That's the smallest and lightest with an APS-C sized sensor, anyway. Adding on to the wildly-popular NEX range of ultra-portables, the NEX-C3 has a 16.2MP sensor, and weighs just 225g—that's 6 per cent less than the previous NEX model.
If you're looking for the top-whack NEX model, that's still the NEX-5, but this more affordable one is going to be a lot easier for newbies to get to grips with; largely in part due to the new Photo Creativity interface, which uses terms such as "background defocus," "brightness" and "color" instead of "aperture," "exposure value" and "white balance." See, you learn something new every day!
If you have a 3DTV, you can also take advantage of the 3D Sweep Panorama, which the previous models also used. On sale in August for an undisclosed amount, there are also a couple of new accessories which the press release details below.
Also announced by Sony today is the new a35 D-SLR, which is a step-up from the a33. It's got the same APS-C sensor as the NEX-C3, along with a new tele-zoom high-speed shooting mode, which magnifies by 1.4x when shooting at 7fps. All the details are on the a35 are in the bottom press release and specs-sheet.
Sony introduces world's smallest, lightest* interchangeable lens camera with APS-C sized sensor
Easy-to-use α NEX-C3 with 16.2 effective megapixels, HD video and friendly new interface
DSLR-quality images with 16.2 effective megapixel Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor
Intuitive new ‘Photo Creativity' interface for easy adjustment of picture settings
In-camera ‘Picture Effect' with real-time preview Multi-frame imaging techniques including 3D Sweep Panorama, Auto HDR and Handheld Twilight mode
Optional accessories including compact HVL-F20S travel flash and 30mm F3.5 E-mount macro lens
* Among interchangeable-lens digital cameras with APS-C size image sensor, as of 8th June 2011
The new α NEX-C3 from Sony is the world's smallest, lightest interchangeable lens digital camera in its class.
Offered in stylish silver or black, the NEX-C3 features an attractive new body design that combines a satisfyingly solid metal top casing with an easy-to-use streamlined grip shape. Reducing the size of the main circuitry shrinks the camera body weight to just 225g – that's almost 6% less than the NEX-3.
Image quality, functions and usability of the NEX-C3 also surpasses that of the NEX-3.
Resolution of the large Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor is boosted to 16.2 effective megapixels, capturing stills and 720p HD video with breathtaking clarity. The large, DSLR-sized sensor also lets you produce pro-quality ‘bokeh' background defocus effects, whether you're shooting HD video or stills.
If you're not familiar with specialist photo terminology, the NEX-C3 puts sophisticated picture controls within easy reach, whether you're shooting stills or HD video. The intuitive new Photo Creativity interface replaces technical terms like ‘aperture', ‘exposure value' and ‘white balance' with the friendlier and more intuitive ‘background defocus', ‘brightness' and ‘colour'.
There's no need to dig into confusing menu options or guess their effect on your composition. Just turn the camera's rear-mounted control wheel and instantly see the effect of your settings previewed on screen. If you wish, two or more different settings can be combined to create more sophisticated creative effects.
A new in-camera ‘Picture Effect' setting lets users add extra impact to stills or HD video during shooting, without the worry of editing images afterwards. ‘Picture Effect' options include Partial Colour, Retro Photo, Pop Colour, High Contrast Monochrome, Posterisation, High-key and Toy Camera. There's also a ‘Soft Skin' effect that removes wrinkles and blemishes from portrait subjects.
Tilting for comfortable viewing at any angle, the high contrast 7.5cm Xtra Fine LCD screen features TruBlack screen technology for high-contrast images with rich, deep blacks. It's a great way to compose shots and judge the effect of adjusting picture settings, even when you're viewing outdoors in bright sunlight.
Advanced multi-frame imaging technologies from Sony broaden the possibilities of the NEX-C3 further still. 3D Sweep Panorama captures extra-wide images in 3D to enjoy on your 3D TV. Auto HDR ‘stacks' a high speed burst of three successive exposures to capture extreme shadow and highlight details in a single frame. Similarly, Handheld Twilight and Anti-Motion Blur modes automatically combine six exposures to capture smooth, low-noise images: this avoids hand-blur and subject-blur when you're shooting in available light.
The NEX-C3 works even harder to capture more amazing images and HD video between battery charges. Improved energy efficiency boosts battery stamina to a generous 400 still shots per charge – over 20% more than the NEX-5/NEX-3.
New E-mount 30mm macro lens ("E 30mm F3.5 Macro") and accessories
The versatility of the α E-mount compact camera system grows with new style-matched accessories to expand your shooting possibilities even further.
Joining the range of E-mount interchangeable lenses, the SEL30M35 is currently the world's lightest1life-size macro lens (138g) for interchangeable-lens cameras. This high-quality 30mm F3.5 macro lens features a 1:1 magnification ratio and minimum working distance of just 2.4 cm, making it ideal for capturing detail-packed close-ups of small subjects like flowers and insects. Despite its extremely compact size, the SEL30M35 employs one ED glass and three aspherical lens elements for excellent optical performance, with minimised aberration and very high edge-to-edge sharpness and contrast. It also offers smooth, quiet autofocus operation whether you're shooting stills or HD video. The macro lens is supplied with a matching lens hood.
Also available as an optional accessory, the new HVL-F20S is a style-matching flash that clips onto the camera's Smart Accessory Terminal. Powered directly by the camera, the flash requires no batteries, achieving an ultra-compact size and light weight.With a generous GN20 (50mm, at ISO 100, m) flash power rating and adjustable head, it's ideal for creating natural fill-in and bounce flash effects with portraits and everyday shooting subjects.
