Sony A3000 Review
This is the cheapest model we reviewed and doesn't have a lot of extras, but it takes excellent photos and has a fast autofocus -- essential for any top camera.
Sony A3000 reviews point out that this is not a traditional DSLR. Although it features interchangeable lenses, a large image sensor, and the body of a DSLR, the Sony A3000 is a mirrorless camera. It's also one of the cheapest options we found (starting at $348, Amazon). This camera doesn't have a lot of features, but what it does, it does well. An analyst at PC Mag was very impressed with the photo quality, especially considering the very low price. He found that photos taken with the A3000 appear sharp, have good color, and maintain good detail at ISOs through 3,200, which is pretty impressive. Although the camera does not include an optical viewfinder like an SLR, it does have an electronic viewfinder for composing shots, in addition to a 3-inch LCD. An electronic viewfinder is uncommon on cameras in this price range, and the reviewer considers it a welcome feature. The LCD is less impressive. It's not a touchscreen and has a very low 230k-dot resolution; most competitors have at least twice that. On the upside, the camera demonstrates little shutter lag, so users can snap photos quickly and don't have to worry about missing a moment. The kit on the market at the time of writing includes a lens with image stabilization, a must-have feature to help reduce blurring in photos.
An expert from Tech Radar also considers the Sony A3000 a good value for the money. This Sony A3000 review notes that the camera may not have certain desirable features such as Wi-Fi or a touchscreen LCD, but it does take excellent photos. Colors are vibrant yet realistic and skin tones look natural. Photos are sharp and the automatic white balance works well. The autofocus is accurate even in low light, although sometimes a little slow. The camera's menu can be a bit awkward to navigate. Overall, though, this reviewer sees the Sony A3000 as an excellent option for users who are just getting into more serious photography.
Where to buy
The Sony A3000 (model ILCE-3000K/B) uses Sony's E-mount lenses, providing a nice variety of additional options. The E-mount lenses have a quiet autofocus motor and many include optical image stabilization, although they tend to be more expensive than Sony's A-mount lenses. The Sony A3000 camera uses a 20MP APS-C image sensor, which is the same size most budget DSLRs use. ISO settings range from 100 to 16,000, and the camera can snap photos at shutter speeds ranging from 1/4000 to 30 seconds. The burst rate is 3.5 frames per second of continuous shooting. The camera saves photos in the JPEG and RAW formats and stores them either on a MemoryStick Pro card (a Sony format) or an SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory card.
The Sony A3000 is a solid choice for frugal consumers who can get past the camera's very low-resolution LCD and live without extra features such as Wi-Fi and a touchscreen. The camera takes great photos, which is any true photographer's first priority. Overall performance is solid and the A3000 is compatible with a good selection of Sony lenses. If you're game to try a mirrorless camera, the Sony A3000 offers the best combination of quality and affordability.