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Sony introduces world’s smallest, lightest* interchangeable lens camera with APS-C sized sensor

08 June 2011

Easy-to-use α NEX-C3 with 16.2 effective megapixels, HD video and friendly new interface

* Among interchangeable-lens digital cameras with APS-C size image sensor, as of 8th June 2011


· DSLR-quality images with 16.2 effective megapixel Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor
· Intuitive new ‘Photo Creativity’ interface for jargon-free adjustment of picture settings
· In-camera ‘Picture Effect’ with real-time preview
· Multi-frame imaging techniques including 3D Sweep Panorama, AutoDR and Handheld Twilight mode
· Optional accessories including compactHVL-F20S travel flash and 30mm F3.5 E-mount macro lens

The new α NEX-C3 by Sony is the world’s smallest, lightest interchangeable lens digital camera in its class.

Offered in a choice of stylish colours, the NEX-C3 features an attractive new body design that combines a satisfyingly solid metal top casing with an easy-to-use streamlined grip shape. Reducing the size of main circuitry shrinks camera body weight to just 225g – that’s almost 6% less than the NEX-3.

Image quality, functions and usability of the NEX-C3 also surpasses that of the NEX-3.

Resolution of the large Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor is boosted to 16.2 effective megapixels, capturing stills and 720p HD video with breath-taking clarity. The large, DSLR-sized sensor also lets you produce pro-quality ‘bokeh’ background defocus effects, whether you’re shooting HD video or stills.

Even if you’re not familiar with specialist photo jargon, the NEX-C3 puts sophisticated picture controls within easy reach, whether you’re shooting stills or HD video. The intuitive new Photo Creativity interface replaces technical terms like ‘aperture’, ‘exposure value’ and ‘white balance’ with the friendlier and more intuitive ‘background defocus’, ‘brightness’ and ‘colour’.

There’s no need to dig into confusing menu options or guess their effect on your composition. Just turn the camera’s rear-mounted control wheel and instantly see the effect of your settings previewed on screen. If you wish, two or more different settings can be combined to create more sophisticated creative effects.

A new in-camera ‘Picture Effect’ setting lets users add extra impact to stills or HD video during shooting, without the worry of editing images afterwards. ‘Picture Effect’ options include Partial Colour, Retro Photo, Pop Colour, High Contrast Monochrome, Posterisation, High-key and Toy Camera. There’s also a ‘Soft Skin’ effect that removes wrinkles and blemishes from portrait subjects.

Tilting for comfortable viewing at any angle, the high contrast 7.5cm Xtra Fine LCD features TruBlack screen technology for high-contrast images with rich, deep blacks. It’s a great way to compose shots and judge the effect of adjusting picture settings, even when you’re viewing outdoors in bright sunlight.

Advanced multi-frame imaging technologies by Sony broaden the possibilities of the NEX-C3 further still.3D Sweep Panorama captures extra-wide images in 3D to enjoy on your 3D TV. Auto HDR ‘stacks’ a high speed burst of three successive exposures to capture extreme shadow and highlight details in a single frame. Similarly, Handheld Twilight and Anti-Motion Blur modes automatically combine six exposures to capture smooth, low-noise images: this avoids hand-blur and subject-blur when you’re shooting in available light.

The NEX-C3 works even harder to capture more amazing images and HD video between battery charges. Improved energy efficiency boosts battery stamina to a generous 400 still shots per charge – over 20% more than the NEX-3/NEX-5.

New E-mount 30mm macro lens (“E 30mm F3.5 Macro”) and accessories
The versatility of the α E-mount compact camera system grows with new style-matched accessories to expand your shooting possibilities even further.

Joining the range of E-mount interchangeable lenses, the SEL30M35 is currently the world’s lightest1 life-size macro lens (138g) for interchangeable-lens cameras. This high-quality 30mm F3.5 macro lens features a 1:1 magnification ratio and minimum working distance of just 2.4 cm, making it ideal for capturing detail-packed close-ups of small subjects like flowers and insects. Despite its extremely compact size, the SEL30M35 employs one ED glass and three aspherical lens elements for excellent optical performance, with minimised aberration and very high edge-to-edge sharpness and contrast. It also offers smooth, quiet autofocus operation whether you’re shooting stills or HD video. The macro lens is supplied with a matching lens hood.

HVL-F20S Flash
Also available as an option, the new HVL-F20S is a style-matching flash that clips onto the camera’s Smart Accessory Terminal. Powered directly by the camera, the flash requires no batteries, achieving an ultra-compact size and light weight when you're travelling. With a generous GN20 (50mm, at ISO 100, m) flash power rating and adjustable head, it’s ideal for creating natural fill-in and bounce flash effects with portraits and everyday shooting subjects.

The expanded range of co-ordinating accessories features a new body case/lens jacket, soft carrying case, straps and value accessory kits.

Version 04 firmware update for NEX-5, NEX-3
Available from June 20th, a firmware upgrade for existing NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras adds the new ‘Picture Effect’ function as introduced on the new NEX‑C3. It also adds a Peaking function to assist with more precise manual focusing. Available free to registered users, latest Version 04 firmware update for NEX-5/NEX-3 can be downloaded from:




Memory Stick™ PRO-HG Duo HX
Available from May in capacities up to 32GB, the range-topping Memory Stick™ PRO-HG Duo HX now boasts blazing data transfer speeds of up to 50MB/second. The fastest-ever Memory Stick is optimised for sustained burst shooting with today’s A-mount and E-mount cameras from Sony.

The new NEX-C3 ultra-compact digital camera with interchangeable lenses by Sony is available from August 2011. The new HVL-F20S flash will be available during summer 2011.

