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Sony NEX-VG10 / VG20 / VG30 / VG900
Interchangeable lens AVCHD camcorders using E-Mount lenses.


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Old September 19th, 2010, 02:12 PM   #406
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There are quite a few missing video camera features that are missing in the VG10 such as peaking, zebras, ND filters and XLR inputs. I hope Sony has a prosumer version coming soon that incorporates these features. That has been their trend in the past with video cameras; I hope it is this time as well.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 05:38 PM   #407
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Are there any comparison reviews out yet? vg10 vs comparable priced cameras ?
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Old September 19th, 2010, 06:33 PM   #408
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I am really confused. So you can change the aperture but the exposure doesn't change while shooting? Does that mean you dial in your desired aperture and then film? Thanks Steve
That's correct and that's what a filmmaker wants because you don't want exposure changing DURING a shot.

Basically, you set up each shot -- and then shoot.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 07:08 PM   #409
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I'd wait for people on these forums to actually get hands on any new camera and report back - the accuracy of so many "reviews" is highly suspect, and at least here you know who you're dealing with and who shoots a similar style to what you're doing...

Personally I want to own a VG10, but for the specific use I'm after, I'm more interested in the upcoming a55 DSLT, the a580 DSLR, or perhaps whatever "7" series Alpha body comes out if they de-cripple some of the features. For me the use as a video camera is secondary, for DoF shots, short "glamour" clips, and maybe as the ocaissional static wide shot cam. The VG10 is overkill for me, and I can buy two a55 kits for the same price.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 09:10 PM   #410
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Originally Posted by Jim Snow View Post
There are quite a few missing video camera features that are missing in the VG10 such as peaking, zebras, ND filters and XLR inputs. I hope Sony has a prosumer version coming soon that incorporates these features. That has been their trend in the past with video cameras; I hope it is this time as well.
Actually, that's not been their trend. They don't take a pure consumer camcorder and add PRO features.

When they make two versions they make a pro design and make a $2,500-$2,900 version by removing features and a $3,500-$3,900 version.

The VG10 is part of the NEX series. You should read the interviews with the NEX design team. Their goal is to create a new CONCEPT. Very much like the iPad. And, the so-called reviews of the VG10 show all the same concept -- and factual -- errors as the reviews of the iPad. The iPad is not a "computer." The VG10 is not a "camcorder."

Sony does not want the NEX series to be either an HDDSLR or a camcorder. Everyone should look more closely at the NEX-3 and NEX-5. In AUTO they are a consumer imaging device. In MANUAL they are a prosumer imaging device.

PS: I have reason to suspect a pro big chip camcorder is coming, but not a version of the VG10. Likely not even the same CMOS chip because it's not an EXMOR R. Look for it to be way more than $5K.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 09:30 PM   #411
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Thanks for the insight Steve. Hopefully the appeal and benefits of large sensor cameras will spark a wide range of new cameras over the next couple of years. We should see a range of interesting products appear on the market.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 10:20 PM   #412
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The VG10 offers a PROGRAMMED AUTO mode.

So what is the bias in PROGRAMMED AUTO mode? It limits shutter-speed to 1/125th.

Of course, this means aperture will be reduced. In bright light, the aperture goes from f/22+ (blinking) to f/16.

So Sony must assume that PROGRAMMED mode will be fine when you don't need a shallow DOF.

Questions:

1) How much ND is needed to get down to f/4 (WIDE) to get minimal DOF? 4 STOPS

2) How much strobing will occur at 1/125th verses 1/40th? The answer is how much blur is captured at each speed?

See these captures below. Clearly, there is a big difference.

Watching on a computer, the 1/125th didn't have TOO MUCH strobing, yet SOME strobing. Which is good for those who hate strobing and those who love strobing.
Attached Thumbnails
Sony NEX-VG10 AVCHD E-Mount Lens Camcorder-1-125s.jpg   Sony NEX-VG10 AVCHD E-Mount Lens Camcorder-1-40s.jpg  

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Last edited by Steve Mullen; September 20th, 2010 at 03:38 AM.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 10:39 PM   #413
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
PS: I have reason to suspect a pro big chip camcorder is coming, but not a version of the VG10. Likely not even the same CMOS chip because it's not an EXMOR R. Look for it to be way more than $5K.
I quite agree with that prediction.
I would not be a bit surprised to see Sony offer a larger APS chip cam, interchangable lenses, adaptable to 35mm film lenses, with extensive pro features (something like the EX1) in the $6-$7K range. A camera like that would be a significant challenge to the Red in many segments of their market, as well as the entirety of the pro HDSLR shooters.
As to the VG10, I would anticipate the same sort of evolution that we have seen from the SR-12, thru XR-520, to the current CX-550. The camera remains at the consumer/prosumer level, and the size, price, shape, etc. change little, but the technology and functionality improve substantially with each new version.
The upgrade to an Exmor R chip would be a great example of this sort of incremental change for the VG10.
The product cycle has only been about one year between new releases in the SR-12 thru CX-550 example- could easily be similar for the VG10.
Personally, these notions make me hesitate to buy now. Since I don't actually "need" this camera for anything important at the moment, we'll see if I can actually control my impulsiveness for 12-14 months.
Probably not :(
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Old September 20th, 2010, 07:52 AM   #414
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low light

Steve, have you made any observations regarding the low-light performance? Can it rival the 7D?
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Old September 20th, 2010, 08:43 AM   #415
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
I have reason to suspect a pro big chip camcorder is coming, but not a version of the VG10. Likely not even the same CMOS chip because it's not an EXMOR R. Look for it to be way more than $5K.

