PRESS RELEASE: New Sony NEX-F3 and 18-200 LE announced – An entry level NEX camera

The new Sony NEX-F3 – An entry level NEX with nice design and features

Sony’s New α NEX-F3 Camera Packs DSLR-Size Sensor and Advanced Feature Set into Small, Stylish Body


SAN DIEGO, May 16, 2012 – Sony’s α NEX-F3 digital camera delivers professional quality photos with a compact, pocket-sized body, allowing consumers to explore the creative world of high-quality, interchangeable lens photography in a refreshingly fun and entertaining way.

The new NEX-F3 camera features the same space-saving mirrorless design as other models in Sony’s E-mount family as well as an advanced, 16.1 effective megapixel Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor, identical in size to sensors found in traditional DSLR cameras. The large sensor takes in more light during image capture, resulting in flawless, low-noise photographs and crisply detailed Full HD videos (60i/24p). Photographers can also easily create images with beautiful defocus effects, where the subject is focused sharply against a smoothly blurred background.

“Sony continues to redefine digital photography with our E-mount series, packing a large APS-C size sensor into a small, lightweight camera body to produce professional-quality images with ease,” said Mike Kahn, director of the Alpha business at Sony. “Featuring a diverse set of imaging technologies and offered at a great price, the new NEX-F3 model reinforces our commitment to this rapidly growing compact system camera market.”

The NEX-F3 camera adds a whole new perspective to self-portraits with a 180° Tiltable LCD screen, a first for Sony’s E-mount camera line. By simply holding the camera at arm’s length and flipping the LCD screen vertically, users can adjust the on-screen preview image and properly frame photos.

Additionally, the new model features a useful built-in flash to broaden shooting options indoors or in low light situations. Already introduced on Sony’s acclaimed NEX-7 camera, this pop-up flash handily brightens portraits and other shots without the need to carry an additional flash accessory.

The new NEX-F3 camera also includes the new Auto Portrait Framing feature for creating top-quality portraits quickly and easily. This innovative feature identifies a subject’s position in a composed image, and follows the “rule of thirds” to trim the scene appropriately around the subject’s face, creating a beautifully composed portrait. The cropped portrait is then boosted to full resolution using Sony’s unique By Pixel Super Resolution technology, which uses pattern matching to maintain superb image detail, tones and textures in the photo. Both the original and cropped image files are saved for review.

By Pixel Super Resolution Technology is also used for the “Clear Image Zoom” feature, which digitally doubles the effective magnification of any lens attached to the camera. Ideal for travel and everyday shooting, it’s a great way to boost maximum focal length without carrying extra hardware.

Other convenient essentials added to the new NEX-F3 camera include the Superior Auto mode, which intelligently recognizes a wide range of scenes and subjects and adjusts settings automatically. Battery stamina has been boosted to an industry-leading 470 shots (approx.) on a single charge – an approximate 18% improvement over its predecessor, the NEX-C3 model.

The camera is compatible with the FDA-EV1S viewfinder accessory (sold separately), which offers a high-contrast, high-resolution OLED viewfinder display and a wide viewing angle. The NEX-F3 model also features a high-quality, premium-feel grip for more comfortable handling and can be charged via either USB or a standard AC outlet.


New Lightweight 18-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens for Sony α NEX

An ideal travel partner for the NEX-F3 camera, the new SEL18200LE E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS LE telezoom lens offers a powerful 11x zoom range and superb resolution in an easy-to-carry package. Smaller and 12% lighter than the SEL18200 lens, the new E-mount model features Optical SteadyShot to compensate for the effects of hand-shake. It also features Direct Manual Focus to give users precise control over focus settings, resulting in crisp, beautiful images.


Pricing and Availability

The new NEX-F3 compact digital camera will be available this June in silver, black and white with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens (model SEL1855) for about $600. The new SEL18200LE telezoom lens will be available this July in black for about $850.

The camera kit, new lens and a variety of compatible accessories including the LCS-EJC3 carrying case, STP-XSG1 shoulder strap and STP-WS2 wrist strap will be available at Sony retail stores ( and other authorized dealers nationwide.




