On the outside, Sony’s NEX-C3 is even smaller than last year’s tiny NEX-3. On the inside, however, Sony has pumped the resolution of the Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor to 16.2 megapixels, with 720p HD video capability.
The NEX-C3 is a member of what we call Compact System Cameras — they share the benefits of large sensor size and lens interchangeability with SLRs, but they don’t use a reflex mirror or prism system in the viewfinder. This allows the cameras to be much smaller. Sony says the NEX-C3 weighs 225 grams, which is around six percent lighter than the NEX-3. And smaller too.
The camera has the standard exposure controls that will appeal to photo enthusiasts but Sony says it has also included plain terms that describe the outcome such “background defocus.” Sony has also joined the parade of camera makers offering in-camera art or special effects, which it calls Picture Effects.
The NEX-C3 also includes some impressive in-camera image processing technologies, such as 3D Sweep Panorama, that builds a 3D panorama from multiple shots you take while panning the camera. It also includes Auto HDR, which takes a high-speed burst of three bracketed shots and then builds a single image from them that captures both shadow and highlight extremes. A third image processing feature is Handheld Twilight, which combines six low-light exposures into a single, blur-free handheld shot.
NEX-C3 will be available this August with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens, and will carry a suggested retail price of $750.