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SonyNEX-VG30 Camcorder with 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens
 
3.8

(based on 13 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

64%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Zoom range/performance (14)
  • Great picture quality (9)
  • Large clear LCD (8)
  • Easy to use (7)
  • Great sound (7)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (4)

Best Uses

  • Documentaries (8)
  • HD shooting (8)
  • Movies/short films (6)
  • Home movies (5)
  • Travel (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro (5), Enthusiast (4), Pro videographer (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (13)

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

 

DISSAPOINTED

I bought this camera after reading the reviews of how great and cinamatic it was!! The bottom line is the footage in low light is ridiculous! I have a A6000 which produces sharp...Read complete review

I bought this camera after reading the reviews of how great and cinamatic it was!! The bottom line is the footage in low light is ridiculous! I have a A6000 which produces sharp noiseless footage even with the kit lens. I have tested all settings on the VG30 for low light, the image quality is awful,I even bought the Sony 50mm F1.8 fast lense and still grainy. The same lens on my A6000produced amazing footage with no noise what so ever when I tested both cameras in the same location with the same lense. Bright daylight and the VG30 is good but it should be for the price, overcast or lowlight situations= forget it. Dont believe the hype its rubbish..

Reviewed by 13 customers

Displaying reviews 1-13

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

All-around great product

By Emily the Runner

from Los Osos, CA

About Me Pro Videographer

Pros

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

Cons

    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:

    I began my videography career with a small Panasonic HC series. I needed the video camera body to record long 2-3 hour plays and concerts. After a few years, I began using my Canon Rebel T3i for my short films to reproduce the popular cinematic look. I loved both of my cameras, but I needed something that could meet all of my needs in one device. That's when I found the NEX-VG30. With the body and recording capabilities of a video camera combined with the large imaging device and interchangeable lenses of my DSLR, this truly is a perfect camera. From weddings and short films to travel shows and commercial productions, this camera has never let me down.

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    • No

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    (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    DISSAPOINTED

    By VideoPro

    from UK

    About Me Pro Videographer

    Pros

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

    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 camera after reading the reviews of how great and cinamatic it was!! The bottom line is the footage in low light is ridiculous! I have a A6000 which produces sharp noiseless footage even with the kit lens. I have tested all settings on the VG30 for low light, the image quality is awful,I even bought the Sony 50mm F1.8 fast lense and still grainy. The same lens on my A6000produced amazing footage with no noise what so ever when I tested both cameras in the same location with the same lense. Bright daylight and the VG30 is good but it should be for the price, overcast or lowlight situations= forget it. Dont believe the hype its rubbish..

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Fabulous little camera

      By bobfleckcreative

      from Burlington, ON, Canada

      About Me Pro Videographer

      Verified Reviewer

      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.

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      • No

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      (8 of 16 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.

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          • No

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          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

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          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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          (9 of 32 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 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            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.

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            • 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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              (11 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              great step up for DSLRs videographers

              By Ale

              from New Zealand

              About Me Semi-pro Videographer

              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 reviewHelp Icon

              (0 of 14 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.

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                • No

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                (7 of 16 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.

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                • No

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