  1. Forget the 18-200 unless you’re shooting video. This camera would be great paired with Sigma’s new 19mm and 30mm E-mount primes. We can only hope that a theoretical NEX F5 will have a built-in EVF… even if its lower resolution than the one in the NEX 7.

  2. If you want a 18-200 I’d get the Sony. I did. I think it’s a great lens, with some very advanced technology. It has 4 aspherical elements and 1 ED element. It appears to be the same price as the plastic offering. Using it as a close up lens you can see the fuzz on the fuzz. As a portrait lens, you can see the hair growing out of the ear of your subject in sharp relief. That lens with the NEX 7 is potent.

  3. Wait, so if the sensor is the same as in the 5N, why is it worth $400 more? One can get a 5N in used/excellent conditon for $450. Just for the flash? If they had put those NEX 7 controls on it, maybe.


    • My bad, didn’t realize it was the lens which was $850 (damn that’s some serious cash for such a slow lens!) and that the camera was $600. That’s definitely better, so long as you can have customizable buttons.

      Now let’s see what Canon has to offer.. lots of good stuff!


  4. ugh, how about some lenses people actually want! F2.8 telezoooms with OSS or more faster primes.

    • By “people” I assume you mean “you”

      Given the original 18-200 was a very good seller, and Tamron also found it marketable enough to produce their version, one can hardly blame Sony for making a lens that has the widest appeal.

      It may not appeal to you, and perhaps not to many that read this site, but you have to remember its a very small minority of enthusiast who actually spend all day posting on forums like that.

      A majority who buy a NEX buy it at Best Buy or other big box stores, have no clue what a fast prime even is, and don’t want to carry a bag of lenses.

      To them, one single do it all zoom is ideal. They don’t want to change lens, some are scared of it even. They don’t want a bag of fast primes, they want a solution that lets them shoot a wide range of photos.

      • Don’t you think it’s at least a little weird to bring out a camera that has exceptional ability and interchangeable lenses only to then pair it with a sub par all in one zoom that means you don’t really need to change lenses…

        NEX needs to wake up, I bought into m43 because of the lenses 2 years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think NEX would still be lagging so far behind in lenses… it’s beyond a joke. The funniest part is that they are really good cameras!!!

        It’s turned into a legacy lens crowd because of this, everyone is forced to, I went to check out a few cameras in store yesterday and guess what…. the NEX even in store has a legacy lens attached to it…. it’s a joke!

  5. I hope that at $850 the lens will do better on the Nex 7 than the current kit lens does. But the large range makes me keep my hopes not to high. D!rk

    • D!RK,

      I agree. But I struggle to understand why my kit lens should perform better on my 5N than it did on my 5. I can’t stretch to being able to afford a battery of top quality primes for my 5N, and not being interested in a 200mm capability, I’d like to see Sony bring out a better quality standard zoom, say 4x, and so much the better if they’d make it 16-64mm, say. And for this, I’d willingly let them keep the f3.5/f5.6 aperture range.

      In this respect, I’m minded of the superb Zeiss 16-80mm on my R1. But what would that cost today to make?

      • Have you tried shooting manual with other lenses? I really liked the minolta MD 50mm f1.4 with the NEX.

        • poppop,

          I am about to start playing with a few 35mm camera lenses, now that I have bought some cheapo adaptors from China.

          I’ve so far tried out an Olympus f1.8/50 and f1.2, and am quite pleased with the results. The latter lens requires a little more effort to focus in view of its restricted DoF. Of course, the cropped field of view is a little restricting, but so far the results look encouraging. The big surprise is a really cheap Sirius f2.8/28mm which has a 1:4 macro facility. This cost me just £6.50 ($10) on ebay and is in mint condition. It’s hopeless in its normal 28mm guise, quite noticeable edge falloff and to be honest, not good definition, but I was taken somewhat by surprise when I tried it as a macro. I shot some pics of porcelain glazed pots and clothing material and the images were very natural, and sharp.

          My old f3.5/35mm Summaron is proving somewhat disappointing at the edges of the frame and needs to be stopped down to between f5.6 and f8 before it performs well overall. But then it works fine.

