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Sony Alpha NEX-3N

16-megapixel digital camera with 180-degree tilting LCD and 16-50mm power zoom lens (Black)

Item # 158NEX3NLB

Power and simplicity.

Power and simplicity.

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Contact our Virginia-based experts.
Discontinued item

Item # 158NEX3NLB

Need help?
Contact our Virginia-based experts.

About the Sony Alpha NEX-3N

Simply capable

Power and simplicity. It's an elusive combination that's at the center of almost every trend-setting product. And it's not so easy to achieve, so it's important to pay attention to the example set by the new Sony Alpha NEX-3N. It's compact, with dimensions more similar to a point-and-shoot. And yet, it offers a large, detail-rich 16-megapixel sensor and interchangeable-lens capability, making its image quality competitive with its bigger DSLR brethren. A low-profile power-zoom lens will help you get everything from your entire holiday-decorated living room from its entrance, to a striking portrait of your youngest greeting her new kitten. This 3X lens features a wider angle (24mm equivalent) than many kit lenses, and with the NEX-3N's light sensitivity and built-in panorama modes, it's easy to see this camera being a great choice for a real estate professionals.

Simply capable

Power and simplicity. It's an elusive combination that's at the center of almost every trend-setting product. And it's not so easy to achieve, so it's important to pay attention to the example set by the new Sony Alpha NEX-3N. It's compact, with dimensions more similar to a point-and-shoot. And yet, it offers a large, detail-rich 16-megapixel sensor and interchangeable-lens capability, making its image quality competitive with its bigger DSLR brethren. A low-profile power-zoom lens will help you get everything from your entire holiday-decorated living room from its entrance, to a striking portrait of your youngest greeting her new kitten. This 3X lens features a wider angle (24mm equivalent) than many kit lenses, and with the NEX-3N's light sensitivity and built-in panorama modes, it's easy to see this camera being a great choice for a real estate professionals.

It will drive 'til you can take over

Sony's made the process of getting a great shot as easy as "point and press the shutter," because the camera uses its acclaimed BIONZ™ processor to assess your environment and the actions of your subject to optimize its settings, ensuring that you capture the best possible image. And Auto Object Framing uses traditional rules of photography to extract the most artistically rewarding crops from the shots you take. Don't worry, manual options abound for when you're feeling a creative spark, but it's good to know that you can leave the driving to your '3N and enjoy the party while you capture the fun.

Use your shutter hand to zoom

The NEX-3N introduces a new way to control the supplied zoom lens. A lever now encircles the shutter button, similar to controls found on many point-and-shoots, that smoothly drives the lens's quiet zoom motor. This feature is ideal for video shooters, who want smooth, even zoom moves that are difficult to achieve with manual control. In addtion, there's a second zoom control switch mounted on the lens itself, and the lens's ring can either be assigned to zoom or focus control.

The Sony Alpha NEX-3N has a flippable LCD screen that makes self-portraits a snap.

The Sony Alpha NEX-3N has a flippable LCD screen that makes self-portraits a snap.

Be your own star

Put yourself in the middle of that fun with the 180-degree high-resolution tiltable LCD screen that orients itself perfectly for a quick self-portrait. Tilt it another way to monitor high-angle shots while taking full 1080/60i high-definition video. Control all that power with an intuitive turn-and-click control wheel and context-sensitive soft keys that guide you through the process of getting great photos and video.

Change your look in seconds

Sony's available interchangeable E-series lenses add another dimension to your creative options. You can broaden your palette of looks by changing to a different focal length. Plus, with an available adapter, you can use the big family of Sony A-mount lenses as well. Telephotos, light-gathering prime lenses, wide-angles, fisheyes, all wait for the adventurous hobbyist.

Sophisticated autofocus technology, a built-in flash, and great low-light performance await you as well. And while this camera is proud of its friendliness to beginners, there's certainly plenty here for seasoned shooters to enjoy as well.


