Digital SLRs are the fastest cameras on the market, which is why I often suggest them to parents of small children. Unfortunately, the compact models (commonly referred to as "micro four-thirds", because of the sensors) have sacrificed some speed in favor of size. Sony’s NEX-5 and NEX-3, announced yesterday, have no compromises; delivering standard-size performance in a compact body.
The NEX-5 measures a mere 4.38 by 2.38 by 1.56 inches (the NEX-3 is slightly larger) and weighs in at 12.6 ounces (with a lens attached), which makes it the smallest digital SLR on the market.
Both cameras use an APS-size sensor— which is about 60 percent larger than the micro four-thirds image sensor used by other compact cameras— that records 14.2MP stills and HD video. And while capturing video, the camera provides continuous autofocus and exposure compensation, a rarity among digital SLRs (NEX-5 captures Blu-ray format AVCHD files and mp4 files. NEX-3 just captures mp4 files).
Light sensitvity is rated at ISO 200 - 12,800, and it delivers with great low-light shots.
And if that weren’t enough, both cameras also capture 3D images in 3D Sweep Panorama mode. The resulting .mpo files can be viewed on 3DTVs that support the file format. And you can get 3D prints made at SeeHere.com.
Available in July:
NEX-5 with a 16mm lens: $650*; with an 18-55mm lens: $700*
NEX-3 with a 16mm lens: $550*; with an 18-55mm lens: $600*
16mm lens: $250*
18-55mm lens: $300*
Available this fall:
18-200mm lens: $800*
*Prices are approximate.