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CostHelper > All Electronics > Cameras > Sony Alpha NEX-F3 Compact System Camera

Sony Alpha NEX-F3 Compact System Camera Prices, Specifications and Reviews


 
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  The Sony Alpha NEX-F3 is an entry-level compact system camera that can be a good step up from a point-and-shoot or a lightweight backup for an experienced digital single-lens-reflex owner. It's relatively compact and lightweight, but still has an APS-C-size sensor, similar to those in some DSLRs.

The 3" LCD display folds out and tilts up to 180 degrees, for flexible viewing, including shooting self-portraits. The NEX-F3 doesn't come with an electronic viewfinder, but one can be added ($300-$350). In addition to still images, the NEX-F3 records 1080p, with manual control of zoom.

One downside is that the battery pack can only be charged inside the camera, so a backup battery could be a necessity.

Prices For NEX-F3

(Prices as of 12/5/2012)
One-lens kit Two-lens kit Source
(18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens)   (18-55mm & 55-210mm lenses)  
$600MSRP
$500$750Best Buy
$498Amazon
$598$18Walmart
$498B&H Photo Video

Additional Costs:

$5-$25Additional SD (standard capacity) memory cards, 4GB-8GB, Class 4-6 (Class 10 is fastest)
$15-$75Additional SDHC (high capacity) memory cards, 16GB-32GB, Class 10
$50-$200+Additional SDXC (extended capacity, used for video) memory cards, 64GB-128GB, Class 10
$15-$402GB-8GB Memory Stick Pro Duo
$45-$80Replacement lithium-ion rechargeable battery (charger $20-$60)
$300-$350Optional electronic viewfinder

Specifications:

DimensionsHeight: 2.63"
Width: 4.63"
Depth: 1.67"
Weight11.1 oz.
ColorsBlack, white, silver
Included in BoxBattery, battery charger, lens hood, lens cap, lens rear cap, power cord, USB cable (mini B), shoulder strap, software (PlayMemories Home, Image Data Converter SR v4.0)
Type of MediaSD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card, Pro Duo memory stick
Megapixels16.1 MP
SensorAPS-C HD sensor (same size as some DSLR sensors)
ViewfinderOptional attachable electronic viewfinder ($300-$350)
Monitor3" TFT Xtra Fine LCD display (about 921.6k dots), flips out and tiltable about 180 degrees, with brightness control
Video1080p HD video recording
FlashBuilt-in flash; plus mount (hot shoe) for external flash (optional, $45-$120)
Shutter Speed30 seconds to 1/4000, bulb
SensitivityISO 200 to 16000
Exposure ModesAuto, program auto, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, sweep panorama 2D and 3D, anti motion blur, picture effect, scene selection
Continuous Shooting6-30 shots, depending on settings
Compatible LensesSony E-mount lenses (13 available in December 2012); Sony A-mount lenses with lens adaptor
BatteriesRechargeable lithium-ion battery
Other FeaturesElectronically controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter
8 scene modes (portrait, landscape, macro, sports action, sunset, night portrait, night view, handheld twilight)
Face and smile detection (the camera doesn't take the shot until it detects a specific face or a smile)
Sweep panorama (shoots continuously at a high speed then stitches the images together into one long horizontal image)
Warranty1 year limited, parts and labor

The manufacturer's detailed product information is available at Store.Sony.com.

Sample Lenses

1. Sony 15mm f/2.8 wide-angle lens$250
2. Sony 30mm f/3.5 macro lens$280
3. Sony 50mm f/1.8 mid-range prime lens$145-$300
4. Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens$218-$300
5. Sony 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 telephoto lens$350
6. Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens$550-$850
7. Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 telephoto lens$900
8. Sony 24mm f/1.8 wide-angle prime lens$1,000-$1,100
(List as of 12/5/2012)

What People Are Saying:

Reviewers' opinions about the NEX-F3 are positive but somewhat mixed: PC Magazine named it an Editor's Choice for entry-level compact interchangeable lens cameras in 2012, but Engadget.com said that while it is excellent in its class, it's not the best entry-level camera and not as good as the Sony NEX-C3 that it replaced. Consumer Reports rated the NEX-F3 as very good for image quality, flash photos, video quality and ease of use, but noted that some images taken in low-light without a flash were a bit soft. User reviews are primarily positive, although a few note that the controls and menus can be hard to learn.
  • CNET: "Though it doesn't wow us for any particular aspect, the Sony Alpha NEX-F3 is a nice overall package for photographers looking for something with better photo quality and more flexible than a point-and-shoot."
  • Wired.com: "1080p HD video isn't exactly rare, but the NEX-F3's manual control of zoom and exposure while recording live footage turn it into a powerful, palm-sized legitimate movie camera. The swappable lenses and their fully functional manual focus rings were enough to quench the thirst left by even the best pocket-camera zooms."
  • Digital-Photography-School.com: "An ideal camera for the photographer about to take the leap from compacts to a DSLR. The body and lens price is attractive, but remember, for that figure you get a slow, f3.5 kit lens. One annoying element is that the battery charger is not a stand alone type; you must load the battery into the camera, then attach the charger so, unless you have a second battery, while you're charging you can't go shooting!"