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Sony Alpha NEX-F3 Digital Camera Review$599.99
The Sony NEX-F3 had some small issues with our motion test, though nothing out of the ordinary for a camera of this type. Its images still weren't very sharp, but there was very little artifacting visible in the final image in our motion test. We did notice some trailing and ghosting, and a slight bit of signal interference, but that was right in line with what we'd expect from an entry level compact system camera. It doesn't match up to a prosumer camcorder, however. More on how CamcorderInfo tests motion.
One thing to keep in mind is the use of a CMOS sensor in the NEX-F3, which does lend it some significant motion blurring whenever you're panning with the camera. This creates a wobbly "Jello" effect and vertical lines are rendered as blurred diagonals, including faces and buildings. It is a very common problem with cameras like the Sony NEX-F3, and affects its competition with smaller CMOS sensors as well.
Sharpness on the NEX-F3 was quite limited, though within the normal performance bounds of most interchangeable lens cameras on the market. We found that in bright light it was able to resolve, at best, 525 line pairs per picture height of resolution horizontally and 600 LPPH vertically. This was in the 1080/24p mode, with the interpolated 1080/60i mode seeing a sharp decline in sharpness vertically.
The sharpest image was produced by the camera's 1440x1080 .MP4 mode, which was able to manage 575 LPPH horizontal and 625 LPPH vertical sharpness, but also suffered from heavy aliasing artifacts. The modes all suffered slightly from a moire effect, as well, with rolling sharpness a concern, as you'd expect on a camera with such a large CMOS image sensor. More on how CamcorderInfo tests video sharpness.
We found sharpness was virtually unchanged from bright light to low light with the Sony NEX-F3. At 60 lux of light the camera was able to reproduce a frequency of 600 LPPH both horizontally and vertically. This is practically identical to its bright light sharpness, though the appearance of moire is slightly worse under bright light in our test.
Low Light Sensitivity
We found the Sony NEX-F3 was able to produce a visible image (which is defined as registering 50 IRE on a waveform monitor) from just 7 lux of light on a white target. That puts the NEX-F3 in line with most of its APS-C competition and pretty far ahead of some compact system cameras with smaller image sensors. It's more than sensitive enough to capture video in a dimly lit bar, while still being able to pick up fine details.