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by PowerReviews
SonyNEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens
 
3.9

(based on 11 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

67%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Zoom range/performance (10)
  • Great picture quality (8)
  • Easy to use (6)
  • Large clear LCD (6)
  • Great sound (5)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (3)

Best Uses

  • Documentaries (7)
  • HD shooting (7)
  • Movies/short films (5)
  • Home movies (4)
  • Travel (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro (5), Enthusiast (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (11)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

great step up for DSLRs videographers

PROS :
-Great solid build, very strong body
-Video and photo quality are very good
-kit lens is actually very good (18-200mm power zoom)
-handy record...Read complete review

PROS :
-Great solid build, very strong body
-Video and photo quality are very good
-kit lens is actually very good (18-200mm power zoom)
-handy record button in front of the camera and in the touchscreen itself when filming yourself
-Size is not too bulky, specially when filming with prime lenses
-Pretty good sound recording

CONS :
-Doesn't come with a battery charger (charges through camera)
-A 3k camera that doesn't have a timelapse mode?!!! seriously?!
-manual focus button switch is very hard to get to while filming
-AFocus from 0.5m or less is a bit unresponsive some times (tried with different lenses already)
-very front heavy with the kit lens
-photos in low light conditions are not as good as the videos

overall:
Great product, very good quality videos, it's perfect for those who have been frustrated filming with DSLRs for a long time... Although it misses very important features (timelapse or maybe more options of frame rates) its a very nice camera... I hope Sony adds a timelapse mode in future firmwares

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Simply a terrible camera.

I bought this to replace my HDR-FX1E for it's main purpose of wedding videography. The more I use this the more aggravated I get. Firstly and most importantly, this camera is absolutely atrocious...Read complete review

I bought this to replace my HDR-FX1E for it's main purpose of wedding videography. The more I use this the more aggravated I get. Firstly and most importantly, this camera is absolutely atrocious in low light situations. Worse than my HDR-FX1 which was 8 years older. I start to panic in overcast weather using this as I know I'm going to have bump up the gain to it's highest setting causing a grainy picture and the iris only reaches f3.6. Adding extra lighting is not always an option at weddings when you're shooting on the go.Focus is also a major issue. I'd love this to focus on the image in the centre but it seems to have it's own thoughts on what it wants to focus on. Manually fiddling with focus is tricky again in an on the go situation and unless you learn to become a hot shot at this you're going to struggle.All in all this camera does not make my life any easier as a wedding videographer. It takes stunning stills but to be honest Sony should've focussed more on producing a great video camera rather than something that looks like a video camera but in fact is is nothing more than a poor excuse for one.The price tag for this so called video camera is outrageous. If you want an SLR, buy that and if you want a decent video camera, spend a bit extra and get one, like I should've done. I regret having bought this and how unhappy I get every time I have to go and film a wedding knowing I've got to fight with this camera to get decent video out of it. This is nothing more than an expensive consumer camera and I would never recommend using in a fast paced work environment.Finally, the zoom I've found to cause me more hassles as getting the right balance of smooth zoom is difficult due to such a small zoom lever. I've found it better to always use the lens zoom lever.

Reviewed by 11 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-11

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5.0

Fabulous little camera

By bobfleckcreative

from Burlington, ON, Canada

About Me Pro Videographer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Good in Low Light
  • Great Picture Quality

Cons

  • No image stabilization

Best Uses

  • Documentaries
  • HD Shooting

Comments about Sony NEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens:

I have this camera and an EA50 and an a6000 still camera. I am fortunate to have a good number of lenses including 4 by Zeiss. All cameras get the same result so it is which form factor you want to use. I keep reaching for the VG30 because it is great on a tripod and a wonderful hand held tool. Important to remember to have stabilized lenses for hand held work. I have been using this equipment professionally for over a year and find it all trouble-free and of superb quality. Picture quality is stunning.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Simply a terrible camera.

