Sony has now officially announced its small form factor interchangeable lens camera, the Sony NEX-C3, and Pocket-Lint got a chance to have a quick play earlier today at a press event in Taipei, Taiwan of all places.
The new design looks great compared to the NEX-3 and NEX-3, mostly due to its more rounded shape, but Sony has somehow managed to shed both weight and a few millimetres here and there on the camera.
It isn’t immensely smaller - it’s just as thick as the NEX-3 - but the body is over 8mm narrower and 2mm shorter. In the grand scheme of things, this is unlikely to matter in actual usage. However, for Sony, it’s all about being able to say that this is the smallest model yet. That said, the rounded shape has improved the grip and with a larger textured surface it’s also less prone to slipping out of your hand.
In use, the NEX-C3 feels very familiar and Sony hasn’t messed around too much with the controls from the NEX-3. In fact, the biggest change is the design of the buttons themselves; they're now a bit smaller if anything, but not small enough to be hard to press. The control wheel works just the same as well, although the company has made some changes to the way it works by making it more customisable, rather than having pre-defined functions.
The big news comes with the new firmware, which has added various picture effects. And it’s worth noting that the effects also work in video mode, which could make for some interesting videos.
For those of you that own the older NEX models, the good news is that this update will arrive shortly for those cameras as well.
Another new addition for the NEX-C3 comes in the guise of a pink model. Thankfully, Sony has actually done a rather tasteful job here of something that could've been garish. The metallic pink coating covers most of the camera bar the top, which is still in silver.
Sadly, we haven't had a chance to see the new 35mm macro lens or the new flash option, both of which are scheduled for later this year. What we can say after our quick hands-on with the NEX-C3, though, is that if you own either the NEX-3 or NEX-3, then you’re not really missing out too much. Especially with the new firmware update on its way.
However, the new rounded styling is hopefully something that Sony will stick with, as it somehow looks much more refined that the older models.