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Sony unveils NEX-VG10 E-mount HD camcorder

By dpreview staff on Jul 14, 2010 at 07:38 GMT

Two months after announcing its development, Sony has launched the NEX-VG10E - an E-mount camcorder that becomes the worlds' first consumer-grade HD camcorder with interchangeable lenses. Although appearing under Sony's Handycam brand, rather than Alpha, it retains a lot in common with the Alpha NEX series. It features the same 14.6MP Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor but is capable of recording 1080i video at a higher, 24mbps, bitrate. The NEX-VG10E also features an electronic viewfinder and 'Quad Capsule Spatial Array Stereo Microphone' that uses four microphone elements to provide better channel separation and cancel unwanted noise. In every other respect it is essentially a NEX 5, featuring the same user interface (though with more external controls) and both SD and MemoryStick storage. It will sold as kit with image-stabilised E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS lens and will be available a suggested retail price of €2000 / $2000.

Although the VG-10 can shoot still images with the same level of control as the NEX-3 and 5, it cannot record RAW images.

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“Camcorder Redefined”
Sony unveils world’s first consumer interchangeable lens HD camcorder


 Handycam® NEX-VG10E capturescinematic Full HD movie and stereo sound with great depth

  • 14.2 effective megapixel ExmorTM  APS HD CMOS sensor (19.5 times larger than conventional camcorder) for stunning HD movies with beautiful background defocus
  • Accepts E-mount interchangeable lenses plus A-mount α DSLR lenses (via optional adaptor)
  • High quality audio with Quad Capsule Spatial Array Stereo Microphone and external mic input
  • 7.5cm (3 inch-type) Xtra Fine LCD and electronic viewfinder

Building on 25 years of continuous Handycam® innovation, Sony introduces the NEX-VG10E – the world’s first consumer HD camcorder with interchangeable lenses. It’s also the first Handycam® featuring an extra-large Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor that allows the creation of exquisitely cinematic background defocus effects.

Targeting video enthusiasts and photographers, the NEX-VG10E opens up unprecedented artistic possibilities not achievable with conventional consumer video cameras.

Compatible with a choice of high quality E-mount lenses, it’s the first consumer camcorder that offers the same breadth of creative expression enjoyed by DSLR photographers. Alongside the three currently available E-mount lenses, users of the NEX-VG10E can experience a wide variety of  A-mount DSLR optics by using the optional LA-EA1 mount adaptor. Picking from a choice of award-winning Sony G lenses, fixed-focal length Carl Zeiss portrait lenses and other models from macro to super-telephoto, videographers will have unprecedented freedom to explore an exciting world in movie creation.

At the heart of the NEX-VG10E is a 14.2 effective megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor that’s teamed with Sony’s powerful BIONZTM processor to capture very high resolution video and still images. Approximately 19.5 times bigger than the standard sensor found in other consumer camcorders, the APS-C sized imager also enables an extremely shallow depth of field. This allows videographers to achieve ‘cinematic’ results with beautiful background defocus (bokeh). In addition, the ability to capture DSLR-quality still images gives videographers extra shooting flexibility on assignment with less to carry.

Full HD 1920x1080 video images are captured in AVCHDTM format at up to the maximum 24 Mbps bit rate for superlative detail and clarity. Unlike many digital still cameras including DSLR that support HD video, there’s virtually no restriction on continuous shooting time. Just slip in your choice of either Memory Stick PRO DuoTM or SD media cards and capture Full HD video and JPEG still images for easy transfer into your existing PC storage and editing environment.

The NEX-VG10E comes supplied as standard with an image-stabilised E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS lens that offers a powerful 11x optical zoom range. Because of its optimized design for video shooting, this high-quality E-mount lens offers smooth, ultra low noise autofocus and iris control. In-built Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation assures clearer video images when you’re shooting handheld. At wide angle settings, Active Mode enhances anti-shake performance even further, steadying jittery images even while walking. The lens also features a circular aperture for the creation of beautiful bokeh effects whether you’re shooting video or stills.

Reflecting the demands of serious videographers, sound quality matches the phenomenal imaging performance of the NEX-VG10E. The Quad Capsule Spatial Array Stereo Microphone uses advanced processing algorithms to combine signals from four separate omnidirectional microphone capsules. The result is exceptionally clear stereo audio with a highly directional response: this allows videographers to capture more sound from the subject they’re shooting, and less of distracting sounds around them. There’s also a jack for adding an optional external stereo mic, plus a headphone jack for audio monitoring.

With a photo-realistic 921k dot resolution, the 7.5cm/3 inch-type Xtra Fine LCD features TruBlackTM technology for an exceptionally detailed, high contrast view of images and menu settings. The LCD is supplemented by a high-resolution (1152k dot) electronic viewfinder that assists easy framing and monitoring. The viewfinder helps operator capture clear images in bright daylight and its angle can be easily adjusted for comfortable operation.

