After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement at DVinfo.net

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Old December 12th, 2011, 11:43 AM   #1
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After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

After more that 40 days, it seems that someone at Sony had finally seen fit to correct the false advertizing at the Sony Store, regarding the features on the VG20. See this page at Sony Store:

Interchangeable Lens HD Handycam Camcorder and Lens | SLT-A77VQ | Sony USA

However, they still have it wrong way down on the specification page here, where they are still reporting the availability of scene setting styles:


Interchangeable Lens HD Handycam Camcorder and Lens | SLT-A77VQ | Sony USA
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Old December 12th, 2011, 04:02 PM   #2
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

Still incorrectly listed on B&H as well:
Sony NEX-VG20 Interchangeable Lens HD Handycam NEXVG20 B&H Photo

So... Sony didn't actually fix the camera, they just fixed their website. Sort of. Golly!
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Old December 12th, 2011, 09:56 PM   #3
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

That seems to mean Sony will not be releasing firmware. :)
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Old December 12th, 2011, 11:02 PM   #4
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

That's a nice way of saying Steve. Really too bad - some nice stuff is starting to be produced with the 5n (like Phil Bloom's short doc on Tony Vizzari), showing what might have been possible with the VG20 is not intentionally crippled.

Like I've said before - I would have bought the VG20, E-mount lenses, extra batteries, and likely a 5n as well if the camera wasn't crippled. Certainly won't until there is a firmware "fix," which likely means never.

Just so strange.

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Old December 13th, 2011, 12:10 AM   #5
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

But, does the lack of Scene modes make a "crippled" camcorder? I can't buy that. The VG10's lack of 24p was far more serious.

The lack of adjustments MAY be serious. But, I never bothered much about them with the VG10.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 12:53 AM   #6
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

I am still reserving judgment on that. It isn't the end of the world with this camera. I am thinking I can shoot about 95% of what I shot with the Canon 5D, but that in high contrast situations, there will be a challenge.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 08:42 PM   #7
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

But, would the missing functions alter this?

With the VG10 I had to bias exposure down to prevent blown highlights. You can still do so with the VG20.

What I really missed are the standard Sony black expand/crush and adjustable knee.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 09:04 AM   #8
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

Well, the ability to limit/control sharpening is, by itself, and important omission. On some cameras, it would be an absolute deal breaker.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 10:05 PM   #9
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

Unfortunately, CNET is also listing the camera as having the now missing features:
Sony NEX-VG20 Interchangeable Lens HD Handycam Camcorder Body Only Specs - Digital Camcorders - CNET Reviews
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Old December 18th, 2011, 01:35 PM   #10
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

Hey guys, been following this issue since Chris brought it up both here and on Vimeo. I live in Manhattan and on my way home from work I stopped into the Sony flagship store and expo at their USA headquarters on Madison Avenue.

I was spending some time comparing the VG20 and VG10 (which perhaps by design are on opposite sides of the room). A service rep started talking with me and I asked him about the missing feature set in the VG20, he said he was unaware of any and went to get someone more knowledgeable. The "expert" came by and told me there were no missing features. I asked him to show me how to custom set WB. He was only able to show me the three presets, I asked him to show me the creative styles, he was not able to find any. He then after looking a little foolish switched gears and started talking about how the hardware upgrade far out shadows the reduced feature set, then walked away.

I then went over to the VG10, another rep approached me and I asked him the same questions, he knew exactly what I was talking about and he seemed a bit frustrated too, but had no answers for me. He suggested that SONY could do a firmware update.

It is pretty sad that most of the sales reps in the store have no clue that this issue even exists, and are trying to sell a $2k camera on false info. I talked to 3 reps and two of them insisted there was no lack of feature sets, and the third kinda just shrugged it off and said that the more megapixels was worth it.

I said, too bad I would have bought a VG20 and a 5N today from you, then walked out.
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Old December 18th, 2011, 02:17 PM   #11
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

I hope someone from Sony is reading this. Any showroom or store displaying the VG10 next to the VG20 is going to make both cameras (and Sony) look bad. At this point, correcting the VG20's advertising is the least of their problems.
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Old December 18th, 2011, 02:45 PM   #12
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

I believe that is why they were smart enough to separate the two cameras. They are across the room from each other. I had to walk back and forth several times to compare the two.

