Sony are no strangers to setting trends and taking chances. Witness the Sony RX1, the “worlds first full frame compact digital camera” which, with it’s hefty price tag and fixed lens will only appeal to a limited market, and this shows some hutzpa on Sony’s part..
Launched earlier this year, the new Sony NEX VG900 is no less a bold move by Sony. The VG900 basically incorporates all the Hybrid Image making power of a Mirrorless or Full Frame DSLR system and puts it into a handycam body that takes interchangeable lenses (the NEX E-Mount lineup is native to the VG-900).
Sony are no strangers to the concept, having already released the NEX VG10, NEX VG20 and now the NEX VG30, but those models are targeted directly at the pro-sumer market, where the VG-900 with it’s 35mm Full Frame CMOS sensor can arguably be targeted more towards video pros, but in reality this is a serious pro-sumer unit.
The VG-900 does boast some impressive specs:
- Sensor: 35mm full-frame Exmor HD CMOS sensor 1.4″x0.9″ (35.8×23.9mm)
- APS-C Compatible Mode: Yes (Auto/On/Off)
- Manual Focus Assist: Magnified display; Peaking
- Interface: Composite video out; Component video out; S-video out; Mini-USB; multi-interface accessory shoe; Mini HDMI; stereo headphone jack; stereo mic jack, remote control
- Microphone/Speaker: Built-in
- Mic Level Control: Yes – 31 steps
- Wind Noise Reduction: Yes
- Media: Memory Stick PRO Duo; Pro-HG Duo; PRO-HG HX Duo; SD, SDHC, SDXC
- Viewfinder: EVF; adjustable diopter; adjustable color temperature
- Gain Control: Auto/Manual (0dB-30dB)
- ISO: Auto/Manual (100 to 25600)
- Manual Exposure Assist: Zebra Pattern Display
- White Balance: Auto; One Push; Outdoor; Indoor; WB Temp
- LCD Display: 3.0″ Xtra Fine LCD 270 degree tilt, touch panel display with Histogram; Real-time image adjustment: Exposure compensation, WB
- Assignable Dial: Exposure/Gain (ISO)/Iris/Shutter Speed/AE Shift/WB Temp
- Weight: Approx. 1lb. 13oz. with supplied NP-FV70 battery
- Measurements: Approx. 4 1/4″ x 5 1/8″ x 8 7/8″
- Power – Battery: InfoLITHIUM with AccuPower Meter System (V Series) NP-FV70/FV100; AC adapter
The Sony NEX VG900 has a lot going for it. It sports that Full-frame 35mm Sony sensor (and Sony make some of the best sensors in the world), it takes Interchangeable lenses (again, E-Mount is native, but there’s an adapter included so that you can also fit the VG900 with A-Mount lenses), focus assist (peaking and magnification), and exposure assist (zebras and histogram). There’s also an optional XLR adapter, an Electronic View Finder and a zoom rocker for use with power-zoom lenses.
On the con side, it can be pricey for a consumer, and it’s form factor can make it more difficult to travel with than say, a Panasonic GH3 or even a Sony RX1, but it’s that same form factor that will appeal to a lot of video shooters who are accustomed to using cameras of this style – and that’s what Sony are counting on.
In the end, if you’re a video shooter who’s looking for a full frame interchangeable lens mirrorless camera, you like the handycam style and you’ve got about $3,000 USD burning a hole in your pocket, then the Sony NEX-VG900 won’t disappoint.
Check out the Sony NEX-VG900 (as well as an excellent bundle that includes two 32GB High Speed Card, two Spare Batteries, a Full Sized Tripod, a Spare Camcorder LED Light, and a Deluxe Padded Case) Here
All photos and video productions belong to Sony, Music by Daft Punk The Outlands from Tron.