The New Sony NEX-EA50UH Camcorder

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The NEX-EA50UH Camcorder initiates Sony’s new EA Series of camcorders designed for cinematic event videography. The camera comes with an 18-200mm servo zoom lens, the first E-mount lens with servo zoom. The NEX-EA50UH also features a new APS-C sized Exmor CMOS sensor and delivers Full HD 1080p at up to 60 frames per second.

The popularity of HDSLRs among videographers can be credited to their film-like video quality, thanks to their large image sensors, and the prospect of capturing professional grade HD video and high-resolution still images with one camera. The NEX-EA50UH was designed with this in mind and it improves on the concept by combining an APS-C sensor, E-mount lenses, and DSLR quality still photographs with a camcorder form factor, servo zoom lenses, timecode, and professional audio recording capabilities. It also has some truly groundbreaking features that videographers could only dream about before now.

To accommodate Sony's first E-mount lens with servo zoom, the NEX-EA50UH sports a rocker-style zoom lever. The rocker zoom is a familiar feature for long-time camcorder users, but those who are familiar with interchangeable lens systems may wonder, what good is a zoom lever if you're using a prime lens or a manual zoom? Sony's answer to that question is a lossless digital zoom. The effect is achieved by cropping the image sensor in real-time, which changes the angle-of-view with no sacrifice in resolution. This is possible because the sensor has a native resolution that’s much higher than 1080p to begin with.

Another effect of the HDSLR revolution has been the widespread acceptance of the Secure Digital memory card. The SD format has grown by leaps and bounds and now offers videographers professional grade read/write speeds and dependability at previously unheard of prices. The NEX-EA50UH supports SD/SDHC/SDXC and Sony Memory Stick formats. However, it also features an FMU slot for connecting Sony’s HXR-FMU128, a flash memory unit with a capacity of 128 GB. The NEX-EA50UH can record simultaneously to SD/MS and an HXR-FMU128 for an instant back-up.

While an HDSLR might be classified as a professional grade still camera that also happens to shoot good video, the NEX-EA50UH might be classified as a professional grade camcorder that also shoots great still photographs. It may be a curious concept, but this camcorder is serious about photography. Not only would the 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor be right at home in the body of a DSLR, the NEX-EA50UH also features a dedicated shutter release button, a mechanical shutter to eliminate rolling shutter artifacts, and a hot shoe for using traditional flash units.

While the NEX-EA50UH doesn't look like a typical camcorder, it is particularly handsome with the viewfinder diopter tube, a shotgun microphone, and the 18-200mm servo zoom lens attached. Another nice design attribute is the shoulder pad, which slides backwards to accommodate a comfortable shoulder-mounted position. Some familiar features have carried over as well, like the top handle, a meaty handgrip with adjustable strap, and a shock absorbing microphone mount. HDSLR users who scoff at the size of this camera might think twice next time they have to assemble their shoulder rig. What’s more, for its size, the NEX-EA50UH is surprisingly light weight.

With all of these unique features it is important to bear in mind that, above all, the NEX-EA50UH is a great video camera. It yields a cinematic image that will hold up nicely next to Sony’s NEX-FS100U, but the EA50UH’s slightly smaller sensor lends itself to a more manageable depth of field that documentarians and event videographers will appreciate. Moreover, like other NXCAM series camcorders, the NEX-EA50UH uses the high quality and post-production friendly AVCHD format. With variable frame rates of 24, 25, 30, 50, and 60 fps in 1080 HD, the NEX-EA50UH is capable of great slow motion effects and it supports both NTSC and PAL formats.

