Sony's α (Alpha) NEX-3 takes mirror-less/finder-less, interchangeable-lens camera technology to the next level by integrating the resolving power of an APS-format imaging sensor in a camera body that's 48% smaller and 49% lighter than traditional compact DSLRs.
While the camera is physically smaller than a compact DSLR, it retains the imaging qualities of an APS imaging sensor, which contains 58% more surface area than a Four Thirds imaging sensor, and about 13 times the surface area of point-and-shoot imaging sensors. The end result is true pro-quality resolving power in a far smaller package. For still imaging, the NEX-3 captures JPEGs (Fine or Standard), RAW, or JPEG+RAW in a choice of sRGB or Adobe RGB color spaces. In addition to stills, the NEX-3 also captures extremely vivid 720p video @ 30 fps as well as standard-definition video recording. For more precise audio there is an optional shoe-mounted shotgun mic that features 90°/120° tilt movement.
The NEX-3 is designed to use Sony E-series lenses, a compact line of optics designed to work with the reduced flange distance that resulted from the removal of the reflex viewing system. The new E-series optics are smaller than Sony's traditional DSLR optics while retaining the imaging qualities Sony is recognized for. In addition to Sony E-series optics, you can also use any of Sony's traditional DSLR lenses (as well as all Minolta AF-mount optics) on the NEX-3 by using the optional LA-EA1 lens adapter (Note - Manual focus and full-open aperture metering only when using LA-EA1 lens adapter).
The Live View viewing system of the Sony NEX-3 consists of a hi-fidelity 3", 921,600-dot TFT TruBlack LCD that can be tilted downward 45° and up-wards of 80° for composing still or video images from extreme angles and/or in tighter shooting quarters.
As for performance levels, the NEX-3's Contrast Auto Focus system has quick response times and can capture full-res stills at burst-rates up to 7 frames-per-second. Low-light shooters will appreciate the ability to increase ISO sensitivity up to 12800, not to mention the NEX-3's Anti-Motion Blur and Hand-held Twilight modes, which capture 6 rapid-sequence images of a subject, analyze the exposure and focusing details of each image, and layer the optimum portions of these exposures into a single optimized image.
Another cool feature found on the Sony NEX-3 is Sony's renowned Sweep Panorama mode, which captures up to 60 individual images and stitches them together in-camera to produce panoramic images up to 226° across by simply pressing the shutter and 'sweeping' the camera vertically or horizontally across the area you want to capture.
Other features found on the Sony NEX-3 include manual overrides for focus and exposure controls, Auto HDR capture and a Dynamic Range Optimizer for expanding shadow and highlight details, Advanced Anti-Dust technologies, 8 Scene modes and 6 Creative settings, Background Defocus, for in-camera selective-focus control, a 25-point AF system, HDMI connectivity, and up to 330 exposures per battery charge.
Because Sony NEX-series are designed with hand-held, low-light/high ISO imaging in mind, there is no built-in flash. But for times you want or need to use flash, a low-profile Sony HVL-F7S TTL flash (guide # 7m @ ISO 100) is included with each camera.
Included with this kit is a slim-profile Sony E-series 16mm/2.8 'pancake' lens (24mm equivalent), which contains 5 elements in 5 groups, 1 aspheric surface, and a minimum focus of 0.82' (0.25 m).