camcorders
  • Editors' Choice

Sony Handycam NEX-VG20 Camcorder Review

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

June 22, 2012
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Features

The NEX-VG20 was built to give the user easy access to focus and exposure controls, and Sony got this design right. The dedicated shutter speed and iris (aperture) buttons inside the LCD cavity make those controls easy to adjust on the fly, and the manual control button near the front of the camcorder lets you set things like gain, AE shift, and WB shift without having to go through the menu system as well.

But there's two things that bother us: 1) the manual control wheel that is used to set exposure isn't great. We expect to see a larger knob or ring on a camcorder of the VG20's caliber. 2) the camcorder lacks the high-end custom image presets and picture controls that you get on most prosumer camcorders. Yes, the NEX-VG20 is on the cheap end of the "professional camcorder" market, but it wouldn't hurt to add some in-depth gamma controls, sharpness adjustment options, black level functions, color settings, etc. The lack of these controls does make the VG20 a simpler camcorder overall, however, and it lets the user concentrate on getting exposure and focus correct—which are harder to fix in post production.

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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