Sony NEX-F3 at a glance:

  • 16.1-million-pixel CMOS sensor
  • Bionz processor
  • ISO 200-16,000
  • 180° rotating LCD for self-portraiture
  • Built-in flash
  • Street price £499

The NEX-F3 is the first model in Sony’s third generation of compact system cameras. The first generation included the NEX-5, the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable-lens camera at the time, and the NEX-3, which was a fractionally larger, plastic-bodied version that sold for a more affordable price.

These cameras had sleek and slender bodies thanks to the fact they did not have electronic viewfinders and the flashgun was a separate device included in the box. While this worked for the body size, the lenses needed to be quite large to cover the APS-C-sized sensor, so they appeared taller than the body. The flagship NEX-7 was added to the second generation, and included both flash and viewfinder in the body, which resulted in a more even match between lens and camera.

The NEX-F3 is the new entry-level model in the range and is a progression from the NEX-3 and NEX-C3 models, but like the NEX-7 it now offers a built-in flash unit. The ‘F’ in its name stands for family, as this camera has been designed to be used by all members, from granddad to granddaughter, and includes a new feature to aid the popular practice of taking self-portraits.

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