Billed as an ‘entry-level’ interchangeable-lens camera, the 20.1-million-pixel A3000 boasts ‘the picture quality, manual controls and artistic possibilities of a DSLR in an easy-to-use camera with interchangeable lenses’.

Housing the same APS-C-size HD CMOS imaging sensor as that featured in the Sony A58, the A3000 includes a 201,600-dot resolution electronic viewfinder and a 3in (230,000-dot) LCD screen.

In a statement, the firm claimed that the A3000 is ‘easy to hold with comfortable body and new grip’.

Though designed to work with E-mount lenses, Sony UK’s head of digital imaging, Frederik Lange, stressed that the A3000 launch does not signal the end of A-mount cameras.

‘There will always be a market for A-mount,’ he told Amateur Photographer.

Photographers can attach A-mount lenses to the A3000 using an optional adapter.

Earlier this month, Nikon suggested that its Nikon 1 compact camera system was not selling as well as expected and that it planned to make more ‘entry-class’ DSLRs.

Sony predicts that the interchangeable-lens camera market will flatten in 2013, 2014 and 2015, with compact system camera sales continuing to grow.

A large imaging sensor is one of the top priorities for consumers entering the system camera market, according to Sony research.

The A3000, which is due out next month priced around £370, was unveiled today alongside Sony’s first ever G-lens for E-mount cameras.

The 18-105mmn f/4 G OSS is expected to cost £499.

The A3000 has a top ISO of 16,000 and a 25-point AF system. Picture effect modes include Retro Photo, Miniature and Partial Colour.