Sony NEX-F3 lens-swapping camera gets flashy

The Sony NEX-F3 is a flashy new lens-swapping snapper. Quite literally, in fact -- it adds a built-in pop-out flash.

The Sony NEX-F3 is a flashy new lens-swapping snapper. Quite literally, in fact -- it adds a built-in pop-out flash.

The NEX-F3 replaces the NEX-C3 , and adds the built-in flash to dispense with the screw-on flash unit of previous cameras.

You still have to screw in a viewfinder on the top, but as the flash and viewfinder no longer compete for the same attachment point, at least now you can have both at the same time. And you've got the handy tilty-foldy 3-inch screen to still see what you're doing when you point the camera high, low or around corners.

Unusually, the NEX-F3 doesn't come with a battery charger, but instead charges with a micro-USB cable. That means not only can you charge it by plugging it into any computer, you can use any phone charger, as micro-USB is the standard for pretty much all smart phones (except the iPhone, of course).

The NEX-F3 shoots 1080p high-definition video, and goes up to 16,000 maximum ISO sensitivity. It's built around a 16.1-megapixel APS CMOS sensor, like the Sony A37 , also announced today. Although that's not technically an SLR either, it's a bit more traditional than the NEX range.

NEX cameras are designed to offer the power of a high-end camera with the size and simplicity of a compact camera. So while you can swap lenses and take manual control, the controls are simplified so far they can be confusing if you're even slightly familiar with the conventions of most cameras.

At the top of the range is the Sony NEX-7 and Sony NEX-5N, a serious snapper that impressed us enough to earn itself a coveted CNET Editor's Choice Award.

Are you a fan of Sony's NEX cameras? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.


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