By Justin

from South Africa

About Me Pro Videographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

    Cons

    • Poor In Low Light

    Best Uses

      Comments about Sony NEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens:

      I bought this to replace my HDR-FX1E for it's main purpose of wedding videography. The more I use this the more aggravated I get. Firstly and most importantly, this camera is absolutely atrocious in low light situations. Worse than my HDR-FX1 which was 8 years older. I start to panic in overcast weather using this as I know I'm going to have bump up the gain to it's highest setting causing a grainy picture and the iris only reaches f3.6. Adding extra lighting is not always an option at weddings when you're shooting on the go.Focus is also a major issue. I'd love this to focus on the image in the centre but it seems to have it's own thoughts on what it wants to focus on. Manually fiddling with focus is tricky again in an on the go situation and unless you learn to become a hot shot at this you're going to struggle.All in all this camera does not make my life any easier as a wedding videographer. It takes stunning stills but to be honest Sony should've focussed more on producing a great video camera rather than something that looks like a video camera but in fact is is nothing more than a poor excuse for one.The price tag for this so called video camera is outrageous. If you want an SLR, buy that and if you want a decent video camera, spend a bit extra and get one, like I should've done. I regret having bought this and how unhappy I get every time I have to go and film a wedding knowing I've got to fight with this camera to get decent video out of it. This is nothing more than an expensive consumer camera and I would never recommend using in a fast paced work environment.Finally, the zoom I've found to cause me more hassles as getting the right balance of smooth zoom is difficult due to such a small zoom lever. I've found it better to always use the lens zoom lever.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Good transition from DLSR

      By Crump

      from Harrisburg, PA

      About Me Semi-pro Videographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Good in Low Light
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Large Clear LCD

      Cons

      • No XLR
      • Poor Sound

      Best Uses

      • Documentaries
      • HD Shooting
      • Travel

      Comments about Sony NEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens:

      Great camera for the price range we were looking for; the interchangeable lenses make it an easy transition from DSLR to Camcorder. The interchangeable lenses make this great for interviews and short videos.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Best Camera ever!

      By tmac

      from Interlochen, Michigan

      About Me Video Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Awesome video
      • Easy to Use
      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Great Sound
      • Great Zoom
      • Large Clear LCD
      • Telephoto Is Great For My
      • Zoom range/performance

      Cons

      • Lens Adjustment Separate

      Best Uses

      • Documentaries
      • HD Shooting
      • Home Movies
      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Movies/Short Films
      • Travel
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Sony NEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens:

      This camera was purchased to take video of radio controlled model airplanes. There is a lot of motion and lighting changes. It has worked marvelously right out of the box. The video quality is amazing for both the video and stills. I love the telephoto lens.
      The only learning curve issue for me was to get used to the lens telephoto adjustment being on the lens and the left side as well. It works great though.

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      • No

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      (6 of 22 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      meh.

      By Robby

      from Minneapolis

      About Me Semi-pro Videographer

      Pros

      • Great Zoom
      • Zoom range/performance

      Cons

      • Poor Image Quality
      • Poor In Low Light

      Best Uses

        Comments about Sony NEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens:

        I spent 2 years saving up for a camera like this, and spent hours researching and found this to be the an amazing camera. I bought it and loved it for about two days until I shot a wedding. I was reviewing the footage and found it to be REALLY grainy, and distracting. I was really disappointed too with the lack of compatability with other products. I was also really mad at how hard it is to get the AVCHD files out of the "private" folder it creates. I usually put the files in folder on my computer, but i cant get them off of the SD card, so I have to import it directly into Final Cut Pro and must keep the SD card in the computer while I edit. It's really, really frustrating! The lens on it is really good, but weighs a ton (at least 60% of the cameras weight is from the lens). I also noticed some vingetting on a lot of my shots. I was shooting on a cloudy day in a pop-up tent so that could be a factor to the vignette and the grain. Shooting on a really bright sunny day, but on an even remotely cloudy day the video Also the "manual control " that the VG30 has is a bunch of shenanigans. I try to set the aperture to what I want, but it won't let me do it and will revert back to auto mode. While the touch screen may seem like a great idea, it is a major pain to deal with while shooting. I really think that everyone who wants this camera would be better off with a 5d mark ii, 7d or even a T3I. Things that I actually like about the camera: It looks cool, it has a great kit lens (if you don't mind the weight), the power zoom is a nice touch, and the 16 megapixel photos are good and its got a good depth of field. Besides that try it before you buy it.

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        • No

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        4.0

        Great camcorder

        By FunnyTrueStories

        from New York, NY

        About Me Video Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Great Picture Quality

        Cons

        • No External Mic Input

        Best Uses

        • Documentaries
        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Movies/Short Films

        Comments about Sony NEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens:

        I use this camera mostly for interviews. I love the shallow depth of field (like a DSLR) AND the ability to shoot for long periods of time without worrying about over-heating. It also takes great photos.
        It's a bit awkward to use hand-held, but I'm sure I can get used to it. I've only had the camera about 2 weeks.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        VG30 is meeting my expectations.

