All things are possible in the digital camera world which helps explain Sony’s new ILCE3000, essentially an NEX compact system camera packaged in an Alpha-series D-SLR body minus the reflex mirror. The 3000 actually carries the Alpha system logo. but is an E-mount (i.e. NEX) camera rather than A-mount. Sony says the alpha 3000 “delivers a traditional D-SLR look and feel with a simpler user interface”. Perhaps even more remarkable is the pricing, with Sony Australia announcing it will sell for just $499 with the E-rnount 18-55mm standard zoom.
The camera is built around a 20.4 megapixels (total) APS-C’ CMOS sensor with a sensitivity range equivalent to ISO 100 to 16,000. The maximum continuous shooting speed is 3.5 fps (with the AF/ AE locked to the first frame) and the memory card slot is compatible with the SD and Memory Stick PRO Duo formats. The Alpha 3000 has a fixed LCD monitor screen with a resolution of 230.400 dots while the EVF is also an LCD panel with a resolution of 201,600 dots and provides 100 percent scene coverage. Full HD video is recorded at 50 frames interlaced using the AVCHD Version 2.0 format (representing a bit rate of 24 Mbps) with stereo sound. Autofocusing is via a contrast detection system using 25 zones while the metering also sensor based as 1200 measuring points.
The shutter speed range is 30-1/4000 second with flash sync up to 1/160 second. The Alpha 3000 has a built-in flash plus Sony’s clever ‘Multi Interface Shoe’ which is designed to work with a range of dedicated accessories, including an external microphone. Despite the price tag, the feature list is Still quite extensive and includes in-camera panorama stitching, HDR capture, 11 special effect settings, manual colour temperature setting and a multi-mode self-timer.