The Sony Alpha NEX-F3 is the successor to the highly popular C3 mirror-less interchangeable lens camera (MILC). It features an APS-C sized sensor in a compact point and shoot type body. With the F3 Sony has upped the game somewhat with a maximum ISO of 16000 compared to the 12800 on the older C3. The resolution of the camera don’t seem to have changed although Sony claims that the new BIONZ sensor is significantly improved than its predecessor.
The 3″ screen
The LCD screen of the F3 is a large 3″ 180˚ adjustable angle one with 921000 pixels. One of the smart things that Sony has done is given the screen of the F3 the flexibility to be moved around to compose your shots from any angle as you feel like. Try shooting from top of the crowd or holding the camera close to the ground and the beauty of the screen is evident.
Sony has traditionally packed in a larger number of features in their cameras and this trend has continued with the F3. It shoots at 5.5 fps at the full 16.1 megapixels resolution. It may not be that much compared to some of the DSLR standards that we are used to but still effective in everyday shooting conditions. Even when compared to the C3 the continuous shooting speeds are not much of an improvement. But what Sony has put in the camera is an array of shooting modes and frills that an average point and shoot user would love to use together with a larger sensor and more controls. The camera offers a choice of eight preset scene selection. The hand held twilight mode captures 6 images in less than a second, combines them and creates a single image of exceptional detail. There are also a choice of 11 different picture effects built in to add to the fun of using the camera. Partial color, toy camera, pop color and rich monotone are just a few of the effects that are built in.
The F3 shoots videos in full HD at 24 fps in AVCHD. This is a significant development from the older model which only shot videos at 720p and in MP4 formats. It also comes with manual controls while you are shooting videos.
Cons of the Sony Alpha NEX-F3
A single charge of the battery now lasts 470 shots as per Sony. Although that is being treated as an improvement over the 400 that the C3 gave, it is still not enough when you are shooting outdoors. The continuous shooting speeds of 5.5 fps is not much of an improvement and if you are seriously looking for a camera that can cover fast action or sports then the F3 is not your cup of tea. At 1.6 seconds, the camera takes an awful amount of time to wake up from slumber when switched on. Although the camera has been pitted to perform at an enormous ISO range of 200-16000 at higher ISO the images are not much of an use because of the noise. Design wise the F3 has been for some reasons been made out of polycarbonate, which makes it look like a cheaper avatar of the older model.
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