43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic Images from a Wonderful Camera,
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This review is from: Sony NEXVG10 Full HD Interchangeable Lens Camcorder (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I read the other reviews and have to shake my head. Only one reviewer even mentioned, and only in passing, what makes this camera so remarkable. It has a huge sensor and creates fantastic images. If what matters to you is the arrangement of the shoulder strap or the layout of the menu, by all means stay away from this camera. If you want interchangeable lens, the ability to shoot shallow depth of field and to create great images, take a closer look. This camera is not for everyone, but it does shoot some amazing video.
Video cameras, because of their typically small image sensors, shoot footage that has a very deep depth of field and a limited color range. In recent years many videographers have taken to shooting on DSLRS which have much larger sensors and can produce footage which is far more "filmic" with shallow depth of field and richer colors. The problem is that DSLRs are much better still than video cameras. They are typically limited to shooting for about 12 minutes. They generally do not have auto-focus and sound can be problematical.
The NEX VG-10 is a DSLR that is designed to shoot video. It has the same sensor as the Sony NEX 5 DSLR. Unlike most DSLRs, it does have auto focus. The quad mike is quite good and it is much easier to shoot handheld than a DSLR rigged out for video. The steadyshot stabilization is really nice. The 18-200mm E-mount 11x Zoom is a very good lens that sells for around $800 on its own. I plan on buying the 16mm f/2.8 Wide-Angle lens as well.
The real magic in the camera is the 23.4 x 15.6mm Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor. There is simply nothing like it in a video camera in this price range. The shallow depth of field is beautiful. If you are used to a camcorder which is always in focus because the small sensor gives you a very deep depth of field, the VG-10 might take some getting use to. If on the other hand you want to be able to keep the subject of your shot in sharp focus with the background softly blurred, this camera can do it, whereas all the older pro and prosumer video cameras can not. The only video cameras out there now (or soon) with this sort of large sensor are the Panasonic PMW-F3 and the soon to be released Sony FS100 NXCAM Super 35mm, both of which cost over $6,000, without lenses.
I agree that I would like zebra stripes and more audio control would be nice, though I still can use my shotgun mikes with or without a Beachtek adapter. The menu system takes a bit of getting use to but isn't bad. I would like built in ND filters but can live with external filters. The camera shoots a native 30P. 24P would be good but I can do that in post. I am not convinced most viewers can tell the differences in most settings.
The VG-10 can also be used as a 14MP still camera, though it does not have a RAW setting. I was looking to buy a video camera, so having one that can double as a DSLR is a bonus.
Overall the NEX VG10 is a remarkable camera that shoots great video. It is not perfect and it is not for everyone. That being said, I am very happy with the camera and video I can shoot with it.
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Initial post: Jan 5, 2012 4:06:47 AM PST
Stacy G. Cortez Graves says:
This was a very well written review that provided nice balance - thanks!
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