Sony introduces its third mirrorless camera today, the Alpha NEX-C3, an NEX-3 replacement. With an updated look and a couple of new user-friendly features, Sony hopes to attract some of the growing legions of mirrorless shoppers.
The C3 gets a boost in sensor resolution, offering 16.2 megapixels over the NEX-3's 14.2 million pixels. The 3.0-inch high-resolution, tiltable LCD has remained unchanged. It still boasts 921,600-dots of resolution, will tilt upward by 80 degrees and downward by 45 degrees.
Aside from the subtle cosmetic changes and the addition of 2 megapixels, the C3 remains largely the same as its NEX-3 predecessor. It retains a BIONZ image processor, 720 HD video resolution, a native ISO range of 200-12800 and, of course, the same size APS HD CMOS sensor (measuring 23.4 x 15.6mm).
A more simplistic design is applied to the cameras back control panel, with the addition of customizable soft keys. According to Sony, the C3 will offer slightly better battery performance, boosted up to an estimated 400 shots per charge. As with all current Sony cameras, the NEX-C3 will accept Sony's proprietary Memory Stick cards as well as SD/SDHC/SDXC memory media.
New Photo Creativity modes will assist beginning photographers as they try to achieve a variety of effects, such as blurred background. Warm/cool, vivid/soft and bright/dark adjustments will be available as well. Additionally, in-camera creative filters have been added ranging from Toy Camera to Retro effects.
Sony appears to have taken a cue from Olympus and the introduction of its E-PL1 and E-PL2 mirrorless cameras. The NEX-C3 and the E-PL1 both have a friendlier appearance to a customer who has only purchased fixed-lens compacts before, both offering guided auto modes and in-camera art filters.
Pricing and availability
The Sony NEX-C3 will retail for $649.99 with an 18-55mm kit lens or $599.99 with a 16mm pancake lens. It's expected to become available in August of 2011.