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Sony NEX-VG10 / VG20 / VG30 / VG900
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Old March 12th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #1
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What to Buy ?

i have read both reviews on the vg10 and vg20 , iknow i want to buy this camera but cant decide on which model most of the reviews, comments and articles i have read lean towards the vg10 although the vg20 has some upgrades , which one should i get ?
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Old March 12th, 2012, 05:54 PM   #2
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Re: What to Buy ?

I don't own the 10, but do own the 20. There's about a $600 difference for the 2 models at this point, but ultimately it's all about what you're going to use it for.

The main difference would 24p v 30p. The VG20 can do 24p, the 10 can't - if you're shooting narrative films, 24 is pretty much a must have. The VG20 has a flip around screen - a huge feature.
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Old March 12th, 2012, 07:56 PM   #3
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Re: What to Buy ?

Here are a few highlights of the differences between the VG20 and the VG10.

The VG20 has:

- manual audio and audio meters, the VG10 does not
- 5.1 surround sound (or standard 2 channel stereo with an external mic) the VG10 has 2 channel stereo only
- 16MP RAW and JPEG stills (instead of the VG10's 14.2MP JPEG only stills)
- three 1080 frame rates (24p, 60p, 60i) as opposed to the VG10's single 1080/30p frame rate
- a touchscreen LCD

I rented the VG20 and liked it a lot. If the choice is between these two cameras and money is an issue, I would buy the VG20 body-only and start with either an inexpensive E mount lens or adapters for lenses I already had.

You can save up for better lenses later.

I wouldn't buy the VG10 because it lacks manual audio control, 24p and, more importantly, 60p.

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Old March 12th, 2012, 09:12 PM   #4
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Re: What to Buy ?

The VG20 has focus assist. This is a really handy feature. You'll appreciate it, the large sensor makes focusing so much more critical.
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Old March 12th, 2012, 09:12 PM   #5
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Re: What to Buy ?

while price is not an issue, I was leaning towards the vg10 because there is talk of mod that would enable the features on vg10
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Old March 12th, 2012, 11:41 PM   #6
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Re: What to Buy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
The VG20 has focus assist. This is a really handy feature. You'll appreciate it, the large sensor makes focusing so much more critical.
Glen - I didn't realize that the 10 doesn't have FA. That feature alone is nearly worth the price difference. Once you use it, you'll never want a camera that doesn't have this "save a#$" feature.

Far as a mod goes... I wouldn't believe until people are using it in the field. I know that VG10 users have been bugging Sony regarding 24p almost since it's release, but not so much as a peep about a firmware grade. In the same vein, I wouldn't be holding my breath for a VG20 firmware upgrade giving us the contrast and sharpening features.

No, these camera are what they are. And the VG20's feature set (and supposed greater low light performance) is just better. Newer isn't always an upgrade, but here it does seem that way...

But again, it's all about what you're using the camera for. The 10's certainly good enough for webisodes, music videos, weddings, etc. I've seen some great footage from the 10. But for long form narrative, the balance swings towards the 20.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 12:43 AM   #7
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Re: What to Buy ?

John is 100% correct.

My switching my book from one on the VG10 to one, primarily, on the NEX-5, is that the cheaper -- by a huge amount -- NEX-5 had FA. HOW could Sony have left that off the VG10?

I'm still not sold on a VG20 -- at this late date -- because the NEX-5n and NEX-7 are just now shipping.

Only you can decide, but a cheaper VG10 just isn't good enough.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 07:39 AM   #8
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Re: What to Buy ?

get VG20, because large sensor camera without any kind of focus assist is a mistake, I doubt sony will release FW upgrade for VG10 users, is FW upgrade even supported for VG models?
if you're OK with separate sound setup, or need a B cam for VG20 NEX5n will do just fine, with decent lens that camera is an amazing deal for the price, the footage is identical.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 05:30 PM   #9
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Re: What to Buy ?

A few weeks ago I posted that it looked like for 2012 Sony was making 18MP the new 16MP. I also suggest that 18MP was very close to the 20MP -- diamond pattern -- used in the F65 that is $65000.

