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Sony Alpha 3000 Hands-On Preview

We go hands on with the new Sony Alpha 3000, the E-Mount mirrorless camera with a Digital SLR style body.

|  Sony Alpha 3000 in Mirrorless Cameras
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Sony Alpha 3000 (14)

Sony says that users want a Digital SLR shaped camera but don't necessarily care about the technology inside, whether it's a traditional DSLR, a DSLT or a Mirrorless camera with DSLR styling, and have introduced this new entry level Digital SLR styled mirrorless camera, the Sony Alpha 3000, using the Sony E-Mount. 

The Sony Alpha A3000 is a new entry level Digital SLR styled camera with the Sony E-Mount, a 20 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, full HD video recording, electronic viewfinder and 3inch screen. The camera uses Sony NEX E Mount lenses and is designed for those people who want improved image quality over a compact camera, but also want the handling of a Digital SLR. The camera is due to be released in the middle of September with an estimated retail price of £370.

Key Features

  • 20.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 16000
  • Full HD video
  • Contrast based AF
  • TruFinder (SVGA)
  • 3inch 230k screen
  • Side access to memory card
  • Multi-terminal flash hot-shoe
  • Optical steadyshot on with E mount lenses
  • 353g body only, 128.0mm x 90.9mm, x 84.5mm
In the hand, the plastics don't feel particularly high quality, and the low resolution 230k dot 3inch screen is particularly disappointing, although this is partly side-stepped by the SVGA electronic viewfinder.

The styling of the camera and Alpha name could also cause confusion as traditionally Sony Alpha DSLRs / SLTs use the Sony Alpha mount. So if anyone buys the Sony Alpha 3000 and then wants to upgrade to another Sony Alpha DSLR, they may be surprised to find that the E mount lenses won't work on the other models in the Alpha range.

The EVF is switched to using the top EVF/LCD button, as eye-detection is not included. There is side access to the memory card slot and USB connection, and on top is the Sony multi-accessory port flash hot-shoe. Noticeably lighter than the Sony Alpha A58, but using the same 20.1 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor we would expect image quality performance to be very similar.

Sony Alpha 3000 (15)

Sony Alpha 3000 Hands-On Photos of Equipment

Sony Alpha 3000 Specifications

Image Sensor
Pixels20.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)5456
Pixels (H)3632
Sensor TypeExmor CMOS
Sensor SizeAPS-C
Sensor Size (width)23.5mm
Sensor Size (height)15.6mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution230k
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 16000
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-3
Viewfinder Resolution201,600 dots (equivalent)
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting3.5fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPSNo Data
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
  • Memory Stick (Sony)
File Type
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable battery pack (NP-FW50)
Battery Life (CIPA rating)470shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsAC Adaptor AC-UB10, Rechargeable Battery NP-FW50, Micro USB cable, Shoulder strap, Standard Zoom Lens (E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS)

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Photographs taken using the Sony Alpha 3000

Ibrahim Rauza BijapurGreen LeavesMacro Shot - Floral XXDance Dance...VIIAfgani Wedding!Mountain and the CityRIPMacro Shot - Floral XIXThe Long Road... IIView from Queen Elizabeth Park, VancouverDance Dance...VMacro Shot - Floral XVIIIThe Photographer!Cemetery...The Tree - Contre Jour

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28 Aug 2013 2:08PM
Looks very cheap Sad

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mross 6
28 Aug 2013 4:39PM
You claim it is a "hands on preview" but you can't tell us max and min shutter speeds, whether it has exposure compensation, provides an HDMI port, what the continuous shooting speeds are or what type of battery it uses? Did you actually use the camera or at least read the manual? If you are previewing the camera based on the manufacturers press release please say that it is what you are doing.Smile

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