Product highlights:

  • 16.1-megapixel effective recording
  • APS-C size HD CMOS image sensor (23.5 X 15.6 mm) for rich tonal gradation and true-to-life color
  • includes 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (35mm equivalent focal length: 24-75mm)
  • 180-degree tilting 3" LCD touchscreen
  • high-def, high-quality movie mode with stereo sound (up to 1080 @ 60 interlaced frames per second)
  • zoom lever around shutter brings compact camera framing convenience to the hybrid body style
  • BIONZ™ image processor for high-resolution, low-noise photos
  • Auto Object Framing composes artistic portraits from your original framing
  • Anti-Dust Technology keeps image sensor clean for spotless photos
  • 25-area autofocus system for rapid, precise autofocusing
  • on-board flash for low-light flexibility
  • 11 picture effects for creative approaches after you've taken the shot: HDR Painting, Soft Focus, Miniature, Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Color (Green/Blue/Yellow/ Red), Pop Color, High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Posterization (B/W, Color), and Rich Monotone
  • Photo Creativity feature offers Picture Effect settings for Background Defocus, Brightness, Color and Vividness
  • Smile Shutter™ technology snaps a picture when it detects a smile
  • Horizontal/Vertical Sweep Panorama mode
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Compatible Lenses:
  • compatible with Sony E-mount lenses
  • compatible with Sony Alpha SLR lenses when used with optional LA-EA1 or LA-EA2 lens adapter
Exposure Modes and Controls:
  • continuous shooting mode: up to 4 frames per second
  • shutter speed range: 30-1/4,000 seconds, bulb
  • sensitivity or ISO (film speed equivalent) range: 100-16,000 selectable
  • program auto, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, manual, and fully automatic exposure modes
  • flash bracketing: up to 3 frames
  • 8 preset scene modes, including anti-motion-blur and hand-held twilight, for accurately exposed images in many different shooting environments
  • flash sync at 1/160 second
File Formats and Storage:
  • image storage modes: JPEG (Fine and Standard), RAW, and RAW+JPEG
  • still image aspect ratio options: 3:2, 16:9
  • AVCHD movie files up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 interlaced frames per second with stereo sound; MP4 movie files up to 1440 x 1080 resolution at 30 frames per second with mono sound
  • accepts optional SD, high capacity SDHC, and Memory Stick PRO Duo memory cards
Connections and Dimensions:
  • high-speed USB interface
  • micro HDMI output (cable not included)
  • 4-3/4"W x 2-1/2"H x 1-3/8"D (without lens)
  • weight (without battery or media): 7.4 oz.
  • supplied lens weight: 4.1 oz.
Supplied Accessories:
  • 16-50mm Sony PZ (power zoom) lens
  • lens cap
  • rechargeable NP-FW50 lithium ion battery
  • battery charger/AC adapter
  • shoulder strap
  • USB cable
  • software CD-ROM
  • MFR # NEX3NL/B

What's in the box:

  • Digital camera body (black)
  • E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS zoom lens (attached)
  • 40.5mm Lens cap (attached)
  • NP-FW50 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery (7.2V 1080mAh 7.7Wh)
  • 2' USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Micro USB on other end)
  • Neck strap
  • Preparing the Camera (English)
  • Preparing the Camera (French)
  • PlayMemoriesHome software manual
  • Limited Warranty sheet
  • Product Registration sheet
  • Accessories brochure

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More details on the Sony Alpha NEX-3N

Mark G.

Features & specs

LCD Screen Size 3"
Adjustable-angle LCD Yes
Wi-Fi No
Touchscreen No
Waterproof No
GPS-enabled No
Lens 35mm Equivalent 24-75mm
Optical Zoom 3.1x
Digital Zoom ---
Filter Diameter 40.5mm
Manual Focusing Yes
Manual Exposure Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output Micro
Internal Memory None
Memory Media Memory Stick PRO Duo + PRO-HG Duo
Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6mm CMOS
Megapixels 16.1
Image Stabilization Optical
Highest Resolution 4912 x 3264
4K Video No
Video Resolution 1920 x 1080/60i
Width (inches) 4-3/4
Height (inches) 2-1/2
Depth (inches) 2-9/16
Weight With Battery (ounces) 13.6
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Recording Features
Included Lens
Play And Print Functions
Battery Information

Recording Features

Package Contents: The Sony NEX-3N kit contains the α (alpha series) NEX-3N digital camera body, and the SELP1650 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS E-mount retractable zoom lens.

