We’re big fans of the Sony NEX series, so we began hoping and wishing from the moment we caught wind that an upgrade was heading to the lineup. Luckily, all the anticipation wasn’t for nothing and Sony has announced its replacement for the discontinued NEX-3, the NEX-C3. The NEX-C3 features the DSLR-quality APS-C image sensor, 16.2 megapixels, a 3-inch tilt-LCD display, 5.5 fps, and options like 3D Sweep Panorama and Retro Photo – all within a more compact body. The NEX-C3 is 225-grams (about 7.9-ounces), 6-percent smaller than the NEX-3. Its superior battery life is nothing to sneeze at either: it gets about 20-percent more shots per battery charge than the NEX-3 or NEX-5. This all makes us ready to forgive Sony for pulling its predecessor from the NEX lineup.
One of the best things about these high-quality compact, interchangeable lens cameras is how user-friendly they are. More approachable than a full-bodied DSLR and more capable than a point-and-shoot, Sony says the NEX-C3 embodies this type of learning curve and puts manual controls into shooters’ hands with ease. It features a new interface called Photo Creativity which forgoes technical terms like “aperture,” replacing them with “background defocus,” “brightness,” and “color.” We assume this is an optional mode and specialists are free to exercise their photo jargon, but what sounds more useful is a feature that allows users to see the effects of their settings before taking the shot. It will retail for $649 with a 18-55mm kit and $599 with a 16mm kit and be available in late July or early August.
Not to be overshadowed is Sony’s new Alpha A35. Sony makes no mistake with this camera’s build, which is far more traditional. The A35 also boasts a 16.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor and uses Sony’s Translucent Mirror Technology, a feature that keeps photos focused and crisp, defying the shakiest situations. The camera features Tele-zoom High Speed Shooting which offers about 1.4x-magnification while shooting up to 7fps – pretty impressive. It has a max ISO of 12800 making low light situations nothing to be afraid of. Its rapid 5.5fps mode that offers full resolution and AF means sport shots or high-movement photography is within easy reach. Not to be outdone by any of the NEX-C3’s creative effects, the A35 also has a slew of in-camera filters. It’s definitely a camera for the more serious photographer; it makes fewer concessions for beginners and offers more for advanced users. It will hit shelves in August for $699 with an 18-mm kit, $599 for the body.