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Sony Alpha NEX-C3
Sony Alpha NEX-C3

Hey! You should know that Sony has released a newer version of this product: the Sony Alpha NEX-F3.

Sony Alpha NEX-C3

We've given the NEX-C3 a grade of B+.
This product is ranked
33rd of 46 in Sony Digital Cameras
38th of 48 in Mirrorless Digital Cameras
83rd of 157 in 14-16 Megapixels Digital Cameras

Editor's Review

The Sony Alpha NEX-C3 is the electronics giant’s latest mirrorless interchangeable-lens compact system camera. Like its predecessors, Sony stuffed the NEX-C3 with a big sensor, a 16.2 megapixel APS-C beast very similar to that found in many popular consumer dSLRs, so the image quality is simply excellent. But at just a half-pound and 1.3 inches thick, the NEX-C3 is much, much smaller than any dSLR, and seems to be the world’s smallest interchangeable-lens camera, period, edging out the Panasonic GF2 by a tiny margin. It’s still a bit too large to fit into a pocket, and the 18-55mm kit lens is enormous compared to similar lenses from Panasonic and especially Olympus, so it isn’t exactly a revolutionary design. But it is striking to see such high-quality shots come from a tiny camera.

Mirrorless cameras like the NEX-C3 tend to attract camera enthusiasts who like to be the first with the newest gear. Lately, as the genre has matured, more hobbyists and even casual shooters are turning to mirrorless shooters instead of traditional dSLRs as their “step-up” models. It makes sense: Mirrorless cameras cost about the same as entry-level dSLRs, the image quality is equally great, and they can still swap lenses. They aren’t quite as fast as dSLRs and they usually don’t have viewfinders, but they are much smaller and more convenient to carry around. Perhaps most importantly, the interface is streamlined and user friendly, more in common with a point-and-shoot than a dSLR.

The NEX-C3 aims to make its interface even more inviting to new users. Like any mirrorless camera, it offers plenty of hands-on exposure control, including PASM modes, but replaces more technical photography terms with supposedly more intuitive nomenclature like “background defocus,” “color,” and “brightness.” (Experienced users can disable this naming feature, thankfully.) It also comes with a number of built-in effects and filters.

Other noteworthy specs include a 400-shot lithium-ion battery (that’s impressive!), a 3-inch tilting LCD, 720p HD video, and a bunch of in-camera multi-shot modes, like noise reduction and high-dynamic range (HDR) stacking.

All told, the NEX-C3 looks like a serviceable update to last year’s NEX-3, and a solid competitor to the latest mirrorless models on the market. Its biggest advantage is the APS-C sensor, which is notably larger than the Four Thirds sensor used in Panasonic and Olympus mirrorless cameras. If there’s a weak spot, it’s lens selection. Its E-style mount doesn’t support A-mount lenses, so Alpha aficionados will have to start from scratch. Even at that, it lacks the lens selection of the Micro Four Thirds format.


  • 16.2 megapixels
  • Exmor R CMOS APS-C Sensor
  • Mirrorless, intercheangeable-lens system
  • 720p HD video
  • 3-inch LCD, 921k pixels
  • Continuous shooting at 2.5fps, 5.5fps max. burst
  • 18-55mm kit lens
  • iSweep panorama, various effects and filters
  • Accessory port
  • Weighs 8 oz.
  • Captures to SD/SDHC/Memory Stick media cards
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 400 shots per charge
  • Release Date: Aug 15, 2011

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Sony Alpha NEX-C3 Reviews

Sony Alpha NEX-C3 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

Throughout the past three decades, Sony has been at the forefront of the consumer electronics market. Sony produces cameras that are ideal for casual users, hobbyists, and professional photographers through their dedication to making use of the most cutting edge technology with a sleek and minimal style, resulting in an end result of the highest quality.

The Newest Innovation in Sony Digital Cameras

In September 2012, Sony announced the release of the Cybershot DSC-RX1, its latest camera. This will be the first available full-frame compact digital camera, according to Sony. A 24.3 megapixel full-frame sensor attached to a capable 35mm f2 lens makes this a very desirable camera. Being capable of producing professional quality photos in a small package that fits in your pocket ensure the popularity of this camera.

Two of the finest digital cameras by Sony of 2012 as indicated by consumer ratings include the following:

* Sony Cybershot HX30V: This Sony digital camera produces excellent video and photos in a very compact yet flexible package perfect for travel. The 18.2 megapixel camera is known for its fast performance, including full HD video capture and very fast continuous burst mode, as well as features like a GPS tracker.
* Sony Cybershot HX200V: This model is rated by consumers as one of Sony's best digital cameras because of its very large 35x optical zoom and fast burst mode. Without RAW capture, it's clear that Sony is aiming the camera at a more amateur market than some of the competition. The HX200's image quality is rated from good to excellent in Sony digital camera reviews, and video quality is among the greatest on the market.

Reviews for most Sony cameras can be found on this site. They have a broad product line of digital cameras suitable for photographers of any skill level. No matter what Sony digital camera you choose, you will be pleased with the photos and videos you make.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not a store, but you can trust our camera grades to help find a great camera at the best price. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.