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Sony announces NEX-C3, plus new lens and external flash | Digital Camera Resource Page News

Sony announces NEX-C3, plus new lens and external flash

Date posted: Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Next up is a new "NEX" mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, known as the NEX-C3. This camera uses the same CMOS sensor as the A35 above, and several of the features will sound familiar. Here are the details:

Alpha NEX-C3 [specs]

  • 16.2 effective Megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor
  • Supports Sony E-mount lenses with a 1.5X crop factor
  • Ultra compact (metal and plastic) body weighs just 8 ounces; available in silver, black, and even pink
  • 3-inch articulating LCD with 921k pixels; being a mirrorless camera, it's live-view only
  • Doesn't have a built-in flash, but Sony includes one that attaches to the Smart Accessory Terminal (a non-standard mount)
  • Photo Creativity interface replaces aperture, exposure, and white balance with "background defocus", "brightness", and "color" (don't worry, the usual manual controls are also available)
  • ISO range of 100 - 12800 (not expandable)
  • Same 2D/3D Sweep Panorama mode as the A35
  • Numerous photo layering modes, including HDR, Handheld Twilight, and Anti Motion Blur
  • Picture Effects include those listed for the A35, plus partial color, pop color, high contrast monochrome, and soft skin
  • Records video at 1280 x 720 (30 fps) with stereo sound using MPEG-4 codec
  • Supports MS Pro Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards
  • Uses NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery, 400 shots per charge
  • Ships in August with a 16mm pancake lens for $600 or with an 18 - 55 mm IS lens for $650

There are some new NEX accessories to talk about, as well. They include an F3.5, 30 mm macro lens as well as new external flash for the NEX's Smart Accessory Terminal. The new flash is powered by the camera and has a guide number of 20, which is a lot better than what Sony includes with the camera. The lens will ship in October for $250, while the flash will be available in August for $250.

But wait, there's more. On June 20th, current NEX-3 and NEX-5 owners will be able to download firmware upgrades for their cameras, which add Picture Effects and a "peaking function" for manual focusing.



Sony Introduces World’s Smallest, Lightest Interchangeable Lens Camera with APS-C Sized Sensor

Easy-to-use a NEX-C3 Features 16.2 Megapixels, HD Video and Friendly New Interface

SAN DIEGO, June 8, 2011 – Sony’s new α NEX-C3 is the world’s smallest, lightest interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C sized sensor.
Offered in a range of stylish colors, the NEX-C3 brings the promise of DSLR-quality photography to the millions of consumers looking to take professional-looking photos without the size and bulk of traditional DSLR cameras.

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 its internal circuitry visibly shrinks the camera’s size and achieves a body weight of just 225g (approximately 8 ounces) – nearly six percent lighter than its predecessor, the NEX-3 camera. Image quality, functionality and usability of the NEX-C3 camera also surpass that of the NEX-3 model.

The resolution of the camera’s large Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor is boosted to 16.2 effective megapixels, capturing stills and 720p HD video with breath-taking clarity. The large, DSLR-sized sensor also lets users produce pro-quality background defocus effects, whether shooting HD video or stills.

“Building on the success of last year’s α NEX launch, the new NEX-C3 model takes the idea of ‘small camera body, SLR-quality photos’ to a whole new level,” said Kristen Elder, director of the alpha digital imaging business at Sony.  “This camera’s brand new, large CMOS sensor and user-friendly interface will allow all photographers, regardless of experience level, to produce unique, custom-styled photographs. The NEX-C3 is a perfect combination of design, performance and creativity that fits a wide range of activities and shooting styles.”

Photo Creativity
The intuitive new Photo Creativity interface on the NEX-C3 camera puts sophisticated controls within easy reach, whether users are shooting stills or HD Video.   Technical terms like ‘aperture’, ‘exposure value’ and ‘white balance’ are replaced with the friendlier and more intuitive ‘background defocus’, ‘brightness’ and ‘color’, allowing users to easily create custom-styled photographs. A traditional interface with Aperture/Shutter Priority, Manual and custom functions is always available for experienced users, along with highly customizable soft-keys for programming direct access to important controls.

With the NEX-C3 camera, users don’t need to dig into confusing menu options or guess their effect on a composition. They just need to turn the camera’s rear-mounted control wheel and instantly see the effect of their settings previewed on screen. Also, 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 Color, Retro Photo, Pop Color, High Contrast Monochrome, Posterization, 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 3-inch (measured diagonally) Xtra Fine LCD features TruBlack screen technology for high-contrast images with rich, deep blacks. This is an ideal way to compose shots and judge the effect of adjusting picture settings, even when viewing outdoors in bright sunlight.

Long-Lasting Battery
The NEX-C3 works more efficiently to capture amazing images and HD video between battery charges. Improved energy efficiency boosts battery life to a generous 400 still shots between charges – a more than 20 percent increase from the both the NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras. 

Multi-Shot Imaging Technologies
Sony’s Advanced multi-shot technologies further broaden the possibilities of the NEX-C3 camera. 3D Sweep Panorama™ mode captures extra-wide images that can be viewed in 3D on a 3D television with compatible 3D glasses. 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 shooting in available light. 

New E-mount 30mm Macro Lens and Other Compatible Accessories
The versatility of the α E-mount compact camera system grows with new style-matched accessories to expand shooting possibilities even further.

Joining the range of E-mount interchangeable lenses, the SEL30M35 is currently the world’s lightest life-size macro lens (approx 4.9 ounces) for interchangeable-lens cameras. This high-quality 30mm F3.5 macro lens features a 1:1 magnification ratio and minimum working distance of just 0.95 inches (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 minimized aberration and very high edge-to-edge sharpness and contrast. It also offers smooth, quiet autofocus operation whether shooting stills or HD video. The macro lens is supplied with a matching lens hood.

Also available as an option, the new HVL-F20S is a style-matching flash that clips onto the Smart Accessory Terminal of NEX-C3 and other E-mount cameras. Powered directly by the camera, the flash requires no batteries, making it ultra-compact and light weight for travelling. 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 coordinating accessories features a new body case/lens jacket and a soft carrying case.

The new camera is also compatible with Sony’s full line of SD memory cards, including the newest Class 10 versions, as well as the Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX series.  Available in capacities up to 32 GB, both media enable higher read speeds for more stable and optimal performance by Sony hardware features such as high-speed burst shooting or HD movie shooting.

Firmware update for NEX-5, NEX-3
A firmware upgrade (Version 4) adds the new ‘Picture Effect’ function to existing NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras. It also adds a Peaking function to assist with more precise manual focusing. This upgrade will be available June 20thand can be downloaded from: (www.esupport.sony.com).

Pricing and Availability
The new NEX-C3 ultra-compact digital camera will be available this August in silver, black and pink with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens (model SEL1855) and will cost about $650.  It will also be offered in black only with a 16mm lens (model SEL16F28) for about $600. 

The new SEL30M35 E-mount Macro lens will be available this October for about $250 and the HVL-F20S flash will be available this August for about $150. 

The camera kits, macro lens and new flash will all be sold at Sony retail stores (www.sonystyle.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.