Now I find this:

"Sony announced a new 18MP sensor with 19.3 Full and 17.7 effective pixels." ďThe dimensions are not APS-C (1.5x crop 3:2 sensor), itís a few mm short on the height. Itís closer to aspect ratio of 16:9 than 3:2 , thus probably a video sensor." And, "This sensor uses Clearwid rotated pixels.Ē (This pattern can support 4K2K.)

More, "the sensor is can capture 120 fps at 12-bits resolution and 14-bits at 60fps. The sensor has been designed to limit the Rolling Shutter effect while recording video."

There is a very detailed description of the sensor specs at the Japanese DC.watch website.

I feel this is just too good -- and expensive -- for a VG30, but it makes me wonder what we might see announced at NAB in a month. Unless one MUST HAVE a camera now -- I'd wait a month. Also there was a rumor the VG30 would be announced on March 31.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 06:08 PM   #10
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Re: What to Buy ?

I tend to agree, wait until NAB, but for me the $1,600 vg20 is going to have value regardless of what is announced. It really is the only true large sensor/interchangeable lens video camera that lists for under $4 grand (or for $2 grand for that matter).

Part of it is that I make a lot of my own gear, and I need a bit of time to adapt that gear to whatever camera I own. Far as the new camera being a VG30, I'd be pretty darn surprised by that - it's only been 7 months since the VG20 was announced, and only 4 1/2 months since it's been on the market. Heck, it's only been 16 months since the 10 hit selves.

Let's say Steve's right and Sony, for whatever reason, simply must kick out a VG-xxx camera every 9 months. Better rolling shutter? Ok, that's fine and all, but rolling shutter issues and moire are - for me - waaaay overblown issues for these type of cameras. And the rolling shutter actually isn't too bad in the 20 in any case (can't speak to the 10); noticeably better then the Canon DSLRs. The VG20 is already very light sensitive, and generally speaking more pixels hurts sensitivity. In other words, it might be better, but it won't be a whole step better (unless it actually has 10 bit or higher hardware).

But it's hard to believe that Sony would release a sub $2K cost camera that has 10 bit or higher hardware when they intentionally removed contrast/sharpening from the semi-pro 8 bit VG20. My guess is that this chip would be used for whatever's going to replace the F3, which has under-performed in sales by many accounts (with the Canon C300 being to blame).

But hey, if Sony wants to bring out a 14 bit VG30 with the same basic features this, I'll buy that too (with zero regrets about buying the 20 in the spring).
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Old March 14th, 2012, 02:29 AM   #11
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Re: What to Buy ?

As I said, this chip is just too good to be in a $2K product, but it sure shows what Sony semiconductor can build -- and what is coming in some product. Getting 12-bit data at 60fps with true 4K rez. puts it in a class just below the F65's killer chip. The issue is that MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 codecs are not capable. That means S-log RAW.Therefore, I would think it would go into an F35 class product -- to give Sony a lower priced 4K2K camera.

My points were only that NAB might be more interesting than I expected and that I avoid buying just before NAB.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 08:13 AM   #12
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Re: What to Buy ?

"As I said, this chip is just too good to be in a $2K product, but it sure shows what Sony semiconductor can build -- and what is coming in some product. "

Steve - I can hope can't I?

:0

NAB should be fun b/c we're going to start seeing the true death of 8 bit/4:2:0 camera tech, with 2-4K becoming more of a reality. Lot's of juicy tech will be coming down the pipe in the next year... all priced at a premium I'm sure.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 08:37 AM   #13
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Re: What to Buy ?

I think i will wait and see what NAB has to offer, i would hate to run off and buy the vg20 only to find out something better is on the horizon, thanks for your input guys
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Old March 14th, 2012, 12:49 PM   #14
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Re: What to Buy ?

I am kind of glad I got a bit rash in November and bought the VG20. It is a good stable camera for most of my purposes, and if I get in extreme stituations where I need to push dynamic range a bit, I can always resort to my 5D and the Technicolor's Cinestyle. The general imaging and noise levels of the VG20 otherwise surpass the 5D, and approach the capabilities of the FS 100. With the these rigs, I will be able to sit back for the next year or more and see what develops and how prices moderate. Seems like lots of stuff to come.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 02:38 PM   #15
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Re: What to Buy ?

Chris - that was my thinking as well. I wanted an upgrade from the last gen of Canons, while not wanting to spend $4,500-5,000 on a 8 bit camera.

That pretty well left the VG20.
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