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Sony NEX-F3 review

An entry-level CSC with a tilting screen and built-in flash

Whether shooting in automatic or creative manual modes, the Sony NEX-F3 is capable of producing, sharp, well-exposed images with low noise and bags of detail. Evaluative metering produces accurate exposures in a wide range of conditions, only requiring compensation for high contrast scenes or those that are predominantly bright or dark.

The rotating thumb wheel on the rear makes applying adjustments easy when necessary in Aperture or Shutter Priority modes and Program auto.

Sony NEX F3 review

Auto White Balance tends to err on the cool side, which can leave images looking a little flat, especially if taken in overcast conditions. Pressing the option button when selecting a white balance preset opens up a useful adjustment feature, which can be used to specify whether each preset should produce a warmer or cooler result.

Sony NEX F3 review

Since a full spectrum of colours are available to choose from, even green or magenta casts can be applied for correction, or for effect, which may be useful for simulating a certain retro or creative look in images.

Sony NEX F3 review

JPEG images taken at the base sensitivity of ISO 200 are sharp, detailed and contain no significant noise, which is also true of images taken at up to ISO 1600. The performance at higher ISOs depend on the kind of light that the images are taken under, with some conditions resulting in noisier images than others.

Sony NEX F3 review

At ISO 3200, noise levels have started to become visible, but only if you look hard enough for it, and details are still retained well, despite a little softening due to the in-camera noise reduction. At ISO 6400, more softening due to noise reduction is visible and very fine details start to break up due to noise. Images are still very usable at this setting and should still make good A4 (about US letter-sized) prints.

Sony NEX F3 review

At ISO 12800, noise is much more visible, and blotchy patterns can be seen in flat areas of colour, especially in the shadows and colour saturation is reduced. Even though ISO 16000 should probably only be used as a last resort, images should still be perfectly acceptable for 6 x 4-inch prints, and for sharing on the web.

Sony NEX F3 review

Overall, the noise performance is good for a compact system camera, which should facilitate image taking in a wide range of conditions.

Sony NEX F3 review

In good light, autofocus is very quick, and accurate for the most part. A subject tracking mode keeps up with the closest subject during video recording, and seems to perform well, unless the subject being tracked is fast or very erratic. Low light conditions severely impact the performance of the AF system, resulting in the camera hunting for a lock, or even mis-focusing completely.

Sony NEX F3 review

When light drops below a certain level, the camera switches to a wide-area focusing mode, no matter which mode has been selected. Unfortunately this impacts on the system's accuracy, quite often resulting in mis-focused images.

Sony NEX F3 review

Sony NEX F3 review

Sony NEX F3 review

Sony NEX F3 review

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution16.2 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
PictBridgeYes
Product Familyalpha A
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom3.1x
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameSony
FeaturesFace Detection, Smile Detection, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Self-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, 3D Panorama
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsAVCHD, MPEG-4 AVC
Weight (Approximate)255 g
Flash Memory CapacityNo
Minimum Focus Distance248.92 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4912 x 3264
Maximum Frame Rate60 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeExmor APS HD CMOS sensor
Total Camera Resolution16.7 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Camera AssemblyBody with Lens Kit
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedNP-FW50
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Eye-Fi Card
Height66.6 mm
Width117.3 mm
Depth41.3 mm
Autofocus Points25
Product SeriesA
Focal Length18 mm to 55 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Audio FormatsAAC-LC
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelNEX-F3K
Product Namealpha NEX-F3K Mirrorless Camera
Product Linealpha
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNEXF3KB
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Little big shot.

Get DSLR quality that fits in your pocket. The interchangeable-lens NEX-F3 goes anywhere to capture stunning high-res stills and Full HD video courtesy of a large 16.1MP APS-C HD sensor nestled inside its ingeniously compact form factor. The 180° tiltable LCD screen makes self-portraits foolproof and fun. A powerful pop-up flash delivers a dose of illumination to brighten dark scenes. Just getting started in photography? Shoot like a pro with Superior Auto mode which picks the optimal camera setting for you-simply click away and collect the compliments.

Battery Life470 Shot
Display Resolution921600 Pixel
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone