Sony Alpha NEX-3 14.2 Megapixels Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera Kit - Red - with 16mm F2.8 E-mount Lens, 4GB SD Memory Card, Camera Case,

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Sony NEX-3: Picture 1 regular

About Sony NEX-3

With the Sony Alpha NEX-3 interchangeable lens camera, you can take professional-grade pictures without looking like a professional photographer. Enjoy gorgeous HD movies, astounding low-light pictures, continuous shooting up to 7 fps, incredible panorama shots and Live View on a tilting 3.0-inch LCD. Get the performance of a DSLR without the size and weight. The NEX-3 stands apart as the world's smallest interchangeable lens camera.

Unlike conventional DSLR models, the "mirrorless" construction of the NEX-3 reduces the thickness of camera body to just about an inch at its slimmest point (excluding grip and mount portions). The NEX-3 is constructed with a polycarbonate casing. It offers a newly developed 14.2 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor. About 60 percent larger than the sensor in micro four-thirds cameras, this sensor is key to the exceptional image quality, extremely low image noise and creative defocus background effects that are familiar to DSLR users.

The NEX-3 is the first Alpha camera featuring Sweep Panorama. With this feature capturing large group shots is as easy as press-and-sweep. Sweep Panorama mode lets you capture breathtaking shots up to 226-degree horizontal or 151-degree vertical shots.

Ideal for everyday shooting, the low-profile E 16mm F2.8 lens minimizes bulk, allowing the camera to easily be carried in a coat, pants pocket, or purse. This lens' creative possibilities can be expanded even further by the VCL-ECU1 Ultra Wide Converter which provides a 12mm view and VCL-ECF1 Fisheye Converter that delivers impressive curvi-linear distortion.

Sony NEX-3 Features

  • Smallest in class: This is the world's smallest interchangeable lens digital still camera. Sony has removed the conventional mirror box, AF sensor and viewfinder, reducing the "flange back" distance from 44.5 mm to 18 mm.
  • Interchangeable lenses: Compatible with Sony's E-mount series of smaller, lighter lenses designed specifically for Alpha compact interchangeable lens cameras. Opens up a world of creative options.
  • APS-C size HD image sensor: With 13 times the area of the typical image sensor, APS-C makes the difference between "snapshots" and "photographs," delivering an exceptional combination of high resolution, high sensitivity and gorgeous, blurred backgrounds.
  • HD movie recording: Capture vivid, lifelike HD movies in the PC-friendly MP4 format. Shoot 720/30p high definition or standard definition 480/30p.
  • 14.2 megapixel resolution: You get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements. Thanks to the APS-C sensor size and Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS technology, the camera achieves high resolution with no penalty in low-light sensitivity or sensor noise.
  • Up to 7 frames per second: Capture the decisive moment in sports and get the ideal baby photo. Up to 7 fps continuous shooting at full 14.2 MP resolution with exposure and focus fixed at the first frame. Standard continuous shooting at up to 2.3 fps.
  • ISO 12800 sensitivity: Incredibly clear low-light pictures without sacrificing detail. This is best-in-class performance, made possible by low-noise Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor and refined BIONZ image processor.
  • Sweep Panorama: Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter, sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together. Up to 23 MP image size. Up to 202 degrees maximum sweep angle (16mm focal length).
  • Anti Motion Blur mode: Corrects for subject movement to capture amazingly clean and sharp images in low light. The camera leverages the large, APS-C image sensor and captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data from all six creates a single image that minimizes subject blur.
  • Hand-held Twilight Mode: Get cleaner and sharper nighttime pictures-beyond the capability of traditional cameras-without using flash or a tripod. The camera leverages the large, APS-C image sensor and captures six images in a fraction of a second.
  • Auto HDR built into camera: High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography captures more scene contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining the best highlight detail from one shot and the best shadow detail from another for one incredible shot.
  • Live View LCD: The LCD monitor is active full-time for composing shots. Provides a what-you-see-is-what-you-get preview of white balance, focus, depth of field, exposure and 100% framing accuracy, plus informative on-screen displays.
  • Tiltable 3" LCD screen: Empowers your photography with a different point or view. Tilts down 45° and up 80° to frame high- and low-angle shots that would otherwise be hit-or-miss.
  • 920K pixel TruBlack LCD screen: Sony's Xtra Fine LCD monitor has best-in-class resolution. The TruBlack screen includes a special resin layer to suppress internal reflections, increase contrast compared to conventional LCDs. Sunny Weather mode boosts visibility even further in bright sunlight.
  • Fast Auto Focus: Some cameras in this class are slow to focus. That can make you miss the shot on fast-moving subjects like sports and unpredictable subjects. Sony's fast Contrast Auto Focus system typically takes just 0.3 seconds. Also offers continuous Auto Focus when shooting movies.
  • Intelligent Auto Focus: Pre-focuses as you compose the shot, further reducing focusing time to a bare minimum.
  • iAUTO (Intelligent Auto) mode: Unifies and simplifies Sony intelligent technologies. Takes advantage of Intelligent Scene Recognition, Face Detection technology and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization without leaving auto mode so you always get the best shot.
  • On-screen Help Guide : Provides ready reference, explains the camera's modes and settings. Walks you through camera operation so you get the best shot. Helps you advance from basic operation to greater sophistication.
  • On-screen Shooting Tips: Offers expert advice so you can shoot like a pro.
  • Control Wheel + Soft Keys: Unlike cameras that bristle with knobs, buttons and dials, the NEX-3 features a simple turn-and-click Control Wheel and context-sensitive Soft Keys. It's elegant, uncluttered and intuitive.
  • Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor: Conventional image sensors use only a handful of analog-to-digital (A/D) converters, which can slow you down. The NEX-3 Exmor sensor provides 4,592 column-parallel A/D converters. You get fast response, superb image clarity.
  • BIONZ image processor: The brains of the camera is a refined version of Sony's BIONZ image processor. Its chroma noise reduction delivers high-res, low-noise photos even at ISO 12800 sensitivity. Also enables fast processing for up to 7 fps continuous shooting of data-intensive 14.2 MP images.
  • Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO): Dynamic Range Optimizer improves results with backlit subjects and recovers details hidden in shadows. Settings include Auto, Level with a choice of five operating levels and Off.
  • Accepts a DSLR A-mount lenses: Using the LA-EA1 adaptor (sold separately), you can attach the full selection of a A-mount system lenses, which includes 28 current models and an installed base of millions of lenses worldwide.
  • 25-point Auto Focus: 25 sensors cover a very wide area of the scene, for accurate focusing even when the subject is far from the center of the frame.

