Anyone who dabbles in digital photography knows that one of the key moves from the consumer side of the fence to the more-professional end of things is adopting cameras with interchangeable lenses, so photographers can pick the right lens for the particular job, rather than being forced into a one-size-fits-all approach typical of point-and-shoot cameras. The same idea holds true for camcorders…except that the price gap between consumer-oriented fixed-lens camcorders and interchangeable lens pro gear has been very wide. Now electronics giant Sony is looking to change that with the NEX-VG10 Interchangeable Lens Handycam, the first “prosumer” camcorder to feature interchangable lens technology…and it works with high-grade E-mount lenses intended for video, and an adapter lets them tap into the world of A-mount lenses used by Sony’s Alpha DSLR camera line.
“The NEX-VG10 takes Sony’s Handycam line to the next level by allowing unprecedented artistic expression that isn’t possible with conventional consumer video cameras,” said Andy Bubala, the director of Sony’s camcorder business, in a statement. “With this camcorder, video enthusiasts and photographers can now capture cinematic full HD movies and premium stereo sound.”
The NEX-VG10 features a 3-inch swivel LCD display ND an Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor that Sony says is almost 20 times the size of the sensor found in conventional digital camcorders, enabling videographers to shoot with a very small depth of field (meaning they can get that “bokeh” defocussed background that’s all the rage). The NEX-VG10 shoots high definition video at 1,920 by 1,080-pixel resolution, and comes with an E-mount 18–200mm lens optimized for video shooting that offers an 11× optical zoom along with image stabilization and a silent autofocus system. The NEX-VG10 also features a Quad CApsule Spatial Array stereo mic designed to offer highly directional audio capture so users get sound from their subjects rather than the background, and the camera also features dedicated inputs for separate mics and headphones. Hotkeys and a jog give users full control over shutter speed, gain, and white balance while shooting.
The NEX-VG10 can also be used to capture 14 megapixel still shots with Auto HDR and anti motion-blur technologies, as well as a 7fps burst rate for action photography. The unit also offers dual accessory shoes for things like mics and an external flash. The unit uses Son’s own Memory Stick Pro Duo storage, along with SDHC and SDXC media; a 32 GB card should store about four hours of HD video.
The NEX-VG10 should be available in September for a starting price of around $2,000; pre-orders are available today via Sony’s Web site.