Sony NEX-C3 Review

 
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Sony NEX-C3 Operation

Sony NEX-C3 Capture Mode

When powered on, the camera is automatically placed into Record mode. The main shooting mode is selected from the Shoot Mode menu, accessed by pressing the Soft key in the center of the Control wheel, except when in Intelligent Auto mode -- in which case it's accessed from the main menu. The Shoot Mode menu offers the following options:

Program AE. Lacks a Program Shift function, so you're limited to whatever aperture / shutter speed combination the camera chooses.
Aperture Priority.
Shutter Priority. Shutter speeds range from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds.
Manual. Includes Bulb mode.
3D Sweep Panorama. Captures a burst of images while the shutter button is held down, then creates separate left and right views in-camera, and saves the result as a panoramic .MPO file.
Sweep Panorama. Similar to 3D Sweep Pano, but creates a single panoramic view in JPEG format.
Anti Motion Blur. Stacks multiple images in-camera to reduce noise, allowing higher sensitivity and faster shutter speeds.
Picture Effect. Options are Posterization (Color or B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (Red, Green, Blue, or Yellow), High-key, High Contrast Monochrome, and Toy.
Scene Selection. Options are: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night View, and Hand-held Twilight.
Intelligent Auto. Recognized scene types include Night View, Tripod Night View, Night Portrait, Backlight, Backlight Portrait, Portrait, Landscape, and Macro.

 

Movie Record Button: Pressing the dedicated movie record button on the camera's top panel will start and stop movie recording -- even if the NEX-C3 is in Playback mode or a menu. Movies are recorded using Program exposure and multi-segment metering, regardless of what modes are currently selected in the camera's menu system. Exposure compensation is available both before and during movie capture, and stereo audio recording can also be enabled or disabled.

 

Playback Mode: The Playback button on the top panel accesses the NEX-C3's Playback mode, which retains the unusual design from past models that allows you to review either captured still images, or movies. but not both side by side. The left and right arrow keys scroll forward and backward one image or movie at a time, and turning the Control dial has the same effect. The Up arrow key cycles through the various display modes -- image only, image plus basic information, and RGBY histogram with detailed information, of which only the first two modes are available in movie playback. Using the control dial and its center soft key, you can enlarge captured still images by as much as 11.8x, while the arrow keys pan around the zoomed image. Panoramic images can be automatically scrolled across the screen by pressing the soft key, and paused with a second press. The same controls are used to play, pause, and cue through movie files. By pressing the down arrow key, the NEX-C3 can also display images or movies in an index format for quick viewing, with either six or twelve thumbnails per page. The index includes tabs on the left hand side with which to switch between still image or movie playback, and this can also be done through a Playback menu option. The NEX-C3 also remembers whether you captured a still image or movie most recently, and defaults to entering the Playback type relevant to the last image or movie capture performed.

 

Sony NEX-C3 Menus

Pressing the Menu button provides access to the camera's full menu system. The following options are available in most camera modes, through five submenus accessed from a graphical menu index which also links to the Shoot Mode screen described previously:

 

Camera Menu 1:

Camera Menu Options:
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
 
Notes
Drive Mode
- Single-shot Adv.
- Continuous Adv.
- Speed Priority Cont.
 
- Self-timer
- 10 sec
- 2 sec
Self-timer - (Cont.)
- 10 sec. 5 Img. (C5)
- 10 sec. 3 Img. (C3)
- Bracket: Cont.
- 0.3EV
- 0.7EV
Flash Mode
- Fill-flash
- Slow Sync.
- Rear Sync.
- Flash Off
- Autoflash
 
AF / MF Select
- Autofocus
- Direct manual focus (DMF)
- Manual focus
 
Direct manual focus allows manual focus adjustment after the autofocus cycle has completed.
Autofocus Area
- Multi
- Center
 
- Flexible Spot
- Spot positioning screen
Autofocus Mode
- Single-shot AF
- Continuous AF
 
Precision Dig. Zoom
- Off
- 1.1x - 10.0x
 

 

Camera Menu 2:

Camera Menu Options:
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
 
Notes
Face Detection

- Off
- Auto
- Child Priority
- Adult Priority

 
Smile Shutter
- On
- Off
 
Smile Detection
- Big Smile
- Normal Smile
- Slight Smile
 
Soft Skin Effect
- High
- Mid
- Low
- Off
 
Shooting Tip List

- Shooting tips summary
- Table of contents
- 84 pages of shooting tips in six categories

 
See the shooting tips list at the end of this page for more detail.
Display Contents
- Disp. Basic Info
- Display Info.
- No Disp. Info.
 
