Sony has unveiled the NEX-C3 which will debut in August as the ?world?s smallest and lightest Compact System Camera (CSC)?.



The NEX-C3?s 16.2-million-pixel APS-C size sensor is similar to the sensor that appears in the Alpha DSLR series, according to Sony.

The 225g Sony NEX-C3 is nearly 6% lighter than the now discontinued Sony NEX-3 thanks to a reduction in the size of the main circuitry, adds the firm.

Sony UK product manager Andreas Georghiades told AP that the NEX-C3 has been made ?less boxy? than the NEX-3 in a bid to appeal to compact camera users wanting to upgrade their gear.

Aimed at pulling in consumers not familiar with DSLR-type terminology, Sony has replaced phrases such as aperture, exposure value and white balance with ?background defocus?, ?brightness? and ?colour?. These form part of the new Photo Creativity interface which is designed to be more consumer-friendly.

Also new is a manual focus assist option called ?Peaking? which allows the photographer to highlight the ?in-focus? elements of a scene when using traditional manual focus lenses (Sony?s LA-EA1 adapter allows the attachment of A-mount lenses).

Another departure from previous Sony NEX cameras is the inclusion of Picture Effects (as seen on the new Alpha 35 DSLR), which let the user ?add extra impact? to still or HD (1,280×720 pixels) video.

However, Sony has told AP that photographers will not be able to shoot raw files when the Picture Effects are enabled.

The Sony NEX-C3 ? which sports an adjustable angle 921,600-dot resolution, 3in, LCD screen ? will be available in a choice of black or silver colours at a price yet to be announced.

Equivalent ISO sensitivity ranges from 200-12,800.

Sony claims to have boosted the battery life by 20% to achieve a 400-shot rating, after feedback from NEX-3 and NEX-5 customers.

The Sony NEX-5 and NEX-3 can be equipped with the Picture Effects and the Peaking function, via a firmware upgrade, due out tomorrow.

New lens and flash

Coinciding with the launch, Sony has expanded its family of E-mount lenses by unveiling the 30mm f/3.5 macro, described as the ?first of four lenses? to be released this year, with another three E-mount optics to follow in 2012 (including, AP has been told, a Carl Zeiss fixed focal length wideangle optic). Sony claims that the 138g, 30mm macro optic is the ?world?s lightest lifesize? interchangeable macro lens.

It incorporates three aspherical elements and one ED glass element, boasts a 1:1 magnification ratio and a minimum working distance of 2.4cm.

Also unwrapped is the HVL-F20S, a flash that clips onto the camera?s accessory terminal and which is powered directly by the camera.

Providing 75º of upward adjustment the GN20 unit (50mm at ISO 100) is ideal for natural fill-in and bounce flash, claims the firm.

? Sony has not ruled out the launch of a CSC with a built-in electronic viewfinder but dismissed internet speculation of this as ?rumour?.

Sony NEX-C3