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Old February 13th, 2012, 11:32 PM   #1
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New NEX camcorder on March 31?

"As I told you last week Sony is going to have a big announcement day on March 13th! We know that the A57 is coming for sure but what about other cameras and lenses? Trusted sources now told me that a Sony NEX-C3 successor is coming soon (NEX-F3?) and a new NEX camcorder will also come right before the NAB show in April. I have no final specs right now but this is going to be a very busy time here on SAR…so stay tuned!Oh, and I really hope Sony will announce the new NEX lenses too! We alreayd have plenty of NEX cameras but so few NEX lenses."

PS: 4K2K to compete with JVC or a finally enhanced VG30?
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Old February 14th, 2012, 01:22 PM   #2
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

Couple of thoughts....

- One, although the FS100 has clearly beaten the AF100 in the $5,000 camera field, I'd guess that sales have started slow a bit as the camera's been out for nearly a year now. Meaning early adapters, rental houses, TV shows, and those unhappy with the AF100's performance have already bought into the system.

- Two, those sales will be further cut into by Nikon's D800 - and presumably Canon's Mark III - in the next half year, as the overall video quality should be close to equal, with the added plus of a full frame sensor...

All for about $1,500 cheaper then the FS100 as it stands now.

- The VG20 seems to have been a near total flop - at least in English speaking countries where not one big name shooter/website/magazine has bothered to review the camera. Would be buyers were turned off by both lack of advertised (and industry wide accepted standard) features, and by the poor customer relations generated by the months long false advertising for those missing features.

A lack of ND wheel (also a failing of the FS100) and no XLR inputs are one thing; the inability to reduce sharpening or adjust picture profiles is something else altogether. Add to that a hideous rolling shutter and the 3X cheaper NEX 5n - which has more features to boot - and it's a safe bet that the VG20 is already headed to the dust heap of video camera history.

- All of which leads me to believe that it's totally possible that the pro division will release a $3,000-ish camera that essentially will come with the features advertised for the VG20, plus maybe 1-2 XLR ports, fewer pixels, and improved rolling shutter. No SDI (the FS100 lacks this feature as well, strange as it is). It wouldn't be unprecidented: Canon's XF100 already has oodles of pro features - including 4:2:2 50Mbps internal recording - albeit in a fixed lens, 1/3" format, for $3000.

Frankly, I think both the FS and AF100 were grossly over-priced (as the subsequent rebates and ebay auction prices bare out) at $5,000. I like the AF100's form factor and features, but dislike the MST format and underwhelming sensor. I like the FS100's image (particularly in low light), but dislike it's fragile looking form factor (one that doesn't even have a proper viewfinder).

A $3K camera that sort of saddles the two cameras would, in my opinion, sell like hotcakes if the performance was there. I do not think Sony's ready to jump into the 4K game yet - and certainly not at the $3K price point.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 08:05 PM   #3
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

"I do not think Sony's ready to jump into the 4K game yet - and certainly not at the $3K price point."

Good point.

Sony's 16MP chip is about the smallest they make. More likely they bump to 24MP even though not needed. Seems every "new" camera must have more pixels. :(
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Old February 14th, 2012, 08:23 PM   #4
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
Sony's 16MP chip is about the smallest they make. More likely they bump to 24MP even though not needed. Seems every "new" camera must have more pixels. :(
I hate that trend. and it's a clear sign that manufacturers aren't listening too closely to the needs of customers. Besides 4k/5k, nobody is really asking for more megapixels. Everyone is asking for better image quality and better lowlight performance, which could be achieved by improving technology at a given pixel desnity, not jamming more in for relatively the same quality as the previous generation.
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Old February 15th, 2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Vincent View Post

- The VG20 seems to have been a near total flop - at least in English speaking countries where not one big name shooter/website/magazine has bothered to review the camera. Would be buyers were turned off by both lack of advertised (and industry wide accepted standard) features, and by the poor customer relations generated by the months long false advertising for those missing features.
I just got back from Maui and took the VG20 along. I was going to a friends wedding and I took the T2i and the VG20. I have no doubt the VG20 shot most situation better than I could get out of the T2i. I shot the camera on a whale watch, and in a background wedding shoot. (I gave hired videographers the respect and leeway they needed.)

I ran into expected problems with bright back ground situation shooting the VG 20. I think if I could have had access to contrast reduction and sharpness reduction on this camera, it cold have helped in some of situations. And I was hand holding everything, so it is hardly fair to compare with a tripod mount wedding shoot. However, I still think the VG20 does a great job in about 98% of the circumstances I will shoot in, and will mostly outshoot the DSLRs I have worked with in those situations.

I will post some footage on this soon.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 12:19 AM   #6
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

And there is the paradox. Those with a VG20 won't upgrade unless the VG30 offers a lot more because the VG20 offers enough.

I would expect an OLED VF/LCD and the missing adjustments. Plus, a 24MP sensor. That would give the VG30 all the features of the NEX-7.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 10:01 AM   #7
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
I just got back from Maui and took the VG20 along. I was going to a friends wedding and I took the T2i and the VG20. I have no doubt the VG20 shot most situation better than I could get out of the T2i... However, I still think the VG20 does a great job in about 98% of the circumstances I will shoot in, and will mostly outshoot the DSLRs I have worked with in those situations.
I'm not saying that the VG20 can't produce some nice images - it can. I've posted some footage from around the web that's pretty dang good... But most of that good footage were static shots during brilliant daylight hours - in other words, ideal conditions for video cameras.

