Sony NEX-3N Review

Review posted 09/6/2013

Quick Take
  • All auto modes work with excellent results
  • Dedicated Video Capture Button is always ready to record
  • Zoom controls on the camera give a compact camera feel when using a compatible lens
  • Excellent image quality at the lower and mid ISO levels
  • Optical SteadyShot keeps images sharp in low-light situations (when offered by the lens being used)
  • Bright 3.0-inch tilting LCD is easy to see in all lighting conditions and allows for easy composition of self-portraits
  • Decent shooting performance
  • Amazing Battery Life
  • Competitively priced
  • No hot shoe for external flash or audio accessories
  • Very noisy at higher ISO settings
  • No built-in WiFi as found on most new ILC models
  • Confusing menu system (at first)
  • No viewfinder, electronic or optical
Bottom Line
The Sony NEX-3N is an affordable and capable Interchangeable Lens Camera featuring an APS-C sized 16.1-Megapixel imaging sensor, powerful BIONZ image processor and the Sony E-mount with its fantastic collection of lenses. This camera is easy enough for anyone to use while still offering all the features needed for a more advanced photographer. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
During the winter of 2013, Sony announced their smallest NEX model yet, with the introduction of the NEX-3N. The world's smallest interchangeable lens camera to offer an APS-C sized image sensor (as of 2/2013), the NEX-3N shares similar specs to their NEX-F3, with a few "enhancements".

First of all, it's smaller and lighter. Next, they've squeezed a few more shots per charge out of the battery (480 vs. 470), added a new zoom lever mounted around the shutter release (for use with their newer 16-50mm motorized zoom lens), introduced their new Auto Object Framing technology (more on that below), implemented an updated BIONZ processor, swapped in a HDMI Type D port, and incorporated their new area-specific noise reduction technology. While all this sounds good, you won't be too happy to hear that the frame rate of burst mode has dropped to 4fps (versus the NEX-F3's 5.5fps).

The new Auto Object Framing technology is pretty slick. We all try to get framing just right, however we don't always get the look we wanted; that professionally framed look. This new process helps with that by letting the camera alter the framing after you've captured the shot; all automatically. When enabled, the camera will analyze the scene you've captured (whether it's a portrait, landscape, or macro shot), then automatically trim the image to give you a more "professionally-styled composition". The cropped photo is when bumped up to max. resolution using Sony's "By Pixel Super Resolution" technology (fancy for interpolation).

Sony NEX-3N features:
  • 16.1-megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor
  • BIONZ Image Processor
  • Sony E-mount system
  • Zoom lever mounted on the body foe use with power zoom lenses; like the kit 16-50mm (SELP1650) motorized lens
  • Area-specific Noise Reduction system
  • 3.0-inch Tilting Xtra Fine LCD Display
  • Full 1080 (60i/24p) HD Video Recording
  • 4 frames-per-second Continuous Shooting
  • 25-point Contrast Detection AF (Auto Focus)
  • ISO 200-16000
  • DSLR-style Mode
  • Sweep Panorama Mode
  • P/A/S/M Shooting Modes
  • New Auto Object Framing technology
  • Pop-up Flash
  • Multi-Interface Shoe (for accessories)
  • Optional LA-EA2 A-mount lens adapter with SLT tech built-in ($399 accessory)
  • Li-ion battery pack, charges in-camera (good for up to 480 photos)
  • Combination card slot accepts SD and MS Duo type cards.

The Sony NEX-3N comes in kit form with the 16-50mm (SELP1650) motorized zoom lens. Pricing is just $499 USD. You can choose from Black or White. To see the most current online pricing, click on the Buy button at the top of bottom of this page.

What's in the box?:

  • NEX-3N body
  • SELP1650 lens
  • AC adaptor (AC-UB10)
  • Micro USB cable
  • Lens cap
  • Shoulder strap
  • Rechargeable battery (NP-FW50)
  • Body cap

Additional Product Views


Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.