While the Sony Alpha NEX-F3's JPEGs look best at ISO 200 -- look at the shadowed area under the currency to see the processing artifacts as low as ISO 400 -- overall the F3 has a decent noise profile for its price class.
Photo by: Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
/ Caption by:Lori Grunin
You can see that the F3 delivers very good tonality in high-contrast video. At full size, however, the low-light video doesn't look very sharp, though that could be the meh quality of the 50mm f1.8 lens I shot with.
New to this generation of cameras is the Auto Portrait Framing feature; in Superior Auto mode, when you frame a picture of a person in landscape (wide) orientation it will automatically create a crop that more attractively positions the person in the photo, and save both it and the original (though it seems to randomly choose between portrait and landscape orientations). This is a clever and useful idea for newbies.
(1/500 sec, f4.5, multi meter, AWB, ISO 200, 18-55mm lens at 30mm)
After it crops the photo, Sony feels compelled to unnecessarily bloat it back up to 16 megapixels. At ISO 200 and when viewed at 50 percent, Sony's Clear Image Zoom interpolation technology used for uprezzing does produce a photo that looks sharper than simply cropping the original, if somewhat oversharpened. However, at higher ISO sensitivities (in other words, in any indoor portrait you'll take), it simply exacerbates the other artifacts in the photo. And even at ISO 200, the interpolation mushes up detail that looks sharp in a regular crop.