Sony showed a 35mm "cinematic" camera at NAB, and then at IBC they showed a "filmlike" camera, which I think is the same camera (unless they have multiple large-chip cameras planned.) They say they will announce it formally early next year. No price yet, though I've heard people quote $6,000 and $20,000; making for a big range.


If the NEX-VG10 is popular, and/or the HDSLR's continue to be popular, I'm sure Sony will come back with something more "pro."

My personal suspicion is that Sony didn't so much "dumb-down" the NEX-VG10, as decide they wanted to get into the big sensor market as quickly as possible, and basically put the NEX hardware/software into a different form factor doing as few alterations to the software as they could get away with.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 09:50 AM   #416
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Michael I was at the release of the PMW-500 in NYC and the 35mm camera was discussed. The people from Sony said under $50K so I don't think it will be cheap. This is not targeted at HDSLR but more the Epic and Red One.

I also agree they will have a step up from the NEX-VG10 soon.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 12:55 AM   #417
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Originally Posted by Jim Snow View Post
Steve, what type of auto focus functionality do you see in video mode?
Tonight I ran some AF checks -- indoors with lots of light at 1/40th second shutter.

Here's the way the VG10 works. It has nine zones -- some set of which decide what the focus should be. (They are like face recognition functions but they work on anything with edges/contrast. They don't work on cat fur!) At times the green boxes show-up and you can see what the camera is using to focus.

Then camera then focuses. It is quite fast!

You can pan left or right and as long about a 1/3 of the screen continues to have the object, it will hold focus. So, you can easily setup a shot with up to 2/3 of the scene out of focus.

This ability to lock, can cause problems as the VG10 can refuse to focus on a new object especially at maximum tele. However, if you press the PHOTO button it forces a quick focus -- which may or may not look OK.

UPDATE: NO, the button will not work in MF. That's bad design by Sony!

In a typical filmmaking situation the AF will work fine. Focus THEN Shoot!

I haven't yet checked how well it locks on a moving objects, but from my experience I expect once the VG10 locks on a subject it will hold focus.

The other question is what happens when you pan from one subject to another. My experience with Sony's AF is as the first object moves out of the frame it holds the lock briefly as the little green boxes lock onto the next subject. So a quick pan works fine.

UPDATE: the VG10 IMHO would be a much better camcorder if it shipped with the Sony 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 lens. Unless you have a need for a greater than 100mm tele -- which I don't -- from what I can read the zoom is much less stiff and the weight is FAR less making the balance better.

You really don't need the 16mm/2.8 because the Sony 18-55mm is f3.5 which is only a stop slower. You could sell your bundled lens to a NEX owner.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; September 21st, 2010 at 05:15 AM.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 03:40 AM   #418
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Originally Posted by Jim Snow View Post
Here is a quote from the review:

"– Control Placement and User Interface. I'll be frank. The user interface on the VG10 is really not that good. It is based on that of the NEX5 which I roundly criticized when I reviewed that camera here recently. It improves on the NEX5 slightly by having a few additional buttons, ... .
The reviewer is correct, the human interface is poor -- as is the manual.

First, ALL the buttons are ALMOST flush with the case. You have little feel when you finger is on a button. (And, you have no idea WHICH button.) Each button should stick out a bit more. You or your assistant may need to look at the buttons until you learn to feel the tiny bumps.

Second, when you look directly at the buttons, you can't see the LCD which means you can't see the "soft-key"labels. For example, the MENU button is also the Back and Volume button.

The menu system itself is not organized.

How to Overcome:

Thankfully, you almost never need to use the actual menu system!!! At last you can make shooting changes without going down a menu rabbit hole.

To change a function, locate the button and press it. Now the dial becomes active and you do everything with it. Thankfully, you can feel the dial so now you can look at the LCD/VF to see the values change.

Sometimes, you make a choice by pressing the dial -- other times the dial remains LIVE, for example, to control the aperture while you shoot.

But, a LIVE shutter-dial is crazy! Tapping the dial should lock the speed.

1) Frankly, one solution is to use the PROGRAMMED AUTO which limits the speed between 1/30th and 1/125th. (It works as a shutter-priority mode.)

2) Alternately, use the MANUAL mode: set/lock the shutter-speed and then switch to aperture control with the dial.

Still, Sony should have caught this design error.

Now about the hot images. Yes, they are hot. But, in everything but MANUAL mode you can dial in a bias

WB has some really cool features! GAIN works fine.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; September 21st, 2010 at 04:28 AM.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 04:28 AM   #419
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I'd like to know more about the audio capabilites. I read elsewhere that it only has AGC with no manual levels. I don't know the source of this information but if correct, it will be a serious disadvantage.
I ran tests tonight. With a source I could switch ON/OFF it recorded peaks at up to -7dB -- which is good because it gives 6dB for really loud sounds. (I am assuming a limiter prevents clipping.)

A very soft background source was also playing with peaks at about -47dB.

Upon turning off the main source there was NO change in the level of the low source over time. (I was using USB earphones.)

I would conclude there is no AGC -- only a limiter.

However, Sony should have listed the Mic jack's sensitivity spec so one could match a mic to the VG10.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 09:21 AM   #420
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What about the HDMI out put, will it be good for capturing to a Nanoflash?
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