Lens Compatibility: The NEX-3N is compatible with Sony's E-mount series of smaller, lighter lenses. With the optional LA-EA1 or LA-EA2 lens adapter, Sony α (alpha) A-mount lenses can be used with this camera.

3" Tiltable LCD Screen: The NEX-3N uses a 3" LCD screen with 460,800 dots and approximately 100% coverage. The screen tilts upward about 180° to help you frame low-angle shots and self-portraits. The image flips when you tilt the LCD the full 180° so you can properly see yourself in the frame. The camera does not have a separate viewfinder.

Built-in Flash: The camera has a built-in pop-up flash. The flash has a recycling time of approximately 3 seconds. The flash range varies depending upon the ISO sensitivity and aperture value. At ISO 200/F2.8, the flash range is 3.3' to 6.9', and at ISO 3200, the range is 13.3' to 27.7'. The NEX-3N offers the following flash modes:

  • Autoflash: In auto mode the flash automatically fires if it is dark or against light.
  • Fill-Flash: In this mode the flash fires every time the shutter is released.
  • Slow Sync: Slow sync shooting allows you to shoot a clear image of both the subject and the background by slowing the shutter speed.
  • Rear Sync: In rear sync mode, the objects illuminated by other light sources are captured first, then the flash is fired right before the exposure is completed.
  • Flash Off: The flash does not fire.

APS-C-sized HD Image Sensor: The NEX-3N features an APS-C sized Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor (23.5 x 15.6mm). It has approximately 16.5-million total pixels and 16.1-million effective pixels.

Image Sizes: You can record still images in a 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratio in three formats: JPEG (with Fine and Standard compression), RAW (uncompressed images), and RAW + JPEG (two images--one uncompressed and one compressed--are recorded simultaneously). The image sizes include:

Ratio Image Size Resolution
3:2 Large: 16M 4912 x 3264
Medium: 8.4M 3568 x 2368
Small: 4M 2448 x 1624
RAW Large: 16M 4912 x 3264
16:9 Large: 14M 4912 x 2760
Medium: 7.1M 3568 x 2000
Small: 3.4M 2448 x 1376
RAW Large: 14M 4912 x 2760

Panorama: The NEX-3N lets you shoot panoramic images by panning the camera while holding down the shutter release button. You can record Vertical and Horizontal panoramas in Standard and Wide image sizes:

  • Standard:
    • Vertical: 3872 x 2160
    • Horizontal: 8192 x 1856
  • Wide:
    • Vertical: 5536 x 2160
    • Horizontal: 12416 x 1856

Movie Recording: The NEX-3N can record Full High Definition (1920 x 1080) movies in AVCHD (H.264). High and Standard Definition movies can also be recorded in MP4, which can easily be uploaded to social media websites like Facebook and You. Movie options include:

File Format Average Bit-Rate Resolution
AVCHD 60i/24p
60i 24M (FX) 24 Mbps 1920 x 1080 (60i)
60i 17M (FH) 17 Mbps 1920 x 1080 (60i)
24p 24M (FX) 24 Mbps 1920 x 1080 (24p)
24p 17M (FH) 17 Mbps 1920 x 1080 (24p)
1440 x 1080 12M 12 Mbps 1440 x 1080
VGA 3M 3 Mbps 640 x 480

Dual Media Options: The NEX-3N accepts two types of media for capturing still images: Memory Stick and SD Cards. Compatible Memory Sticks include MS PRO Duo, MS PRO-HG Duo, and XC-HG Duo. Compatible SD Memory Cards include SD, SDHC, and SDXC Cards. The camera is also compatible with Eye-Fi cards, which can upload images from the memory card wirelessly to your computer via Wi-Fi.