Sensor Exmor APS-C CMOS
Resolution 16 Megapixels
Lens Mount E-mount (18 mm)
Recording Format HD video - AVCHD
SD video - MPEG2
Stills - Format not specified
Audio - LPCM/AC3
Frame Rates 1920 x 1080
59.94p, 59.94i, 50p, 50i, 29.97p, 25p, 23.98p
1280 x 720
59.94p, 50p
480 (576)
59.94i, 50i
Frame Guide 4:3, 13:9, 14:9, 15:9, 1.66:1, 1.85:1, 2.35:1
Stills Shutter Mechanical
Recording Media Memory Stick
SD/SDHC/SDXC
HXR-FMU128
Monitor 3.5-inch LCD, 16:9 XtraFine 921K (1920x480)
Outputs 1 x HDMI Type A
3 x Component (RCA)
1 x A/V Out (RCA)
1 x USB Type Mini A/B
Audio Input 2 x XLR (3-pin) Line/Mic, 48 V
Audio Output 2 x RCA
GPS Yes 
Built-in Microphone Yes (Stereo)
Headphone 1 x Stereo Mini
Built-in Speaker Yes
Remote IR
1 x LANC
Simultaneous Rec. Yes (Memory Card + FMU) HD/SD
Timecode and TC Out Yes (HDMI)
Assignable Buttons 6
Focus & Exposure Assist Peaking, Histogram, Zebra
AF Face Detection
Continuous Rec. Time 780 min
Dimensions Not Specified
Weight Not Specified

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Is the face detection focus not going to work when manual white balance is selected? This is how most sony camcorders work & it is a REAL BIG PROBLEM!

Does this camera have optical image stabilization?

How does the NEX-EA50UH downsample from the sensor native resolution to 1080p? Does it line skip like the NEX still cameras or does it do something different?

Is there any word on the suspected price point?

When can we anticipate the nex ea50 to ship, and just out
of curiosity is the lens available by itself?

I currently own 2 NX5U cameras and am adding a third in a few days, seeing this one might be a interesting addition giving more flexibility with DOF and shoulder style however we feed these into a Tricaster over SDI and don't see SDI listed as a feature. Can you confirm that this will ship without a SDI connection.

Will it be possible to purchase this without the lens (body only)?

Hi, do you know if the handle is rotative like the pmw-ex1r ?
Thanks to answer.

I hope this camera has built in ND selections. Can anyone confirm that? Also, it seems to have selectable picture profiles. Would I expect to achieve a nice cinema look with that? I hope so because their standard cinema settings are terrible, just adding a bit of sepia and reducing saturation, which is totally unusable.

The camera does not have built in ND filters.
There are 6 picture profiles, no word what they are pre-set at yet though.
That being said, for a cine look, alot of that will be achieved using a variety of lenses that this camera allows for.

Will it be able to carry over a clean live feed over the HDMI?

I was thinking of switching from my vg20. Is there going to be better control over things like contrast, white balance, sharpness, etc...?

Can you comment on the low light capability of this camera. The Specs on the B&H Site indicate 7 lx minimum. Is that correct? I notice other cameras with a much lower lux rating (1.5 etc.)

Thanks for your time.

I'm dying to order this camera! I saw today was the expected delivery date, are there any updates to this?

Appreciate your detailed review and info on the camera.

1. Also, what variable ND can I purchase for this that B&H Photo has in stock? I'm doing most of my shooting outdoors, daytime.

2. I have a Canon XF100, which I love.. was thinking of getting a 2nd one for multi-cam shoots that are run-n-gun. Would the picture quality etc stack up well to the Canon XF100's? I'm DSLR guy too, but for run-n-gun in and out of cabs, streets, stores etc, something like this is the way to go.

Thanks!

Hope to be able to order mine soon

I read from several sources that this camera will be sold overseas as a body-only. Is this something that will be an option in the USA? Thank you.

Couldn't you use a variable ND filter with this? I sort of understand why it didn't come with a built-in ND as this camera is not using your typical video camera lens, it uses a photo lens and no still cameras I know of come with a built-in ND filter. Just wondering if a variable ND filter would work?

