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


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Old September 25th, 2010, 12:27 PM   #451
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
Wow! Turns out I really don't want ACTIVE and don't need active on the 18-55.
Be careful what you wish for :)
If the VG10 "active" mode w/ 18-200 lens is anything near as effective as it is on the CX550, it is worth a lot to handheld shooters like me.
With the CX550, you can "feel" the cam lock on to the image and see it become rock steady in the LCD. Then, as your trembly, twitchy hands finally exceed the IS limit, you get just a gentle drift of the image, then it locks on again. Bottom line, the shots look very acceptable in post- not tripod steady, but they certainly pass the "I didn't notice any camera shake" test when the finished project is viewed. If I use a monopod with Active mode- even just stuck in my belt buckle- I can often get shots that look locked down.
Prior to "active" mode IS, I was constantly either having to throw out great shots as unusable (particularly due to camera "roll"), or spend the time motion tracking the shot if I had to use it.
IMO, it's pretty amazing technology.
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Old September 25th, 2010, 02:05 PM   #452
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Steve, what's the advantage of the wide angle lens Sony offers, in your opinion, since it's not that different from the wide end of the other lenses? Just the extra fast speed? Have you had a chance to use it?
I must say this camera fascinates me, both from its ergonomics and its affordability.
What other cameras in the pipeline do you see as offering competition? The Panasonic AF-101? At this level of large imager visual quality, do you think the differences are going to be discernable or are we now getting to the point of hair-splitting on issues like low-light performance and such?

Do you think we've now reached a watershed moment in HD cameras?
Sorry for all the questions but this seems to be the moment I've been waiting for for decades.

Last edited by Lynne Whelden; September 26th, 2010 at 08:51 AM.
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Old September 26th, 2010, 11:27 AM   #453
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The advantage is it is an f/2.8 verses the f/3.5 on the 18-55mm when in Wide. So I will be sending it back. That's only about a 1/2 stop faster.

If you want to spend money --- the adaptor with a 30-35mm f/1.4 lens would really offer low light capability. You have to buy a WIDE lens because its focal length is multiplied by 1.8 and you really want a 50-60mm lens.

====

"I'm really looking at the a55, where I can use old Minolta glass..."

So are you saying the MC/MD lenses mount on a a55? If so, shouldn't they mount on the A-mount adaptor? A really fast "short" zoom that was fully manual would be nice. Something like a 28-84mm.

====

I've stopped using the 18-200. The 18-55 is so much nicer to use. Of course, now I have to practice what I teach -- don't zoom, walk up to the action! Being physically close looks different, but the world has gotten used to Tele shots. Yet most scenes in a movie are shot with the camera physically close.

PS: That is a potential advantage of the 18mm lens. The minimum focus distance may let you shoot in someone's "personal space." I need to compare that to the 18-55 at WIDE.
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Old September 26th, 2010, 12:10 PM   #454
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Steve have you used a Canon 7d?
Would you recommend a 7d owner make the change to the Sony NEX-VG10?
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Old September 26th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #455
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ND Filter Solution??

Steve and others have brought up the problems caused by the lack of ND filters in the VG10.
It's hardly an issue with cams like the CX550, because DOF is not a real issue.
Obviously, with the VG10, one would like to be able to restrain shutter speed, while using a low f-stop to create shallow DOF in bright daylight.
Singh-Ray produces a still camera variable ND filter (the VariND)- gives you from 2-8 stops by just turning the ring (like a circular polarizing filter), 77mm filter with 67mm/77mm step-up ring for the VG. The large filter size should eliminate vignetting on wide angle shots.
On paper this looks like an elegant solution.
For daylight shooting the filter could just live on the camera, set the cam for shutter priority at 1/30, 1/60 etc., then just dial the ND filter to get the desired f-stop. This was always sort of my procedure with the EX1, but somewhat limited by having only 2 ND choices.
I wonder if any of you have actual experience using the VariND for video.
Any downsides??
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Old September 26th, 2010, 05:08 PM   #456
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What I'd really like is a ND filter that gives you the choice of 0 to 6, 8 or whatever. That way you wouldn't have to keep unscrewing it. That's the problem I see with the VariFilter you're talking about. What a pain to be putting it on, then taking it off when it's too dark or too many shadows.
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Old September 26th, 2010, 08:45 PM   #457
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0 to 8 stops would be excellent.
Unfortunately, no such product exists.
My guess is that unless you are truely in "low light", you could routinely spot the cam 2 stops @ 1/60 as a matter of course.
We'll see...
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Old September 27th, 2010, 02:38 PM   #458
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Box cameras

