Today Sony announced the a3000, their newest interchangeable lens DSLR-style camera. The Sony a3000 fills a gap in their Interchangeable lens family as a small, entry level DSLR. Until now, Sony has focused on the mid-to-upper end consumer. The camera has a 20.1-megapixel APS HD CMOS sensor that is paired with Sony’s BIONZ image processor. The camera has the ability to record images in both JPEG and RAW formats. It offers users the ability to record video in full HD (1080/60i or 1080/24p) as AVCHD or MP4 files. The A3000 has a built-in stereo microphone and a monaural speaker that has an 8 step volume control.
The Sony a3000 has a 3-inch TFT LCD screen with 230,400 dots. The screen has 100% coverage and can be adjusted for better viewing with 5 steps from-2 to +2. The camera offers continuous live view or also offers users a 1/2-inch color electronic viewfinder (EVF). The viewfinder gives photographers 100% field of view and also has a diopter adjuster.
The Sony a3000 uses contrast detect AF with 25 points of detection. It also offers a manual focus assist with 4.8x and 9.6x magnification for those that want to try their hand at manually focusing their shots. The camera has a wide ISO range from 100-16000. The A3000 a multitude of exposure settings including iAuto, superior auto, P, A, S, M, scene selector, and sweep panorama. For those that enjoy using the scene modes, there are 9 to choose from. There are also 11 picture effect modes (with 15 total effects) that can be used to enhance the images, so a user will never have to access post production software if not desired. The camera has a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 second. But the continuous shutter is a bit slow at only 2.5 fps on regular continuous mode. On speed priority mode it jumps to 3.5 fps, but you will sacrifice some image quality to get this extra frame.
Interestingly, the Sony a3000 accepts E-mount lenses to help maintain a smaller overall appearance, but can also accept A-mount lenses with the help of an adaptor (currently $350 on Sony’s website). Currently there are 16 E-mount lenses and 36 A-mount lenses available. The camera also features a multi interface shoe terminal. This terminal will allow users to add accessories like flashes, video lights or microphones.
But one of the most exciting features of this camera is found in its MSRP. The camera will be available to the consumer for only $400 and that includes the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens. That’s an amazing deal. Personally, I would want to have the 50mm f/1.8 lens with this camera. I think it would make for a fantastic combo.