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Why I Chose My Camera, The Sony Alpha NEX-C3



In the What’s In My Gear Bag? post from the other week I mentioned that I still needed to get a good camera for covering events and taking product shots. I finally settled on the Sony Alpha NEX-C3 and I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival. I chose this model for two reasons: my photography skills (actually, the lack thereof) and the size/weight. My reasons probably match many consumers’, especially those who are caught between wanting to take good quality photos yet not wanting to deal with the complexity of a DSLR. The NEX-C3 bridges that gap pretty well.

Sony Alpha NEX-C3

My skills as a photographer are minimal even though I’ve had access to and used a variety of DSLR models. Since I don’t know all the settings or which modes are best for which conditions, I pretty much needed a camera with an excellent auto mode to get by. But cameras excellent in this regard are also more expensive. And it doesn’t make much sense to spend a lot on something I can’t use to full potential.

However, a point and shoot won’t provide what I need to deliver to you, dear readers: drool-inducing gadget porn clear, high quality images.

At first I looked at micro four-thirds cameras, which are designed to have a large sensor similar to a DSLR but not the bulky mirror box. These cameras also retain the ability to change lenses for different shooting conditions. Olympus and Panasonic designed this system, and it’s produced some good cameras such as the Olympus PEN series.

Sony’s NEX series cameras are born out of a similar idea — smaller size, DSLR quality — but the engineering is different. The sensor is the same size as the regular Alpha DSLR cameras, though the body lacks the mirror box, AF sensor, and optical viewfinder like a MFT model, thus reducing the size. It has interchangeable lens capability as well, plus a hotshoe on the top for a flash if needed.

What really sold me on this model is the user interface. It’s friendly for amateurs like myself since the camera focuses on the result I’m looking to achieve or the conditions I’m shooting under, then helps to choose the right setting.

I will miss having an optical viewfinder; you can get one as an accessory, but I don’t miss it enough to spend $200.

A photographer friend once told me that it’s possible to take really beautiful shots with a good point-and-shoot if you know what you’re doing. However, most people don’t take their photography seriously until they get a DSLR because they’ve spent quite a bit of money. The Sony Alpha NEX-C3 isn’t cheap ($649) and isn’t the best choice if all you want to do is take pictures for Facebook. But for consumers in the same boat as I am who want or need high-quality pictures, the NEX series is a good choice and will spur you to learn more and get better.



  1. quillaja

    08/12/2011 at 4:45 pm

    The NEX series looks pretty sweet. I’d love to get a NEX-5 or it’s up-coming refresh… just need a spare $700. =)

    The only thing that makes me pause is the somewhat large (compared to the body) kit zoom lens. It almost defeats the purpose of having a tiny body. There’s the 18mm pancake for some extra money, though. Did you get the pancake lens as well?

    • K. T. Bradford

      08/15/2011 at 8:58 pm

      I didn’t, but I asked Sony to send me one to try so I can compare the experience. For my needs, I definitely have to have the zoom lens. But not everyone will.

      Having used it for a few days, i find the lens less of an issue in that regard. You notice the weight when picking it up, but I cease to care once I start shooting.

      • quillaja

        08/16/2011 at 7:25 am

        I played with one a little bit at best buy. They only had the zoom lens attached and it certainly was lighter than it looks.

  2. guest

    08/15/2011 at 2:11 am

    Nice review, reminds me of me.

  3. Sherry C

    08/16/2011 at 5:10 pm

    Okay I want one of those now. I have the Sony cybershot T7X it’s great too but this seems like a nice step up to DSLR. Just need some funds too.

  4. Clchu85

    08/17/2011 at 7:20 pm

    Sweet!!!! Do want! 
    I’ve been wondering if a camera like this exists. How do we search for such cameras?

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