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


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Old December 21st, 2010, 06:53 PM   #31
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I'm not bashing the 10, but I have moved material on it to an Appendix in my book on the NEX FAMILY. The reason the 10 gets bashed is its price given what is missing. It is a wonderful product.

But, once you use focus assist on the NEX-5 you get really pissed at Sony. Why is it missing on the 10?

And why is it so EZ to use the dials on the back and top of the NEX while the 10 has 9 buttons that have no unique feel? Sony could have put some in front by the lens. But it was cheaper to crowd them into one circuit board. And, since they saved money doing this, why price a consumer product at $2000.

I think the bashing is not the camcorder, but Sony. Putting the focus assist firmware that was already in the other cameras would have cost nothing! And, why did they not see how bad the menu system worked before all cameras were released? You should read the interviews with the NEX designers. They talk like a camera was a perfume bottle. It's all about making a design statement. The engineers are there to simply put the guts inside the package. It seems no one with real photography experience actually checks the design for usability. I'm sure they thought the 9 buttons were cute! And, the menus were fashionable. And, of course making a pink camera was a way to get girls to buy.


So my feeling is that the best choice is to get maximum video quality at the cheapest price. I can do that with the NEX-5 now selling with the 16mm lens for $900.

PS: of course the battery helps the front back balance, but it makes the twisting even worse. There was a reason film cameras had a grip CENTERED UNDER THE CAMERA. Camcorders have been badly designed IMHO for the last several decades.

Amazingly, by laying a NEX-5 in the palm of my left hand it balances perfectly. The back of my palm is under the camera giving support to keep it horizontal. The front of my palm is under the lens, giving it front to back stability.

Now my right hand is free to use the controls on the back and top. Controls I can glance down and SEE. I can reach forward to focus and zoom.

This works for shooting video better than the 10's "camcorder" design.

Bottom line, a camcorder design only works when the controls are made distinct so you can find them by feel AND when they are located in logical places. For example, focus controls should be close to the lens. White balance and gain can be on the side. Sony calling the 10 a camcorder doesn't make it a good camcorder.

PS2: when the NEX came out there were negative comments of the lenses. For video, these tiny imperfections will never be seen. A photograph has about 12 megapixels. Video has 2. Photographers love to nit pick about lenses. The good point about all these cameras is we can change the lens after we buy.

I'd love to see Sony sell body only or body with the A-mount adaptor.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 08:05 PM   #32
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Sorry Steve,

Your comment has always been fair, balanced and informative. I've learned a lot from reading your posts. I should have thought more carefully about how I worded my frustrations, which were actually directed towards non-owners who criticize the camera based solely on hearsay and third party opinion. Like you say, it is a great bit of kit. Having said that I agree that some of SONY's omissions have been odd and can understand that there are legitimate grounds for serious criticism of the company's handling of the release. We can only hope that they take a leaf out of Canon's book and at least give us some of what we're asking for with the next firmware update.

Form factor was particularly important for me - I've only ever worked with moving images and didn't want to learn an entirely new system from the ground up, plus I wanted something that could allow me to pass for a tourist/not intimidate people unused to being interviewed (I've done a fair bit of work with young people with severe educational and behavioral difficulties). A small, potentially self contained unit that shot decent footage without a lot of support grip was a must. And particularly given the number of one time events I was involved with I also needed be certain that my camera wouldn't overheat/ run up against an arbitrary record time limit at a vital moment and could function as a reliable B-cam. Lastly, I needed something with beautiful shallow DoF to shoot shorts with a more traditionally filmic feel than my XH-A1 or HDR-HC7 could provide.

I know I made the right choice for me, and am still convinced of that. It was a substantial purchase though, particularly given the dicey economic times we're currently in, and I have found it a bit dispiriting on the forum lately as I march uncertainly towards the end of our tax year.

Can't argue with the a-mount bundle idea. As soon as I get some work in in the new year my first purchase priorities are the a- mount adaptor, the 50mm and 35mm DT lenses and a 7inch Lilliput monitor for the cold shoe...

Many thanks again for your detailed, well argued and well mannered post. I shall endeavor to take a leaf out of your book in future.