Even when set to No Display Info, the soft control functions are still shown on the LCD panel.

 

Image Size Menu 1:

Image Size Menu Options:
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Still
- Image Size
- L (16M)
- M (8.4M)
- S (4.0M)
- Aspect Ratio
- 3:2
- 16:9
Image sensor's native aspect ratio is 3:2.
- Quality
- RAW
- RAW & JPEG
- Fine
- Standard
When RAW images are being captured, image size is always set to Large. When shooting in RAW & JPEG mode, JPEG quality is fixed at Fine.
3D Panorama
- Image Size
- 16:9
- Standard
- Wide

 

Image Size Menu 2:

Image Size Menu Options:
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
3D Panorama
- Panorama Direction
- Right
- Left
Panorama
- Image Size
- Standard
- Wide
- Panorama Direction
- Right
- Left
- Up
- Down
Movie
- Image Size
- 1280 x 720 Fine
- 1280 x 720 Std.
- VGA

 

Brightness / Color Menu 1:

Brightness / Color Menu Options:
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Exposure Comp.
- +/- 2.0EV in 0.3EV steps
ISO
- ISO Auto
- ISO 200
- ISO 400
- ISO 800
- ISO 1600
- ISO 3200
- ISO 6400
- ISO 12800
White Balance
- Auto WB (AWB)
- Daylight
- Shade
- Cloudy
- Incandescent
- -3 to +3
- Fluorescent
- -1 to +2
- Flash
- -3 to +3
- C. Temp / Filter
- 2500k - 9900K
- Color filter: Magenta (nine steps) to Green (nine steps)
- Custom
 
- Custom Setup
- Press shutter button to capture data of central area of screen.
Metering Mode
- Multi
- Center
- Spot
Flash Compensation
- +/- 2.0EV in 0.3EV steps
DRO / Auto HDR
- Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO)
- Auto
- Level 1 (Lv1)
- Level 2 (Lv2)
- Level 3 (Lv3)
- Level 4 (Lv4)
- Level 5 (Lv5)
- Exposure Diff. (HDR)

- Auto
- 1.0EV
- 2.0EV
- 3.0EV
- 4.0EV
- 5.0EV
- 6.0EV

- D-R Off
 

 

Brightness / Color Menu 2:

Brightness / Color Menu Options:
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Creative Style
- Standard
- Vivid
- Portrait
- Landscape
- Sunset
- Contrast (-3 to +3)
- Saturation (-3 to +3)
- Sharpness )-3 to +3)
- B/W
- Contrast (-3 to +3)
- Sharpness )-3 to +3)

 

 

Playback Menu 1:

Playback Menu Options:
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Delete
- Multiple Img.
- All in Folder
- Select image(s) to delete
- All in Folder
- Delete all images in this folder?
Slide Show
- Repeat
- On
- Off
- Interval
- 1 Sec.
- 3 Sec.
- 5 Sec.
- 10 Sec.
- 30 Sec.
- Image Type
- All
- Display 3D Only
Still / Movie Select
- Still
- Movie
The NEX-C3 retain's Sony's bizarre playback interface, which completely separates still images from movies. You can't browse directly from a still image to a movie, nor view thumbnails or slideshows containing both still images and movies at once. This option selects whether the NEX-C3 should display still images or movies in Playback mode. The change can also be accomplished by going to thumbnail mode, and then switching between the still image and movie tabs.
Image Index
- 6 Images
- 12 Images
Select Folder
- Folder list
Applies to still images only.
Select Date
- Date list
Applies to movies only.

