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Old December 6th, 2011, 11:14 PM   #46
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

Steve is correct that that proprietary shoe is "coded" - it may be something as simple as a resistor in the aux mic that connects two pins to "tell" the camera that it has a mic there...

If anyone has a NEX5N and mic they want to send for reverse engineering... I cracked the A/V LANC interface on the Sony handycams, and really want to play with a 5N!

Thing is that Sony US had no idea there was even an interface IN the A/V plug when I contacted them...

If it can be engineered at the factory, it can be hacked, just have to have the resources, time and knowhow...

FWIW, the old HC3 had a OEM mic adapter to connect through the AiShoe (another place where sony "hides" things!).

The Sony engineers have a way of putting things into their equipment but not telling you... I think it has to do with revenge on the Marketing department or something! Sad thing is the average Sony user has ZERO interest or ability to hack the toys!
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Old December 7th, 2011, 02:47 AM   #47
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Steve is correct that that proprietary shoe is "coded"

The Sony engineers have a way of putting things into their equipment but not telling you... I think it has to do with revenge on the Marketing department or something! !
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haha...I have a background in electronics. My years at GE was a constant battle between engineering and marketing. Marketing "always" had the final say, but like you said, the techs and engineers got their revenge in various ways. ha

I wish I could afford to send my 5N for you to play with. The portal into the audio circuitry is there.
http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.p...ervice-manual-
A simple cable with xlr and phone jacks on one end and the adapter on the other would be nice. The impedance match should be easy to measure.
Simpler still, would be to use the Sony small shotgun "as the adapter". Remove the mic element and replace with XLR/phone cable.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 12:06 PM   #48
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post

The Sony engineers have a way of putting things into their equipment but not telling you... I think it has to do with revenge on the Marketing department or something! Sad thing is the average Sony user has ZERO interest or ability to hack the toys!
You think someone can get inside the VG20 and set it up to have the missing controls.... or even more like on the FS100 ?
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Old December 7th, 2011, 02:57 PM   #49
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

I'm sure a hack will come in time, the author of the gh2 hack is definitely interested in the vg20.

I'm sure all the wanted features are built into the hardware, they've just set up the software so you can't access it.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 03:30 PM   #50
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

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You think someone can get inside the VG20 and set it up to have the missing controls.... or even more like on the FS100 ?
Well, I'd doubt that - it's totally different hardware - at least in terms of overall image quality. In particular, it's not the same sensor as the FS100 (which is the same as the $13,000 F3).

It'd be nice if Vitally did a hack for the Sony... but if the past is any indication, it will take some time. One other factor is that I beleive more people were interested in the Panny hack - meaning more people were willing to donate money to buy "practice" cameras.

How about this solution - Sony just gives us those features to start with? After all, they're still advertising them as being on the camera.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 05:57 PM   #51
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

I'd guess that if the capabilities are there in the 5N, they could be "hacked into" the VG20... those should share imaging blocks and the majority of circuitry, at least that's what I'd suspect (remember, haven't opened up these particular cameras, just familiarity with how Sony does things... and had a few open on the bench along the way!

That service manual looks like it's for the earlier 5's, and IIRC there are some things that ONLY work with the 5N (that fancy VF for one), so you'd need the latest version of the SM, just to be sure.

And yep - the "simple" hack is to take the existing Sony mic, crack it open and interface another different mic to it... but as long as one were popping it open ANYWAY... probably would be possible to figure out the interface, but you'd still need a sacrificial mount, since that's proprietary...

Yes, in the case of the VG20, the simple thing would be for Sony to supply updated firmware - they DO release feature updates, as they did to add a lot of the "new" features to the A33/A55. It would be a good selling point to update cameras to better specs whenever it was possible, and if it's just a user update-able firmware "patch" the cost would be nominal.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 07:49 PM   #52
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

I think it may be too simple to assume it's a passive interface. If they have a chip that uses a serial-protocal that responds to commands from the camera, and sends data to the camera -- you'll need a chip.

So Dave's right, the simplest solution is buy the mic, pop it open, and pull-out the mic. Now you can drill a hole in the face and run a cable to XLRs or mount a jack. There are iPhone to XLR cables available.

PS: there is not other hot-shoe on the 5n. And, you can't use the VF and a mic. Seems simpler to get a 7.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 01:55 PM   #53
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

As soon as one can actually GET a NEX7, I expect it will fly off the shelves... for that very reason... it seems to check all the boxes pretty well. The 5N is not bad, but has its limitations.

