|1. Despite being the smallest NEX camera, the C3 has a tilting LCD monitor like its big brothers. 2. The movie button makes shooting video easy: press the button to start shooting, press again to stop. 3. The NEX-C3 doesn't have a built-in flash, but comes with one that attaches to the accessory terminal beneath this cover.
ESTIMATED STREET PRICE: $649 (with 18-55mm zoom)
Sony's smallest interchangeable-lens camera with an APS-C sensor, the tiny NEX-C3 also is the simplest NEX model and the one most oriented toward the compact digital camera user. Its Photo Creativity interface lets you use the control wheel to access seven functions: Picture Effects, Background Defocus, Soft Skin Effect, Color, Brightness, Vividness and Self-Timer. Creative-minded users also will want to try 2D and 3D Sweep Panorama (just sweep the camera across the scene, and it will automatically produce a stitched panoramic image), Auto HDR (the camera makes two bracketed exposures and combines the best of both to expand dynamic range) and the 11 Picture Effects.
A 16.2-megapixel Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor provides excellent image quality, with ISOs from 200 to 12,800. You can shoot full-res images at 2.5 fps with autofocusing, and 5.5 fps with focus and exposure locked at the first frame.
The NEX-C3 doesn't have the full HD video capabilities of its big brothers, but can do MP4 1280x720 HD and 640x480 SD video at 30p. You can record audio via a built-in microphone or attach an optional external stereo mic. You also can attach an optional optical finder, but the C3 can't use the new OLED EVF (a firmware upgrade may make its use possible).
Face Detection technology can detect up to eight faces in a scene, adjusting focus, exposure, white balance and flash for optimum results. Smile Shutter automatically trips the shutter when the subject smiles. Both modes can be prioritized for children or adults.
Like all NEX cameras, the NEX-C3 can store files on SD, SDHC and SDXC cards, and Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo and PRO-HG Duo media.