Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? Sony A3000 — Not Even $400 for a Mirrorless DSLR NEX

Genius move by Sony: a wolf in sheep’s clothing with the heart of a NEX. By introducing the A3000, a no-nonsense mirrorless camera disguised as a DSLR, Sony might very well convince the people that still think a good camera has to look like a DSLR. Mirrorless adoption is still lagging in the Western countries and appearance is, for many, everything. So why not sell them an apple as an orange! Sony takes a DSLR-styled body and puts a NEX camera with E mount inside. It looks the same, costs less and is a Sony. For not even $400 with the 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens.

The low budget Sony A3000 -- a wolf in sheep’s clothing with the heart of a NEX.
The low budget Sony A3000 — a wolf in sheep’s clothing with the heart of a NEX.
Low budget, few controls, but who cares if the sensor and image quality deliver. When you pick up the A300 you don’t pick up a sturdy solid body. That comes with the price.

But you get a light body with good grip, 20.1MP APS-C HD sensor, ISO 16,000 sensitivity, up to 3.5 fps, full HD 1080 60i and 24p movies with built-in stereo mics, convenient USB charging and last but not least an interchangeable lens camera for E mount glass. For $398…

The A3000 makes very good sense as a family camera if the wife or kids don’t get along with the NEX form factor but you already have the E glass. Or simply as a cheap backup camera. Who’s afraid of wear and tear with a $400 combo… While the A3000 is not weather-sealed I’d take it everywhere without bothering about use and abuse.

+++ You can order the Sony A3000 from Amazon, B&H and Adorama.

  • Peter N

    Totally agree with you. My brother wanted a camera for family pics. I recommended a NEX 6 so we went to Best Buy and got one. His wife was not happy with the looks of the NEX. She wanted a “professional” camera like my D700, D800 and was actually mad at me lol. The new A3000 will do great among families who want that pro look ;)

  • Bengt Nyman

    Yes, it´s the right move. For the price you get a midsize sensor (APS-C) and a medium resolution LCD and EVF.
    It all hinges on whether this camera delivers fast and accurate image sensor autofocus.

    The concept is right and probably a market test and forerunner to a real mirrorless camera with a full frame sensor, fast autofocus and high resolution LCD and EVF.

    Sony’s Achilles heal remains lenses.

    If this camera sells well you will see Canon and Nikon licensing Sony technology and start building a full range of mirrorless cameras with a full range of available lenses.