Sony NEX-F3

Estimated Street Price: $599 (with 18-55mm zoom)


Taking over from the NEX-C3 as the entry-level model in Sony’s mirrorless line, the NEX-F3 incorporates a big, 16.1-megapixel APS-C HD CMOS sensor that delivers excellent image quality and video. Besides simple operation, features include Auto HDR, Anti-Motion Blur, Sweep Panorama, 3D Sweep Panorama, focus peaking (for easy manual focusing) and 15 in-camera effects.

Sony’s By Pixel Super Resolution Technology (introduced in some of its Cyber-shot consumer digital cameras, then appearing in the SLT-A57) allows for 2X digital zooming with nearly the image quality of an optical zoom. This effectively increases the focal-length range of the kit zoom (and any other lens used on the camera).

Auto Portrait Framing uses face-detection technology and the compositional “rule of thirds” to identify the subject’s face and crop the image with good portrait framing (leaving more room in the direction the subject is looking, for example), while maintaining the original shooting resolution despite the crop, thanks to the By Pixel Super Resolution Technology. (The original uncropped image is also saved.) Video capabilities include full 1080 HD in AVCHD and MP4, with stereo sound via a built-in or an external microphone.

The NEX-F3 can use all NEX lenses and Sony A-mount DSLR lenses via adapter. The LA-EA2 adapter even includes its own Translucent Mirror phase-detection AF system that works with the A-mount lenses.

STANDOUT FEATURE: Superior Auto Mode and Auto Portrait Framing help novices get great images in a wide range of shooting situations.

1. Despite the camera’s tiny size, it has a built-in pop-up flash unit.

2. The 3-inch LCD monitor tilts 180º, handy for odd-angle shooting and self-portraits.

3. The camera accepts an electronic eye-level viewfinder, a compact external stereo microphone and an external flash unit (but not all at once).

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