A good, compact DSLR-quality camera

- September 4th, 2012
Sony NEX-F3K/B pocket camera

Sony NEX-F3K/B pocket camera.

 

While it certainly won’t fit into many pockets with ease, The Sony NEX-F3K/B pocket camera is so much more than that.

The F3K takes 16.1 MP images, is HD compatible and can take SLR quality pictures with the options that come with a standard digital camera. It also comes with a movable LCD display and is sold with an 18-55 mm interchangeable lens.

The camera can be compared to the Nikon 1, but comes at a cheaper cost, retailing for $599.99.

With regards to picture quality, the F3K’s mirrorless camera system takes great images both indoors and out. Again, because the camera takes 16.1 MP images, the quality of the pictures is extremely detailed and can compete with images taken with a DSLR camera.

Because the majority of DSLR cameras mostly come with two settings – automatic and manual – many inexperienced photographers aren’t able to capture the image they’re hoping for. With the F3K, because it comes with digicam settings like sports, night, party and beach, the camera does all the work. All the user has to do is point and shoot. The camera also comes with a manual function for those who are more experienced with photography and want to play around with the settings.

The F3K also comes with a panoramic setting which is fun to play with, but definitely requires a steady hand – or a tripod – otherwise the images show up choppy when being viewed on the computer or TV.

18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens

18-200 mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens.

The 18-200 mm lens ($899.99) was great for moving objects – things like kids playing, a sports event or a pet running around. The lens can capture images from such a far distance, there was almost no need for the photographer to chase down the subject.

The F3K also comes with video properties. Again, for novice videographers, there is an automatic function which takes great clips. But for those with more experience, there is a manual function for even videos.

With respect to the physical aspect of the camera, at first it feels a little weird holding such a small body with lenses nearly the same size, but once the user learns to trust the sturdiness of the device, it becomes easy to handle. The LCD monitor that rotates 180 degrees is a great feature for when the photographer wants to take images of a subject that isn’t easy to see – like at a concert. Some photographers might even like it for self portraits or group shots.

Overall Sony did an impressive job with the F3K. The quality of the images and the versatility between manual and digicam settings makes it better for those who are looking for something in between. Though it doesn’t come cheap, it’s a camera that is well worth the price.

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6 comments

  1. Jack | September 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I don’t think there is a DSLR on the market today that does not come with a wide array of scene settings to suit the average photographer. You need to update your article.

  2. James Goad | September 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Steve’s Digicams reports that it is a great not a good point and shoot camera.Dpreview camera reviews says ‘Not a bad selection for a budget mirrorless camera!” I think your review is a personal reaction to this camera but comparable to a Canon or a Nikon DSLR….don’t think so.

  3. Bob Blunt | September 7, 2012 at 2:23 am

    A $900 lens on a pocket cam? That’s just crazy talk.

  4. Alex | September 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I’ve had the chance to play with this Sony recently, and while it’s a great replacement for a point and shoot, there’s just no way it can compete with the likes of a Canon or Nikon DSLR. Also, just because it’s 16.1 megapixels, it doesn’t mean it can compare to equivalent megapixel DSLRs, because there’s much more to image quality than megapixels like the sensor and processor. I personally own a Nikon D7000 which is also 16.1 megapixels, and when doing a side-by-side comparison in image quality, the Nikon is far superior. That’s not to say that this Sony doesn’t produce clean images, because it does, but compared to the images produced by my D7000, they just seem dull by comparison. The D7000, which is also considered to be a very advanced DSLR, also has scene modes for portraits, sports and scenery, so even a novice could very well find a suitable setting for any situation.

    Not to put the Sony down though, because it is impressive at its price point and a very good option for those looking for point-and-shoot but wanting something just a little more… but as a superior replacement for a full-on DSLR, that it will never be.

  5. Tristan L | September 9, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Alex, I don’t think you have really ever compared the images from a NEX to something like a D7000. Had you compared images from the NEX-5N and D7000, you would find them virtually identical. Why? Because they are based on the same sensor!

    The image quality out of the new NEX cameras are superior to almost any APS-C based SLR out there. Where DLSRs are far superior is in handling and AF department. The NEX series only has contrast AF detection while DSLRs have both contrast and phase detection. They are several other ways that DSLRs are much better…but image quality (at least out of the APS-C based DSLRs) is not one of them.

  6. MacDonDon | September 9, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I think some of commentors are getting on the wrong foot when the article saying comparable to DSLR; like Nikon and Canon, to the professional photographer, the fininite images are not on the same level as those D700 etc but we are talking in general is for the layman who only watch their pictures on computer monitor or have them printed on 5×8 or 8×10 the max. The difference is not worth the price different between those Canons and this Sony. Be honest in 10 yeras from now those traditional SLR will definite obsolete, only the diehard or those who had invested heavily in the old system will embrace the SLR. I can bet after 5 yr, the 4/3 or APS system will be better or equal any today’s best SLR

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