As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10 at DVinfo.net

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Sony NEX-VG10 / VG20 / VG30 / VG900
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 05:45 PM   #1
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As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

The 2010 VG10 IMHO has been a bit of a dud.

Reviews have been few and not all that positive. Actually they have been negative.

[Review] Sony NEX-VG10, Video with style and performance Akihabara News

Sony NEX VG-10 Camcorder Review

VG10 Samples and Conclusion

Sony NEX-VG10 Review | FanGirlTastic

Our NEX-VG10 Review Diary started - The GetDPI Photography Forums

The question now is, will Sony let the VG10 die, or will the treat it as a prototype of a 4K2K camcorder. 2011 will provide and answer. For a preview:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...econciled.html

One hopes that many of the annoying nits that gave evidence the VG10 was rushed into production will be fixed.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 07:10 AM   #2
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

I would imagine the VG10 will get an upgrade, or a follow-up model. All of Sony's consumer cams seem to do this. Maybe not this year.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 05:26 PM   #3
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

I expect the VG10 will be replaced. The VG20 will be priced the same. My hope is that Sony will allow a wider choice of bundled lenses and a no lens price.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 07:50 PM   #4
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

Refresh my memory. What's the advantage of the VG10 over a Nex stills camera other than the handle and a long running battery?

Realizing that two companies have put a large sensor in a camera body with basically the right stuff and it ends up over $4k. So, what could Sony possibly do to the VG-10 that it wouldn't conflict with the FS100? And given the situation in Japan, would that product really be the priority? I mean people wanting sDOF in under $2k have quite a few less expensive stills cameras to choose from.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 11:22 PM   #5
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

Realistically, the VG10 was an interesting experiment...

Sony has committed to the NEX and E Mount, but they are also committed to the A mount SLT style camera, which can do short clips rather nicely, and I expect once they get the overheat issue resolved, will be able to do long clips too... admittedly this is with the usual Sony "no manual controls for you" philosophy, but that too can change.

There are advantages to a video camera style device with a big sensor, Sony wanted to see if there was a market there... and I don't think they found one, at least not one of any size, which wouldn't surprise me if it dooms future development.

Of course part of the problem is a sexy looking camera with a lot of shortcomings - don't get me wrong, I'd still like to have one (did I mention it's sexy?), at the right price, and I've seen some pretty good prices on used ones, but not good enough to make me jump.

If I need short DoF clips, the A55 and A580 can do a pretty good job, and I don't invest in a new lens system, the small CX series cams cover most of anything else I really would need. To me the VG10 just doesn't fit a niche, no matter how much it looks tempting.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 02:08 PM   #6
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Realistically, the VG10 was an interesting experiment...
To me the VG10 just doesn't fit a niche, no matter how much it looks tempting.
I agree.
In some ways the VG 10 is "too much" for a consumer cam, but at the same time, well short of a "prosumer" featured camera.
So, will there be a VG 20?
Will it be sort of a mini FS 100?
Honestly, I love the VG 10 form factor- it is sexy looking!!
If Sony were willing to beef up the functions & features a bit as a VG 20, I would probably go for it.
Or... Sony could just let it die.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 02:58 PM   #7
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

I find the biggest problem of the VG 10 is the professional capability expectations for what is a consumer-level camera. Most of the reviews I've read on the camera have been written by professional image makers. In reality, the VG 10 is a highly capable consumer camera that logically leverages on the success of the NEX still cameras and its hardware. It gives a nice way for amateurs to expand their still image hobby into the video world. In that way, I see the VG 10 as a success for Sony and consumers.

An analogy I can make in expecting the VG 10 to run with the big dogs in video production is in the motor bike world. I own what is called a "maxi-scooter" - essentially a large scooter that is capable of 100 MPH. This class of bikes gets reviewed in the motorcycle magazines by riders of bikes that are superior in performance so is unfairly regarded from the get-go. But just as we don't buy a mini-van or panel truck to run the quarter mile, we don't and can't base reviews of a scooter against that of a sport bike. Also just as a Ferrari makes a lousy delivery vehicle and a panel truck makes a lousy race car, a scooter makes a lousy canyon carver and a VG 10 makes a lousy professional video and "film" production A camera. Of course, my scooter gets 55 miles per gallon, carries a passenger, can store 55 liters of cargo, has an automatic transmission, has a full featured dashboard, a parking brake, and a power outlet - all rare if even available on "real" motorcycles. Likewise, the Sony is accessible to amateurs, has a larger sensor than many (including my own) professional camera, has a decent built-in mic (although pros rarely use the one on their own cameras) interchangeable lens capability, light weight, and dead simple operation. Who doesn't want that? Also, production folks are doing quite nicely using the VG 10 as a B camera and doing so with success. Right tool for the job and all that.

