NEX cameras intentionally crippled

Started Oct 22, 2010 | Discussions thread
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florinandrei
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NEX cameras intentionally crippled
Oct 22, 2010

I own a Micro Four Thirds camera (Panasonic G1) but I'm open-minded and I keep an eye on the industry. When the still picture NEX cameras came out, I thought they were nice but the differences between them and the G1 were not compelling enough to make me switch. Also, the manual controls for the video mode on the NEX-5 are very limited (inexistent actually) and continuous recording is limited to 29 minutes (2 GB file), which is bad news since I was looking for a video-and-still-pictures combo to replace my still-pictures-only G1.

But then the NEX-VG10 camcorder came out. Let me describe my reaction.

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&categoryId=8198552921644735999&N=4294952122#/handycamCamcorderSection

First impression: my, what a pretty camera. Just the right size, sits in my hand so stable. Top handle, that's nice and useful. I can easily zoom in and out, the lens is big and grippy. Beautiful design too, prettiest camera I've seen in a long time.

Interchangeable lenses, that means I can shoot in all sorts of conditions and I get everything out of that sensor.

High bitrate video, combined with good lenses, that means when I shoot HD I'm actually getting HD-like effective resolution (unlike my current HD camcorder, or most amateur-level HD camcorders, which are nominally "HD" but provide worse-than-HD effective resolution due to cheap optics).

Oh, look, I can control the gain manually. That's so useful! Lots of other manual controls. Nice.

The microphone seems good, too - better anyway than most amateur HD camcorders and HD-enabled DSLR and m4/3.

Okay, I'm gonna put all my imaging equipment (still-picture and video cameras and lenses) on eBay and buy the NEX-VG10. After all, this seems like the long sought after hybrid camera that can do great video and great still pictures. I mean, it does still pictures just like the NEX-5, right? Same sensor, same lenses...

Wait, what do you mean "it only does JPEG"? Are you saying the VG10 doesn't do RAW?

Damn you Sony! Your NEX-3 and NEX-5 still picture cameras take great still-pictures, but you intentionally crippled the video. The NEX-VG10 does great video, but you intentionally crippled the still pictures. You just lost a customer. I would have bought the VG10 and at least 2 lenses (zoom and prime) if only you did things right. But no, you had to listen to the marketroids.

Everything is not lost. All they need to do is release a firmware update and enable the missing features in the VG10. Then I'll buy. Otherwise, I'll hold on to my G1 and my crappy little HD camcorder and look forward to the upcoming Panasonic GH2 - if that one comes out and lives up to the expectations, I'll purchase, and then I'll not change my mind again, for quite some time (I already have two m4/3 lenses, so that's the easiest route for me).

I'm waiting, but not too long.

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