New Sony cameras have interchangeable lenses, 3D shooting

New Sony NEX-3 and NEX-5 interchangeable lens cameras to also offer 3D shooting

Sony today announced it will be releasing two interchangeable lens digital cameras: the NEX-3 and NEX-5. The cameras will be available in late June. Interchangeable lens cameras straddle the line between advanced compact cameras and digital SLR cameras, and Sony is targeting users who would otherwise be interested in an advanced compact or super-zoom camera.

The NEX-3 and NEX-5 camera bodies weigh only 297g and 287g respectively, and they are smaller than the current crop of interchangeable cameras from Panasonic, Olympus, Ricoh and Samsung. The NEX-5 is the more stylish camera, with a slightly more refined design; the NEX-3 is a little more ‘boxy’.

The new cameras will be compatible with Sony E-mount lenses, but an adapter will be available so that A-mount lenses can also be used. That means that the NEX-3 and NEX-5 can be used with a huge array of existing lenses in Sony’s line-up. New lenses in the E-mount line up include a 16mm f/2.8 pancake lens (SEL16F28), an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens (SEL1855) and an 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 tele-zoom lens (SEL18200).

The NEX-3 and NEX-5 both feature an APS-C sized, 14.2-megapixel sensor — a similar size to the sensor in the Samsung NX10 and larger than the Micro Four Thirds sensors employed by the Panasonic GF-1 and Olympus PEN E-P1 cameras. It’s approximately five times larger than the sensor in a traditional compact camera such as Sony’s Cyber-Shot DSC-TX1. The larger sensor allows more light to be captured and can produce a much shallower depth of field than a compact camera, leaving you with a crisp foreground image and a blurred background.

Both the NEX-3 and NEX-5 bodies are small and a mode dial has been foregone in favour on on-screen mode selection. The menu systems on the two cameras vary slightly, but they are both easy to use once you understand where to look and which buttons to press. There is a big focus on new users with these cameras — there are plenty of user aids to help people understand what different settings do. Tasks such as changing the depth of field can be accomplished via a setting called Background Defocus Control, which lets you blur the background by turning the jog dial on the back of the camera — you don’t even have to know anything about aperture values.

Firmware upgrade enables capture of 3D images

Sweep Panorama mode, which is a technology that is available in Sony’s Cyber-Shot compact cameras, is available on both the NEX-3 and NEX-5. The implementation has been improved: you can now take a sweeping panorama shot in full resolution, rather than a cut-down resolution as was the case with Cyber-shot cameras. Furthermore, 3D Sweep Panorama mode will be able to shoot 3D images, which can then be played back on Sony’s 3D televisions. The 3D functionality will be available via a firmware upgrade when the company's 3D televisions are released in July.

Both cameras can shoot video (the NEX-3 shoots at up to 720p while the NEX-5 shoots at 1080i) and both can use SD cards in addition to Memory Stick Pro DUO. Neither camera has a built in optical viewfinder (FDA-SV1), but both have a flash. If you’re keen to do a lot of video recording, there is also an optional external microphone (ECM-SST1).

Pricing

NEX3K (single lens kit): $849 -- includes 18-55mm zoom lens
NEX3D (twin lens kit): $999 -- includes 16mm lens and 18-55mm zoom lens
NEX5K (single lens kit): $1049 -- includes 18-55mm lens
NEX5D (twin lens kit): $1199 -- includes 16mm lens and 18-55mm zoom lens
NEX5H (travel zoom lens kit): $1699 -- includes 18-200 tele-zoom lens

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags sonydigital camerasphotography

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Elias Plastiras

Elias Plastiras

Good Gear Guide

@pcworldau

Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?