looking to capture fast moving action but for landscape and portrait style photos it is a joy to use. It comes with an 18-55mm kit lense which has on board stabilisation which seem to work really well. So well that I was able to get some really crisp images of my local firework display without the use of a tripod. It's low light performance is also stellar if your previous cameras have been small sensor compacts. It's rated to produce useful images all the way up to ISO 16000 range and it really shows in night shots.

It's really quite hard to say who this camera is aimed at. For those who are already experienced DSLR shooters it's unlikely to be feature packed enough to satisfy and for those looking for better pictures along with portability, the compact system cameras seem to offer a better experience. But this camera does offer the heft of a DSLR, an EVF, a great sensor, nice kit lense and all at a superb price. It can be had for under £280 onlne and with the addition of the e mount 55-210 kit lense for around £165 offers a great budget option for those looking to explore the world of interchangeable lensed cameras.
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