Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sony's NEX-VG10 Camcorder Ships in September

According to Camcorderinfo.com, Sony has announced specifications and pricing for the NEX-VG10, its new camcorder based on the same platform as the NEX-3 and NEX-5, Sony's answer to Panasonic and Olympus' Micro Four Thirds system. The NEX-VG10 uses the same E-mount interchangeable lenses as the NEX-3 and NEX-5, and has the same sensor and resolution as the NEX-5. However, it's packaged into a prosumer-style camcorder body, with both an electronic viewfinder and a 3" LCD display, and a new "Quad Capsule Spatial Array" microphone that's designed to address some of the complaints that DSLR users have had with poor audio recording performance.

Sony has also added some features to the NEX-VG10 to distinguish it from the NEX-5. For example, the new camcorder does away with the NEX-5's recording time limitations, has a higher maximum AVCHD bitrate (24 Mbps,) and has manual control over shutter speed, aperture, gain and white balance (all of which are automatic with no manual overrides when the NEX-5 is in video mode.)

The list price of the NEX-VG10 with a 18-200mm zoom lens with optical stabilization will be $1,999 in the US when it ships in September. This compares with approximately $800 for the NEX-5 with the same lens (which is not yet available.) On the other hand, Panasonic's AG-AF100, a camcorder based on the company's GH2 Micro Four Thirds DSLR, is rumored to be priced at $6,000 in the US when it ships later this year. The AG-AF100 will have more professional features, including dual XLR audio inputs and a wider range of frame rates and resolutions, and it's likely to be able to take advantage of some of the new third-party firmware that is available for the GH1 and GH2, but $2,000 looks like quite a bargain compared to $6,000.

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