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Sony NEX-3 and NEX-5 compact system cameras officially launched

Sony NEX-3 and NEX-5 compact system cameras officially launched - Sony launch the new NEX range and ePHOTOzine are there to see it.

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Category : Compact Cameras
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Sony NEX-3 interchangeable lens camera
The NEX-3 at the launch this morning.

Press release:
Professional quality images are now available to all. Enjoy the stunning picture quality and shooting responses prized by DSLR users in two exceptionally compact new cameras that are brilliantly easy to use.

Joining the Alpha family, the NEX-5 and NEX-3 team DSLR-quality imaging with the convenience of interchangeable lenses in a sleek new design, that slips easily into a bag or pocket. In contrast with conventional DSLR models, the ‘mirrorless’ construction shrinks the thickness of the cameras to just 24.2mm (NEX-5 excluding grip and mount) and 25.4mm (NEX-3, excluding grip and mount) at their slimmest points. As a luxurious extra refinement, the NEX-5 features a tough yet light-weight magnesium body, making it the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens digital camera1.

At the heart of both cameras is a newly-developed Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor with a resolution of 14.2 effective megapixels. Far larger than the sensor inside conventional compact cameras, its key to the extremely low image noise and creative defocus effects that consumers have come to expect from DSLR cameras.

Still and video image quality is further refined by the powerful BIONZ processor that ensures speedy DSLR-style shooting reflexes with quick, precise autofocus and minimal shutter lag. Both cameras can also capture fast-moving action with a high-speed burst of full-resolution images at up to 7fps (AF/AE fixed from first frame).

An elegant, uncluttered user interface – featuring a new ‘never get lost’ menu – makes the powerful creative possibilities of the NEX-5 and NEX-3 accessible to photo enthusiasts and snap shooters alike. Shooting parameters are easily accessed via an intuitive control wheel and two soft keys. Turning the control dial, for example, allows depth of focus changes to be previewed ‘live’ on the LCD3, giving effortless control over beautiful, pro-style portraits. Further help for photographers developing their skills is provided by a library of on-screen shooting tips and a friendly help guide.

Images and camera settings are displayed on the large, bright 3” Xtra Fine LCD screen with TruBlack technology that tilts up or down for comfortable viewing in any shooting position. The screen features an auto-brightness function for excellent visibility, even when you’re outdoors. TruBlack screen technology enables an even more vivid, high-contrast view of images and camera settings.

Compatibility with a wide range of interchangeable lenses dramatically expands the artistic possibilities of the E-mount camera system.

Ideal for everyday shooting, the low-profile E 16mm F/2.8 ‘pancake’ lens (SEL16F28) minimises bulk when the camera is being carried in a coat pocket. Its field of view can be boosted even further by the VCL-ECU1 Ultra Wide Converter and VCL-ECF1 Fisheye Converter that deliver high-definition optical performance in a sleek, co-ordinated design.

Featuring in-lens Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation for clearer handheld images, the E 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 zoom (SEL1855) is perfect for every day shooting. The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are available in kit form with either lens, or as a double-lens kit that provides even greater shooting versatility.
The E 18-200 F/3.5-6.3 zoom (SEL18200) lens is also available and offers a powerful 11x magnification range. It also features Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation in the lens and Active Mode ensures steady movie capture even when on the move.

An optional LA-EA1 mount adaptor extends compatibility to the α family of 30 lenses, plus a huge range of other legacy A-mount lenses (Manual Focus only).

The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are also the first α cameras to offer the extra convenience of HD video recording. At the touch of a dedicated Movie REC button, both NEX-5 and NEX-3 shoots Full HD (1920 x1080) video as high-quality AVCHD files that can be enjoyed by connecting to an HD television. HD video (720p) can also be captured by NEX-3 as compact MPEG4 files that are ideal for PC storage and web sharing. As an option, the smart accessory terminal on both cameras accepts the compact ECM-SST1 Stereo Microphone (optional) that captures a high-quality soundtrack for your HD videos.

The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are the first Alpha cameras featuring Sweep Panorama. Just press the shutter button and sweep the camera horizontally or vertically. A high-speed burst of frames is stitched together automatically to create detail-packed 23 megapixel panoramas with a 226 degree effective angle of view4. As a world’s first, Sweep Panorama files can also be enjoyed in stunning 3D on compatible BRAVIA™ 3D televisions.5

As previously introduced on the DSLR-A550, Auto HDR has been further refined. The NEX-5 and NEX-3 can now shoot a high-speed burst of three images at different exposure values that are combined in the camera. This produces a single High Dynamic Range image with extended highlights, more mid tones and shadow detail.

Both cameras come supplied with a super-compact clip-on flash that attaches via the smart accessory terminal when needed for low-light shooting. Other optional accessories include the FDA-SV1 Optical Viewfinder plus colour coordinated cases and shoulder straps.

The NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras from Sony will be available in the UK from June 2010.

ePHOTOzine Technical Writer, Matt Grayson is at the launch, he said: "The cameras look very smart and neat. They're bustling with features such as the 3D sweep panorama mode and 7fps continuous shooting. The 16mm pancake lens looks lovely and should work well with the sensor as it's had a rework from the Alpha range. I can't wait to try them today. I like the look of the new defocus mode which blurs the background using the wheel on the back and previewing it on the screen. I'll have time to test the camera today so I'll let you know what it's like then."


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Comments


JackAllTog e2
5 4.0k 58 United Kingdom
11 May 2010 10:49AM
Wow 3D sweep panaorama's ; Built in HDR ; Decent sensor ; Sony Smile
Only lacking an big array of lenses for now.

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MattGrayson e2
7 622 3 England
11 May 2010 10:59AM
The A mount lenses can be fitted using an E to A mount adapter and it comes with a tripod bush attachment so you can attach the lens to the tripod to distribute the weight. Hand-held could be tricky though, depending on the lens. Smile
Snapper_T e2
10 848 United Kingdom
11 May 2010 5:33PM
Sounds interesting, what price are they quoting?
Trev
MattGrayson e2
7 622 3 England
11 May 2010 5:45PM
Only speculative at the moment but around 550 - 600 for the NEX-5 with the 18-55mm lens and around 100 less for the NEX-3. If you chose the pancake lens instead they think it'll be around 40 - 50 less.
The E-A mount converter looks to be around the 150 mark which is a standard price for those things.

They wouldn't commit to these prices, so please be aware that they may change.

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