Sony has updated the impressive NEX “mirrorless” camera system, announcing the replacement of the NEX-3 and releasing new firmware with enhanced features. Although the new NEX-C3 will not appear until the fall, I am pleased to report that the new NEX firmware further enhances the usefulness of my NEX-5 camera.
Introducing the NEX-C3
See my Sony NEX-5 Camera Review
The Sony NEX line of mirrorless cameras previously featured two models, the NEX-3 and the NEX-5. Price $100 more, the NEX-5 was differentiated with a lighter and slimmer titanium case, 1080 P AVC HD video capability, and an infrared remote control receiver. The NEX-C3 is even lighter and slimmer than the NEX-5, but still lacks the upscale video and remote receiver. It also packs an enhanced 16.2 megapixel image sensor, as found on the new Sony a 35 digital SLR.
All NEX cameras get enhanced firmware which features in camera picture effects and “peaking” for manual focusing. This firmware, version 4, is currently available worldwide for Sony NEX-3 and NEX-5 owners. It also includes the enhancements found in version 3, including the critical button programming updates that made the camera more useful and less fussy.
Although other camera vendors have introduced compact SLR quality cameras, and Sony has been slow to introduce new lens options for this “E Mount” camera system, I remain impressed by the Sony NEX. It offers a great combination of image quality and portability at a reasonable price.
I hope to see an enhanced NEX-5 introduced, and my wish list includes a microphone input and a real hot shoe for the flash. More manual dials would be nice too. In the meantime, I would not hesitate to recommend the NEX-5 or NEX-C3.