Sony Alpha NEX-C3 Digital Camera Review
The Alpha NEX-C3 is the cheapest of Sony's NEX interchangeable lens cameras.
The Alpha NEX-C3 is the cheapest of Sony's NEX interchangeable lens cameras. For around $600 bucks you can shoot 720p HD video with a new NEX-C3 and an 18-55mm kit lens. While that is Sony's cheapest NEX option, it is only around $50 dollars less than the step-up NEX-5N (with the same lens)—and that camera can shoot 1080p Full HD video.
Motion & Sharpness
The NEX-C3 handles video motion fairly well. We saw some trailing and stutter in our test, and we spotted some static-y artifacting in the background. But aside from those quibbles, the motion performance leaves little to complain about. Footage looked smooth using the 30p frame rate, and we barely noticed any color bleeding or blur in our motion test.
See our full motion performance review, including video clips.
For a camera that shoots just 720p, sharpness is solid. We measured 525 horizontal and 550 vertical lw/ph, almost enough resolution to match the 1080i-shooting Panasonic GF3. This is a notch below the average mid-range or high-end HD camcorder, but its a very good sharpness score for a model that shoots 720p. Read our full sharpness performance review.
We were pleasantly surprised by the NEX-C3’s low-light sensitivity. It only dipped below acceptable levels somewhere between 7 and 8 lux. Noise was an issue at low light levels, and it started to become noticeable and distracting when we shot under about 30 lux of light. Dropping the light levels even lower showed off more noise, although the camera still produced adequately-bright video with just 7 or 8 lux of light. Read our full low light sensitivity performance review.
The NEX-C3 did reasonably well in our video tests, but the camera is not a top choice for someone looking to primarily shoot video. The camera tops out with a 1280 x 720 video resolution, which is technically HD, but is not the same resolution as Full HD (1920 x 1080). It also lacks any extensive manual controls in video mode and includes no manual audio controls.
For less than $100 more, the Sony NEX-5N offers Full HD video recording with four different frame rates (60p, 60i, 24p, and 30p), as well as a full suite of manual controls in video mode. If you're looking for a better alternative for shooting video with an interchangeable lens camera, you may want to start there.
To read our full conclusions for the Sony Alpha NEX-C3 including analysis of the camera's video handling and audio options, plus see sample videos and photos, visit the full review at DigitalCameraInfo.com.
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