Review: Sony NEX VG10 Camcorder


When Sony introduced the new NEX-VG10 HD camcorder with interchangeable lens and full manual control it took camcorder innovation to the next level.

With the NEX-VG10 camcorder you will be able to get really creative, thanks to it's extra large 23.4 x 15.6 mm Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor and interchangeable lenses. This sensor makes it possible to create excellent quality pictures even during conditions where the light is low.

Filming footage with the NEX-VG10

It takes a while to get used to the controls, especially the menus. The menu is a bit 'consumer-ish', with flashy graphics and icons. I noticed that the camcorder sometimes doesn't start recording when I push the recording button. This seems to have something to do with my finger resting on the photo shutter button, which is why I decided to put tape over it. See below for my explanation why I don't really care for the photo function.

The Sony NEX VG10 Camcorder

Once you find out how everything works you'll be shooting incredible footage very quickly. The footage looks incredible, with brilliant colours and incredible sharp HD images. Thanks to the large sensor you'll immediately notice the cool looking depth-of-field effect when you open the aperture up all the way. It is very nice to have a camera where you can adjust everything manually, from shutter speed to aperture. You can focus and zoom yourself with the standard lens provided.

On one hand it is a camera that can deliver pictures excellent quality thanks to it's large sensor, on the other hand, the user interface it can be a bit annoying. When I'm filming I want to make adjustments as quickly as possible, sometimes it just takes a bit of browsing through the menu's.

Taking photos

I never really cared for the option to take photos with a camcorder, and especially with the NEX-VG10. I think they should have spent the time it took to create the ability to make pictures with making the user interface a bit less clumsy.

There is just something weird about using a camcorder to take pictures, looking at the LCD screen, pointing and pressing the button on top feels a bit like playing with some kind of futuristic laser gun. The sound it makes adds to this experience. It just seems as if picture taking has been added to the NEX-VG10 as an extra, not as a main feature. The screen is quite small, as GUI information is displayed next to the image. It also feels a bit slow and clumsy. The photos it takes though are very good, excellent colour quality and sharpness.

Verdict

If you are looking for a reasonably priced HD camcorder that produces incredibly good quality, and you don't mind giving some usability up for that, consider buying the Sony NEX-VG10. Everything can be manually controlled, including focal length, focus, white balance, gain and shutter speed. You couldn't wish your footage looking better, even in low light conditions.

It comes with a price though, every shot just takes a bit longer to set up, and you will sometimes have to do a few extra takes because you missed something while manually adjusting settings. But it doesn't matter, especially because of it's great price. I notice that every time I use this camera as a secondary camera, I always come home and smile when I look at my recordings!

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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