 

Playback Menu 2:

Playback Menu Options:
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Rotate
- Select image(s) to rotate
Protect
- Multiple Img.
- Select image(s) to protect
- Cancel All Images
- Cancel protection for all still images?
- Cancel All Movies
- Cancel protection for all movies?
3D Viewing
Disabled unless connected to a 3D-compatible TV
Enlarge Image
- Enlarged view of current image
Applies to still images only.
Volume Settings

- 7
- 6
- 5
- 4
- 3
- 2
- 1
- 0

Specify Printing
- DPOF Setup
- Multiple Img.
- Cancel All
- Date Imprint
- On
- Off

 

Playback Menu 3:

Playback Menu Options:
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Display Contents
- Display Info.
- Histogram
- No Disp. Info.
Even when set to No Display Info, the soft control functions are still shown on the LCD panel.

 

 

Setup Menu 1:

Setup Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
AF Illuminator
- Auto
- Off
Red Eye Reduction
- On
- Off
Auto Review
- 10 Sec
- 5 Sec
- 2 Sec
- Off
Grid Line
- On
- Off
Peaking Level
- High
- Mid
- Low
- Off
Overlays a solid color on areas of highest contrast, helping to fine-tune manual focus.

 

Setup Menu 2:

Setup Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Peaking Color
- White
- Red
- Yellow
Histogram
- On
- Off
MF Assist
- No Limit
- 5 Sec
- 2 Sec
- Off
Color Space
- sRGB
- AdobeRGB
SteadyShot
- On
- Off
Enables or disables lens-based image stabilization, if available.
Release w/o Lens
- Enable
- Disable
Enables or disables image capture without a lens attached.

 

Setup Menu 3:

Setup Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Long Exposure NR
- On
- Off
Doubles the time taken to capture each image.
High ISO NR
- Auto
- Weak
High ISO noise reduction cannot be disabled altogether.
Movie Audio Rec.
- On
- Off
Left Key Setting
- Shoot Mode
- Shoot. Tips
- Drive Mode
- AF/MF Select
- Autofocus Mode
- Autofocus Area
- Prec. Dig. Zoom
- ISO
- White Balance
- Metering Mode
- DRO / Auto HDR
- Creative Style
- Flash Mode
- Flash Comp.
- MF Assist
- Not set
Right Key Setting

 

Setup Menu 4:

Setup Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Soft Key B Setting
- Shoot Mode
- Shoot. Tips
- Drive Mode
- AF/MF Select
- Autofocus Mode
- Prec. Dig. Zoom
- ISO
- White Balance
- Metering Mode
- DRO / Auto HDR
- Creative Style
- Flash Mode
- Flash Comp.
- MF Assist
Soft Key C Setting
- Shoot Mode
- Custom
Custom 1
- Drive Mode
- AF/MF Select
- Autofocus Mode
- Autofocus Area
- ISO
- White Balance
- Metering Mode
- DRO / Auto HDR
- Creative Style
- Flash Mode
- Not set
Custom 2
Custom 3
Custom 4

 

Setup Menu 5:

Setup Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Custom 5
- Drive Mode
- AF/MF Select
- Autofocus Mode
- Autofocus Area
- ISO
- White Balance
- Metering Mode
- DRO / Auto HDR
- Creative Style
- Flash Mode
- Not set
Menu Start
- Top
- Previous
Beep
- AF Sound
- High
- Low
- Off
Language

- English
- French
- Spanish
- Italian
- Japanese
- Chinese

Options available will likely vary with the region in which the camera was purchased.
Date / Time Setup
Daylight Svg.
- On
- Off
Date / Time Input
 
- Date Format
- M-D-Y
- Y-M-D
- D-M-Y

 

Setup Menu 6:

Setup Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Area Setting
- Select

-Midway Is. / Samoa
- Hawaii
- Alaska
- San Francisco / Tijuana
- Denver / Arizona
- Chicago / Mexico City
- New York / Bogota
- Santiago
- St. John's
- Brasilia / Montevideo
- Fernando de Noronha
- Azores / Cape Verde Is.
- Lisbon / London
- Berlin / Paris
- Helsinki / Cairo / Istanbul
- Moscow / Nairobi
- Tehran
- Abu Dhabi / Baku
- Kabul
- Karachi / Islamabad
- Calcutta / New Delhi
- Almaty / Dhaka
- Yangon
- Bangkok / Jakarta
- Hong Kong / Singapore / Beijing
- Tokyo / Seoul
- Adelaide / Darwin
- Melbourne / Sydney
- Solomon Is
- Fiji / Wellington

