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Sony just announced its release of the first Handycam camcorder to accept interchangeable lenses. It also features a quad capsule spatial array stereo microphone that captures spectacular audio. I’m talking about the NEX-VG10.
Not only does it offer the flexibility of an interchangeable lens system, it's one of the sleekest-looking prosumer camcorders you've ever seen in a compact form factor.
The NEX-VG10 features a large Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with 19.5 times the surface area of sensors used in conventional camcorders. It’s the same sensor format that Sony uses in its Alpha compact DSLRs. The sensor lets you shoot AVCHD video at up to 24Mbps at full 1920x1080/60i HD resolution, which is ideal for recording onto Blu-ray media. The big, beautiful sensor also lets you capture 14-megapixel still images. The camera stores its recordings on Memory Stick or SD/SDHC media.
The NEX-VG10 comes with an 11x zoom 18-200mm Optical SteadyShot image-stabilized lens. It has an effective 35mm equivalent focal range of 27mm-300mm. But the camera is also compatible with all of Sony’s smaller, lighter E-mount Series lenses, which are optimized for video with silent operation and autofocus. An optional LA-EA1 adapter lets you attach Sony Alpha and Konica Minolta A-mount lenses, including Sony’s G lens and Carl Zeiss lenses.
If you want to capture high-quality HD video, you will of course want to capture high-quality audio to go along with it. The NEX-VG10’s quad capsule spatial array stereo microphone contains four microphone capsules that are sensitive enough to pick up detailed front-side directivity and stereo separation. But if you want more audio options, a microphone jack lets you connect external microphones, and a stereo headphone jack permits audio monitoring.
The NEX-VG10 features a 25-point autofocus system and lots of modes and settings to help you get the exact shots you want. Six creative style settings include Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset and B&W; you can also fine-tune contrast, saturation and sharpness if you like. A dynamic range optimizer recovers details hidden in shadows when shooting backlit subjects. Eight white-balance modes include Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash and Custom.
With the burst mode, up to seven frames per second, you can catch fast action still-image sequences. To eliminate blur, an Anti-Motion Blur mode quickly takes six consecutive shots, grabs the best data from each shot, and creates a single super-sharp image. Similarly, in low-light environments, a Handheld Twilight mode takes six consecutive shots and combines them all to create a single image with proper exposure. A
Like any good DSLR, the NEX-VG10 features Anti-Dust Technology to keep the CMOS sensor clean. A special coating on the sensor's low-pass filter repels dust, and a vibration system automatically dislodges any dust that does manage to settle on the sensor. When it’s time to review your captured footage, you can do so on an HDTV via the camera’s HDMI output, or you can simply use the swiveling 3-inch Xtra Fine LCD.
The NEX-VG10 isn’t shipping until September. But if you click the little “Notify When In Stock” button on the product page, B&H will let you know when you can grab one. We have a hands-on review of the NEX-VG10 in the works, so keep an eye on B&H Insights for that article in the near future. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this new camera system, we encourage you to post them in the Comments section!