Unfortunately, I've seen zero good footage from complicated lighting conditions such as you might find in a narrative film. This might be from a lack of "serious" film makers embracing the camera, but part and parcel of that is the intentionally crippled nature of the camera. Seriously, NO ability to alter the contrast settings in a $1,600 camera (w/o a lens) released in the year 2012? No presets other than the awful "cinetone?" No way even to buy firmware to upgrade those missing (and advertised) features?

Beyond greedy.

Far as a possible new camera goes, I don't think Sony gives squat what VG20 buyers think one way or another. They certainly haven't cared about VG10 buyers who have been clamoring for a 24p firmware upgrade since that camera came out.

Want more proof? If this rumored new camera comes out from the pro division, I doubt they'd care in the slightest what happens to a camera from the consumer division. Given the giant losses Sony's suffered, I'd guess it's every man/division for itself. Even if they did care, I doubt the VG20 has sold in any kind of numbers requiring them to worry too much.

No, the camera they'll try to protect is the FS100 - which is why the VG20 was crippled in the first place - meaning they'll probably build in some other bizarre limitation. Even if they don't, is a non-crippled version of a VG20 worth $3,000? I'm not sure that even a non-crippled VG20 is worth $1,600, seeing how lightly used AF100s are going for $3,000 or less right now.

No, Sony will have to do more then give us what they promised the VG20 was going be in the first place if they really want to spark sales. If Sony wants me to spend my otherwise earmarked Canon Mark III money in two months, they better at least give me one feature the Canon/Nikon DSLRs won't have, like a legit XLR port, or better codec.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 11:06 AM   #8
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

I wish they make a vg20 with a removable top handle with xlr. I missed have that option from my a1u and that's the only thing holding me back from getting the vg20. Picture style would be nice too.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 12:15 PM   #9
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

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Originally Posted by John Vincent View Post

Unfortunately, I've seen zero good footage from complicated lighting conditions such as you might find in a narrative film. This might be from a lack of "serious" film makers embracing the camera, but part and parcel of that is the intentionally crippled nature of the camera. Seriously, NO ability to alter the contrast settings in a $1,600 camera (w/o a lens) released in the year 2012? No presets other than the awful "cinetone?" No way even to buy firmware to upgrade those missing (and advertised) features?
I have to say that "serious film makers" can overcome the issues better than non-serious film makers. I know enough about the camera to know that if you take control of your lighting situation, and fill properly, with lights and/or reflectors, you can manage to get a great film out of this camera. I also believe that as it is presented, it has a decent dynamic range to work in. Where it will disappoint many is the shooters inability to extend dynamic range by manipulating contrast and saturation and that is my complaint. I don't have many others about this camera, as I compare it to my Canon 5D and my Canon T2i. I think images are generally cleaner, higher resolution and less grainy in a given low light situation than either the 5D or the T2i. And the grain that is there, seems to have a more film like feel that that blotchy grain in the Canon cameras.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

I have to say that I am really enjoying the VG20, I do a lot of travel and the 25p and fantastic stills just blow away what I was getting from the VG10, yes those 'missing' settings would be nice, but I can count on one hand the number of times i actually used them on the VG10 in just over a year.

For my use with using a big chip camcorder, once the proper white balance is set, good footage straight from the camera with no need to keep on playing around with the settings gives me the freedom and time to concentrate on good composition and controlling the depth of field.

No complants here

Last edited by Paul Rickford; February 16th, 2012 at 03:12 PM. Reason: typo
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Old February 16th, 2012, 03:39 PM   #11
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

Guys, I appreciate what you're saying - there is, despite everything, a lot to like about the camera - it's the cheapest large sensor "true" video camera on the market; it can make very nice pictures, it's small, and it is simple to use.

But it's not like the missing features would have overwhelmed anyone - the 5 advertised presets, a contrast lever and a sharpening lever - that's all they had to add (or in this case, not subtract).

And you're right as well - perhaps I should have not used the words "serious film maker." I know some Chris's work, and I respect it greatly. This new short is also what I'd call "serious":

What I should have said was that there seems to have been a lack of interest from commercial and full length film producers/shooters. Of course, this might change as time goes by.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 07:15 PM   #12
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

Prolly the best indoor footage I've seen so far:
Lighting Tests with the Sony NEX-VG20 - YouTube
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Old February 25th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #13
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

Looks like Sony marketing does feel the need to have a bigger number for each new model:

"NEX
NEX-F3 2012 (March) -> The NEX-C3 successor
NEX-5G, 18.3 million pixels, 2012 (September) -> The NEX-5n successor
Fullframe NEX in late 2013."

So a VG30 may have 18.3MP.

That, however, is an interesting number. I'm writing a 2 part story for Broadcast Engineering about the really big guns, like the F65. The F65 just happens to have an 18.3MP (effective) chip. Not saying the VG30 will have the 8MP diagonal pattern of the F65, but Sony has used their ClearVID pattern on prosumer camcorder in the past.

Doing so could bump the H REZ up to about 1000 pixels. I THINK that might reduce aliasing if the OLPF stayed the same.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 12:42 AM   #14
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

Steve, any idea when the VG30 would actually hit the streets? I'm looking to upgrade soon...
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Old February 26th, 2012, 11:15 PM   #15
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

If the announcement is at the end of March, it might be by May -- my guess.

But, it all seems odd because the NEX-7 isn't even shipping. A new NEX this spring seems too soon. I would have expected late summer.

Maybe Sony will finally let a NEX have the features available in its prosumer camcorders.

Black compress, black expand, an adjustable knee, and a full set of gamma curves.
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