Optical SteadyShot: Optical SteadyShot is built into several E-mount lenses, including the supplied 16-50mm lens. When a SteadyShot-equipped lens is attached to the camera, you can turn on the SteadyShot feature to reduce the effects of camera shake. Other SteadyShot-equipped lenses include the SEL1855, SEL35F18, SEL1018, SEL50F18, SEL55210, SEL18200LE, and the SEL18200. You cannot set Steady Shot when an A-mount lens is attached via adapter.

Control Wheel: The control wheel, located on the back of the camera is a 4-way control (up, down, left, right) for selecting specific functions, as well as a rotary control for browsing through menu options and selecting still images. Pressing the center of the wheel confirms the selection or menu item.

AF System: The NEX-3N uses a Contrast Detection auto focusing system with 25 AF points for precise focusing. You can choose between Single-shot AF (camera focuses when you press the shutter button halfway) and Continuous AF (camera continues to focus while the shutter button is pressed halfway). For moving subjects, Tracking Focus will continually track a moving subject as it moves through the frame.

Drive Modes: The camera offers the following shooting modes:

  • Single Shooting: Default setting for standard picture taking--shoots one still image.
  • Continuous Shooting: When you press and hold the shutter button, the camera records the images continuously at approximately 2.5 frames per second (fps).
  • Speed Priority Continuous: When you press and hold the shutter button, the camera records the images continuously at a maximum 4 frames per second. The maximum number of images is 9 (with supplied 16-50mm lens).
  • Self-Timer: You can set the camera to two different self-timers: 10 second for self photos, 2 second to reduce camera shake. The camera can also take a series of 3 or 5 continuous shots after a 10 second delay.
  • Bracket (Continuous): The camera can shoot three continuous images with the exposures shifted automatically. This setting shoots images continuously with exposure value shifted by plus or minus 0.3 EV, 0.7 EV, 1.0 EV, 2.0 EV, or 3.0 EV.

Exposure Modes: The camera offers the following exposure modes:

  • Intelligent Auto: The camera analyses the subject, and allows you to shoot with appropriate settings. It recognizes and automatically switches to Night Scene, Tripod Night Scene, Night Portrait, Backlight, Backlight Portrait, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Spotlight, Low Brightness or Baby.
  • Superior Auto: The camera automatically recognizes and evaluates the shooting conditions and sets the appropriate settings automatically. The recognized scenes are the same, but the range of shooting functions is wider than those of Intelligent Auto.
  • Program Auto: This mode allows you to shoot with the exposure adjusted automatically (both the shutter speed and the aperture value), while keeping the custom settings for ISO sensitivity, Creative Style, D-Range optimizer, etc.
  • Aperture Priority: This mode allows you to shoot after adjusting the aperture value manually, letting the camera set the appropriate shutter speed.
  • Shutter Priority: This mode allows you to shoot after adjusting the shutter speed manually, letting the camera set the appropriate aperture.
  • Manual Exposure: This mode allows you to shoot after adjusting the exposure (shutter speed and aperture) manually.
  • Sweep Panorama: You can create a panoramic image from composed images. To shoot, pan the camera horizontally or vertically while holding down the shutter button.
  • Scene Selection: You can select an appropriate mode for the subject or the shooting conditions to allow you to shoot the image with a suitable setting for the subject: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night Scene, and Hand-held Twilight, and Anti-Motion Blur.

Picture Effects: The NEX-3N allows you to shoot photos with an effect filter to obtain various images. Available effects include: Toy Camera, Pop Color, Posterization, Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Color, High Contrast Mono, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Mono, and Miniature.

Exposure Compensation: Exposure compensation is used to alter the camera's standard exposure setting. You can make the image look lighter (increased exposure) or darker (decreased exposure). The exposure compensation amount can be set up to +/-3.0 EV in 1/3-step increments (+/-2.0 EV for movies).

Face Detection: When activated, the camera detects the faces of your subjects and adjusts the focus, flash exposure, and white balance settings automatically. You can also select the priority face to be focused on, or register the faces on which to automatically focus upon.