As I've mentioned before, Sony as well as Canon and Panasonic are having to do some soul searching right now as they arrange and position models in their own product lines as:
* bigger sensors become cheaper and more common
* not-fast-enough image processing speed becomes less of an issue
* AVC can be edited natively on nearly all NLEs
* Audio can be captured on remote devices nearly as easily as an XLRs devices and edited nearly as easily
* portable low-compression recorders become more common and cheaper
* SLR lenses are now part of the video family

I see a near future where video cameras become more modular. Seriously, with the way dSLR video is going, it really makes traditional, low-end pro cameras a point-and-shoot feel where you're stuck with the codec and bandwidth, lens and audio functions it came with. Much of the innovation is happening in the amateur world (where, for instance, the dSLR video trend started) too many of us disparage. For me, I'm excited about innovation wherever it happens.

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Old April 25th, 2011, 10:38 PM   #8
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

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Originally Posted by Dave Burckhard View Post
It gives a nice way for amateurs to expand their still image hobby into the video world.
How so?

Take this with a grain of salt because I don't own one. I would have if it had the right features but as I see it from reading, amateurs can do video on their NEX, 60D or GH2 stills cameras. What does the VG-10 do for them other than a handle and long run battery?

The VG-10 has the same moire issues as stills cameras so no video camera experience there. No 24p. No focus assist so no video experience there. No audio control so no video experience there. It's a manual lens camera so no power zoom. Have to do the same old dual audio rigs as stills cameras. Do the fast lenses have auto focus and auto exposure?

So, other than handle and battery, just what part of the "video world" are amateurs experiencing with the VG-10 that they aren't already experiencing with video enabled stills cameras half the price?

I don't mean that rhetorically. If I've missed something, I'm glad to learn it.

Last edited by Les Wilson; April 26th, 2011 at 07:16 AM.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 01:47 AM   #9
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

"Take this with a grain of salt because I don't own one. I would have if it had the right features but as I see it from reading, amateurs can do video on their NEX, 60D or GH2 stills cameras. What does the VG-10 do for them other than a handle and long run battery?"

Exactly why I sent my VG10 back, got a NEX-5 with all the VG10 toys, and changed my book from the "VG10" to the "NEX Family."

Rather than see a failure, I see a test run of a package that Sony will use for a 4K2K consumer/prosumer camcorder. Make no mistake, both Sony and JVC will field consumer/prosumer 4K2K cameras before IBC.

I've got to get my information organized and post.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 02:48 PM   #10
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

Steve's book title and focus change was very smart. Having read the book and spent time consulting it, I can tell you that it is well worth the money--a practical ebook that should be on your mobile device or computer during shoots. I even put the link to it on a lower third.

Using the book as my guide, I recently shot this interview: The Film Fix: My First Movie with Judge Joe Wyant - The Daily Film Fix - blip.tv

More is coming as I implement Steve's settings, especially how to export from FCP and edit the AVCHD in a progressive format. I shot another one of these movie memory segments on Friday with the Nex-5 along with a hand-held interview Thursday night. The hand-held one will go up tomorrow and it is okay (should have had a tripod).

I'll share the list of equipment and the settings with you guys, but it is all in Steve's book. The Nex-5 offers some real advantages over my Canon DSLR. Namely the size factor, tilt screen, longer clip lengths, and I've yet to experience overheating issues.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 05:20 AM   #11
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
How so?

Take this with a grain of salt because I don't own one. I would have if it had the right features but as I see it from reading, amateurs can do video on their NEX, 60D or GH2 stills cameras. What does the VG-10 do for them other than a handle and long run battery?
I'd hate to have a NEX-5 with one of the more heavy duty lenses. My favourite recent purchase has been the Tonika 11-16mm lens on a Nikon mount. It's a beast of a lens and with an adaptor makes the VG10 rather front heavy. Can't imagine that would be much fun on the front of the matchbox sized NEX-5.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 09:33 AM   #12
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

My use of the Nex-5 has been limited to sit down interviews mostly. At a film festival, in March, I shot with the 16mm lens handheld a good bit for spot interviews.

