Unlike Panasonic, Olympus and Samsung, Sony have not yet created a DSLR looking mirrorless camera in their NEX range. While the A3000 is not strictly speaking an NEX, it is the first DSLR looking mirrorless camera of theirs to use NEX’s E-mount. Thing is, while it looks like a DSLR it is not a DSLR. There is not even a Translucent mirror in here.
(Note the funny tag line Sony Australia have in the above video, “Without the smoke and mirrors.” Clever… if you know that a DSLR camera has a mirror, and this one doesn’t, which many first time consumers generally don’t know.)
It features the same 20 megapixel APS-C sized sensor that is in the Alpha 58 but with this camera Sony are aiming for a price point and so the LCD screen and electronic viewfinder are not the same high-res crisp variety used in other Sony cameras. In fact, this little machine is $50 cheaper than the cheapest DSLR currently on offer at B&H Photo in New York.
It offers a competitive spec sheet including
– 20MP Exmor APS-C HD CMOS sensor
– ISO 100-16 000
– 1080p video
– 3-inch 230k LCD screen.
The issue here is that the autofocus system is only a 25-point contrast detection system and not the hybrid – contrast and phase detection – system that is in the NEX. The issue with this may be – and till we get hands on with a full production unit this cannot be proved – contrast detection AF is generally less satisfactory than a DSLR camera’s Phase Detection AF for fast moving subjects when shooting stills and so the A3000 runs the risk of disappointing in that area.
We hope to see this in October in South Africa, again, making it’s first appearance if all works well, at our October PhotoWalk.