Frank from Neufeld Designs give us a first look at the Sony NEX VG30 and reviews the factors that lead him to choose this camera over DSLRs like the Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon D800 for travel film making.
The NEX-VG30 is one of the latest entries (along with the NEX-VG900) in Sony’s line of pro-sumer handycam style interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras. It also takes Sony E-mount lenses, but can be adapted to fit other lenses as well.
CNET wrote a VERY short review on the Sony NEX-VG30 >> There really isn’t much to say about this replacement for the Sony NEX-VG20. The VG30 basically has an updated EVF — the same OLED model that’s in the VG900 — and incorporates a rocker zoom lever to work with the new power zoom lenses. In fact, it will ship as a kit with the new 18-200mm lens for $2699.99, or body only for $1799. It also gains the new Multi Interface Shoe, which makes it compatible with all the new accessories.
The VG30 sports a 16mp CMOS Sensor and an excellent onboard microphone array (full specs below, courtesy of B&H)
Sony NEX-VG30 Specs:
|Sensor||Exmor APS-C HD CMOS sensor|
|Resolution||Approx. 16.1 MP effective|
|Lens Mount||Sony E-Mount|
|Processor||BIONZ image processor|
|File Formats||HD Video: AVCHD 2.0 (MPEG-4 AVC (H.264))
SD Video: MPEG2-PS
Stills: JPEG, RAW, JPEG+RAW
|Recording Media||1 slot (Memory Stick Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC)|
|Built-in Mic||Quad-capsule stereo microphone|
|Burst Mode (Stills)||16.1 MP RAW & JPEG Stills at up to 6 fps|
|Focus Area||Multi-point AF (25 points)|
|Digital Zoom||2x Lossless Digital Zoom|
|Power Zoom||Variable speed (Requires 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Power Zoom Lens)|
|Audio Input||1/8″ (3.5mm)|
|Audio Output||1/8″ (3.5mm)|
|LCD Monitor||3.0″ Wide Xtra Fine touch-screen LCD with TruBlack technology|
|LCD Resolution||921K dots|
|EVF||High-contrast XGA OLED Tru-Finder (with eye sensor)|
|EVF Resolution||2359K dots|
My Take: The Sony NEX VG-30 is a very intriguing camera, especially for video shooters. When I first started my search for a camera last year, I actually narrowed my search to the VG30’s predecessor, the NEX-VG20, and the Panasonic Lumix GH2. I eventually went with the GH2 because of it’s small size, image quality and abundance of available lenses. but I’ve always been impressed with Sony’s VG lineup.
If you like the handycam style formfactor, this could be a great choice for you. If you can afford a few hundred dollars more and want to step up to a full frame sensor, then you might want to look at the VG-900. If you’re like me and you’re not married to the handycam formfactor, you might want to look at the Panasonic Lumix GH3 (in my opinion, the best hybrid camera in the world right now).
If you don’t have the budget to spring for either of those, I would recommend checking out the Sony NEX-VG20 or the Panasonic Lumix GH2 (one of the best bargains out there right now at only $499 USD, Body Only).