While the camera is physically smaller than a compact DSLR, it retains the imaging qualities of an APS imaging sensor, which contains 58% more surface area than a Four Thirds imaging sensor, and about 13 times the surface area of point-and-shoot imaging sensors. The end result is true pro-quality resolving power in a far smaller package. For still imaging, the NEX-3 captures JPEGs (Fine or Standard), RAW, or JPEG+RAW in a choice of sRGB or Adobe RGB color spaces. In addition to stills, the NEX-3 also captures extremely vivid 720p video @ 30 fps as well as standard-definition video recording. For more precise audio there is an optional shoe-mounted shotgun mic that features 90°/120° tilt movement.
The NEX-3 is designed to use Sony E-series lenses, a compact line of optics designed to work with the reduced flange distance that resulted from the removal of the reflex viewing system. The new E-series optics are smaller than Sony's traditional DSLR optics while retaining the imaging qualities Sony is recognized for. In addition to Sony E-series optics, you can also use any of Sony's traditional DSLR lenses (as well as all Minolta AF-mount optics) on the NEX-3 by using the optional LA-EA1 lens adapter. (Note - Manual focus and full-open aperture metering only when using LA-EA1 lens adapter).