Henry
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Old December 21st, 2010, 10:51 PM   #33
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There has been from day one endless negative buzz which I too have fought against. I 'm used to this. We've already learned there are negative posts on the GH2 that hasn't even shipped.

What was extra frustrating is that many of these comments were based upon Sony's paritially correct announcement.

I say partially because Sony is correct that 1080i60/30PsF will in fact be seen as 1080i60. It will not be seen as 1080p30 by your NLE. So they were correct to say SHOULD be editing this as interlaced video.

Now that they have clarified that it is shooting progressive I see folks posting that you can simply drop these clips in a 1080p30 timeline. That's not true because today NLEs look at the clip and decide how it should be handled. When it sees an interlaced clip it will deinterlace it causing a big loss in vertical resolution. Sony wanted to avoid this error.

There is one NLE that avoids this problem. Vegas from Sony. It's nice they included it, but they misunderstood the American market. Here we chose our NLE years ago. We aren't likely to switch. And, they failed to understand that the Mac is the computer of choice for creative types. And, iMovie and FCP are most used.

In almost every way they seem unable to grasp the USA market -- which is why they leave 24p out. I've worked with Sony here and in Japan, and I have no hope anything will change. You need to understand that like the USA most of the work is done by young kids. The difference is these kids live in Sony dorms, eat at Sony dinning halls, and buy Sony products. They don't travel except to go bar hopping in Tokyo. They don't own a car. They have no idea what a REAL camera is like.

The older execs are even worse because they have 20-30 years in this environment. They have learned the Sony way which they truly believe is more FREE THINKING than the other companies. The problem is that while this may have been true 25 years ago, it's not likely true today.

And, in all companies -- except perhaps JVC -- the really old execs live in a mindset where Japan is still in the late 1980s and they don't need to listen to anything from the Sony folks in the USA.

So I simply decided to write about how to get the most from what they have given us.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 11:28 PM   #34
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In reading all this talk on the VG10 marketing "niche",...on overall, one general theme about this camera stands out;

Generally speaking, the ONLY people that will buy this camera are the kind of people that actually understand that this thing BADLY missing focus assist.

"Joe consumer"?... He doesn't want a VG10. He doesn't know enough about video to understand why he should want an APSC camcorder. And, he damn sure doesn't even know that "peaking" even is!

So,..the only people that "would" by a VG10 are people that know the technical benefits of large sensor optics....and this is the exact crowd that expects simple things like "peaking" and "zebras". Duh!

Sony really screwed up on how they crippled the VG10. The camera is simply too "smart" and expensive for the typical consumer, yet too "dumb" for a pro or semi-pro....and that's just not necessary.

It misses on BOTH TARGETS!

C'mon Sony,...fix this thing with peaking and zebra firmware updates. Jeesh!...it's NOT going to eat into your ENG Cam market!

CT
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 02:09 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Williams View Post
I should have thought more carefully about how I worded my frustrations, which were actually directed towards non-owners who criticize the camera based solely on hearsay and third party opinion. Like you say, it is a great bit of kit. Having said that I agree that some of SONY's omissions have been odd and can understand that there are legitimate grounds for serious criticism of the company's handling of the release. We can only hope that they take a leaf out of Canon's book and at least give us some of what we're asking for with the next firmware update.
That's slightly contradictory. I see that a lot of it is about features that were omitted. For me, I'm not basing it for the sake of it. I did the same thing when the GH1 came out even though I bought it. The codec wasn't that great and Panasonic decided to put 24p within 60i which I viewed as a big mistake. I've even argued against people who viewed that as no big deal. The fact of the matter is that a lot of consumers doesn't know that you need something like NeoScene to fix that. Even the GH2 has some issues that I mentioned elsewhere like the menu for example.

I really do agree that some of them are like me that wanted to like the VG10 because it's shaped like a camcorder but are frustrated that it's missing features that they really need like something as simple as focus assist, 24p, audio gain control, or my specialty, 720 60p (although I don't think the chip can handle 60p). Theirs no denying that had Sony put extra features and even lower the price a little, they'd be less bashing and some of those people criticising it would have been selling their DSLRs to own one.



