Today, Sony announced the world's first camcorder with a full-frame image sensor: the NEX-VG900. The camcorder, announced alongside the NEX-VG30, is the new flagship model in Sony's line of interchangeable lens Handycams, which also include the NEX-VG20 and the NEX-VG10. You can check out our hands-on review of the NEX-VG900 here.
The NEX-VG900 represents an exciting move for Sony, but the camcorder's lack of 4K recording is likely to disappoint many. Limiting the VG900 to 1920 x 1080 video recording means the camcorder doesn't take full advantage of its huge sensor (unless you're shooting 24-megapixel stills), and Sony's choice to use AVCHD compression on the camcorder places additional limits on the top bitrate available for recording (24Mbps). Using an E-mount lens with the NEX-VG900 will also force the camcorder to use a cropped portion of the full-frame sensor. But Sony does throw in a free A-mount lens converter so you can get full sensor coverage with an attached A-mount lens.
The NEX-VG900 will be available for $3299 (body only), a price that is certainly in the same ballpark as many full-frame DSLRs, like the Nikon D800, Canon 5D Mark III, and new Sony A99, which was also announced today. Read more about the NEX-VG900 here.
Sony's other Handycam announcement, the NEX-VG30, is a more subtle update to Sony's interchangeable lens Handycams. The VG30 is the successor to last year's NEX-VG20, and it shares many of the same features under the hood. It has the same 16-megapixel APS-C image sensor as its predecessor, the same 60p and 24p recording options, the same 5.1-channel built-in microphone, and the same 3-inch touchscreen LCD. The main difference on the VG30 is the inclusion of a zoom rocker on the camcorder itself, which will work in conjunction with Sony's new 18-200mm power zoom lens (available as a kit with the VG30).
In addition to the new zoom function, the NEX-VG30 includes new picture effects, a better viewfinder, and a multi-interface shoe that fits a wider array of accessories than the NEX-VG20. The hot shoe mount will support a new XLR mic kit that will allow the NEX-VG30 (or the NEX-VG900) to record balanced audio via XLR inputs at an additional cost. Sony also made a few changes with regard to button placement and body design that should give users quicker access to manual exposure controls.
Sony raised the price for the NEX-VG30, and the difference is certainly significant. The VG30 will launch with an MSRP of $1799, which is $200 more than the NEX-VG20's original price. If you want to bundle the camcorder with the new 18-200mm power zoom lens, it will set you back $2699, which is $500 bucks more than the NEX-VG20 cost with its regular 18-200mm zoom lens (with no power zoom function). That's a pretty steep price increase just for an improved zoom function and a few additional upgrades.
Both the NEX-VG30 and the NEX-VG900 are expected to be available in November.
We’ve scoured the web to find you the best deals on good products. While Reviewed.com may receive a small share of the revenue from your purchase, editorial opinions are independent from any business sales.
Be in the know! Get Reviewed.com news and reviews straight to your inbox.
Thanks for signing up!