SONY NEX-3N: Small is beautiful when it comes to interchangeable lens digicoms

A mirror-less interchangeable lens camera, with the look, feel and size of a compact digital camera? Yes, the gap between digital compacts and SLRs is narrowing everyday -- and Sony has succeeded in packing a multiple lens system into the smallest body currently available

The NEX-3N comes with a detachable 16-50mm (35mm-equivalent 24-75mm) f/3.5-5.6 lens while the body 4.3 inches (109.9mm W) by 2.4 inches 62mm inches H) and 1.4 inches (34.6mm D) is hardly bigger and at 210 gms ( 7.4 oz) hardly heavier than the average point-n-shoot compact.

The zoom lens incorporates optical steady shot image stabilisation, and can be controlled using the front lens ring, the side zoom control, and or the top zoom ring --- something that will be familiar to compact digicam users. A useful feature is Auto Object Framing, that can auto crop the image based on the subject. The large 3 inch LCD screen can be tilted and swung all the way  to 180 degrees, which makes for very easy self portraits, pointing the camera at oneself. The Sony InfoLithium battery will tell you exactly how much battery life remains. The camera takes either Sony Memory Sticks or SD memory cards. Shutter speeds range from 1/4000 sec to 30 secs. An integrated pop-up flash is nicely positioned in line with the centre of the lens,

Cool shooting options we tried, included a panoramic mode which lets you pan the camera while you hold the shutter release button and the camera automatically stitches the photo together as you go. You can shoot full HD 1080p video Video and record as AVCHD or MP4 at either 25 fps or 50 fps ( in MP4). USB and HDMi are available.

At Rs 29,990 MRP, the Sony NEX-3N is significantly cheaper than digital SLRs and will make a great transition camera for those who want to graduate from compacts. For the professionally inc lined there are a wide range of additional lenses available from macro to 200 mm and all in all the Sony NEX-3N packs a lot of photographic punch in its handy size – Anand Parthasarathy/ July 20 2013

Product  brochure here