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
Sony NEX-3N review – Viewfinder, LCD and video
Given its small size and launch price of just under £400, it’s not surprising that the NEX-3N fails to offer a viewfinder of any kind. It is, however, a pity, as the camera’s 3in, 460,800-dot LCD screen is perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the NEX-3N’s performance, and not because it cannot resolve the details of rival cameras with 921,000-dot displays.
Its main issue is visibility when used outside of fair, balanced conditions, particularly when viewed at an angle. This is less of a concern when in landscape orientation as the screen can be tilted to the most suitable position, but in portrait orientation it’s problematic. The screen’s viewing angle appears to be far too narrow for it to be usable in a variety of conditions, and with no electronic levelling function to hand it can be difficult to frame images accurately (the grid line options help here, but as they not illuminated they can be difficult to see themselves).
Video quality is good, with pleasing levels of detail and low noise when used in fine conditions. The zoom can also be operated during recording, although unlike many other models, the camera does not slow it down in any way to maintain focus, which means it can take a while for the camera to finally bring subjects into focus once the zoom has stopped. The action of the zoom can also be easily picked up by the camera’s on-board microphones.