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Sony Unveils Interchangeable-Lens Camcorder

SAN DIEGO — Sony formally
introduced what it is calling the
industry’s first consumer-focused
interchangeable-lens camcorder.

The unit adds the flexibility of
a d-SLR to a camera form factor
that Sony believes to be more practical
for shooting video.

The Handycam NEX-VG10
(shipping in September at a $1,999
suggested retail as a kit including an
18-200mm f/3.5 lens) brings the ability
to change lenses for a variety of creative
shooting techniques including telephoto
extensions. The camcorder was designed
to use Sony’s new e-mount lenses
originally developed for Sony’s new
NEX mirrorless interchangeable-lens
camera series.

Three e-mount lenses are available,
including a new 18-200mm f/3.5 lens
($799 suggested retail) that will be
made available as part of a kit with the
VG10. Existing e-mount lenses include
an 18-55mm ($299) lens and 16mm
fixed-focus lens ($249). Sony is also
offering an optional e-mount adapter
for Alpha-mount lenses ($200), an ultra-
wide converter ($129) and a fisheye
converter ($149).

When using Sony’s Alpha-series Carl
Zeiss lenses via an adapter on the camcorder,
the autofocus
system will not function,
requiring manual focusing,

The camcorder also adds a large-format
14.2 megapixel Exmor APS-C HD
CMOS image sensor (the same as used
on the recently introduced NEX mirrorless
interchangeable-lens still cam
eras) coupled with a BIONZ processor
for higher-resolution still and video images. It was also engineered for highquality
audio recording and offers a
compact, ergonomic body design optimized
for video shooting.

The APS-C sized Exmor CMOS
sensor was designed to offer greater
shallow depth of field control, and larger
pixel size for better image quality.

The camcorder also includes optical
SteadyShot with Active Mode to reduce
image wobble in handheld shooting.
Sony said it significantly reduced
the noise of the autofocus and optical
SteadyShot systems using electro-magnetic
actilation for the iris and focus
motor to minimize any audible interference
on video recordings.

The camcorder is supplied with a specially
developed Quad Capsule Spatial
Array Stereo Mic, which captures
sound through four capsules (front left,
front right, rear left, rear right). Sound is
captured by each capsule and later combined
into the optimal stereo mix, Sony
said. The result is said to be a 2x increase
in directivity compared to traditional
camcorder mics, while minimizing
background noise with an emphasis
on front sound compared to 5.1-channel
recording systems, the company said.

The camcorder includes a 3-inch
(921,000-pixel) LCD monitor with
Sony’s True Black anti-reflective coating
technology. Also included is a swivel
electronic viewfinder.

Other features include full manual
control capability using a jog dial, headphone
jack, mic jack and HDMI output.

In addition to taking professionalquality
video shots, the VG10 was designed
to take professional-looking still
photos. To help with still image capture,
Sony has included its multi-shot
capture and layering function, offering
higher light sensitivity when used
with the included anti-motion blur and
handheld twilight modes.

It also uses multi-shot capability
with high dynamic range and the image
sensor’s extra large pixels for strong
low-light images.

Multi-frame three-shot capture is offered
for use with high dynamic range
allowing up to 6dB of headroom.

Video images are captured in up to
1920-by-1080/60i AVCHD format at
24Mbps. Stills and video are recorded
to SD or MemoryStick memory cards.

The company is also including its Sony
Vegas Studio 10 (a $129 value) video-editing
software through a download voucher
that ships with the camcorder.