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Sony Alpha NEX-C3 photo samples

The NEX-C3 produces very nice photos, especially given its small size.

Lori Grunin
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Lori Grunin
C3_SIC1_540.jpg
1 of 13 Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET

ISO sensitivity comparison

The camera's noise profile is quite good up through ISO 400. Photos still look good at ISO 800, though you can start to see some mottling from the noise-reduction algorithms; by ISO 1600, detail degradation becomes visible.
34830527_SIC2_540-3200.jpg
2 of 13 Lori Grunin/CNET

Noise, ISO 3200 JPEG

Since I'm still waiting for software raw support, I can only comment on the camera's built-in noise reduction. It does a solid job at ISO 3200--not clean, but still usable in many circumstances.

(1/30 sec, f4.0, AWB, spot metering, 18-55mm lens at 18mm)
34830527_SIC1_540-HHT.jpg
3 of 13 Lori Grunin/CNET

Handheld Twilight

The latest iteration of Sony's Handheld Twilight mode automatically combines six exposures to obtain better exposures in low light than you might otherwise get. It does a nice job, and there's less performance overhead than with the older algorithm, making it a lot more useful.

(1/60 sec, f3.5, AWB, evaluative metering, 18-55mm lens at 18mm, ISO 5000)
34830527_SIC7_540.jpg
4 of 13 Lori Grunin/CNET

Sharpness

Sony balances the default sharpness settings very well. Even fine details don't look oversharpened, but the overall JPEGs come out of the camera sharp enough to go straight to prints.

(1/160 sec, f6.3, ISO 200, spot metering, AWB, 18-55mm lens at 43mm)
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5 of 13 Lori Grunin/CNET

Partial color (yellow) Picture Effect

I'd really like the ability to fine-tune some of the special effects. For instance, here I wish I could have made the camera's definition of yellow a little fuzzier.

(1/160 sec, f7.1, ISO 200, evaluative metering, AWB)
C3_SIC5_540.jpg
6 of 13 Lori Grunin/CNET

Toy Camera Picture Effect

(1/200 sec, f8, ISO 200, evaluative metering, AWB)
C3_SIC4_540.jpg
7 of 13 Lori Grunin/CNET

Andy Warhol in Pop Color Picture Effect

I thought it fitting to photograph Andy Warhol with the Pop Color setting.

(1/500 sec, f8, ISO 200, evaluative metering, AWB)
C3_SIC3_540.jpg
8 of 13 Lori Grunin/CNET

Dynamic range

The C3 delivers a very nice tonality and tonal range right out of the camera.

(1/100 sec, f20, ISO 200, evaluative metering, AWB, 18-55mm lens at 21mm)
34830527_SIC3_540.jpg
9 of 13 Lori Grunin/CNET

Reds

The camera does an excellent job with reds. The hue may be slightly off (which is common in digital cameras), but this high-saturation, bright exposure displays exceptionally good detail rendering.

(1/100 sec, f10, ISO 200, evaluative metering, AWB, 18-55mm lens at 40mm)
C3_SIC2_540.jpg
10 of 13 Lori Grunin/CNET

Color

The C3 renders very good color, even in its default settings, which tend to push the saturation a bit. I remain peeved that Sony doesn't offer any neutral alternatives, though.
34830527_SIC6_540.jpg
11 of 13 Lori Grunin/CNET

Distortion, 18-55mm kit lens

The kit lens distortion is so conspicuous I thought I'd botched the shot. Then I went back to my shots and comments on the lens from the NEX-5 review: "At its widest angle, the 18-55mm kit lens displays some of the worst barrel distortion we've seen for a nonsnapshot camera in a while. Goodbye, straight lines."

(1/13 sec, f13 ISO 200, spot metering, AWB)
34830527_SIC5_540.jpg
12 of 13 Lori Grunin/CNET

Fringing, 18-55mm kit lens

The lens' chromatic aberration is quite noticeable. As expected, it's worst on these high-contrast edges, but it's obvious on edges in darker areas as well.

(1/200 sec, f9 ISO 200, spot metering, AWB, 18-55mm lens at 18mm)
34830527_SIC4_540.jpg
13 of 13 Lori Grunin/CNET

Bokeh, 18-55mm lens

For all its other flaws, the kit lens renders soft, smooth out-of-focus highlights.

(1/200 sec, f5.6 ISO 200, spot metering, AWB, 18-55mm lens at 30mm)

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