Sony NEX 3, NEX 5 cameras official plus a surprise

Video of the Sony NEX press conference in Europe:

The promo video:

The surprise: In addition to the NEX 3 and NEX 5 Sony gave us another bone today - interchangeable lens HD camcorder with the same “Exmor” APS HD CMOS sensor from the NEX3 and NEX5:

You can see prototype pictures of the video cam here.

Sony NEX previews:

UK pricing:

  • Sony NEX-5 + 18-55mm = £550-600
  • Sony NEX-3 + 18-55mm = £450-500
  • 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom will be 500-600
  • 16mm f/2.8 pancake lens - £200-220
  • Adapter LA-EA1 for Minolta and Konica Minolta AF lenses will be around £150
  • Ultra Wide Converter (VCL-ECU1) and Fisheye converter (VCL-ECF1) will have a price tag around £100 each.

Official press release after the break:

Sony Introduces World's Smallest And Lightest Interchangeable Lens Digital Cameras

Models Provide DSLR Performance, Full HD Video, Sweep Panorama, APS-C sensor and Low-Light Capability in an Unprecedented Compact Design

SAN DIEGO, May 10, 2010 – Sony today introduced two innovative α (alpha) compact interchangeable lens digital cameras (models NEX-5 and NEX-3) that provide the quality of a digital SLR in a compact body that is easy to slip into a small purse or jacket pocket for ultimate portability.

“Consumers want better picture quality in a smaller form factor. Sony has made that a reality with these cameras. The NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras truly embody Sony’s make.believe spirit,” said Kristen Elder, director of Sony’s alpha digital imaging business. “These new cameras are the game-changers everyone has been waiting for and will revolutionize the consumer experience by offering outstanding picture quality with a totally pocketable size.”

With breakthrough video performance, these models are the world’s first interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C sensor to continuously adjust focus and exposure while recording video. The NEX-5 camera offers Full HD movie capture (1080i AVCHD and 720p MP4) with Full HD 60i recording.

These cameras are perfect for point-and-shoot users looking to advance from snapshots to creative photography as well as existing DSLR users searching for a no-compromise compact alternative.

Innovative Design

Unlike conventional DSLR models, the “mirrorless” construction of the new models reduces the thickness of both camera bodies to just about an inch at their slimmest point (excluding grip and mount portions). The NEX-5, constructed from magnesium alloy, and the NEX-3, with a polycarbonate casing, offer a newly developed 14.2 megapixel Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor. About 60 percent larger than the sensor in micro four-thirds cameras, this sensor is key to the exceptional image quality, extremely low image noise and creative defocus background effects that are familiar to DSLR users.

HD Movie Recording and Fast, Silent Autofocus

The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are the first α cameras to offer the extra convenience of high definition video recording. In addition to 720p HD recording, the NEX-5 also captures Full HD (1920 x 1080i) video in high-quality AVCHD files that can be easily enjoyed on a compatible HD television via the cameras built-in HDMI™ terminal (cable not included). The NEX-3 shoots 720p HD video as compact MP4 files. Both Sony cameras include built-in stereo microphones for high-quality audio recording.

Still and video image quality is further refined by Sony’s powerful BIONZ® processor that ensures quick DSLR-style shooting response with fast, precise autofocus and minimal shutter lag. Both cameras can also capture fast-moving action with a high-speed burst of full-resolution images at up to 7fps (AF/AE fixed from first frame).

Sweep Panorama

The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are the first α cameras featuring Sweep Panorama. Capturing large group shots is as easy as press-and-sweep. Sweep Panorama mode lets consumers capture breathtaking shots up to 226-degree horizontal or 151-degree vertical shots.

Both models will be ready for 3D Sweep Panorama this July (with firmware update). With 3D Sweep Panorama mode, these cameras can shoot 3D panoramic still images with a single lens. The high-speed burst of frames is stitched together using innovative processing techniques to automatically create detail-packed 3D panoramas. These files can be enjoyed in stunning 3D on compatible 3D televisions (other accessories may be required).

These cameras provide the advantages of multi-frame capture featured in Cyber-shot® cameras, including Hand-Held Twilight and Anti-motion Blur modes, which offer extraordinary low-light performance.

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