- Daylight Svg.
Help Guide Display
- On
- Off
Power Save
- 30 Min
- 10 Min
- 5 Min
- 1 Min
When connected to a TV, the NEX-C3 ignores this setting and remains powered on for 30 minutes of inactivity.
LCD Brightness
- Brightness
- Auto
- Manual
- Sunny Weather
When the optional AC adapter is used, brightness is always set at +2 regardless of this setting.
Display Color
- Black
- White
- Blue
- Pink
Doesn't apply to the Shooting Tips or Scene Selection displays.
Wide Image
- Full Screen
- Normal

 

Setup Menu 7:

Setup Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Playback Display
- Auto Rotate
- Manual Rotate
Ctrl for HDMI
- On
- Off
USB Connection
- Mass Storage
- PTP
When in PTP mode, movies and RAW images cannot be transferred.
Cleaning Mode
After cleaning, turn camera off. Continue?
Version
- Body Version
- Lens / Mount Adapter Version
Demo Mode
- On
- Off

 

Setup Menu 8:

Setup Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Reset Default
- Reset Default?
Format
- All data will be deleted. Format?
File Number
- Series
- Reset
Folder Name
- Standard Form
- Date Form
Select Shoot. Folder
- Folder List

 

Setup Menu 9:

Setup Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
New Folder
Recover Image DB
- Check Image Database File?
- Image Database File error. Recover?
- Image Database File error not found.
Display Card Space
- Still images
- Movie time

 

Shooting Tip List:

Shooting Tip List Items:
Top-Level
Second-Level
Third-Level
Shooting tips
Table of contents
Basic
- Holding the camera
- Position a subject off-center
- Vertical or horizontal?
- Be aware of light conditions
- Avoiding blurred photos
- Super-panoramic photos
- Capture a moment (movie)
Portrait
- Basic

- Defocusing the background
- Making children smile
- Well-balanced portraits
- Catching smiles
- Group photos
- Recording subject in motion

- Advanced
- Background defocus control
- Preventing camera shake
- Freezing subject motion
Backlight & Portrait
- Basic
- Avoiding washed out photos
- Brighter skin tone

- Advanced

- Background defocus control
- Using a flash
- Without flash
- In varied brightness
Night & Portrait
- Basic
- Buildings in background
- Leveling
- Preventing red-eye
- Advanced
- Brightness of subjects
Anti Motion Blur
- Basic
- Making use of the mode
- Preventing blur
Landscape

- Basic

- Sky: Direction of light
- Buildings
- Leveling
- Advanced
- Background defocus control
- Super-wide angle
- Sky: Brightness
- Sky: Saturation
- Moving water
- Vivid greenery
- Vivid colored leaves
- Mountains
- In/outdoor brightness gap
- Vivid landscapes
Backlight
- Basic
- Avoiding washed out photos
- Leveling
- Advanced
- Background defocus control
- Optimizing gradation
Panoramic
- Basic
- Panoramic photos
- Changing the direction
- Changing the range
3D Sweep Pan.
- Basic
- 3D sweep panorama
- Landscape suitable for 3D
- Changing the direction
- Changing the range
- Viewing 3D images
Night View
- Basic
- Leveling
- Advanced
- Holding the camera
- Light trails
- Fireworks
- Twilight
- Same scene in 3 brightness
- Lighting to the rear
Sunset
- Advanced
- Customizing the brightness
- Preventing camera shake
- In vivid colors
Hand-held Twilight
- Basic
- Making use of the mode
Tripod Night View
- Basic
- Leveling
- Preventing blur with timer
- Suitable size for 16:9 TV
- Advanced
- Background defocus control
- Camera in your hand
- Flow of stars
Macro
- Basic
- Flowers
- Manual focusing
- Advanced
- Background defocus control
- Indoor camera shake
- Foods
- Adjusting colors indoors
- Lighting small items
- Adjusting brightness
Sports
- Basic
- Subjects in motion
- Passing-fast subjects
- Fast moving subjects
- Catching the best moment
- Advanced
- Depicting the motion
Movie
- Basic
- Recording steady movies

 

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