Sony NEX-3 Specifications

Camera Type
Sony E-mount interchangeable lens digital camera
Lens Mount Type
Sony E-mount
Lens Compatibility
Sony E-mount lens, (Sony a lenses when used with LA-EA1 lens adaptor)
Lens Conversion Factor
Imaging Sensor
Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor (23.4 X 15.6mm)
Anti Dust
Charge protection coating on Low-Pass Filter and electromagnetic vibration mechanism (Power off or Manual)
BIONZ image processor
Pixel Gross
Approx. 14.6 megapixels
Effective Picture Resolution
Approx. 14.2 megapixels
Color Filter System
RGB primary color filters
Recording: Media Type
Memory Stick PRO Duo/Pro-HG Duo/PRO-HG HX Duo media
SD, SDHC and SDXC memory card
Recording: Image Mode
JPEG (Standard, Fine), RAW, RAW+JPEG
Recording: Image Size 3:2
L (14M): 4592 X 3056
M (7.4M): 3344 X 2224
S (3.5M): 2288 X 1520
Recording: Image Size 16:9
L (12M): 4592 X 2576
M (6.3M): 3344 X 1872
S (2.9M): 2288 X 1280
Recording: Color Space
sRGB, AdobeRGB
Recording: Video Format
MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC (H.264))
Recording: Video Mode
MP4 HD: 1280 x 720/ 30p (29.97 Progressive) Approx.9Mbps/6Mbps (Average bit-rate)
MP4 VGA: 640 x 480/ 30p (29.97 Progressive) Approx.3Mbps(Average bit-rate)
Recording: Audio Format
Focus System
Contrast AF
Focus Points
25 points
AF modes
Single-shot AF, Continuous AF, Direct Manual Focus, Manual Focus
Focus Area
Multi Point AF (25 points), Center Weighted AF, Flexible Spot AF
Focus Sensitivity
0 EV to 20 EV (at ISO100 conversion with F2.8 lens)
Manual Focus Assist
Magnified display for precise manual focus
Focus Features
Predictive Focus Control, Focus Lock
AF illuminator
Built-in, LED type
Advanced User Interface
Easy-to-understand Graphic Display and on-screen Help Guide User-friendly function menu
Shooting Tips
80 expert advice shooting tips
Sweep Panorama
Horizontal Panorama Size:
- Wide 23MP (12,416 x 1,856), 226° (16mm focal), 201° (18mm focal)
- Standard 15.2MP (8,192 x 1,856), 149° (16mm focal), 133° (18mm focal)
Vertical Panorama Size:
- Wide 12MP (5,536 x 2,160), 151° (16mm focal), 135° (18mm focal)
- Standard 8.4MP (3,872 x 2,160), 106° (16mm focal), 94° (18mm focal)
Auto High Dynamic Range
Yes, (Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure difference Level (1-6 EV at 1.0 EV step), off)
Anti Motion Blur
6-image layering
Face Detection
Off, Auto, Child Priority, Adult Priority
Smile Shutter
Off, Slight, Normal, Big
Exposure: Metering
49 Segment metering from CMOS image sensor
Exposure: Metering Modes
Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure: Metering Sensitivity
0EV-20EV, (at ISO 100 equivalent w/ f/2.8 lens)
Exposure Compensation
±2EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Exposure settings
iAUTO, Program Auto (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter priority (S), Manual (M)
Scene Mode(s)
Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports action, Sunset, Night portrait, Night View, Handheld Twilight
D-Range Optimizer
Yes: (Auto, Level 1-5, off)
Auto Exposure Lock
Yes (AE Lock with focus lock)
Auto, 200 to 12800
Noise Reduction
Long exp.NR: (On/Off, available at shutter speeds longer than 1 second)
High ISO NR: (Auto/Weak)
Creative Style
Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, B/W