With all that said, I personally wouldn't mind shooting an event with a VG10 just to see how it would be like, I figure if I can get used to shooting with the GH1, than it might not take me long to get used to shooting with the VG10. I just wished it more features.

Last edited by Paulo Teixeira; December 22nd, 2010 at 04:48 AM.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 03:17 AM   #36
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You all might enjoy these stories on how the NEX was designed.


Sony Global - Sony Design - Activity - Feature Design

Sony Global - Sony Design - Activity - Feature Design

Sony Global - Sony Design - Activity - Feature Design
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 03:32 AM   #37
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The phrase "eager to explore color" was particularly good. I feel very sorry for the Engineers who had to work round these people and actually build the camera. They sound just like the worst kind of "creative" Producer!
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 04:22 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Henry Williams View Post
I should have thought more carefully about how I worded my frustrations, which were actually directed towards non-owners who criticize the camera based solely on hearsay and third party opinion.
The DNA of DVInfo is about sharing information. Owning a piece of kit isn't a requirement to post or express an opinion/thought on DVInfo. THere's plenty of good advice given from non-kit owners.

Frankly, of all places, this thread (a discussion on a "New Pro Model" of the VG10) is exactly where non-owners can contribute. Why people didn't/won't buy the VG10 is equally and perhaps more important than a feature list from kit owners.

The thinking that only kit owners have valid opinions is incorrect. In fact, it's the same ingrown thinking that resulted in the poor product management of the VG10. By it's nature, you can depend on errors from non-kit owners just like you can depend on lack of knowledge on competitive cameras by VG10 owners. The contribution as a kit owner is to politely and professionally correct the wrong information. Conversely, chest beating about the VG10 is sure to draw correction from non-kit owners. That also should be done politely and professionally.

This is a community. It's so much more pleasant when people have discussions and trade thoughts like friends talking around the water cooler or social event. Frankly, there's no reason not to be as polite here to mis-information or disagreement than you would face to face. And, making blanket general statements about "them" isn't helpful either.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 04:54 AM   #39
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Sorry Paulo and Les,

I didn't mean to imply non-owners didn't have the right to comment, or that the VG10 was a perfect product.

Henry
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 05:11 AM   #40
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No problem. Your insight as a VG10 owner has been valuable to me in assessing the VG10 as a B-Camera. I failed to mention it but that's a very clear and important role you have here on DVInfo.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 05:47 AM   #41
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Many thanks Les,

I'll see if I can get that side by side test up in the next few days.

Henry
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Old December 27th, 2010, 09:46 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
Can any VG10 owners confirm this:

"I have read that the VG10 does NOT output live HDMI when recording? (only on playback?) Is this true?"

CT
It does output live via HDMI but the EVF and LCD shut down, leaving you to hook up an external monitor.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 02:37 PM   #43
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Oh wow!,...that is an AWESOME feature!

Shutting down the ability to monitor your shooting while attached to an external recorder is brilliant!!!!!!!!

I mean seriously folks,...you KNOW that Sony engineers were giggling and laughing their butts off when that code was programmed into the firmware. The engineers were prolly all having drinks that night at happy hour joking about the stupidity of that. (the Sony "PMW" group down the hall prolly demanded it.)

I mean c'mon Sony,...you guys are better than this. How do you put that feature/function on the market with a straight face?

Why not insert a text on the display that reads "HDMI connected - Screen & viewfinder disabled so as to not threaten our pro-market."

I'm actually embarrassed for Sony.

CT :-(

(I'm still a loyal Sony fan,...but stuff like this makes me question myself)
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Old January 4th, 2011, 06:52 AM   #44
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My VG10 book publisher tried very hard to reach the camcorder PR woman last spring with NO results.

I'm having no luck now.

Yet, the PR person for the PRO division responded in an hour.

I can't decide if this is a very bad employee, its something about the the Consumer group, or Sony simply isn't interested in THE VG10 or THIS VG10.

I also noticed that in some countries the VG10 is still listed as a 1080ii product.

Now if you go to the Sony Japan website, the VG10 is a really big deal! Tons of wonderful pictures. So Sony Japan is certainly pushing it.
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