In the era of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), more and more major tech brands are being caught out when it comes to cloud-based storage solutions – and their customers are paying the price.
Sony NEX-F3 mirrorless camera
The NEX-F3 makes a good compromise between DSLR and compact cameras
- Good image quality
- Quick operation, simple controls
- Good ergonomics and add-on features
- Pictures are slightly underexposed
- No compact kit offered
Sony’s cheapest, simple NEX mirrorless camera is easy to use, as long as you don’t want to exert too much control. One picture quality quirk doesn’t detract significantly from the F3’s appeal.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
The Sony NEX-F3 is the replacement for the NEX-C3, bringing a host of new features like a built-in flash and flip-up 3-inch LCD screen. It has every feature that you’d expect to find on a high-end compact or entry-level digital SLR camera — it’s simple to use, reasonably compact, and can produce detailed photos.
Sony NEX-F3: Design and features
The NEX-F3 follows Sony’s design cues for other NEX mirrorless ‘interchangeable lens cameras’ like the NEX-7. It’s very visually similar to the original NEX-5, down to the rounded-rectangle grip and thin, flat body and offset Sony E lens mount.
You’re able to buy the NEX-F3 in single- and twin-lens kits with the 18-55mm and 55-210mm variable-aperture zoom lenses — given the camera’s compact size, we were surprised not to see it offered with the 16mm prime lens. The kit lenses do rob the camera of some of its compactness, although they are more versatile.
The top and back of the NEX-F3 are where all the action happens; all you’ll find on the front is the solitary shutter button, an autofocus assist light and a pin to unlock the lens mount. USB (including battery charging) and HDMI outputs are on the camera’s left flank.
The back of the camera is dominated by a 3-inch, 921k-pixel, 16:9 ratio non-touchscreen display. If you’re shooting photos in the 3:2 format of the camera’s sensor, about a sixth of the screen goes unused and only displays on-screen prompts for menu and controls descriptions. The screen itself can flip up 180 degrees, facing forward above the lens — making self-portraits simple.
The controls of the NEX-F3 are basic — there’s a multifunction control dial, two contextual buttons, playback, movie recording, power toggle and the aforementioned shutter button, spread across the rear and top panels. For anything beyond basic controls, the NEX-F3 relies on a menu-and-submenu system that can seem labyrinthine, but is simple enough once you’ve found the settings that you’ll regularly access. The menu system is definitely inferior to having dedicated buttons (changing ISO takes three clicks and some scrolling, as opposed to a single dedicated button-press, for example), but it suits the NEX-F3’s simple, beginner-friendly raison d’etre.
The NEX-F3 has a pop-up flash and accessory port on its top panel, with an add-on electronic viewfinder, stereo microphone and external high-powered flash available for purchase. This makes the F3 more appealing for photographers that prefer to shoot through a viewfinder and amateur videographers.
Sony NEX-F3: Picture quality and performance
The Sony NEX-F3 has a native ISO range of 200-16000, and from the base 200 all the way up to 1600 it maintains nearly all of its fine detail and accurate toning and white balance. Up to 6400 only incurs a small loss in detail, and even 12800 is usable if you’re in relatively good lighting. If you’re not intending on printing off your pictures in particularly large sizes, any ISO setting is perfectly usable.
The NEX-F3 is quick to operate. If you’ve got it turned on and it’s sleeping, it wakes up within a second; turn it on with the switch and it’s ready within two seconds. Menus are always fast to respond, and there’s minimal shutter lag or pausing before taking a photo or recording a movie. If you’ve got the camera in its speed-priority continuous shooting mode, the F3 can take ten photos in a second (until the buffer fills), and 3.3 frames per second while also auto-focusing — useful if you’re shooting a changing scene or fast-moving subject.
What we did notice was the Sony NEX-F3’s propensity to underexpose photos by around a third of a stop — in the default picture settings, this means more detail is visible in brighter areas of the picture, but darker areas are faster to lose detail and appear as a flat black. It’s easy to fix this in the P, A and S modes by upping the exposure compensation by a third or two-thirds of a stop, but it’s something that shouldn’t have to be done in the first place.
Sony NEX-F3: Conclusion
Despite its image quality quirk of consistent slightly-underexposed photos — which is easily remedied with a boost to the exposure setting in P mode — the Sony NEX-F3 takes excellent quality photos in anything but the most dim lighting conditions, thanks to excellent detail at almost all ISO settings.
If you don’t need too much manual control, the NEX-F3 is a good example of a high-quality camera sensor in a small body.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 2 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Peak performance from a home entertainment heavyweight
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Canon launches first retail store in Australia
- Light eye smartphone expansion with nine-lens concept phone
- Swann refine their smart security solution with new solar panel
- Fujifilm announces new X-T100 camera for entry-level photography
- Sony introduces new VCT-SGR1 shooting grip for RX0 and RX100 Series cameras
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- Sonos Beam review: A more-affordable, smarter soundbar option
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies