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Sony NEX-VG10 / VG20 / VG30 / VG900
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Old September 30th, 2011, 04:15 AM   #1
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DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

I currently shoot with a Canon XHA1. I want to start some movie style shooting. Im considering purchasing the Sony VG-20 and selling the XHA1.

Im wondering if it would be better to keep the XHA1, and just purchase a DSLR for those DOF shots that I cant get with the XHA1.

Id like your opinion and recommendation on which DSLR is best for video and a partner to the XHA1. I have a budget of $2000 for the DSLR.

related post in progress
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-avc...s-vg-20-a.html

Thanks,
Jeff



Thanks,
Jeff
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Old September 30th, 2011, 05:16 AM   #2
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

Pending final confirmation, the VG20 will provide videographers with a clean HDMI output and a 4:2:2 signal.

By contrast, DSLR manufacturers have deliberately degraded the HDMI output on their cameras. So, the typical DSLR will output a signal that is suitable for monitoring only. Thus, users are limited to AVCHD compression and a 4:2:0 signal.

Another factor to take into account is one where due to the high resolution sensors on DSLRs, the video usually suffers some aliasing artifacts.

I too have been struggling with a similar dilemma lately. So far, I have come to the conclusion that the VG20 is a nice compromise, providing sufficient DOF on the one hand, and offering a clean HDMI signal on the other hand.
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Old September 30th, 2011, 05:38 AM   #3
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

Thanks Adam...Im leaning in that direction too..........these are tuff decisions. ha
Im may add the Sony Nex 5n $699 for stills and some movie clips...the plus is being able to use the lenses on both camera and camcorder.

Jeff
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Old September 30th, 2011, 02:36 PM   #4
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Palomer View Post
Pending final confirmation, the VG20 will provide videographers with a clean HDMI output and a 4:2:2 signal.
Be careful about assuming that 4:2:2 really is 4:2:2. An HDMI outputs 4:2:2 YCrCb to your HDTV when you playback 4:2:0 video. It can do so because the HDMI output chip converts 4:2:0 to 4:2:2.

So the fact the OUTPUT is 422 tells you nothing about the input to the HDMI chip.

We can't assume that 422 from the internal processing is output. There is no reason for the internals of a camcorder that records 420 to actually use 422 internally. It is just as likely that the internal processing is 420 -- which is upsampled by the HDMI chip to 422.

So DSLRs do not have "crippled" output. It's only that we know what they are doing. We do not know what ANY of Sony NEX cameras are doing.

Remember, during shooting Sony supplies an RGB -- not YCrCb -- signal for their tiny external monitor.

Internal 4:2:0 processing may be why Sony did not put an HD-SDI port on the FS100. It would be misleading.

My bet is that the HDMI outputs8-bit 4:2:2 YCrCb upsampled from 4:2:0. so all you can do is avoid AVCHD compression. To me not worth the bother.
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Old September 30th, 2011, 08:25 PM   #5
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

Quote:
My bet is that the HDMI outputs8-bit 4:2:2 YCrCb upsampled from 4:2:0. so all you can do is avoid AVCHD compression.

So it sounds like you are saying that for static shots, a DSLR could be a better tool than the VG20.


Quote:
So the fact the OUTPUT is 422 tells you nothing about the input to the HDMI chip.
Does that mean that the CMOS itself outputs 4:2:0? I'm thinking out loud here, would it be possible to bypass the HDMI sampling (or upsamling) by tapping directly into the pre-HDMI stage? If it's theoretically possible, I wouldn't mind getting some service manuals and circuit diagrams from Sony and attempting to tap into a VG20's circuitry.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 01:06 AM   #6
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

I'm saying form factor does not dictate image quality. I prefer the NEX-5n form factor, but that's me -- and I totally trust the Sony audio limiter. I see no reason to do manually something a DSP can do better -- keep peaks below 0VU clipping. Everything else can be done in post.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 06:11 AM   #7
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

@Jeff H: I had an A1. I think the 4:2:2 discussion is irrelevant for where you are and what you say you want to do.

Complementing the A1 with a B camera that can do sDOF is a smart move and a common approach. Most of us have added HDSLRs to our kit to do that. The difficulties of using them is well documented. Recently, I was using a 5Dm2 as a second angle for an interview and the 12-minute limit was a pain and disruptive to the interview resulting in not getting footage at one point because getting up and pressing record again would have broken the delivery and connection of the subject.

On paper, the VG-20 is finally a competitive alternative to a DSLR that likely delivers the sDOF effect with fewer headaches (read: easier, more well focussed and exposed shots with less fussing, no 12 minute limit).

Unless you require a second camera that doubles as stills camera, the VG-20 is something I recommend you wait for and evaluate. If the VG-10 hadn't been feature-poor, I think it would have served as a nice entry level camcorder for sDOF special effects. Instead, the AF-100, FS-100 and F3 took the spot but at a much higher price point and capability. I think the VG-20 has the potential to deliver sDOF in a camcorder at a far more affordable price. YMMV.

There's no magic. You get what you pay for... occasionally but rarely, you get a little more. I'm sure the other cameras deliver more for their dollar. The issue is "What is the entry price and feature set for a successful sDOF camcorder?".

Last edited by Les Wilson; October 1st, 2011 at 06:14 AM. Reason: clarity.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 06:51 PM   #8
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

Keep in mind the NEX series according to Sony will run for "29 minutes", presuming there's no overheating issue - almost 3x as long as the Canon DSLRs - reducing, if not in most cases practically eliminating, one of the problems with shooting with a DLSR...
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 04:00 AM   #9
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
@Jeff H:
On paper, the VG-20 is finally a competitive alternative to a DSLR that likely delivers the sDOF effect with fewer headaches (read: easier, more well focussed and exposed shots with less fussing, no 12 minute limit).

Unless you require a second camera that doubles as stills camera, the VG-20 is something I recommend you wait for and evaluate. If the VG-10 hadn't been feature-poor, I think it would have served as a nice entry level camcorder for sDOF special effects. Instead, the AF-100, FS-100 and F3 took the spot but at a much higher price point and capability. I think the VG-20 has the potential to deliver sDOF in a camcorder at a far more affordable price. YMMV.

.
Im drooling, waiting for the VG-20 to be released. Im expecting the new Canon MIRACLE, to be out of my price range. I can afford both the VG-20 and Nex 5N combo.(A & B cams for a great price) ...and one set of lenses!

How much VG-20 HD video can I get on a 32gig card?

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 06:47 AM   #10
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

The specs:
Sony NEX-VG20 Interchangeable Lens HD Handycam NEXVG20 B&H Photo


Here, learn to fish: It records at 24 megabits per second. That's 3 megabytes per second. Do the math.

Last edited by Les Wilson; October 2nd, 2011 at 06:47 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 11:51 AM   #11
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

Thanks...."teach a man to fish and you feed him forever"
"teach a man to multiply, and you send him back to school" :>)

ha...
Got it thanks LES
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 12:13 PM   #12
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

Keep in mind the 28Mbps/60p highest quality setting will eat memory storage faster. Wasn't too long ago that 16/17Mbps was the top rate, and equated to 8G per hour of shooting, more or less. As the frame/bitrate/processing capalilities increase, the memory usage does as well.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 03:06 PM   #13
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

Thanks Dave...
Expensive media, but sure beats tape any day. Looking forward to November to see what happens.
Hopefully Santa will be good to me this year. ha

Jeff
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 05:44 AM   #14
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Keep in mind the NEX series according to Sony will run for "29 minutes", presuming there's no overheating issue - almost 3x as long as the Canon DSLRs - reducing, if not in most cases practically eliminating, one of the problems with shooting with a DLSR...
Dave,

Sadly, whether a camera manufacturer limits me to 12 or 29 (or 60) minutes, it's too short. There have been several occasions in the 10 months that I have owned my GH1/GH2 A&B cams (speeches, church services, concerts) that I have been glad not to have had a recording time limit. Really looking forward to the NEX-VG20's unlimited record time (and clean HDMI out & headphone monitoring & full manual audio level control(!))

Cheers,

Bill
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 09:45 AM   #15
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Re: DSLR or Sony VG-20 ?

All cameras have limits in recording time - tapes run out, hard drives fill up, battries die.

So in that regard, there's no "endless" take cameras.

That said, the 12 minute built-in limitation certainly makes the DSLRs far less useful for event shooters. 99.9 percent of the time, it makes no difference to narrative shooters however.

But a lot of us shoot both narritves/music videos AND events like weddings, etc. The VG 20 would appear to be a nice single cam solution as it can take dedicated stills as well as the ability to record long takes.
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