Looking from the pictures at B&H, it seems the large eye piece is detachable from the LCD. Is it right? Thanks

I've just got mine a few days ago and have used it on a livestreaming video job, also recording HD to the Memory card. The servo zoom function is best for manual zooms, as the zoom is very slow.

But the digital zoom is awesome. Works great with very little image degradation.

One thing I've discovered that was quite disappointing was you can't use the SD composite outputs while using the HDMI output.

I like to record DVDs as backups and for clients to take with them for events, etc. Sometimes they have trouble handling the AVCHD file structure.

The pull out shoulder rest is cool. It definitely doesn't support the camera as most the weight is in the front, but it creates stability for handheld shots.
But I like the camera so far. I've ordered the metabones adapter for my Canon leneses. Can't wait to try that out on creative projects.

The camera is very light and I'm concerned that the construction is not very good. Is this camera made of the same plastic that toys are made from or it it made of a good composite material like the NX5U is made from?

Hello Bob -

Not to worry - this is one tough little cookie , I mean camera.  Though light, the body is made from a composite plastic that I can only describe as a "space-age polymer".  Documentarians and event videographers will appreciate its balance of light weight, size, and robust build.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Can this camera take photos without interrupting the video recording? It would be great to be able to do both without having to choose between stills and video.

Hello JHVideo -

The Sony NEX-EA50UH has a mechanical shutter inside that triggers when photos are taken but it is not active in movie/video mode.  So you do have to switch from photo to video. Stills are captured as 16 MP jpegs. 

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Does anyone know if the internal timecodes for a multi-camera shoot can be synched together for the NEX-EA50UH?

Yes, the Sony NEX-EA50 does create time code both Drop Frame and Non-Drop Frame. The time code output is through the HDMI.

Your specs don't list it's actual weight. If you strip off all but the essential features, ie no LCD tube, microphone etc, just camera, battery and lens what is the weight?

The weight specifications listed from Sony are:

Body only: 3lbs 12.7oz
Fully loaded w/ included accessories and the NPF970 battery: 6lbs 15.5oz

I received my brand new NEX-EA50UH about a month ago from B&H. My test video clips at 1080/60p and 1080/60i look very wavy (it looks like some kind of mirage or moire effect) when I view them on my PC with either PowerDVD or Windows Media Player or VLC Media Player. However, the still pictures look very crispy. I set the camcorder at the AUTO mode for all functions (point-and-shoot mode).

If I set the video recording mode at 1080/24p (factory default), the video look OK but it is not as crispy as that of my consumer HD camcorders.

Would you please advise? Thank you in advance.

Have you tried the footage in any professional video editing software? Adobe, Sony, Avid or Final Cut?
The software you listed may be having issue with the codec or frame rate.
Also to consider is if the footage has any fast movement in it as the camera has a rolling shutter that may cause a wavy "jello" effect.
I would first recommend checking it in video editing software though as they will be more likely to be compatible with the codec and chosen frame rate.

I am starting to consider buying this camera instead of the NX5U for weddings , events.

What other cameras would be recommended to stack with this ? (Exp. VG900, NX30 )

I am from india .

I want to buy this product in india .please tell your branches where in india tell me sir............

Hello Gopal -

Unfortunately B&H has no outlets outside the USA.  Our Superstore is located in New York City.  The good news is that you can purchase most products from us via our on-line store.  This camera will ship to India.  Just add it to your on-line cart. 

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

What formats will the HDMI support?

Are there any metabones speed booster or mitakon turbos that I can use in between the body of the camera and the lens that came with the kit. 6.3 at 200mm is a little rough. Thanks.

What hot shoe flash do you recommend for taking in pic mode? Do any manfrotto or other led hybrid light/flash models work or does it have to be sony?

Dear sir/madam, which program could I use with this camera, and can I use more than 3 cameras on one program. Regards Derek Skinner

Are you referring to video editing software? If not, what type of program are you referring to?

  Is SONY NEX-EA50 UH is comforable in indian claimate....for wedding vidography in summer season.......