camcorders
  • Editors' Choice

Sony Handycam NEX-VG20 Camcorder Review

A melding of the Handycam camcorder and mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

June 22, 2012
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Panasonic HC-X900M Comparison

In one corner you have the Canon HF G10, the best, most "professional" consumer camcorder to come along in years, and in the other corner you have the Sony NEX-VG20: an interchangeable lens camcorder that is directly marketed to the low-end professional or prosumer audience. Both models have their advantages, but right now we think the edge may still go to the Canon. Sony still has a few kinks to work out with the VG20 before it's ready for prime time.

The Canon HF G10 seemingly has no flaws when it comes to video performance. It worked magic in low light, handled our motion and sharpness tests with ease, and it has one of the most robust sets of manual controls we've seen on a consumer model (as well as a large lens ring). One of the only things you can't do with the HF G10, however, is remove its lens.

So that's where the Sony VG20 takes its advantage. It all comes down to what you want as a videographer. Would you like a compact HD camcorder with internal memory and good auto controls and excellent capabilities in low light? Then buy the Canon HF G10. If you prefer having the flexibility of using different lenses—including some very expensive Zeiss glass options—then the Sony VG20 is your boy.

If Sony had included a few more pro features like gamma control, extensive color controls, and image adjustment options, then we'd probably side directly in the VG20's corner for this head-to-head comparison. But, as it stands, the Canon actually has more controls for the professional videographer than the Sony VG20, and that's something we did not expect.

Both camcorders aren't cheap. Canon still lists the HF G10 for $1499 on its site, but you can find it for a few hundred less if you shop around. The VG20 will set you back $2199 with its kit lens (or $1599 body only).


/r:render

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Design
  3. Product Tour
  4. Performance
  5. Color Performance
  6. Low Light Performance
  7. Motion Performance
  8. Sharpness Performance
  9. Sample Videos
  10. Usability
  11. Ease of Use
  12. Handling
  13. Controls
  14. Features
  15. Recording Options
  16. Hardware
  17. Sony Handycam HDR-CX700V Comparison
  18. Canon Vixia HF G10 Comparison
  19. Panasonic HC-X900M Comparison
  20. Conclusion
  21. Photo Gallery
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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