Look and feel. Unlike the rest of the SLD (single-lens, direct-view) digital cameras, the Sony NEX-3 doesn't try at all to look like an SLR or rangefinder. Instead it looks more like a midsize digital camera with a big lens grafted on. Bordering on the absurd, the NEX-3 manages to pull off this seeming overemphasis on optics if only because of the lens's shiny aluminum barrel, whose efficient shape speaks of precision. After several years of relative sameness among digital camera designs, it's refreshing to see something bold. Least inspired of the colors among the Sony NEX-3 line is the silver body we received, which makes it harder to get as excited about this camera's particularly understated finish, so I've used Sony's black body images for the first two shots. The Alpha NEX-3 is also available in red.
Nikon has been cranking out new digital SLR camera upgrades like crazy these last two years, with the low, high, and pro end of the lineup getting update after update, but the mid-level SLR in particular has gone more than 18 months without an upgrade. While the Nikon D80 has a rich feature-set and maintained a high resale value throughout its tenure, it's due for an upgrade.