Adjustable: Contrast (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Sharpness (-3 to +3 steps)
White Balance Mode
Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Setting the color temperature, Custom
Color temperature
2500 - 9900 k with 19-step Magenta / Green compensation
Shutter Type
Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type
Drive Mode
Single-shot, Continuous, Speed Priority, Self-timer, Continuous Self-timer, Bracketing; Remote Commander
Continuous Shooting Speed
Continuous (2.3fps)
Speed Priority (7fps)
2-sec. or 10-sec. delay, (single, continuous 3 or 5 frames)
Shutter Speeds
1/4000 - 30 seconds, bulb
Flash Sync Speed
1/160 second
Burst Buffer
JPEG (unlimited to card capacity)
RAW (8 shots)
RAW+JPEG (5 shots)
LCD Type
3" TFT TruBlack LCD (921,600 pixels)
LCD Angle Adjustment
Up: Approx. 80 degrees, Down: Approx. 45 degrees
LCD Brightness Control
Auto (-2 to +2 step sunny weather)
LCD Coverage
LCD Live View
Yes, (Constant AF Live View)
LCD Real-time image-adjustment display
Exposure Compensation, WB, Creative Style
LCD Histogram
Yes (On/off)
LCD Grid Display
Yes (On/off)
LCD Customization
Brightness: Auto Manual, Sunny Weather
Display Color: Black, White, Blue, Pink
Wide Image: Full Screen, Normal
Flash Type
Smart accessory terminal (HVL-F7S Flash Supplied)
Flash Metering System
Pre-flash TTL
Flash Modes
Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear sync., Slow sync., Red-eye reduction
Flash Compensation
+/-2EV,1/3EV steps
Flash Coverage
FOV coverage up to 16 mm (in the focal length)
Flash Recycling Time
Approx. 4 sec
Flash Guide Number
7 (in meters at ISO 100)
Flash Bracketing
3 frames, 1/3, 2/3EV steps selectable
Memory Card Slot
Dual memory card slot:
- Memory Stick PRO Duo/Pro-HG Duo/PRO-HG HX Duo media
- SD, SDHC and SDXC memory card
HD Output
HDMI (TypeC mini)
USB Port(s)
USB2.0 Hi-speed (mass-storage, PTP)
Yes, via HDMI with compatible BRAVIA HDTV
PhotoTV HD
Yes, with BRAVIA Sync enabled HDTV and HDMI cable
Yes, via USB
Supplied Software
PMB (Picture Motion Browser) 4.3.01 Image Data Converter SR 3.1 Image Data Lightbox SR
Operating System Compatibility :
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Windows XP*SP2 Windows Vista Mac OS X(v10.1.3) or later
Battery Type
InfoLitium NP-FW50, 7.2V
Number of Shots
Approx. 330 images (CIPA standard)
Operating Temperature
32 - 104 degrees F (0 - 40 degrees C)
Lens Type
E-mount 16mm F2.8
Lens Mount
Sony E-mount
Lens Construction
5 groups, 5 elements (1 aspheric surface)
Lens: Focal length (35mm equivalent)
Lens: Angle of view
Lens: Aperture blade
7 blades (Circular aperture)
Lens: Aperture (Max.)
Lens: Aperture (Min.)
Lens: Maximum Magnification
0.073x (APS-C)
Lens: Minimum Focusing Distance
9.4" (0.24m)
Lens: Filter Diameter
Lens: Internal Motor
Yes (Stepping motor)
Lens: Image Stabilization
Lens: Low Noise During Movie Capture
Lens: Direct Manual Focus
Lens: Focus Ring in AF Mode
No rotation
Lens: Mount Material
Lens: Exterior Finish
Lens: Dimensions(Max. Diameter x Length)
2-7/16 x 7/8" (62x22.5mm)
Lens: Weight
2.5 oz (70g)
Camera: Dimensions (Approx.)
Approx 4-5/8 ® 2-1/2 ® 1-3/8" (117.2x62.6x33.4mm) (W/H/D); 1" (25.4mm) excl grip and lens mount
Camera: Weight (Approx.)
Approx. 8.4 oz (239g) (excl battery & media)
Approx. 10.5 oz (297g) (w/battery & media)
Mfr #