Auto Object Framing: When taking a photo of a person's face, the Auto Object Framing feature analyzes the scene and saves another image of the face with a more impressive composition. Combining Face Detection and By Pixel Super Resolution technology with rule of thirds, Auto Object Framing provides beautifully composed and appealingly balanced, full resolution portraits. This feature can be turned off, if desired.

Metering Mode: An advanced 1200-zone evaluative sensing system provides multi-pattern measuring for superior exposure control accuracy in a wide range of lighting conditions. You can select from the following methods for measuring the brightness of a subject:

  • Multi-Segment: Measures light on each area after dividing the total area into multiple areas and determines the proper exposure of the entire screen.
  • Center-Weighted: While emphasizing the central area of the screen, this method measures the average brightness of the entire screen.
  • Spot: This method measures light only in the spot metering circle in the center of the frame.

White Balance: You can adjust the color tones according to the lighting conditions. You can choose from the following WB options:

  • Auto WB: This mode adjusts the white balance automatically.
  • Daylight: This mode adjusts for outdoors and sunlit subjects.
  • Shade: This mode adjust for shady conditions on a clear day.
  • Cloudy: This mode adjust for a cloudy sky.
  • Incandescent: This mode adjusts for incandescent lighting.
  • Fluorescent: This mode adjusts for fluorescent lighting with separate positions for Warm White, Cool White, Day White, and Daylight.
  • Flash: This mode adjusts for flash conditions.
  • Color Temperature: This mode adjusts the white balance depending upon the light source (color temperature). It achieves the effect of color compensation (CC) filters for photography.
  • Custom: In a scene where the ambient light consists of multiple types of light sources, use of the custom white balance is recommended in order to accurately reproduce the whiteness.

Creative Style: This camera is pre-programmed with image styles optimal for various scenes and purposes. For each setting, you can adjust the contrast, saturation, and sharpness. You can choose from the following settings: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, and Black & White.

ISO Settings: ISO is a unit of measurement of sensitivity to light. The larger the number, the higher the sensitivity. The camera's ISO can be set automatically (100-3200) or manually at ISO 100-16000.

Noise Reduction: The camera offers Long Exposure and High ISO Noise Reduction (NR) to automatically reduce the grainy noise found in photos during long exposures or high ISO settings.

Included Lens

Optics: The Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 retractable zoom lens (SELP1650) is compatible with the Sony α NEX-series interchangeable lens cameras. The lens has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 24-75mm, and an 83°-32° field of view for capturing close-up portraits and expansive landscapes. It also has a smooth and quiet Auto Focus operation.

Optics: The lens includes one ED (extra-low dispersion) and four Aspherical lens elements. The elements correct the curvature that naturally occurs on the wide-angle side, as well as spherical and chromatic aberration on the telephoto side.

Powered Zoom: The SELP1650 is the first (Alpha) series lens with an electrically driven zoom mechanism. When the camera powers up, the lens extends and the camera is ready for shooting. The dual function control ring lets you zoom and focus manually, if desired.

Optical Steady Shot: The lens has built-in Optical Steady Shot (OSS) image stabilization that gives you a 4-stop shutter speed advantage. This enables you to capture clear, crisp, sharp images and videos.

Retractable: The lens has a unique retracting mechanism, that allows you to collapse the lens to just 1-3/16". This makes it super compact, and ideal for travel, and for those situations where you need a light, compact camera and lens combination.

Dimensions: The lens has the following dimensions: Diameter=2.625", Length=1.1875" (without lens caps).


Lens E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6
35mm Equivalent 24-75mm
Angle of View 83°-32°
Minimum Focus 0.82' (9.84") to 1 (12")
Filter Diameter 40.5mm
f-stop f/3.5 - f/5.6 maximum
f/22 - f/36 minimum
Weight 4.1 ounces

Play And Print Functions

Playback Options: You can view images on the LCD monitor with 3 options: with recording data displayed, without recording data, or histogram display.

Auto Review: After an image is recorded, you can have the camera automatically display it on the LCD monitor for two, five or 10 seconds. You can also turn off auto review.

