One of the really cool in-camera features of the Sony NEX camera is the sweep panorama mode. Just hit the shutter button and move your camera from left to right. It’s so simple and fast and requires no post-processing on your computer – very cool.
I took the following photo of AT&T Park with the sweep panorama mode. Before having a camera with the built-in panorama feature, I would have used Autostitch on my PC. Now, I can create panoramas without a PC. It’s definitely a nice feature to have when you’re on the road or on vacation.
One of the features that attracted me to the Sony NEX-3, in addition to its relatively compact size, was the ability to do HD video. Unfortunately, HD video recording with the NEX-3 is limited to 720p (vs. 1080p with the NEX-5) at 30 fps. Basically, this means that my videos won’t be as nice when shown on a big screen TV, but on the web, they should look just fine. Apparently, editing 1080p videos can be a pain since they can take up a lot of memory anyways. Take a look at the enclosed videos to see some amazing work being done with the NEX cameras.
So I decided to sell my Canon XSi and upgrade to a Sony NEX-3. I was able to get $440 for the XSi and kit lens on Craigslist. I used the cash to purchase a Sony NEX-3 twin lens kit on sale from DigitalRev for $662 (after shipping; no tax was charged since the store is located in Hong Kong). The two Sony lenses retail for $299 and $249, individually; so the dual lens kit seemed like a good deal. Sony has stopped manufacturing the NEX-3, so I guess that’s why it’s on sale.
As I mentioned previously, I was thinking about getting a smaller camera to lighten my load while traveling. While the NEX-3 is much smaller than the XSi, the Sony camera is loaded with features. The NEX-3 has a better slightly better sensor according to Snapsort and also has video capabilities, which the XSi does not. Unfortunately, there are few lenses available to the Sony; although that should improve over time. My friend had the Sony NEX-5 and convinced me to go with Sony. I won’t bore you with all the details about the camera. You can read in-depth reviews at DPReview and Cameralabs.