Despite its groundbreaking creative possibilities, the NEX-VG10E is compact, beautifully balanced and easy to handle, even for novice videographers. An intuitive jog dial and hotkeys make it easy to navigate camera menus and adjust shooting parameters. Videographers can also enjoy precise manual control over Iris, Shutter Speed, Gain and White Balance for professional results.

A range of official accessories includes the ECM-CG50 Shotgun Microphone that attaches to the camcorder’s accessory shoe. There’s also a choice of rechargeable battery options, including the NP-FV100 that provides power for up to 330 minutes continuous HD shooting. A dedicated soft carrying case LCS-VCD is also available as an option.

Offered to customers as a free download, Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 video editing software includes everything you need to produce spectacular HD movies. Powerful tools for video compositing, colour correction and sound mixing make it easy to achieve cinema-quality results in your own home studio. You can also upload movies to web, burn them to Blu-ray Disc™ or author DVDs with custom menus and graphics.

The Handycam® NEX-VG10E interchangeable lenses Full HD camcorder is available in Europe from mid October 2010.

Sony NEX-VG10E camcorder specifications

Sensor • 23.4 x 15.6 mm Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor
• 14.2 million effective pixels
Video* • FX : 1920 x 1080i @ 24Mbps
• FH : 1920 x 1080i @ 16Mbps
• MP4: 1440 x 1080i @ 9Mbps
Frame rate* • 60fps (59.94 fps) - North American models
• 50fps - European models
Image sizes • 3:2 : 4592x3056 (14M)
• 16:9 : 4592 x 2576 (12M)
Audio • Dolby Digital 2ch, via Quad Capsule Spatial Array Stereo Microphone
• External microphone input jack
Dust reduction • Coating on low pass filter
• Sensor-shift
Lenses • Supplied with E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS lens
• Sony E-mount
• Sony Alpha lenses, Minolta and Konica Minolta AF lenses via adaptor
(MF only, exclude power zoom lenses/tele-converters)
Image Stabilization • 'Optical SteadyShot' system on selected lenses
Focus • Manual
• Single-shot AF
• Continuous
• Direct Manual Focus
• AF (Multi/ Center/Flexible Spot)
Shooting modes • Program
• Aperture priority
• Shutter priority
• Manual
• Anti-Motion Blur
• Hand-Held Twilight
Sensitivity • Auto (Range varies depending on shooting mode)
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200
• ISO 6400
• ISO 12800
• Gain : 0dB/3dB/6dB/9dB/12dB/15dB/18dB/21dB/24dB/27dB
Metering modes • Multi-segment (49 segment Honeycomb pattern)
• Center-weighted
• Spot
Exposure compen. • -2.0 to +2.0 EV
• 0.3 EV steps
Shutter Speed • Electronically controlled, vertical traverse, focal-plane type
• 1/25 - 1/4000 (Movie) , 30sec - 1/4000 (Still)
• 1/4 - 1/4000 (Movie) , 30sec- 1/4000 (Still)
Minimum Illumination • 11 Lux (Shutter Speed:1/25sec, IRIS:F3.5, Gain:Auto)
Aperture values Depends on lens, 0.3 EV steps
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Flash
• Color temperature/filter (2500 - 9900 K)
• Manual (Custom)
• Manual (Custom set)
Color space sRGB
Color modes • Standard
• Vivid
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Sunset
• B&W
Viewfinder • Electronic
• 0.43" XtraFine TruBlack LCD
• 921,000 dots
LCD monitor • 3.0 XtraFine TruBlack LCD
• 921,000 dots
Flash • External flash (supplied), attachable to Smart Accessory Terminal
• GN : 7 meters
• Flash Sync: 1/160sec
Flash modes • Auto
• On
• Off
• Fill-flash
• Slow Sync
• Rear Sync.
• Red-eye reduction on/off selectable for Autoflash and fill-flash mode
Drive modes (Still) • Single-frame
• Continuous
• Self-timer
• Continuous Self-timer
• Mirror-up release mode
Self-timer (Still) 10 sec or 2 sec
Connectivity • HDMI out (with PhotoTV HD and BRAVIA Sync)
• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• Video out (NTSC or PAL)
• Stereo headphone jack
• External stereo mic input jack
• DC IN jack
Storage • Memory Stick Pro Duo, Pro-HG Duo
• SD/SDHC/SDXC
Power • NP-FV70 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (1650 mAh)
• Battery charger included
• Optional AC adapter
Battery life 330 min. continuous video recording (with the optional NP-FV100, FH mode)
Dimensions 97 x 132 x 294 mm (inc. supplied lens and hood)
85 x 130 x 223 mm (body only)
Weight 1.3 kg (with lens and accesories)

*Image Sensor Captured at 30p (29.97p), Recorded in AVCHD 60i (59.94i) format

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