Feeds
85%
Sony Alpha NEX-C3 compact system camera

Sony NEX-C3 compact system camera

Mirrorless marvel

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Will.i.am gets CUFFED as he announces his new wristjob, the PULS
It's got four KILOWATTS of something, apparently
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?
Subtle, naturalistic ambiance – perfect for Transformers 4
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.