When Sony killed production of its NEX-3 camera last February, not too many people seemed worried, as most believed Sony had a replacement ready to roll out. And so it has, the NEX-C3.
Sony is touting the NEX-C3 as the smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera (or mirco four thirds camera or Compact System Camera) in the world – or at least ones with an APS-C size image sensor. Available in silver or black (thought we’ve also seen it in pink) the NEX-C3 comes with an Exmor APS-C sensor with a resolution of 16.2 effective megapixels. It will be a whole 6 percent lighter than the NEX-3, weighing in at just 225g. The NEX-C3 also introduces the new Photo Creativity interface which does away with more technical terms like aperture, exposure value and white balance and replaces them with the “friendlier and more intuitive” terms like background defocus, brightness and colour – though we’re not sure this will make it all that much easier.
Another new feature is the Picture Effects setting, which lets you add effects such as Partial Colour, Retro Photo, Pop Colour, High Contrast Monochrome, Posterisation, High-key and Toy Camera while taking a picture or video. There’s also a Soft Skin option to get rid of those nasty wrinkles and blemishes. You can view your wrinkle-free images on the 3in Xtra Fine LCD screen on the rear which, like all other NEX models, will tilt for better viewing, and features TruBlack technology for better contrast. The NEX-C3 will record 720p HD video and an improved battery promises to let you capture 20 percent more video and stills compared to the NEX-5. The NEX-C3 will be available in August but Sony’s press office said pricing for the UK still had to be confirmed. In the States, the new camera will ship with the familiar 18-55mm and 16mm kit lenses for $649 and $599, respectively.
Sony also announced a new E-mount 30mm macro lens, E 30mm F3.5 Macro, and again Sony is making a big deal that it’s the lightest life-size macro lens (138g) for interchangeable-lens cameras. It features a 1:1 magnification ratio and minimum working distance of just 2.4cm, making it ideal for capturing detail-packed close-ups of small subjects – employing one ED glass and three aspherical lens elements to minimize aberration and improve edge-to-edge sharpness and contrast. Another addition is the HVL-F20S flash that clips onto the camera’s Smart Accessory Terminal. Powered by the camera, it has a GN20 flash power rating (50mm, at ISO 100, m) and an adjustable head. The new lens will be available around the same time as the NEX-C3 while the flash will be available during the summer.