Sony NEX-VG20 camcorder

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The new Handycam NEX-VG20 camcorder from Sony offers several enhancements over the NEX-VG10 while continuing to use E-Mount lenses for shooting cinematic Full HD video and high-resolution still photos. The improvements include: comprehensive manual controls, improved imaging quality, upgraded sound, refined ergonomics, a second record button.

With a resolution of 16.1 effective megapixels, the camcorder’s Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor assures high video image quality, with extremely low noise in low light. It also captures 16-megapixel still photos, with RAW format support.

Full HD video shooting in the AVCHD format is now complemented by a choice of 24p and 60p (progressive) frame rate options. Footage shot at 24p can be enhanced with Cinema Tone Gamma and Cinema Tone Color for an even richer, more cinematic look.

Dialogue and other sounds are captured by the precision Quad Capsule Spatial Array Microphone that now supports stereo and 5.1 channel surround. The camcorder also offers a new audio level control.

The camcorder’s handgrip has been redesigned for better stability. Allowing manual adjustment of exposure, iris and other settings, the control dial can now be accessed even when the LCD panel is closed.

The button layout now features ‘hard’ function keys, direct access to each shooting mode (Iris, Shutter speed, Program AE), a second REC button for low-angle shots and expanded focus button.

Shooters can frame and review footage on the 3-inch (7.5 cm) Xtra Fine LCD display that features TruBlack technology for clear, high contrast images. The screen can rotate up to a 270-degree range for easy framing in any position, even with the camera held low. A touch-panel simplifies fingertip operation of shooting functions.

The camcorder comes with the SEL18200 f/3.5-6.3 E-mount lens, offering an 11x optical zoom range and built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. There’s a choice of seven E-mount lenses. The optional LA-EA2 lens mount adaptor provides even wider compatibility with the established family of A-mount optics.

Interestingly, Sony says it is also planning to develop a system to allow other brands’ lenses.

The Handycam NEX-VG20H camcorder kit, including lens, will be available in November at a retail price of about $2,200. A body-only version, the NEX-VG20, will be available for about $1,600.

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