Today, Sony has announced the NEX-F3, the NEX-F3 takes a lot of the same qualities that we have come to know and love from Sony’s NEX series, and in particular the 5N, yet it’s even more affordable. Sony is positioning the NEX-F3 as a step-up from a point and shoot camera. It’s a camera designed for those looking for professional quality photos in their pocket. The NEX-F3 packs in a 16.1MP Exmore APS HD CMOS sensor. This is the same image sensor that Sony uses in their DSLRs, so there was no skimping done here.
The camera also sports ISO range of 200-16000 for excellent low light performance, a BIONZ image processor, and the ability to record full HD videos – even at 24p. Speaking of recording videos, the NEX-F3 can even zoom in on subjects while shooting video. And like the NEX-5N, but unlike the NEX-C3, the camera is also able to record in both AVCHD or MP4.
But here is where things get really interesting – the NEX-F3 comes with a built-in flash! This is a feature that the NEX-5N lacks, but more premium models like the NEX-7 do have. Sony is also introducing easy charging via USB in the NEX-F3. That means that you can actually charge the device conveniently via a USB port. Battery life is also supposed to have nearly doubled over previous models, with the NEX-F3 able to take up to 470 images on a single charge.
Furthermore, Sony has introduced a new self portrait mode on the NEX-F3 that lets users easily take pictures of themselves. Sony recognizes that it’s becoming more and more common for folks to snap pics of themselves to share online, so they have set it up so an automatic self-portrait and self timer mode automate the process. The way it works, is that the once you tilt the camera’s 180 degree display up, the self portrait mode automatically engages, and you’ll be able to see yourself in a mirror image. Once the mode is engaged, a three second countdown will start up.
Sony has also developed the U.I. on the F3 with newbies in mind. To that effect, the NEX-F3’s user interface uses jargon-free, simplified terminology to make it easy for novices to understand how to take amazing photos. For example, Photo Creativity is a new set of tools that comes with neat effects like background defocus, brightness, color, and vividness and picture effect modes.
We’re big fans of the NEX-5N and we continue to recommend it as a great alternative to getting an entry-level DSLR, but it’s exciting to see how much value the new NEX-F3 is offering – for even less! All in all, although positioned now as Sony’s entry-level of interchangeable compact lens cameras, the NEX-F3 is offering an amazing amount of features and pro-level quality for just $599 with the 18-55mm kit lens.