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Sony has just announced its new entry level mirrorless cam, the NEX-F3, which has inherited higher end NEX and DSLR sensibilities.

It also ushers in its own innovations, including a nifty party piece belonging to the camera’s 3 inch LCD screen. Once the 921,600 dot resolution screen tilts 180 degrees, it automatically mirrors the image displayed onscreen, making it even easier to snap self-portrait photos.

At the heart of the NEX-F3 is the latest generation 16.1 Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and BIONZ image processor. Together, they offer up to ISO16,000 sensitivity and continuous shooting at 5.5 frames per second without compromising image resolution.

Whereas the NEX-C3 was capable of 720 HD video recording, the F3 offers improved 25p/50i Full HD video in AVCHD format and a battery that will capture 470 stills before it gives, which gizmag claims is an 18% improvement. Additionally, the cam can be charged via USB; a perk that comes in handy if you ever forget the dedicated charger.

Previously a pop up flash was only available on the higher up C5 sibling. However, a pop up GN6 flash has found its way to the F3, offers a three second recycling time and pre-flash through-the-lens-metering.

 

The intro cam packs a suite of software that aids the amateur photographer. Auto Portrait Framing software recognises the sitter’s position and then trims the scene to create beautifully composed high-res portraits. In addition, Sony has included Clear Image Zoom, software that doubles the magnification of your lens, while By Pixel Super Resolution Technology maintains image detail, tones and textures. This software suite works together to capture images up close without the hassle of buying and carrying additional hardware.

Part of the F3’s construction uses Sony Recycled Plastic (SoRPlas), which by Sony’s definition is “produced by blending discarded plastic from manufacturing sites with a proprietary sulphur-based flame-retardant.” An impressive 99% of SoRplas contains recycled materials without compromising its strength, durability or its ‘world-leading’ resistance to heat.

The NEX-F3 will be compatible with Sony’s new SEL18200LE E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS LE lens, which offers a powerful 11x zoom range. Although the lens is smaller and 12% lighter, it features Optical SteadyShot which counteracts the jolts of unsteady hands and Direct Manual Focus for precise touch-ups.

Australian release and pricing for the NEX-F3 hasn’t been released yet, but it will be available in the US this June with the 18-55mm kit zoom lens for $US600.

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