Has anyone come up with a descriptive term for this next generation of video cameras such as the VG10 and the Panasonic AF100?
Seems to me the companies don't want to make the camera too user-friendly so they're putting an industrial twist on it...boxy and (probably) somewhat unbalanced. From what Steve says, the ergonomics of the VG10 with the supplied lens is not so good. I imagine the same can be said for the AF100 and the Red Scarlet if that ever materializes.

Nevertheless, we are getting the sort of images we've been longing for. It's just that the companies don't want to produce a product that competes with their large-imager shoulder-mounted cameras. So I guess boxy is the only other direction they could go. (Well, triangles and globes come to mind...but let's not give them any more bad ideas!)
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Old September 27th, 2010, 02:58 PM   #459
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The Pana AF 100 absolutely looks like a shoebox.
IMO, the VG10 is a Masseratti by comparison. It's actually pretty stylish.
The VG is reported to be a bit front heavy with the 18-200 lens. Supposedly, the large battery (FV 100) corrects that a bit. Also a left hand forward (fingers under the focus ring) might even out the distribution of weight.
There's not much weight to begin with- I think around 3 lbs with battery and lens.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 11:13 AM   #460
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[photokina] Sony Unveils 7 Lens Units for NEX Mirrorless Cameras

Sept 27, 2010 16:51


The four interchangeable lenses to be released within 2011. A wide-angle single focus lens, single focus macro lens, single focus portrait lens and telephoto lens with the brand name of "Carl Zeiss."


A zoom lens, wide-angle zoom lens and single focus middle-range lens are scheduled to be released within 2012 under the brand name of "G Lens."


A flash unit is under development.


It will become possible to use the autofocus function with lenses equipped with an SAM or SSM motor.


Users will be able to assign the functions to change ISO sensitivity, auto HDR (high dynamic range) and aperture value to buttons.


It is important for SLR camera users to quickly change ISO sensitivity, etc.


It will become possible to shoot movies with an aperture value set for shooting still images. Currently, an aperture value is automatically set for shooting movies and cannot be adjusted by a user.

Sony Corp will launch seven interchangeable lenses for its "NEX" series of mirrorless cameras in 2012.

This was announced by Masashi Imamura, president of the company's Personal Imaging & Sound Business Group, at photokina2010, which is taking place in Cologne, Germany. Currently, there are only three interchangeable lenses that are compatible with the "E-mount," a lens mount for the NEX.

When Sony asked the users of the NEX about the camera, an overwhelmingly majority of them said that they want more lenses, said Toru Katsumoto, Sony senior general manager, Imaging Division 3.

Sony will release a wide-angle single focus lens, single focus macro lens, single focus portrait lens and telephoto lens under the brand name of "Carl Zeiss" within 2011. And the company intends to launch a zoom lens, wide-angle zoom lens and single focus middle-range lens under the brand name of "G Lens" within 2012. At photokina 2010, mock-ups of those lenses were exhibited along with a flash unit.

Imamura also announced that Sony started to consider disclosing the specifications of the E-mount to third-party manufacturers. Some manufacturers have already released mount adapters, and an increasing number of users are attaching the lenses of film cameras to the NEX cameras.

The specifications of the E-mount include mechanical elements such as shape and electronic elements that deal with signals. But the company has not yet decided to what extent it will disclose the specifications.

=========

Sony will update the firmware of the NEX in mid-October 2010 and the firmware of the NEX-VG10 camcorder in mid-November 2010 to responds to the following user complaints, which were cited most frequently.

- When a lens for the A-mount is attached to the NEX by using the "LA-EA1" mount adapter, its autofocus function does not work.

- It is not possible to change ISO sensitivity, auto HDR (high dynamic range) or aperture value by pressing a single button.

- It is not possible for users to set an aperture value for shooting a movie.

