Pocket cameras doesn’t always deliver the picture quality you might want and if DSLR’s are too big for you to carry around, maybe you should consider a Sony NEX-3 or NEX-5? They are rather new and DSLR-styled mirrorless cameras with an interchangeable lens system. NEX-3 came out last month and NEX-5 this month.
The bigger differences between NEX-3 and NEX-5 is NEX-3 being made out of plastic and shooting video in 720p and NEX-5 being made out of metal and shoots video in 1080i (AVCHD) and of course being slightly more expensive.
Both NEX cameras has a resolution of 14.2 megapixels on its APS-C sized sensor which is the same sized sensor you’ll find on most DSLR cameras, except of course full-frame DSLR’s.
Since these are not actual DSLR cameras, and thus smaller, a few things cannot be found on them. For example, there’s no optical viewfinder so you have to use the LCD screen as viewfinder, like on pocket cameras. As for the LCD, it’s a tiltable three inches screen and with 921,000 dots – pretty good. You’ll also not find a hot shoe on the NEX’s, instead there’s a small connector on top, to which you can connect a flash (or an optical viewfinder).
As for lenses, you can get a 16mm f/2.8 pancake, a 18-55mm and a 18-200mm lens. The two zoom lenses comes with built-in optical image stabilization.
Despite one being made in plastic and the other in metal, the metal NEX-5 is weighing just 297 gram while plastic NEX-3 is 287 gram, not a big difference. Both of them will accept either SD or MS memory cards.
Amazon US sells Sony NEX-5 with a 18-55mm OSS lens for $699 and NEX-3, also with 18-55mm lens, at $599. Silver, black and red versions available. You can also find other kits, so the cheapest possible option is NEX-3 with 16mm pancake lens at $549.
This could be the beginning of the end for entry-level DSLR cameras.