1 As of 8th June 2011

Notes to editors

NEX-C3: technical specifications


Camera type

Interchangeable lens digital camera

Lens compatibility

Sony E-mount lenses

Image sensor


APS-C type (23.5 x 15.6 mm), Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor with RGB primary colour filters

No. of pixels (approx.)

16.2 megapixels (effective), 16.5 megapixels (total)

Recording system

(still image)

Recording format

JPEG (DCF v.2.0, Exif v.2.3, MPF Baseline compliant), 3D still image: MPO (MPF Extended stereovision) compliant, RAW (Sony ARW 2.2 format)

Image size (pixels)

Aspect ratio 3:2

L: 4912 x 3264 (16 M), M: 3568 x 2368 (8.4 M), S: 2448 x 1624 (4 M)

Aspect ratio 16:9

L: 4912 x 2760 (14 M), M: 3568 x 2000 (7.1 M), S: 2448 x 1376 (3.4 M)

Sweep Panorama

Wide: Horizontal 12416 x 1856 (23M), Vertical 2160 x 5536 (12M), Standard: Horizontal 8192 x 1856 (15M), Vertical 2160 x 3872 (8.4M)

3D Sweep Panorama

Wide: 7152 x 1080 (7.7 M), Standard: 4912 x 1080 (5.3 M), 16:9: 1920 x 1080 (2.1 M)

Image quality modes

RAW, RAW & JPEG, JPEG Fine, JPEG Standard

Picture Effect

7 types (11 variations): Pop Colour, Retro Photo, High-key, High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Posterisation (Colour, B/W), Partial Colour (Red, Yellow, Blue, Green)

Creative Style

Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, B/W (Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness adjustable in +/-3 steps)

Dynamic range

Off, D-Range Optimiser (Auto, Lv 1-5), Auto HDR (Auto exposure diff., Adjustable exposure diff.: up to 6 EV between 1.0 EV to 6 EV in 1 EV steps)

Soft Skin Effect

High, Mid, Low, Off

Colour space

sRGB, Adobe RGB

Recording system


Recording format

Video Compression:MPEG-4 visual, Audio recording format: MPEG-4 AAC-LC, Audio channel: 2 ch

Image size (pixels)

MP4: 1280 x 720 (29.97 fps / Average bit rate 9/6 Mbps), 640 x 480 (29.97 fps / Average bit rate 3 Mbps)


Memory Stick PRO Duo / Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo / SD memory card / SDHC memory card / SDXC memory card

Noise reduction

Long exposure NR:

On/Off selectable, available at shutter speeds for longer than1 sec.

High ISO NR: Auto / Weak selectable, available at ISO 1600 or higher

White balance


Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Colour temp./Filter (2500 - 9900 k with 19-step Magenta / Green compensation)

Focus system


Contrast-detection AF

Sensitivity range

EV 0 to 20 (ISO100 equivalent, with F2.8 lens attached)

Focus modes

Autofocus / DMF (Direct Manual Focus) / Manual Focus selectable

Autofocus modes:

AF-S (Single-shot AF) / AF-C (Continuous AF) selectable

Focus area

Multi (25 points) / Centre / Flexible spot selectable

Other features

Predictive control, Focus lock, Built-in AF illuminator (Distance: approx. 0.3 - 4.0 m with E 16 F2.8 lens, approx. 0.5 - 3.0 m with E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens)

Exposure control

Metering system

Type: 49-zone metering

Sensitivity range: EV 0 to 20 (ISO100 equivalent, with F2.8 lens attached)

Metering modes: Multi / Centre / Spot selectable

Exposure control

Exposure modes: Programmed AE (iAuto, P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M)

Scene selection: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night portrait, Night View, Hand-held Twilight

Exposure compensation: +/-2.0 EV in 1/3 EV steps

Exp. bracketing: 3 continuous exposures in 0.3 or 0.7 EV steps

AE lock: AE is locked with focus lock

ISO sensitivity

AUTO (ISO 200 - 1600), ISO 200 to 12800 selectable (in 1 EV steps, Recommended Exposure Index)

LCD monitor


7.5 cm (3.0-type) wide type TFT, Xtra Fine LCD with TruBlack technology; with 921,600 dot resolution (total); adjustable angle up 80°/ down 45° (approx.): Histogram display, real-time image adjustment display

Other features

Face detection, Smile shutter, Precision digital zoom (1.1x – 10x), Grid line, MF assist (7.5x, 15x), Peaking function, Shooting Tips, Help Guide



1/4000 to 30 sec., Bulb: Flash sync. Speed 1/160 sec.

Drive modes


Single-shot, Continuous shooting, Speed-priority continuous shooting, Self-timer (10 / 2 sec delay selectable), Self-timer (Cont.) (with 10 sec delay, 3 / 5 exposures selectable)

Continuous shooting (approx.)

Speed-priority continuous mode: max 5.5 fps, Continuous mode: max. 2.5 fps (Varies according to shooting conditions and memory card used)

No. of frame recordable (approx.)

Fine: 14, Standard: 18, RAW: 6, RAW & JPEG: 6 (Varies according to shooting conditions and memory card used. In speed-priority continuous shooting mode)


PC interface / HD out

USB2.0 Hi-speed; HDMI mini connector (Type-C), BRAVIA Sync (link menu), PhotoTV HD



External flash (supplied); GN7 (in metres at ISO 100), equiv.

Battery performance

(approx.) Still image: 400 images (CIPA standard), Movie: max. 29 min. (at 20° – 40°C environmental temperature)

Weight (approx.)

283 g (with battery and Memory Stick PRO Duo)

225 g (body only)

Dimensions (WxHxD)

109.6 x 60.0 x 33.0 mm (without protrusions)

For more information please contact
Sony Europe Press Centre

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