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Sony NEX-F3 review

July 7, 2012

Overall Rating:

4

Sony NEX-F3


  • Noise/resolution:
  • Metering:
  • Features:
  • AWB Colour:
  • LCD viewfinder:
  • Dynamic Range:
  • Build/Handling:
  • Autofocus:

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£499.00

With a built-in flash and an over-the-top, front-viewable rear screen, Sony’s entry-level NEX-F3 is targeted at all family members

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Build and handling

The body of the NEX-F3 is larger in all dimensions than that of the NEX-C3, but most notably in its height, which is necessary to encompass the flash unit.

Despite this increase it still weighs 225g and uses the same polycarbonate build with a metal top plate. The larger size is noticeable, but appears much more suited to the lenses, covering their full height, and feels more substantial in the hand.

The grip is fairly shallow yet wide, and has a rubberised texture for a secure hold. Having a built-in flash is more practical as the attachment of the external unit could be fiddly and users would have to make the decision to attach it rather than simply press a button. There is still an accessory port on the camera that can be used to attach the EV1S electronic viewfinder that was released for the NEX-5N.

The power switch and shutter button have been separated, with the latter now sitting further forward on top of the grip. This is a more comfortable position for shooting and leaves the thumb resting on the rear grip pad or poised over the direct movie record and image review buttons. The rear dial now has markings for a left press (for drive mode/self-timer), although the functions of most of the keys can be customised for the manual-shooting modes, allowing quick access to controls that would otherwise involve a trawl through the menu system. This is welcome relief, as it makes controls easily accessible. However, another custom button placed somewhere on the body would be handy.

  • Video: 1080 (50i) AVCHD (25fps output), 720p MP4 (30fps)
  • External mic: Yes (through Sony accessory port)
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
  • White Balance: Auto, 6 presets, Kelvin, plus custom setting
  • Built-in Flash: Yes (GN 6m @ ISO 100)
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
  • Viewfinder Type: N/A (port for optional EVF)
  • Output Size: 4912 x 3264 pixels
  • LCD: Articulated 3in LCD with 921,600 dots
  • White Balance Bracket: No
  • AF Points: 25-point (contrast AF), centre, flexible spot, multi-point
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/160sec
  • Sensor: 16.1-million-effective-pixel, APS-C (23.5 x 15.6mm) CMOS sensor
  • Weight: 225g (body only)
  • Focal Length Mag: 1.5x
  • Exposure Modes: iAuto, Superior Auto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, scene selection, sweep panorama, 3D sweep panorama
  • Power: Rechargeable NP-FW50 Li-Ion (470 shots)
  • File Format: JPEG, ARW (raw), AVCHD/MP4
  • Drive Mode: 5.5fps
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000sec in 1⁄3EV steps plus bulb
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, manual
  • DoF Preview: No
  • Dimensions: 117.3 x 66.6 x 41.3mm
  • Metering System: 1,200-zone evaluative metering, centreweighted and fixed centre spot
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, HDMI
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG
  • ISO: 200-16,000
  • Lens Mount: Sony E mount
  • RRP: £530 (with 18-55mm kit lens)
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1⁄3EV steps
  • Tested as: Enthusiast CSC

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