Sony has just announced two new cameras for the semi-professional consumers. The first one is the NEX-F3, a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. It is the cheapest model in Sony’s NEX line and is to the NEX-5N what the NEX-3 was to the NEX-5.
The NEX-F3 has a 16.1 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor from the NEX-5N. It’s a pretty large sensor and similar to what you might find on a DSLR but unlike on a DSLR, there is no mirror in between to bounce the light to the viewfinder. Instead you get a digital viewfinder that takes the video feed directly from the sensor.
The NEX-F3 has a built-in flash and can also record 1080p24 or 1080i60 video. On the back is a 3-inch, 920k dot OLED display that also tilts by 180°.
One new feature on the NEX-F3 is Auto Portrait Framing. Now when the camera detects a face in the captured image, it automatically crops the image so that it adheres to the rule of thirds, that is by placing the subject on the side and not in the middle of the frame. Then it automatically upscales the image to the resolution of the original image using a technique Sony calls Pixel Super Resolution to maintain the quality. It then saves both the original and the cropped and upscaled image. The camera also uses the Pixel Super Resolution technology for its digital zoom.
Sony also announced the SEL18200LE E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS LE telezoom lens for the camera, which will be sold separately. It has built-in image stabilization, which should come in handy when you are zooming in up to 11x with it.
The Sony NEX-F3 camera will be available in June in silver, black and white with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens (model SEL1855) for about $600, just below the $650 NEX-5N. The new SEL18200LE telezoom lens will be available this July in black for about $850.
Moving on to the second camera, the SLT-A37, as you can tell by the name, is an SLT or a single-lens translucent camera. As explained in one of our older posts, SLT cameras use a fixed translucent mirror to simultaneously bounce light up to the viewfinder and to transfer the rest of the light to the sensor, unlike a DSLR that uses a moving opaque mirror. The advantage to this is that the viewfinder does not blank out when you press the shutter and you can use it even while recording videos but the disadvantage is that comparatively less amount of light reaches the sensor.
The SLT-A37 has a 16.1 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor that can shoot up to ISO 25,600 and can record videos up to 1080p24 or 1080i60. It has the same Auto Portrait Framing and Pixel Super Resolution features found on the NEX-F3. As usual for Sony cameras, it has built-in image stabilization that works regardless of the lens you use. On the back is a 2.7-inch, 1440k dot LCD that can tilt up or down.
The SLT-A37 camera will be available this June with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens (model SEL1855) for about $600.