          Tests to come include a Fujinon EBC f1.6/50, Leitz f1.5/50 Summarit, f4/90 Elmar, f2.8/50 Elmar, Minolta MD f1.7/50 and finally, an unusual Tamron f4/80-200mm zoom with built-in autofocusing so it could be used on any manual 35mm camera. With film the optical quality was quite good for a zoom, to this will be interesting.

          You will note, very little exotica, nothing modern, and nothing costing an arm and a leg to buy!

          • This is what the NEX does best, I truly think the stock lenses are more than a disappointment, and have had far more enjoyment from classic legacy lenses.

            Check out this guys blog, he gets some fantastic results too..


          • Thanks, poppop.

            This guy is certainly getting excellent results. Good to see, rather than just hearsay.

          • Wow! wonderful shots on that blog! cheers for link…I must look into what fits, I truly have no idea how fitting other lenses my 5n works (excuse the noobiness), and I havent the cash for the Sony ones.

      • I believe that the 5n has in camera correction for several things that the 5 did not have, hence the apparent better performance with the 5n.

  6. Looks nice.
    How different is the sensor compared to the 5N?
    I have a Nex-3 and looking for an update 🙂

    • Feldin,

      I’d suspect the sensors will be the same, but will need Sony to confirm. What does look appealing, though, and speaking as a 5N owner, looking at the top plate it seems the built in flash, being offset to one side, and the external viewfinder will be usable at the the same time. If this is the case, a much welcome operational advantage over the 5N which, once the EVF is attached, it is not possible to use any flash whatsoever.

      Set against this, the limitation of the 5N regarding flash is somewhat countered by being able to fit a far more powerful bounce head flash unit to it. It is not clear if the new F3 will accept this unit in addition to its built in flash. So it is a sort of swings and roundabouts. If you need indoor flash capability, the external flash fitted to a 5N will give more output and is arguably more versatile, but at the expense of not being able to use the EVF at the same time.

      • Why wouldnt the optional flash (HS20 or something) be compatible with the F3? The 7 can drive an optional flash instead of the embedded one, too.

        • Willi, I did say it is not clear if it would accept the optional flash (as it has a built in flash, and bearing in mind its intended market) but I can now report that it does.

          Dpreview has had a sample for pre-review and for those interested one can read more about it on their site.

  7. There’s no reason to get the 5N over this once it’s out, I suppose. I guess Sony’s simplifying their NEX line with just two cameras.

    • There have been rumors about a NEX-F5, though. I think there is still room for a middle class model, for example with higher ISO settings and a touch screen. The F3 is also limited in video shooting, offering only 24p or 60i.

  8. Hmm…silver 18-200 weight =~18.5 ounces
    Tamron 18-200 weight =~16.22 ounces
    Difference =12.5%

    I smell a rebranding.

    • I smell another long sausage zoom that’s pointless for these compact system cameras. I geuss if Sony cant make compact primes they mind as well go ahead and make second bazooka lens, so that way, their nex bodies dont look ridiculously thin, just silly thin.

      • So it’s better to have a bigger, fatter body if you’re going to attach a larger lens? I’m always baffled by people who think that if the camera can’t fit in their pocket, then it might as well be a large plastic DSLR. For them, if it’s not pocketable it might as well be huge. I prefer the small size of my NEX-5 over larger bodies. It doesn’t seem to intimidate people the way my previous SLR did when I pointed it at them. And although I don’t own the 18~200, I wouldn’t mind shooting with it. Bring on the sausage!

        • Oh come on. Sony themselves describe the camera as “pocket-sized”, which
          it is, as long as you don’t put a lens on it.

          It’s the dishonest marketing that’s annoying.

          • I guess I’ve never really paid any attention to Sony’s (or anyone’s) marketing. When I was looking for a camera, I was trying to decide between the then-new NEX-5 and Oly E-P2, and I simply compared the two in reviews and in store – marketing was never a factor. Neither of those cameras (as displayed in stores with kit zooms attached) would fit in a pocket – so being pocket-sized was never considered. If you absolutely must jam a camera in a pocket, try a point-and-shoot (or an iPhone).

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