Sony has been scouring the dreams of videographers around the world, searching for a way to make their NEX series extreme. The ultimate extreme upgrade has now been delivered. Sony has this week revealed to the world the NEX-VG900, the 35mm full frame sensor video camera (24.3 megapixel).
Setting new standards in desirability with a sensor over 40 times larger than a standard consumer Camcorder combined with Sony’s NEX series body, brains and functionality. The VG900 is a videographers dream.
The NEX family of cameras has steadily been evolving, the software that drives the cameras especially. Now the cameras include many effects and cinematography tricks; all applied live while you shoot. The VG900 inherits all of its family’s live video effects and touch screen interface. The dual axis white balance function a real time and fully touch screen driven application, an impressive example of Sony’s software in action.
Fresh out of the Sony Labs the brand new full frame Exmor sensor has now been added to the NEX range of video cameras, housing a sensor that is revolutionising both professional and consumer cameras and producing a masterpiece of miniaturization.
The new sensor has already appeared in the brand new Sony alpha 99 DSLR and the incredible compact RX1 full-frame mirror less camera. The same colour sensitivity that allows 14 bit colour RAW images to be captured on the alpha 99 DSLR is present in the VG900. The new sensor not only provides incredible detail but also an extremely shallow depth of field. Low light sensitivity is also said to be a lot better with this new generation sensor from Sony.
Supported video formats include AVHC and MP4 using 1080p full HD 50p/25p/24p progressive movie recording.
The viewfinder of a Camcorder is the cameramans view into the world they’re trying to create, For the VG900 Sony has integrated an XGA OLED viewfinder that provides 100% field of view along with bright and clear images, one eye at a time in any case. For two eye viewing integrated into the side of the camera is the swivel mount 3-inch touch screen LCD. Folding out to provide more screen and functionality through Sony’s touch screen interface.
The camera is also well connected, a/v connectivity includes component/composite/S-Video/HDMI all for output. There is also USB, headphone jack, mini stereo mic input and Memory Stick slots for memory expansion along with the Sony Multi device shoe on top.
Physical button layout and controls provide a balance between keeping the necessities handy while not cluttering the camera. Zoom controls are provided with selectable speeds, easy access to direct control of White Balance, Iris , Gain and Shutter as well as the standard thumb trigger controls.
Being a professional Camcorder requires top notch audio support, Sony has integrated a Quad Capsule Array Microphone that provides accurate low noise audio, internally it combines four omni-directional capsules into one microphone and provides stereo or 5.1 surround sound support. Also included are silent on-screen audio controls and the external mic inputs, covering the remote live feed requirements nicely.
Supplementing the E-mount lenses available the LA-EA3 adapter allows full-frame A-mount lenses to be used. The VG900 has been designed to get the most out of E-mount lenses, with an ASP-C mode, but the A-mount lenses enable the camera’s full talents. With the previous generation NEX Camcorders using APS-C sized image sensors the E-mount lenses were sized to match. It was surprising that Sony managed to fit a full-frame sensor under the E-mount system but they did.
“Our new interchangeable lens camcorder offerings allow demanding videomakers the control and flexibility they need to bring their creative vision to life,” said Hidenori Toyoda, director of the camcorder business at Sony Electronics. “We’re excited to deliver revolutionary products like our full-frame model to the consumer market for unparalleled quality and value.”
The NEX-VG series of video cameras are already favoured by cameramen in the field, highly portable, excellent image quality, easy control of the pro-camera features have won the camera much praise. If you need evidence you can see them on the news every night. See them in the background of live feeds from remote locations around the world and fast paced press events. But that is the current generation NEX video camera.
Have Sony returned to their leading edge design glory days. There was an age long ago when Sony was THE leading edge design company, for a short period they could have been considered the Apple of their time. They were led by brand names that were industry standards, Walkman, Trinitron and even Betamax, names that stood in front of the legend of Sony.
Is the VG900 able to challenge the Canon 5D Mark III in HD video stakes? Can Sony make a comeback? Will the VG900 be a hit? Here at Highpants all we know is the moment we saw it we knew we were looking at the new must have video camera, for professionals and consumers alike.
The NEX-VG900 will be available worldwide in November for $3,300 USD, which includes the body and LA-EA3 A-mount adapter.
Reference: Sony NEX-VG900