I also shoot with the Canon T2i (I had two, but sold one for the Nex-5). I'm learning to control the shutter on the Nex-5 which is the main thing I miss from the Canon (which is all manual).

Battery life for the Nex-5 has been fine for shoots of less than an hour. Most of my interviews and commercials are local stuff and the battery issues haven't become a problem. Keep in mind that I have the battery grip for my Canon, which is kind of a joke. The camera heats up after 20 minutes or so of use. Therefore, it is likely that the camera will overheat before the battery runs out.

On my little show, I use the Sony HXR-MC50U for run and gun stuff and shooting on the street after press screenings. Last night's show needed more light and I wasn't happy with the image even after use of Neat Video filters. It will work for local TV.

I'd probably sell my 50U and my Nex-5 if the new VG20 has XLR and better image stabilization. The 50U is the most stable camera I've ever used (certainly as good if not better than the FX1000 and the DVX100 that I'm familiar with having once owned both).

I'm not sold on spending $3200 on the new 70U for the XLR and the progressive. My thought is that the chip is the same as my 50U and I'm happy with not having progressive. I did a golf course project recently with progressive has become important--60p looks good when slowed down 50%.

Here's the link to one of the segments: YouTube - BriceBoudreaux's Channel

This shoot was an experiment. I used three cameras: (1) 50U for the golf shot mode; (2) the Nex-5 with the 16mm kit lens for the rear shot; and for giggles (3) the Kodak zi8 for the side in 60p. Don't tell me, I know I should have used the Canon for the 60p.

But as you can see, the Nex-5 really does a good job. I've got to shoot a tennis player next and do the same thing I did for this high school golf phenom.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 08:53 PM   #13
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

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Originally Posted by Marcus Durham View Post
I'd hate to have a NEX-5 with one of the more heavy duty lenses. My favourite recent purchase has been the Tonika 11-16mm lens on a Nikon mount. It's a beast of a lens and with an adaptor makes the VG10 rather front heavy. Can't imagine that would be much fun on the front of the matchbox sized NEX-5.
Still camera shooter have used super huge lenses for years!

Most big lenses have a tripod mount. For hand holding, cradle the lens in left hand and use the right for all controls. I've used a NEX-5 perfectly with a 500mm A-mount attached to Sony's converter.

Even the 18200 zoom works better on a NEX-5 than it does on a VG10. Cradle the lens in left hand and use the right for all controls.

And, remember, unlike the VG10, the NEX-5 provides Focus Assist for all lenses.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 12:55 PM   #14
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

I completely understand that the Vg10 may have been underspecced for a lot of users and that switching to the NEX-5 may have been the right choice for many others. But that said there are a number of us who have greatly enjoyed working with the VG10. Looking the vimeo forums, for instance, reveals a small but thriving community of shooters.
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Old May 1st, 2011, 01:48 PM   #15
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Re: As we wait for the 2011 version of the VG10

I am an advanced hobby user and want a single high quality camera for both video and still photography. The VG10 with a large format sensor, SLR lenses and a video form factor looked like the solution. I tried the VG10 and found it good but slightly front-heavy when using a larger lens. Unfortunately, they left the still image RAW file capability out of the mix - something that the NEX line offers. The lack of RAW killed the camera as an option for me.

I bought a Canon 60D about a month ago to take on a trip rather than carrying both a DSLR and my Canon XH-A1. The DSLR camera takes good stills and HD video but is not convenient to use for video. The adjustable rear screen is helpful but just isn't bright enough for framing shots in the sun. I found myself looking for shady locations to shoot from so I could see the screen. Focusing is not as big a problem as I thought because I simply used small apertures (f8 - f11) to get depth of field. I set the shutter at 1/100 and used auto ISO to control exposure. The resulting video was sharp and nicely exposed.

I am still hoping that one of the big companies will produce a video form factor camera with a large sensor and RAW file capability for stills. An electronic viewfinder is not as good as optical for stills but is a better compromise than the rear panel display. Sony is only a step away from a good solution - just put RAW files into the VG10.
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