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Sony launches NEX-VG20 Handycam Camcorder

By dpreview staff on Aug 24, 2011 at 07:01 GMT

Sony has announced the NEX-VG20, an updated version of its VG-10 Handycam Camcorder capable of 1080p60 recording. The camera captures its AVCHD 2.0 footage on the same 16.1 MP Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor that is also in use in the NEX-5N and C3 consumer still cameras. Upgrades include a Quad Capsule Spatial Array Microphone that now supports stereo and 5.1 channel surround, improved manual controls and grips that have been modified for better low-angle shooting. VG20 users will be able to choose from seven E-mount lenses or use the optional LA-EA2 lens mount adaptor to attach Sony's A-mount optics to the camera. The VG20 will be available at retailers in November for $2,199 with the 18-200 F3.5-6.3 E-mount lens or $1,599 as a body-only version.

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Press Release:

SONY'S NEWEST HANDYCAM CAMCORDER BROADENS THE CREATIVE POSSIBILITIES FOR SHOOTERS

NEX-VG20 Camcorder Delivers Enhanced Full HD Video, Improved Audio and Ergonomics; E-mount Interchangeable Lens System with 16.1 Megapixels and AVCHD™ Progressive 24p/60p

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 24, 2011 – The new Handycam® NEX-VG20 camcorder from Sony allows videographers to explore the artistic potential of the growing range of E-Mount lenses for shooting cinematic Full HD video and high-resolution still photos. The new camcorder offers several enhancements over Sony’s acclaimed NEX-VG10 – the world’s first consumer HD camcorder with interchangeable lenses – including comprehensive manual controls, improved imaging quality and upgraded sound. Significantly refined ergonomics include enhanced grips for balance and low-angle shooting, and a second record button, among many others.

“Whether you’re shooting video or stills, this camcorder’s large sensor rivals the expressive picture quality of a DSLR camera,” said Andy Bubala, director of camcorders at Sony Electronics. “We’ve also made several enhancements to deliver the type of camcorder that video enthusiasts will love.”

With a resolution of 16.1 effective megapixels, the camcorder’s Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor assures outstanding video image quality, with extremely low noise in low light. It also captures pristine 16 megapixel still photos, with RAW format support for all the post-processing flexibility that’s familiar to DSLR users. The sensor also allows the creation of background defocus ('bokeh') effects with a user’s E-mount lenses.

Full HD video shooting in the AVCHD™ format is now complemented by a choice of 24p and 60p (progressive) frame rate options. Footage shot at 24p can be enhanced with Cinema Tone Gamma™ and Cinema Tone Color™ for an even richer, more cinematic look.

Dialogue and other sounds are captured by the precision Quad Capsule Spatial Array Microphone that now supports stereo and 5.1 channel surround. The camcorder also offers a new audio level control.

Several ergonomic refinements let videographers shoot HD video and stills in even greater comfort. The camcorder’s handgrip has been redesigned for excellent stability. Allowing manual adjustment of exposure, iris and other settings, the control dial can now be accessed even when the LCD panel is closed.

The button layout now features “hard” function keys, direct access to each shooting mode (Iris, Shutter speed, Program AE), a second REC button for low-angle shots and expanded focus button – all located for intuitive operation so users don’t have to take their eyes away from the electronic viewfinder.

Shooters can frame and review footage on the three-inch (7.5cm) Xtra Fine LCD™ display that features TruBlack™ technology for clear, high contrast images. The screen can rotate up to a 270-degree range for easy framing in any position, even with the camera held low. A touch-panel simplifies fingertip operation of shooting functions.

The NEX-VG20H camcorder comes with the SEL18200 F3.5-6.3 E-mount lens. With a wide 11x optical zoom range and built-in Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization, this versatile lens offers smooth, quiet autofocus operation during movie and still shooting.

A choice of seven E-mount lenses can cover virtually any shooting situation. The optional LA-EA2 lens mount adaptor provides even wider compatibility with the established family of A-mount optics. Sony is also planning to develop a third-party “eco-system” to allow consumers to use the camcorder with other brands’ lens assets.

The new camcorder is compatible with Sony’s Memory Stick PRO-HG™ Duo HX series as well as Sony’s full line of SD memory cards. Available in capacities up to 32 GB, both media enable necessary transfer speeds for stable and optimal performance of Sony hardware features such as full HD movie shooting. 

The Handycam NEX-VG20H Full HD E-mount system camcorder will be available with a retail price of about $2,199. A body-only version, the NEX-VG20, will be available for $1,599.

The new camcorder will be available this November at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) as well as other authorized retailers throughout the Sony dealer network. For images and information, please visit www.sony.com/news.

Additional images

Comments

Total comments: 9
jwestwtc2
By jwestwtc2 (11 months ago)

How is this camera in low light?

0 upvotes
Tiboulen
By Tiboulen (11 months ago)

I bought this camera three weeks ago, more for the photo capabilities than video... Still, I tried it in low light condition, while driving my car through a small harbor in the south of France, with contrast between street lights, neon signs... The image is sharp, and when focusing on non-lit areas, surprisingly clear, as if it was not allready dark outside... I would rate it "quite good in low light conditions..."

0 upvotes
Soul Patch Films
By Soul Patch Films (May 12, 2012)

Damaged base plate on your VG10 or VG20, this will make your base plate bullet proof.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/180859593197?ssPageName=STRK:MESOX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1559.l2649#ht_500wt_1413

0 upvotes
MobiDhoom
By MobiDhoom (Apr 22, 2012)

I wants to buy it but its very expensive product including its accessories.

0 upvotes
JCM_GDL
By JCM_GDL (Aug 24, 2011)

This is an advice for Canon to produce a Camcorder with the capabilities of the new DSRLs and the APS-C sensor, with all the manual controls and the camcorder formfactor, compatible with all the Canon lens lineup.

0 upvotes
Jamesphotographer
By Jamesphotographer (Aug 25, 2011)

Not such improvement with the VG10! It does not still have the high ISO sentivity setting adjustment, no night shoot and real colour slow shutter and low noise resoluton at high sensitivity for video mode. I treat it as a advance still camera with assistant video capturing. Since the still camera mode has the advance settings better than the video mode. So I am NOT interested to buy it because it is not suitable for low light level videography. Other band camcorders will be the better choices with more features and settings.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Aug 26, 2011)

Night shot? Isn't that the slow shutter mode on most videocams? It's too blurry for action and still not sensitive enough to resolve objects in the Wayne Manor bat cave.

0 upvotes
Lupti
By Lupti (Aug 26, 2011)

No, Sonys nightshot works with infrared illumination. Infrared filter in front of the sensor is removed and IR illuminator at the front makes something visible. Sure only B/W, but you see something. It´s more a gimmick but nice to have.

0 upvotes
focuspulling
By focuspulling (Aug 24, 2011)

Much better info on the NEX-VG20, including full video trailer, specifications, and link to product page:

http://vimeo.com/groups/nexvg20
http://facebook.com/pages/Sony-NEX-VG20-User-Group/246566922050085
http://twitter.com/nexvg20

0 upvotes
Total comments: 9