VG20 in harsh conditions and other Qs? (considering VG30) at DVinfo.net

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Old September 6th, 2012, 11:26 AM   #1
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VG20 in harsh conditions and other Qs? (considering VG30)

I'm looking to buy another Sony APS-C camera and am tossing around the idea of going with either the A77 or the upcoming VG30. Budget is a concern, but so is durability. Based on the early leaked pictures of the 30, it resembles the VG20 almost exactly, so I was curious how durable is that chassis? I'm not talking about walking in the park and getting a little mist on it - more like how will it fare in Dakar Challenge conditions? This camera would be used primarily for video and I typically shoot in full manual. I also already own a NEX 7.

Some other considerations:

Plusses of the VG30 over the A77 (based on my knowledge of the VG20)
- Audio monitoring
- Easier to handle body for video
- Same NEX lenses as my NEX 7
- Zoom rocker (not really that exciting for my use)
- Clean HDMI if I want to capture in ProRes on an external box (for speed of edit, not for better quality in my case.)
- Unlimited recording time
- Can use the primes I already have converted to my NEX 7

Minuses of the VG30 over the A77
- Need to additionally purchase Alpha LA-EA2 to get fast zooms (seriously, only a 3.5-6.3 zoom?) and then, without stabilization. Also, I'd likely buy FF-compatible Alpha lenses anyhow. I don't like re-buying lenses if I can help it.
- Touch screen
- No IBIS (I understand why, but they need faster zooms... I shoot in some very dark environments and at night sometimes.)
- visually may not "match" my NEX 7 as closely as the A77 would.
- Not weather sealed (so far as I know... not officially sealed, at least.)

In both cases I may need to add a larger monitor and I intend to spend about $1000-2000 for additional lenses. I already own a "rig" that will fit either camera, as well as external recorders, mics, etc. Really, if a firmware dropped for the A77 that included manual audio levels, visual monitoring and clean HDMI it would almost be a no-brainer. However, since it doesn't I'm considering the whole package.

Thanks.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 12:18 AM   #2
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Re: VG20 in harsh conditions and other Qs? (considering VG30)

Out of the blue today I found a great local offer on a barely used, discounted A77. Too good to pass up, really. So it seems fate decided for me. Been playing with it a bit tonight and I think I'm really going to like this unit for video.

I'm flying off to the UK for several days next week (testing a car through Yorkshire and on to Lord March's estate for the Goodwood Reunion) which will be a great opportunity jump into the deep end with the A77.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 02:20 PM   #3
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Re: VG20 in harsh conditions and other Qs? (considering VG30)

Only way I'd want to move from the VG20/30 to a DSLR is if A) the image was clearly several times better, B) I needed the smalled form factor, or C) I got an amazing deal on the DSLR.

Went to a DSLR setup for about a year - while it was cool to be able to have a camera on me at all times, actually shooting a "real" job was always a nightmare.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 02:43 PM   #4
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Re: VG20 in harsh conditions and other Qs? (considering VG30)

I will likely end up with both the A77 and either a VG30 or VG900.
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