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Sony NEX-C3 review

Does 16.2MP, a flip out screen and 720p video recording come at a price?

Our Verdict

For

  • Excellent performance at high ISO sensitivities
  • Fast autofocus

Against

  • Lens-heavy design
  • Hard to use in dark conditions
  • Orange AF illuminator is poor in dark conditions

Our lab tests confirm what we have seen in real-world images from the Sony NEX-C3 with low noise levels – even at very high sensitivities – and good dynamic range being recorded.

When the Sony NEX-C3 is compared to the competition it holds its own against Panasonic's GF3, showing very similar, if slightly inferior noise performance at high sensitivities.

Dynamic range is very good when compared to the competition, with the Sony capturing a range of 10.81 EV at ISO200. It's a close competitor for the Olympus PEN E-PL2.

These graphs were produced using data generated by DXO Analyzer.

We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using the DXO software.

Signal to noise ratio

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.

Sony nex-c3 snr
Sony nex-c3 snr

JPEG images from the Sony NEX-C3 show a good result for signal to noise ratio at high sensitivity settings only just beaten by the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3.

Dynamic range

Sony nex-c3 dynamic range
Sony nex-c3 dynamic range

This chart indicates that the Sony NEX-C3's JPEGs just have the edge over the comparison cameras, except for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution16.2 Megapixel
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeNo
Product Familyalpha NEX
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourSilver
Optical Zoom3.1x
Digital Zoom10x
Brand NameSony
DurabilityDust Proof
FeaturesFace Detection, Smile Detection, Live View, Continuous Shooting Mode, Self-timer
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)225 g
Minimum Focus Distance250 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4912 x 3264
Maximum Frame Rate30 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camera Resolution16.5 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Camera AssemblyBody with Lens Kit
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedMemory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height60 mm
Width109.6 mm
Depth33 mm
Autofocus Points25
Product SeriesNEX
Focal Length18 mm to 55 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Audio FormatsAAC
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash OFF, Flash ON, Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain Sync, Flash Exposure Compensation
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelNEX-C3
Product Namealpha NEX-C3 Mirrorless Camera
Product Linealpha
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNEXC3KS.CEE5
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Capture stunning images with DSLR-like picture quality, plus the convenience of interchangeable lenses - all without the size and weight of a DSLR. Compact, beautifully styled and brilliantly easy to use, with amazing features like 3D Sweep Panorama and HD video shooting.

Battery Life400 Shot
Package Contents
  • alpha NEX-C3 Mirrorless Camera
  • SEL-1855 Lens
  • NP-FW50 Battery
  • CD-ROM
Display Resolution921600 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year