It is clear as day to anyone who takes more than 15 seconds in each system's menu that the VG20 is missing features.
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Old December 18th, 2011, 02:55 PM   #13
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

"He suggested that SONY could do a firmware update. "

Don't believe that for a second. The VG10 owners have been screaming for a 24p firmware upgrade since that camera first came out. The only "upgrade" was the ability to use Sony's new Alpha to NEX adapter. That's it.

If you buy the VG20 - and at this point, without those features, it's hard to find a compelling reason to - buy it with the full understanding that you are buying a purposefully disabled camera.

Given Sony's continued inaction on addressing the false advertising, it's bad treatment of anyone pointing out that false advertising (their vimeo channel censored + removed several valid posts commenting on the problem, while at the same time slandering users at DVinfo), it's poor treatment of VG10 buyers, and the continued strong selling of the FS100, I wouldn't expect any firmware fix.

"I talked to 3 reps and two of them insisted there was no lack of feature sets, and the third kinda just shrugged it off and said that the more megapixels was worth it."

It's like Sony actually believes that if they deny it long enough, the problem will go away. Clearly the reason why there's no reviews of the camera out (other than from users and a camera shop in Canada) is that Sony knows there'll be some bad press over this and doesn't want to hurt early sales by speeding the process up by giving out sample cameras. Videomaker claims to have gotten the camera, and is working up a review, but they're hardly an in-depth reviewer.

"I said, too bad I would have bought a VG20 and a 5N today from you, then walked out."

That's been my point as well - with those advertised features, I would have bought the VG20, batteries, NEX lenses, adapters, and prolly a 5n as well. With the missing features, it would likely have been THE ultra low budget/student movie camera. Now, I can only warn other indie film makers to look very closely before they buy, and be sure they know the return policy of wherever they buy it from.
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Old December 18th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #14
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

I am seriously considering an NEX-7, but as a customer I am giving it second thoughts because I really feel let down by SONY. It is a shame too because I am very loyal once I find a brand that I connect with. The NEX line could have been that for me.
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Old December 18th, 2011, 04:31 PM   #15
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Re: After More than 40 Days, Sony finally corrects VG20 False Advertisement

Well, let's see, Sony (along with many other companies) rode out the Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear disaster earlier this year... and then the Thai floods, which disrupted the supply of NEX7/A77 sensors among other things...

I'd say a mistake or a few might happen when they are struggling with that many serious issues... but that's just me.

Yeah, they probably should correct the firmware if possible for the VG20, and/or get their marketing channels "fixed" (with so many marketing channels, that takes TIME), but it's not like some vast conspiracy to rip off the end user - doody happens. This is FAR from the first time there have been errors in released specs, in fact I'd say it's pretty COMMON with Sony!

I've learned to triple check from multiple sources if there's a specific "feature" I'm concerned with before I buy - and not just Sony products... heck, I bought a kitchen organizer that said "fits all standard bottles", and not one I had FIT... return, unhappy customer... later discovered lots of reports on the web... THAT one is beyond me, but another example of a simple product that didn't meet expectations...

We now know what features ARE there, and them which ain't, and are getting a little more visibility on what the camera can deliver, THAT is what you need to make your buying decisions on - if it meets your needs at a price you think is fair, buy it... IMO the VG20 (as was the VG10) is overpriced when comparing to other Sony products, and so just doesn't tick the right boxes, long before I got to "feature sets"... but it's still a nice camera that seems to produce good images.

This whining over "mistakes" and implications somehow Sony is being deliberately dishonest is becoming tedious, to be genteel about it... anyone here ever make a mistake, raise your hand? Anyone with hands down can proceed to criticize without further disruption...


And BTW, Sony will sell PLENTY of NEX7's, whether YOU or I choose to buy one or not... the first available ones at auction on eBay brought around TWICE retail sticker... OVER $2K!!! I don't think anyone at Sony is losing any sleep over any OPINIONS expressed on this thread...
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