===============

MORE ABOUT FIRMWARE:


Here's a detailed list of the changes in this firmware update:

Adds a user-selectable option to drop you back into whatever menu item you had last selected, vs. always taking you to the top of the menu system when you hit the Menu button. (A huge improvement in usability; one that frequently had us gnashing our teeth as we fiddled with the cameras many options while testing the prototypes.)

Adds a user-selectable option to make the NEX menus wrap so scrolling off the bottom will take you back to the top entry again. (Not quite as important as the first change above, but this still removes an enormous annoyance.)



Adds customizable buttons: A gigantic improvement for experienced users. The center button and lower-left button on the camera's back (see illustration above) can now have a wide range of camera functions assigned to them. Sony reps at the press event didn't have an exact number for how many functions could be assigned, but said it was "a whole passel" -- potentially 20 or more. Configurable options include things like white balance, ISO, exposure mode, etc. The center button can have up to three functions assigned to it simultaneously, which can be selected by pressing multiple times or pressing and scrolling with the rear control dial. The lower left button supports just one function at once. Bottom line, you'll be able to have up to four camera functions close at hand, rather than having to delve into the menu system.
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Sony NEX-VG10 AVCHD E-Mount Lens Camcorder-1.jpg   Sony NEX-VG10 AVCHD E-Mount Lens Camcorder-2.jpg  

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Last edited by Steve Mullen; September 28th, 2010 at 02:50 PM.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 11:34 AM   #461
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Young View Post
Steve and others have brought up the problems caused by the lack of ND filters in the VG10.
I've researching (hours) and testing and its now clear I'm going to have to write a lesson on DOF for my book. Fundamentally: illumination, focal-length, distance to subject, amount of motion "of" or "within" frame, and ND strength must ALL be considered. Each of these is a variable!

So, the need for a vari-ND is high -- but the cost is also high. Cokin makes an assembly that holds drop-in filters and that may be a solution.

I'm now only using the 18-55 zoom and shooting bright sunlight with an ND8 I understand how to get a shallow DOF with a reasonably slow shutter-speed.

But, the typical buyer is NEVER going to figure it all out!

PS: Sony sells an ND8 for both zooms. But, I stuck a 52mm into the 18-55 lens-hood so it goes on/off easily. A 5- or 6-stop would even be better, but they are rare and expensive.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #462
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The VG is reported to be a bit front heavy with the 18-200 lens. Supposedly, the large battery (FV 100) corrects that a bit. Also a left hand forward (fingers under the focus ring) might even out the distribution of weight.
I find the long lens to be unuseable hand-held! Adding weight will help, but then it's too heavy for me.

Worse, a QUARTER turn moves the zoom lens 6-inches.

On the 18-55 a HALF turn moves the zoom lens 1-inch.

The mechanical advantage of the long lens is like 12X worse. Unless you have a really heavy tripod, you'll not be able to zoom without jiggling the camera.

The 18-55 rings are like silk.

You can't make a long zoom lens using plastic parts! The friction is just too high. Sony should have done a 6X lens.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #463
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So, the need for a vari-ND is high -- but the cost is also high.
The Singh-Ray VariND is pricey @ around $350, but I noticed another brand (LCW Fader ND) that B&H carries for only $125.
It has the same specs: 2-8 stops. I have no idea what the quality issues are with this sort of product, or the trade-offs that might be involved with using one for HD video photography.
I was hoping someone on this forum had some experience to share.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 12:35 PM   #464
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Worse, a QUARTER turn moves the zoom lens 6-inches.
I'm noticing that my Nikon 18-200 SLR lens is actually similar to the Sony E in that it is only about a quarter turn from wide to full tele.
Using it for still photography, the action seems smooth enough, but I could never do a steady hand held video zoom with it.
I'm thinking maybe it's just going to be a fact of life that without servo zoom or tripod, zoom shots are not going to be possible with the VG10 :(
Probably good for me- 90% of my zoom shots never get used in post anyway, maybe I should stop shooting them.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 09:54 PM   #465
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You can't make a long zoom lens using plastic parts! The friction is just too high. Sony should have done a 6X lens.
What I find sad is Sony using plastic in a lens with a current retail price of $800 USD.
How far we have fallen.

Quick question: Does the camera shoot interlaced or is it really progessive packaged into an interlaced stream?
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