Sony's E-mount system allows you to use the any of the Alpha E-mount lenses with the NEX-3N. In addition, Sony also offers two lens mount adapters for use with the A-mount lenses. The LA-EA2 adapter is the first of its kind, allowing continuous phase detection AF, using Translucent Mirror Technology the same way that the Alpha 99 does.
Capturing light data for the NEX-3N is a 16.1-Megapixel, APS-C sized imaging sensor. This is the same sized sensor that you will find in most consumer and even some more advanced dSLR cameras, including most of the Alpha line. This allows for high res, low-light performance and full 1080p HD video capture with outstanding results.
The included 16-50mm lens is a specially designed retractable power zoom lens that has been kept as small and portable as possible. For those used to a compact digital camera, there is a power zoom control on the lens so you do not have to turn the ring. It also allows the one lens ring to work for manual focus instead of the zoom. This fantastic lens also features Sony's Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to keep your handheld images sharp.
Assisting with your low-light and indoor photography is this compact, built-in flash unit. It pops out of the top of the camera directly above the lens at the push of a button. It sports a range of approx. 12ft. at ISO 100, which is better than most compacts, but the lack of a hot shoe add an external flash unit with more power could leave you in a bind.
Framing and viewing your images is accomplished on the 3.0-inch, 460,800 dot tilting LCD screen. The screen tilts a full 180°, which allows you to shoot around obstacles and in tough situations. It also allows you to easily line up your self portraits while holding the camera. 5 levels of adjustable brightness allows you to see the screen in just about any lighting condition with ease.
The top of the camera is very simple featuring just the basic camera controls that are needed. The power switch and a zoom control are coupled around the shutter release on the right side. To the left of the shutter release is the camera's playback button. To the far left you can see the flash outline and pop-up button. Around the flash are the stereo microphones.
The back of the camera has also been kept very simple, putting most of the controls in the somewhat complicated menu system. At the top of the camera is the dedicated video recording button. Along the edge of the LCD screen are two unlabeled buttons that are assigned a function on the LCD screen based on the mode the camera is in. In between these two buttons is the 4-way controller, which also acts as a command dial for changing shooting settings and navigating the menu systems. Pressing the 4 directions on the controller gives you shortcuts to the DISPlay options, ISO settings, Exposure Compensation and Burst/Self-Timer modes.
The NEX-3N features two input/output ports. First the high-speed USB port allows you to transfer images back and forth to a computer or printer. It is also the way to charge the camera with the included USB charging adapter. On the bottom is an HMDI output that allows you to view your images and HD videos on any HDTV with an optional HDMI cable.
The memory card slot on the NEX-3N has been designed to accept both SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards or Memory Stick Pro Duo/HG Duo memory cards. This allows anyone with an old camera using either of these medias to continue using them, making the transition easier. The camera is shown here with the SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 SDHC memory card that was used to test the camera.
Powering the NEX-3N is a 7.2V, 1020mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. This battery allows the camera to capture up to 480 images on a single charge. This is a fantastic battery life, especially for a camera without a viewfinder. Also shown above is the USB adapter that allows the camera to be charged anywhere with the USB cable.