Sony recently updated their product line with a host of photo and camcorder accessories that can help you shoot better pictures and capture better audio. This article will review some of these accessories, to help you determine which are the right ones for you.
Let's start by looking at three new tripods. All three tripods include a hardwired Sony Remote Commander for controlling the Record/Stop and Zoom of compatible Sony camcorders, as well as for taking extended bulb exposures with compatible Sony digital cameras. The tripod heads feature fluid dampening for smooth pans and tilts; the major difference will be weight, height and load capacity.
The VCT-VPR1 Compact Remote Control Tripod is lightweight at only 2.62 pounds. It's also easy to carry and set up. Based on the familiar still-photo-tripod design, this tripod has a true fluid head for smooth camera moves when shooting video. At less than a foot and a half tall when collapsed, the tripod extends to less than 5 feet tall with the center column fully extended. The VCT-VPR1 supports 6.6 pounds, so it's suitable for cameras like Sony’s CX and PJ lineup of Handycams, Cyber-shot HX300, Alpha NEX-3N and Sony’s a58 digital cameras. The remote control unit is detachable, to prevent blurred images in your video footage, and the fluid head pans 360 degrees with a tilt range of 90 degrees down and 55 degrees up. This is a good choice for a first tripod. The VCT-VPR1 comes with a carrying case and a wired remote cable, which connects to the multi terminal.
Think of the VCT-VPR10 as a big brother to the VCT-VPR1. Although the two share the basic lightweight still-photo-tripod design, suitable for low-angle shooting, the tripod legs of the VCT-VPR10 are made from carbon fiber. It can support 8.7 pounds and extends to 5.58 feet tall from only 26.5 inches when collapsed. The fluid head has an extended tilt range of 90 degrees down and 70 degrees up. Although the two tripods share the same camera compatibility, the extended weight range of the VCT-VPR10 allows you to add more accessories to your shooting package without overwhelming the tripod. It comes with a carrying case and a remote cable for the included Remote Commander. It's compatible with the multi terminal, the A/V remote terminal and the REMOTE terminal.
The VCT-VPR100 is a full-fledged video tripod. It extends from 27.63 inches to just under five feet in height, and does so without a center extension column, which reduces the risk of vibration affecting your video. This tripod is extremely stable, even at full height. It features a two-stage, three-section design, with a built-in, mid-level spreader that avoids the instability that a ground-level spreader can cause when shooting on uneven ground. The legs feature spiked feet for extra grip on soft ground. Professional features are not limited to the tripod legs, but also extend to the fluid head. The maximum load of the fluid head is 11 pounds, allowing you to use bigger cameras with interchangeable lenses. This is done while maintaining the 360-degree panning and 90-degree down to 70-degree tilt-up capabilities of the head.
In addition, the head and legs incorporate a ball-base-leveling system that allows you to quickly level the tripod head without making minute adjustments to the height of the legs. The VCT-VPR100 includes a tripod carry bag as well as four remote cables, one multi terminal, one A/V terminal cable, one REMOTE cable and one LANC cable for working with high-end cameras. Cameras compatible with the VCT-VPR100 include: the CX and PJ line of Sony Handycams, NEX interchangeable lens camcorders such as the NEX-VG900, NEX-VG30 and NEX-VG30H. Digital cameras such as the Sony Cyber-shot HX300, Alpha NEX-3N and Sony a58 cameras are also compatible. The VCT-VPR100 is a big step up in professional features, and is an excellent choice for someone looking to advance to a professional level.
Now that we have looked at the tripods, it is time to turn our attention to some Sony accessories for digital cameras and camcorders that feature the Sony’s Multi-Interface Shoe. Something to consider when researching accessories for your Sony camera is that in the autumn of 2012, Sony changed their accessory shoe port from the Active Interface Shoe to the Multi-Interface Shoe. So, if you have accessories that fit into the shoe of a Sony camera from prior to autumn of 2012, you may just need an adapter to use them with a camera that has the Multi-Interface Shoe.
This brings us to the ADP-MAC, which is an adapter that allows you to use your existing Sony Active Interface Shoe accessories with new 2013 camcorders that feature Sony’s Multi-Interface Shoe. Wireless compatibility has become essential in today’s fast moving social-media-fueled world. The ADP-WL1M Wireless Adapter attaches to the Multi-Interface Shoe and turns your compatible camcorder into a Wi-Fi-capable device that you can control remotely from a smartphone or tablet, or wirelessly transfer files from your camcorder over your network or to the Web.
|Sony ADP-MAC||Sony ADP-WL1M|
Sony’s HVL-LEIR1 camera-mounted, battery-powered LED light uses just two AA batteries, mounts on the Multi-Interface Shoe and has both visible-light LEDs and IR emitters for use with Night Shot (Plus) mode. The light features a built-in dimmer that allows you to adjust the output continuously between 10% and 100% for both the visible light and IR emitters. Rounding out the on-camera accessories is the Sony ECM-XYST1M Stereo Microphone. This multi-interface-shoe stereo microphone features an included fluffy windscreen for recording outdoors, and an adjustable pickup pattern from 0 degrees, for more directionality, to 120 degrees, for when you wish to have a more pronounced stereo effect.
|Sony HVL-LEIR1||Sony ECM-XYST1M|
Sony has recently released their PJ line up of Handycam camcorders, which feature a built-in projector for viewing your footage. Sony’s RDP-CA2 Portable Camcorder Speaker plugs into the multi-terminal port of compatible Handycam camcorders. It provides an immersive, 360-degree audio experience. An internal battery can be charged with the supplied USB cable.
To round out your camera gear, Sony offers two different carrying bags: the small-sized LCS-U11 and the medium-sized LCS-U21. These bags are soft sided and well suited for carrying your Handycam camcorder, Alpha DSLR, NEX or Cyber-shot camera and accessories, although if you have many accessories, you will obviously want to choose the larger bag. Cables are still important for connecting your camera to monitors or computers. Sony has the cables you need, such as the Handycam A/V for connecting your Handycam to an HDTV, the VMC-AVM1 A/V R Adapter Cable for connecting your A/V R accessories to your Handycam, and Sony’s VMC-UAM2 USB Adapter Cable, which connects to the USB port of HDD devices and the Handycam’s multi terminal.
So, no matter which Sony camera you choose—Handycam, Interchangeable Lens camcorder or Digital Still camera—Sony has the accessories to help you shoot and deliver your best. For more information on Sony’s Accessories, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, or contact our sales professionals over the phone at 1-800-606-6969 or online via Live Chat.
|Constructions||Not Specified||Carbon fiber||Not Specified|
|Load Capacity||6.62 lb||8.7 lb||11 lb|
|Bubble Level||Yes||Yes||Not Specified by Manufacturer|
|Independent Leg Spread||No||Yes||No|
|Quick Release Wedge Plate||Yes||Yes||Not Specified by Manufacturer|
|Leg Lock||Flip-lock||Twist Lock||Flip-lock|
|Center Column||Crank, not removable||Rapid, Removable||None|
|Head||Fluid pan/tilt||Fluid Pan/Tilt||Fluid Pan/Tilt|
|Remote Control||Yes, Wired, detachable. Hard button control: power, grid lines, still photography and start/stop button for video||Yes, Wired, detachable. Hard button control: power, grid lines, still photography and start/stop button for video||Yes, Wired, detachable. Hard button control: power, grid lines, still photography and start/stop button for video|
|Weight||2.62 lb (1.2 kg)||4.63 lb (2.1 kg)||7.5 lb (3.4 kg)|
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300
Sony NEX cameras
Sony NEX cameras