Sony A3000 review: Entry-level body, high-performance sensor

By Kevin Carter - Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Camera Review
Introduction | Sony A3000 sensor performance: Leading edge performance | Sony A3000 vs Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G6 vs Canon EOS 100D: Serious challenger | Conclusion
Sony A3000 review: Entry-level body, high-performance sensor

After the success of the NEX APS-C models, Sony has introduced the EVF-equipped 20-Mpix A3000 to compete with similar mirrorless models from Panasonic and Samsung. Read on to find out how this entry-level model performs.

Although the A3000 looks like an Alpha SLT model with its built-in EVF and SLR layout, it’s more akin to the Sony A7 mirrorless models. Instead of full-frame it features a slightly smaller than standard 23.2 x 15.4mm APS-C type CMOS sensor and it has an E-mount intended for the firm’s range of lenses for NEX cameras.

Apart from the built-in EVF and 20-Mpix sensor, the A3000 is intended as an entry-level model, much like the NEX-3N. As a result it lacks some of the refinements of recent models. Sensitivity runs from ISO100-16,000, for instance, and there’s no on-chip Phase Detection AF or high-resolution EVF or rear LCD panel. Nevertheless, it has a metal bayonet mount and 1/4000th second max shutter speed (and 1/160th sec maximum flash sync) with a 3.5 fps burst option.

Video is strong point and although it lacks an external mic option, the A3000 can record full HD (1920x1080) video at 60/50/p/i as well as 30/25/24p in AVCHD and MP4.

Although mirrorless, the camera is a lot larger than the NEX models and measures 110.8 x 58.8 x 38.9 mm. But, it is lightweight at 6.84 oz (194g). Further, the price is competitive at just under $350.

Key specifications:

  • 20-Mpix APS-C (23.2 x 15.4 mm) Exmor CMOS sensor
  • Sony E-mount mirrorless body
  • 0.5-cm (0.2-inch type) QVGA (201k dot) EVF
  • 25 Point contrast detection AF system
  • 3.0-inch (230k dot) LCD
  • 1080 video at 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p AVCHD/MP4 (region dependent)
  • 1/4000th second max shutter speed, 1/160th sec maximum flash sync
  • 3.5 fps maximum continuous shooting
  • ISO 100-16,000
  • Single SD/MSPro memory slot

Sony A3000 sensor performance: Leading edge performance

Sony A3000 vs Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G6 vs Canon EOS 100D: Serious challenger

Conclusion