Feeds
85%
Sony Alpha NEX-C3 compact system camera

Sony NEX-C3 compact system camera

Mirrorless marvel

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Application security programs and practises

Glass works?

Up the stakes to ISO 6400 and there’s a loss of edge sharpness and the introduction of mottled, slightly chunky grain, but images are still printable, if not ideal candidates for heavy crops. Only ISO 12800 is significantly less than usable, with sharpness blown to the wind and heavy chroma noise making shots look more like cameraphone snaps circa 2003.

Sony Alpha NEX-C3 compact system camera

Long shot: Sony's 70-200mm F2.8 G series lens attached using the LA-EA1 adapter

If I had reservations about anything relating to the NEX-C3’s image quality, they came from the lens, which has some obvious weak points. This isn't surprising from a kit lens, but does underline that if you can find the NEX-C3 with either body-only or with a higher-end lens, you should get that. For one thing, the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 displays obvious barrel distortion at 18mm.

Barrel distortion can be aesthetically desirable in some rather niche circumstances, but at a less than super-wide 18mm it's really unwelcome. The lens also softens up dramatically when you get it away from its sweet-spot, which is around the f/5.6-f/11 mark.

Sony Alpha NEX-C3 compact system camera

16mm pancake and 18-35mm zoom kit lenses

Drop it to its smallest f/32 (for long, filterless daytime exposures, for instance) and you'll swear the camera’s autofocus has wandered off, so soft are the pictures. On the plus side, the kit lens’s image stabilisation (Optical Steady Shot or OSS in Sony-speak) system is really good - with a bit of practice I was handholding shots at 1” with decent results.

There are some desirable lenses in Sony’s NEX catalogue, such as the 16mm f/1.8 “pancake” lens, or the 50mm f/1.8. The bad news is that this extra kit is expensive. The 50mm costs more than £200; the 16mm wide-angle the thick end of £130. Wildlife and sports fans are poorly catered for; the longest E-mount lens currently made by Sony is the 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3.

Sony Alpha NEX-C3 compact system camera

Made to measure: Alpha SEL18200 E-mount 18-200mm lens

The length is reasonable for sports days and visits to the zoo, but the minuscule f-stop at the long end of the lens is going to have you reaching for the extremities of the ISO range when faced with less than perfect light. You can always opt for the LA-EA1 adapter, which allows you to mount Alpha-mount lenses and gives you access to a far larger library of glass, albeit at the cost of nearly £200 and, in some cases, autofocus.

Sony Alpha NEX-C3 compact system camera

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day
Microsoft's form 8-K records decision 'not to ship a new form factor'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.