Until one cracks open one of the mics, no way to know if it's more "tech" than simple...
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Old December 16th, 2011, 12:09 PM   #54
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

I tried to get the Service manual for the SONY NEX Series but no chance to get it. Did anyone know how to open the NEX microphone want to hack it for external mics...
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Old May 25th, 2012, 09:05 PM   #55
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

I know this thread has been dead for awhile, but I thought I'd share my experience. I currently have both the Nex7 and the VG20.

I'm finding the Nex7 to have an overall superior picture. I didn't think the newer sensor would help the HD video in the 7, but something apparently something does. Perhaps it's just the processing since you only need 2 megapixels for HD.

The bottom line is that although the VG20 produces a beautiful picture, there is a bit more detail and what I am finding, better color in the Nex7.

BTW, what's up with the disparity in Sony's advertising and the reality of the cam. Unlike my Nex7, there are no adjustments for color, contrast or brightness. Additionally, there are no picture profiles. If any of these are there, then I must have missed them...and trust me, I looked for them.

Some would call that false advertising.
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Old May 26th, 2012, 04:06 AM   #56
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

Ken,
I sold both my NEX5N..and XH-A1...went with the Canon XA10 and the Panny Lumix GH2.

My NEX 5N...took great video and stills..Im sure the NEX 7 is even better. I chose the GH2 because of the unlimited time limit for video. Does not overheat and you can record video without restarting. I need a camcorder for my events and the XA10 is perfect...matches with the GH2 identically.

Good luck,
Jeff
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Old May 26th, 2012, 06:05 AM   #57
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

Thanks Jeff. Ironically, I too have both the GH2 and XA10. My XA10 has been my go to camcorder since it came out. I dont use the GH2 that much since the only setting that wows me is the 1080 24p mode. I don't shoot in 24p, so that forces me to use either 1080i or 720p which doesn't knock my socks off. The 24p on the GH2 though is stunning, I'm just not a fan of the motion of 24p.

I'm finding the Nex7 produces a sharper, deeper picture with better exposure latitude and color than my XA10. I never expected that. The bigger chip just seems to produce a picture with more 'wow'. Yes, there are a few artifacts from time to time (roofs, some brickwork etc), but the overall image is just gorgeous. That OLED viewfinder on the 7 is just amazing. You feel as if you have more involvement in the scene you're shooting.

I'm not using the Nex7 for event work and I'll never shoot clips in excess of a couple of minutes, so the overheating issue should be no problem. I'm sure I couldn't trust it for that kind of work.

So I will end up selling my GH2 and possibly my XA10. I'm still evaluating the VG20, but I really wish it had the adjustability of the Nex7. If it had the features that Sony says it has, I'd be fine.
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Old May 26th, 2012, 06:16 AM   #58
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

Yeah, the NEX-7 and VG20 are two halves of an almost perfect camera.

Sony should stop crippling the VG series with lack of manual controls - and should also stop crippling the NEX still cameras with time limits on video.

I've shot stills and video with the VG20 and like it a lot, but I couldn't get past its limitations - especially at the $1500 price point. I might have stretched the budget and bought the VG20 instead of a TM900, though, if it had manual control of color, contrast and brightness.

And I would have been far more likely to trade in my GH2 for the NEX-7 except for the time limit on video.

Maybe they'll get it right at some point. I really like Sony's superior low light performance and dynamic range.

Jeff - it sounds like you have the perfect setup with the XA10 and GH2 - I really like the XA10 and its pro mic inputs, but $2000 was a little too much for me.

Cheers,

Bill
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Old May 26th, 2012, 06:21 AM   #59
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Thanks Jeff. Ironically, I too have both the GH2 and XA10. My XA10 has been my go to camcorder since it came out. I dont use the GH2 that much since the only setting that wows me is the 1080 24p mode. I don't shoot in 24p, so that forces me to use either 1080i or 720p which doesn't knock my socks off. The 24p on the GH2 though is stunning, I'm just not a fan of the motion of 24p...
Ken do you have the v1.1 firmware update? The new HBR mode is a smooth 30p. Should intercut very well your XA10's 1080/30p.

Cheers,

Bill
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Old May 26th, 2012, 06:48 AM   #60
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Re: I think the Nex 7, instead of the VG20?

BILL AND KEN...

I wasted a lot of money bouncing around from Sony to Canon to Panasonic...

Like you said...each has its good points and limitations....maybe all the companies are working together. haha

I love the XA10 for video...and the GH2 video (hbr 30p) matches up perfectly together. and easy to edit etc.

I like photography too, and the NEX 5N I had/sold, beat the GH2 on stills IMO.

I need to get a better "still" cam. I torn between the NEX7 and the Canon 5Dmkii. I think the NEX 7 is as good or better than the 5D...........but the 5D is definitely the most popular still cam out.

What do you guys think....price excluded, the NEX 7 or 5D ??

jeff
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