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Sony NEX-3N review

May 31, 2013

Overall Rating:

3

Sony NEX-3N


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

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£399.00

Sony has redefined its most junior NEX proposition with the NEX-3N, the smallest compact system camera to offer an APS-C sensor. Matt Golowczynski puts it to the test

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Sony NEX-3N review – Noise, resolution and sensitivity

These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using the Sony E PZ 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution at the specified sensitivity setting.

The NEX-3N resolves around 24 lines per mm at its base sensitivity of ISO 200 – this is on a par with similarly priced enthusiast compact cameras, although the benefits of the larger sensor are realised at higher sensitivities where the camera only drops to around 20lpmm. Obviously, noise is far more prevalent here, but in terms of detail retention the camera is impressively consistent.

Some coloured patterning can be observed in shadow areas even as low as ISO 200, although this is true of many similar cameras. The in-camera noise reduction option doesn’t affect too many finer details when used at the lower end of the ISO range, but once the four-figure ISO values are reached, processing raw images manually yields better results.

Distortion at the 16mm end of the 16-50mm kit lens is severe, to the extent that raw images containing linear details appear as though they were captured using a fisheye lens. Fortunately, the camera’s distortion correction option corrected this sufficiently in JPEGs. Some pincushion distortion can also be witnessed at the lens’s other extreme, although it’s nowhere near as problematic.

  • Video: Full HD (1080p)
  • External mic: No
  • Built-in Flash: Yes, GN
  • Dioptre Adjustment: N/A
  • White Balance: Auto, 6 presets, manual adjustment, custom setting
  • Shutter Type: Electronically-controlled shutter
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
  • Viewfinder Type: N/A
  • Output Size: 4912 x 3264 pixels
  • White Balance Bracket: No
  • AF Points: 25 points
  • LCD: 3in LCD with 460,800 dots
  • Focal Length Mag: Approx. 1.5x
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/160sec
  • Sensor: 16.1-million-effective-pixel CMOS sensor
  • Exposure Modes: iAuto, auto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, 9 scene, Sweep Panorama
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-ion NP-FW50 battery
  • Weight: Approx. 269g (including battery and memory card)
  • File Format: JPEG, ARW(raw), AVCHD 2.0, MP4
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000sec + bulb
  • Drive Mode: Approx 2.5fps for nine JPEG/five raw/four raw+JPEG frames
  • DoF Preview: No
  • Colour Space: sRGB/AdobeRGB
  • Metering System: 1200-zone evaluative: multi-segment, centre-weighted, spot
  • Dimensions: 109.9 x 62 x 34.6mm
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, HMDI
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG
  • Exposure Comp: +/-3EV in 1/3EV steps
  • RRP: £399.00
  • ISO: ISO 200-16,000
  • Focusing Modes: Multi-area, centre-weighted, flexible spot
  • Tested as: Entry-level CSC

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