Sony A3000 Performance


Timing and Performance

Good autofocus speed and excellent shutter lag, but sluggish power-on and mode switching, and mediocre full-res burst mode.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~2.2 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Shutdown

~0.3 second

How long it takes camera to turn off before you can remove the memory card.

Buffer clearing time

4 seconds after 11 large/fine JPEGs*

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.

8 seconds after 5 RAW+ L/F JPEG files*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-1 SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Startup time was much slower than most DSLRs and slower than most CSCs, but shutdown was very fast. Buffer clearing times were good, but buffers were shallow.


Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~1.0 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~3.1 seconds

Time to display a large/fine JPEG file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.7 second

Time to display a large/fine JPEG file already on the memory card.

Mode switching performance was sluggish (particularly Record to Play).


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
Single Area (center) AF

0.279 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. (All timing measurements made with a the E 18-55mm kit lens)

Full Autofocus
Wide Area AF

0.289 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Auto Flash Enabled

0.394 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, Auto flash enabled.

Continuous AF

0.354 second

This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.

Manual focus

0.069 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "pre-focused."

Prefocused

0.022 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Looking at the Sony A3000's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same target multiple times, its autofocus speed was good for a CSC, but a bit slower than most consumer DSLRs. The A3000 required 0.279 second for full AF using the center focus point in our tests. This decreased only slightly to 0.289 second in wide-area AF mode. With the flash enabled, the A3000's full AF shutter lag increased to 0.394s to account for the preflash metering.

Manual focus was quite fast at about 0.069 second. When prefocused, shutter lag was only 0.022 second which is very fast for a CSC, and much faster than even pro DSLRs.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.

Cycle Time (shot-to-shot)

Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.98 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 2 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW

N/A

The A3000 does not support shooting just RAW files.

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

1.84 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 4 seconds to clear*.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous Hi mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.28 second 3.53 frames per second);
11 frames total;
4 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 11 shots, then slows to an average of 0.51s or 1.95 fps.

Continuous Hi mode
RAW

N/A

The A3000 does not support shooting just RAW files.

Continuous Hi mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.29 second (3.51 frames per second);
5 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer depth of 5 shots, then slows to an average of 1.69s or 0.59 fps.

Flash Recycling

2.2 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-1 SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and other settings such as DRO or NR can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times were sluggish even for an entry-level model, ranging from 0.98 second for large/fine JPEGs, to 1.84 seconds for RAW+JPEG files. The A3000 does not appear to support just RAW capture.

Full-resolution continuous mode speeds were below average these days even for an entry-level model at about 3.5 frames-per-second, and that's with focus and exposure locked at the first frame of a burst. (A 2.5 fps mode is available with continuous autofocus and auto exposure.)

Full-resolution buffer depths were quite shallow, with only 11 large/fine JPEGs or 5 RAW + large/fine JPEG files captured before the burst rate slows down, though that's not uncommon in entry-level models. You should be able to do better with typical subjects when shooting JPEGs (our target for this test is designed to be difficult to compress). Buffer clearing was relatively fast for the resolution, but keep in mind buffers are shallow.

The flash was able to recycle from a full discharge in 2.2 seconds, which is very fast.


Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

11,694 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Download speeds were fast, quick enough that you won't feel the need for a separate card reader, even with large memory cards. (Note that this test was performed with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95 MB/sec UHS-1 SDHC card: Slower cards would likely show slower transfer times.)


Bottom line, the Sony A3000 offers decent autofocus speeds and excellent shutter lag, but cycle-times and full-resolution burst speed are slower than average, startup and mode switching are sluggish, while buffers are shallow. This is not uncommon for an entry-level model, though.

Battery

Battery Life
Good battery life for an interchangeable lens camera with an EVF.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Electronic Viewfinder,
(CIPA standard)
460
LCD Monitor,
(CIPA standard)
470

The Sony A3000 uses a custom rechargeable NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with an AC adapter for in-camera charging via USB. Battery life is pretty good for a consumer-level interchangeable lens camera equipped with an electronic viewfinder, though not as good compared to most traditional consumer DSLRs using an optical viewfinder. We recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings or shooting video.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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