The New Sony NEX-VG20 Camcorder with Interchangeable Lenses

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If you snooze you lose—so the saying goes. Manufacturers can’t simply put their feet up and relax once they come out with a groundbreaking product. Products must be updated regularly in order for their makers to stay on top, and that’s exactly what Sony has done with its new NEX-VG20 interchangeable lens camcorder.

Last summer Sony broke new ground with its NEX-VG10, a futuristic-looking camcorder with interchangeable lenses, an APS HD CMOS sensor and a quad capsule spatial array stereo microphone. To keep ahead of the competition, Sony has just announced the NEX-VG20, very similar to the NEX-VG10 but with numerous upgrades that are sure to please even the most demanding users. The camcorder combines the benefits of DSLRs, including interchangeable lenses and a large image sensor, with the benefits of a high-end camcorder, such as better sound quality, well-designed ergonomics and simple operation.

Two packages are offered: the NEX-VG20 is a body-only offering, while the NEX-VG20H comes with an E-mount 18-200mm zoom lens. Improvements found on the NEX-VG20 are many. They include a 16.1MP Exmor CMOS sensor over the VG10’s 14.2MP unit; the sensor is 1.6 times larger than a Four Thirds sensor. The VG20 also adds 24p and 60p video modes and RAW still images instead of just JPEGs. The 3-inch, 921,000-dot LCD has been upgraded with touch-screen capability and 270-degree swiveling action for easier viewing from odd angles.

The NEX-VG20 features the same great quad capsule spatial array stereo microphone as the NEX-VG10, but it has been upgraded with 5.1-channel surround sound and an audio-level control. Ergonomic improvements include a new grip and belt design; a second Record button on top for easy, low-angle shooting; an expanded Focus button for more precise manual focusing; an assignable control dial; direct access hard keys; and a remote control.

The ability to change lenses is one of the most important features of the NEX-VG20. It’s compatible with all of Sony’s smaller, lighter E-mount Series lenses, which are optimized for video with silent operation and autofocus. Third-Party E-mount lenses also work, and an optional LA-EA1 adapter lets you attach Sony Alpha and Konica Minolta A-mount lenses. Third-Party E-mount adapters expand the choices even more. With the NEX-VG20 and your choice of lens, you’ll be ready to shoot some amazing footage.