updated 11:20 am EDT, Wed August 24, 2011
Second-gen NEX-VG20 camcorder gets 16.1MP sensor
As expected, Sony on Wednesday revealed its second-generation swappable-lens camcorder with the NEX-VG20E. It replaces the current and one-year old NEX-VG10 and sports manual controls for consumer-level videographers. The megapixel count of the Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor grows from 14.2 to 16.1, with RAW photos an option alongside JPEG.
Like with DSLRs, the background can be defocused through depth-of-field effects when the lens allows. The camera can shoot 1080p video in AVCHD format and, in Europe, gets new 50p and 25p progressive frame rate options; 60p is expected for the US. The Quad Capsule Spatial Array Microphone now supports stereo and 5.1 channel surround. Also new is an audio level control and inputs for connecting both an external microphone and monitoring headphones.
A body redesign includes a different handgrip meant to improve stability. The control dial can be accessed even with the LCD panel closed, allowing manual adjustment of exposure, iris and more. A second record button exists for easier access when shooting from low angles, and there are more hard function keys.
A seven-inch LCD touchscreen serves as the preview source and rotates over 270 degrees while getting more functions. The new camcorder will be bundled with a 18-200mm, f3.5-6.3 E-mount lens. It has an 11x optical zoom range and built-in stabilization. There are six other E-mount lenses on offer as well. An LA-EA2 adapter lets users shoot with A-mount lenses.
The new camcorder bundled with the lens will cost about $2,200, while a body-only variant will cost $1,600. Either ships in November.