Image Rotation: Vertical shots can be rotated automatically so that they are displayed upright during playback. This can be done manually or automatically.

Playback Screen: You can view your photos back as a single image on the LCD monitor, as an Index or as a Slide Show . During Index View mode, you can view 6 or 12 images at once. You can adjust the Slide Show mode interval from 1, 3, 5, 10, or 30 seconds.

Image Enlargement: During single image playback you can enlarge an entire image or a select area of an image, depending upon the image size. Small images can be enlarged up to 6.8x, Medium images to 9.9x, and Large images up to 13.6x. Once you have enlarged the image, you can pan around the image to view the desired portion.

Rotating Images: Images can be rotated counter-clockwise 360-degrees on the camera's LCD monitor during single image playback.

Protect Images: You can protect all images on your memory card or select only certain images to be protected from accidental erasure.

Printing Options: The camera offers the following printing options.

  • DPOF Compatible: Using the camera, you can specify the images and the number of images to print before you print images at a photo printing shop or with your printer.
  • Memory Card: You can print images with a Memory Stick or SD card compliant printer.
  • Computer: You can copy images to a computer using the supplied "Picture Motion Browser" software and print the images.

Battery Information

InfoLithium Battery: The NEX-3N is powered by the NP-FW50 InfoLithium battery (supplied). The battery communicates data to the camera, so that the percentage of battery power remaining can be displayed. A fully charged battery gives you the following:

  Recordable Time Number of Images
Shooting Still Images Approx. 240 min Approx. 480 images
Typical Movie Recording Approx. 110 min ---
Continuous Movie Recording Approx. 170 min ---
Playback Still Images Approx. 400 min Approx. 8000 images

Charging: The supplied InfoLithium battery requires approximately 290 minutes for a full charge, using the supplied AC-UB10D AC adapter and USB cable. You can also charge the battery in the camera via USB while plugged into your computer.

Power Save: You can set different time intervals for the camera to switch to Power Save mode. You can set the interval to 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, or 30 minutes. Once the camera goes into Power Save mode, you can return to the shooting mode by pressing the shutter button halfway.


HDMI Output: The NEX-3N has a micro-HDMI (Type D) output for connecting the camera to your HDTV, so you can view and share photos in clarity and detail. You can set the HDMI Output resolution to Auto, 1080p, or 1080i. When connected to a Sony BRAVIA TV, you can control the image playback using the TV remote. A micro-HDMI-to-HDMI cable is not supplied.

Micro USB: The camera is equipped with a Micro USB terminal for charging the camera, and for connecting the camera to your computer. The USB port is Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0) compliant for high speed data transfer.


PlayMemories Home: The NEX-3N does not include software in the box. Instead, Sony offers PlayMemories Home software for Windows-compatible computers for importing still images and movies recorded with the camera to your computer. With PlayMemories Home, you can view your images, and use various convenient features to enhance the images you have shot. PlayMemories Home is required for importing AVCHD movies to your computer.

Compatibility: PlayMemories Home software is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1), Vista (SP2), and XP (SP3) operating systems only. You can download PlayMemories Home to your computer using a URL provided in the supplied Owner's Manual. If you wish to play back images on a Mac, you can use applications that are pre-installed on your Mac.

Image Data Converter: Image Data Converter software is needed for playing back and editing images recorded in RAW format with various corrections, such as tone curve and sharpness. With Image Data Converter, RAW images can be adjusted with white balance, exposure, Creative Style, and converted into JPEG or TIFF formats. You can download Image Data Converter to your computer using a URL provided in the supplied Owner's Manual.

Compatibility: Image Data Converter is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1), Vista (SP2), and XP (SP3). It is also compatible with Mac OS X v10.5, v10.6 (Snow Leopard), v10.7 (Lion), and v10.8 (Mountain Lion).

Compatible Operating Systems (for importing images via a USB Connection):

  • Windows: Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1), Windows Vista (SP2), and Windows XP (SP3)
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X v10.3-10.8

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