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Sony's shrinking NEX (pictures)

The company shaves the dimensions of its entry-level ILC.

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Lori Grunin
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More compact

Sony shaved about 0.2 inch off all the F3's dimensions for the 3N, and with the retractable power zoom lens -- compared with the standard 18-55mm kit lens that's shipped with many of the NEX models -- it makes a nice compact package. It retains the large grip as well, which is nice.
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Power Zoom lens

The 3N has an on-camera zoom switch (in addition to the switch on the lens) for a more point-and-shoot-like zooming experience.
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Back

The back controls are the same as the F3, though the right soft key is now preset to ISO sensitivity. The playback controls have moved to the top of the camera. It retains the tilting LCD that flips completely up and supports Sony's automatic self-portrait mode.
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SD card on the side

Now this is a treat: the SD card slot is on the side of the camera rather than in the battery compartment where it's typically difficult to get to and impossible to swap while on a tripod.
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Top

The 3N still has the built-in flash -- I'm not sure if it also tilts -- and the playback controls now sit on top.

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