So let's start with the 3N. While its predecessor, the F3, seemed a bit like a mini NEX-7 in a few ways, the 3N is focused on being as compact as possible (it weighs just about 7.5 ounces). This time, the camera itself is a semi-svelte slab, with small rubber grips added-on. Sure the F3 was more ergonomic, but the 3N gets back to a profile that's more like the ever-aging C3 (a continuing staff favorite). Overall, this editor prefers the feel of the F3, but can't knock Sony for focusing on keeping this thing as tiny as possible. Never did we feel like the camera was going to slip out of our hands, feeling very well-balanced with the included power zoom.
The control layout is essentially the same as all NEX shooters, aside from a few deviations compared to the F3 -- the pop-up flash and its release button are closer to the center, while the playback button is now near the top-center. The same 3-inch LCD is back again, flipping up 180-degrees for selfies, but sadly, it still can't tilt down for overhead shots. Notably, this is the first 3 to feature a power zoom toggle placed around the shutter button.
You'll also notice that the proprietary hotshoe mount is nowhere to be found, leaving you stuck to the internal stereo mics for audio. It has a nice amount of tension when flicked, but its chrome-finished plastic feels decidedly cheap compared the rest of the camera's design. Beyond that, the SD card slot has been moved to the side, rather than being forced next the battery slot on the bottom like most NEX shooters. As far as internals go, the unit features a 16.1 megapixel APS-C sensor (like last year), boasting a top ISO of 16,000 and new Bionz image processor. You'll also be able to shoot AVCHD videos at up to 60i/1080p.