How small can cameras get and still be able to make professional quality images? Not much smaller than the new Sony NEX-C3 ($650 with 18-55mm kit lens) or the Alpha SLT-A35 ($699 with 18-55mm kit lens). Both feature a new 16.2MP APS-C sized sensor, improved low light performance, and longer battery life than previous models. The NEX-C3 now claims to be the world’s smallest interchangeable-lens camera with an APS-C sensor, while the SLT-A35 packs an incredible amount of features and control into a very small, HD SLR-style body. I prefer the SLT-A35 since it has a more powerful pop-up flash, fast phase-detect autofocus even in movie mode, Full HD 1080p movie recording (vs 720p on the NEX-C3), compatibility with Konica/Minolta and Sony A-mount lenses, plus sensor-shift image stabilization and a super-sharp electronic viewfinder. But the NEX-C3 just about fits in my shirt pocket (actually, it would if I used a smaller pancake-style 16mm f/2.8 lens instead of the larger kit zoom shown above). The NEX-C3 also has a tilting 3-inch LCD monitor which the SLT-A35 doesn’t.
A thorough description of each camera’s features will appear in the next issue of Outdoor Photographer Magazine, but if you want more info now, take 5 minutes to view my First Look video above.