Sony NEX-3 Reviews Powered by TurnTo®

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(based on 8 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



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  • 1 Stars



Reviewed by 8 customers

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Packs a mean punch


I had this camera for about one year now. It takes stunning pictures! The stock camera lens is great. PS You can turn up the viewfinder brightness for the beach so you can see. Great camera!


Great camera


I've only had it for a few weeks, but so far this camera is everything I was hoping it would be. Can't wait to take it to Ireland in a few weeks!


would buy this again


im a skydiving videograher and im using this product to take still pictures of people when they skydive, in both freefall and on the ground


Does the job


Battery life could be longer and battery charge takes quite a while (4 hrs. or so). Xtra battery a nice addition. Some reviews mentioned that it was hard to use and navigate thru the menus, but I found it very easy. It has the features I want without overkill to get in my way. Manual helps!! Excellent photos.Love it!! Will buy NEX7 as a result of this experience. But will keep the NEX3. Wonderful machine.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Excellent camera


I won this camera from a PC magazine drawing for completing a survey. It's a huge step up from the Kodak 4 MP camera I've used for years., I'm taking excellent pictures that are right up there with my brother's Nikon D5100. What I did not know that the camera had been discontinued months before I won it. Hey, but it's free!!! The issue is that many of the camera specific accessories are no longer available on the Sony store or elsewhere. Come on. The camera's only been discontinued a few months and it's still for sale. Don't be like Cisco with their Flip. Keep accessories available for a reasonable period of time. My only other criticism is battery life. That's why I bought a backup battery. I love this camera for it's quality, speed and ease of use and hope to use it for a long, long time. Thank you Sony!.


Much more than I hoped for ....


Bought this to take photos of my wife's quilts and to do plant photography. Shot four parties trying it out under varying light conditions. Do check the firmware and update as necessary. Do read the manual, use it, and then read it again. Different beast than a 30 year old SLR. Tiltable LCD is great for high and low shots, especially with my no-line bifocals. Reasonable software until I know what I want (Coming back into photography after the darkroom enlarger and chemical era).

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Absolutely stunning camera


This is an absolutely stunning camera, I cannot recommend it enough if you can spend the money. I think it was cheap on Sony's part though that they didn't include 1080P (seeing as how this and the nex-5 are practically identical. I also have had the plastic right by the on/off switch chip, on the second day I've had it nonetheless. (not even from dropping it/etc, just switching it on) Really, If you can spend the money, and are looking at this camera to begin with, I would strongly suggest purchasing it. It is absolutely stunning.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


NEX-3 great camera in a mini size


I was most impressed with the image quality with both lenses. The files converted to really great 11x14 prints on my Epson R2400. Color is great and resolution is outstanding. I coul see individual bricks on distant buildings . THe only thing I wish was better was the sound of the shutter. For such a tiny camera, it makes a loud clunk when fired.

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