        By spendas

        from Louisville, KY

        About Me Video Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Good Image Stabilization
        • Great Picture Quality
        • Great Sound
        • Great Zoom
        • Large Clear LCD
        • Zoom range/performance

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • HD Shooting
          • Home Movies
          • Movies/Short Films
          • Travel

          Comments about Sony NEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens:

          I use this for serious amateur videography. I do a lot of "run-and-gun" shooting so I need the auto features most of the time - they work well. My former camera did not. B&H's used department bought my old one - interestingly after seeing the camera they paid me more than they had estimated - quite a pleasant surprise. The only feature I miss is not having a pre-record option which would be a nice addition to a prosumer level camera. Otherwise it is sharp and focues well and the power zoom work very well. So far, I'm very satisfied. I was surprised that the camera did not include a strap - Sony should include that.

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          • No

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          (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          great step up for DSLRs videographers

          By Ale

          from New Zealand

          About Me Semi-pro Videographer

          Pros

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Sony NEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens:

                PROS :
                -Great solid build, very strong body
                -Video and photo quality are very good
                -kit lens is actually very good (18-200mm power zoom)
                -handy record button in front of the camera and in the touchscreen itself when filming yourself
                -Size is not too bulky, specially when filming with prime lenses
                -Pretty good sound recording

                CONS :
                -Doesn't come with a battery charger (charges through camera)
                -A 3k camera that doesn't have a timelapse mode?!!! seriously?!
                -manual focus button switch is very hard to get to while filming
                -AFocus from 0.5m or less is a bit unresponsive some times (tried with different lenses already)
                -very front heavy with the kit lens
                -photos in low light conditions are not as good as the videos

                overall:
                Great product, very good quality videos, it's perfect for those who have been frustrated filming with DSLRs for a long time... Although it misses very important features (timelapse or maybe more options of frame rates) its a very nice camera... I hope Sony adds a timelapse mode in future firmwares

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (0 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                good

                By tom

                from san gabriel,CA

                About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Good Image Stabilization
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Sound
                • Great Zoom
                • Large Clear LCD
                • Zoom range/performance

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • HD Shooting
                  • Home Movies
                  • Movies/Short Films
                  • Travel
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Sony NEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens:

                  with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom

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                  • No

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                  (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Exquisite control and pictures

                  By Rob

                  from Kerrville, Texas

                  About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Great Sound
                  • Large Clear LCD

                  Cons

                  • Complicated To Operate
                  • Limited Zoom

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • HD Shooting
                  • Home Movies
                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Movies/Short Films
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Sony NEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens:

                  I bought this camera because I am a nature photographer and wanted 60P, SD card (non-tape) recording, 20X zoom and manual controls. It delivered spectacularly in all but the 20X. Yes, I know it is not 20X, but Sony literature says it has 2X lossless digital zoom. Right and wrong. It is 2X but not lossless. At 20 X the video is unacceptably soft. I will say the controls are difficult to find in the heat of focusing on a little warbler flitting in the trees. But the viewfinder and LCD panel are so sharp it is very easy to find the subject (nearly impossible with camcorders with less than 450K viewfinder or LCD.) If you stay at 10X and under, this camera is a dream come true. Surround Sound is excellent. Mastering this camera will take you a while, but you will love it. Regretably, 90% of my videos are at 20X (wishing for 30 or 40X), so it was not usable. For that reason only, I returned it. B&H is #1 ... great, personal, quick service. I've bought thousands of dollars of camera equipment from them and always been happy.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (5 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  3.0

                  Still Learning!

                  By golfboy

                  from Houston

                  About Me Video Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Great Sound
                  • Great Zoom
                  • Large Clear LCD
                  • Zoom range/performance

                  Cons

                  • Complicated To Operate
                  • Poor In Low Light

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • HD Shooting

                  Comments about Sony NEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens:

                  I bought this camera to film athletic events (mostly track and field). I wanted to move up a notch from a regular camcorder. The camera feels great. Definitely no easier to use than DSLR for video as a mater of fact without controls directly for ISO and Shutter speed could be tougher to learn. So far not so great in low light. Comes with small battery. The microphone picks up the lens noise.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review