About three years ago, the first DSLRs with HD video capability appeared, offering the benefits (over HD camcorders) of much larger sensors (for much better low-light/high-ISO performance and limited "filmic" depth of field), relatively low cost and interchangeable lenses. But these cameras, while excellent still cameras, had some drawbacks as video cameras: They were designed for still photography, where you hold the camera in position for a few seconds, not for long video "takes," and they had limited autofocusing capabilities.
Now Sony—long a big name in camcorders and more recently a prolific producer of DSLRs—has put a big APS-C sensor in a real camcorder, shooting 1080 full HD video and 14-megapixel still images, and taking interchangeable lenses, at a very attractive price. Meet the NEX-VG10.
Free Pro Video-Editing Software
NEX-VG10 owners can download free Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 video-editing software, which makes it easy to create dramatic HD movies, including adding video effects, background music, titles, transitions and more, then share your movies via DVD, Blu-ray disc or even online.
Full HD Video
Of course, this camcorder can shoot HD video. You can choose between 1920x1080 or 1440x1080, each recorded at 60 fps (59.95i) and captured at 30 fps (29.97p). Video is recorded in AVCHD format using MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) compression.
Image Sensor: 14.2-megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS
Max. Resolution: 4592x3056 pixels
Sensor Size: 23.4x15.6mm (1.5x)
Video: 1920x1080/60i AVCHD, 1440x1080/60i
AF System: 25-point contrast-based
Shutter Speeds: 30 to 1/4000 sec., B (still); ¼-1/4000 sec. (movie)
ISO Settings: 200-12,800
Continuous Firing Mode: 7 fps (still images)
Recording Format: JPEG (still); AVCHD (video)
Metering: 49-segment, CW, spot
Storage Media: Memory Stick PRO Duo/PRO-HG Duo/PRO-HG HX Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC
Dimensions: 3.8x5.2x11.6 inches with an 18-200mm zoom
Weight: 21.9 ounces (body only); 45.8 ounces (with battery, memory card and 18-200mm zoom)
Power Source: Rechargeable NP-FV70 InfoLITHIUM battery
Estimated Street Price: $1,999 (with an 18-200mm zoom)
Contact: Sony, (877) 865-7669, www.sonystyle.com