The expanded range of co-ordinating accessories features a new body case/lens jacket, soft carrying case, straps and value accessory kits.
Version 04 firmware update for NEX-5, NEX-3
Available from June 20th, a firmware upgrade for existing NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras adds the new ‘Picture Effect' function as introduced on the new NEX‑C3. It also adds a Peaking function to assist with more precise manual focusing. Available free to registered users, latest Version 04 firmware update for NEX-5/NEX-3 can be downloaded from:
The new NEX-C3 ultra-compact digital camera with interchangeable lenses by Sony is available from August 2011. The new HVL-F20S flash will be available during summer 2011.
Sony introduces α35 (SLT-A35) with Full-time Continuous AF powered by Translucent Mirror Technology
Light, compact camera with 16.2 effective megapixels and new in-camera ‘Picture Effect'
· 16.2 effective megapixels Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor
Exclusive Translucent Mirror Technology from Sony for high- speed, uninterrupted continuous AF with stills and AVCHD movies
· Up to 7fps in Tele-zoom High Speed Shooting mode with approximately 1.4x magnification
· Ultra-high quality, low noise images with up to ISO 12800
· In-camera ‘Picture Effect' enhances stills or HD video
Light, compact and easy to use, the new α35 (SLT-A35) from Sony brings pro-style shooting speeds and generous creative options to photographers of all abilities.
As introduced on the acclaimed α33 and α55, Translucent Mirror Technology from Sony allows high-speed shooting with responsive, accurate continuous autofocus - whether you're shooting stills or Full HD movies.
Making its debut on the α35, Tele-zoom High Speed Shooting magnifies a central portion of the image area to give an effective approximately 1.4x magnification while you shoot at up to 7 fps. Providing continuous tracking autofocus of still or moving objects, it's ideal for capturing fast-moving sports, children's faces or distant subjects with a high-speed burst of frames. There's also a rapid 5.5 fps drive mode that offers full-resolution continuous shooting with tracking AF.
With a resolution of 16.2 effective megapixels, the newly-developed Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor delivers stunningly detailed, low-noise still and HD video images. Complementing the sensor's extremely high resolution and sensitivity, the powerful BIONZ processor cleans and optimises image data to assure flawless images with rich, natural colour reproduction. With a maximum sensitivity of ISO 12800, it's possible to capture beautifully natural still images and HD video in low light where other cameras struggle.
Advanced Quick AF Live View continuously displays a real-time output from the main image sensor during still- or Full HD video shooting. Light is partially directed from the translucent mirror to an AF sensor to permit non-stop precision TTL phase-detection autofocus – a benefit that's not possible with traditional DSLR cameras.
Whether you're shooting stills or AVCHD video, you'll enjoy a superbly detailed view on the high-quality Xtra Fine LCD screen. TruBlack technology assures high-contrast images with rich, deep blacks – even if you're shooting outside.
The high-resolution Tru-Finder offers a precision alternative to framing shots on the camera's LCD. Offering an extremely detailed, high contrast image with full 100% field coverage, it's ideal for live preview of picture effects and exposure adjustments. Accurate composition of landscapes, architecture and other scenes is enhanced by switchable grid lines.
Aside from its powerful imaging possibilities, the α35 is refreshingly accessible, even for photographers stepping up to their first interchangeable lens camera. The on-screen Help Guide gives a clear explanation of selected functions and how they're used.
More advanced photographers, meanwhile, will welcome the top panel-mounted customisable button that allows instant recall of any of 14 frequently-used functions.
The α35 offers a new in-camera ‘Picture Effect' setting that lets users add extra impact to stills or HD video during shooting, without the worry of editing images afterwards. Effects can be previewed on the camera screen, allowing photographers to see the result of a chosen effect instantly rather than post-shooting. The inspiring palette of artistic treatments includes Retro Photo, High-key, Toy Camera and Posterisation.
It's also easy to produce dramatic Partial Colour effects, with a single colour picked out against the rest of the image in monochrome. This popular effect normally takes a series of painstaking steps to achieve with photo editing software: with the α35 it's both automatic and instant.
Refinements in power consumption now boost the camera's shooting stamina to a generous 440 still shots (approx. when using the rear LCD panel) between battery charges – that's a 30% increase over its predecessor. The α35 is compatible with the full range of 32 A-mount interchangeable lenses from Sony that includes six Carl Zeiss lenses.
Version 2.00 firmware update for α33, α55
Available from June 20th, a firmware upgrade will be available for existing α33 and α55 cameras from Sony adds several creative and operational enhancements.
Support for the ‘Picture Effect' function featured on the new α35 is now offered. High-Speed Sync is supported during wireless operation with a compatible external flash (a55 only). Ergonomics are further improved with revised menus and a new mode that lets users switch off shooting parameters overlaid on screen for clear, uncluttered composition. The camera's Digital Level Gauge can also be displayed when shooting via the optional CLM-V55 external LCD monitor. Frequently used features can now be custom-assigned to the D-RANGE button for rapid, menu-free access.
Available free, the latest Version 2.00 firmware update for α33 and α55 can be downloaded from:http://support.sony-europe.com/index.aspx?site=odw_en_GB
Memory Stick™ PRO-HG Duo HX
Available from May in capacities up to 32GB, the range-topping Memory Stick™ PRO-HG Duo HX now boasts blazing data transfer speeds of up to 50MB/second. The fastest-ever Memory Stick is optimised for sustained burst shooting with today's A-mount and E-mount cameras from Sony. New HX Engine technology by Sony ensures stable, ultra-rapid read/write performance, especially with large files.
The new α35 digital camera with Translucent Mirror Technology by Sony is available from August 2011