Sunday, August 01, 2010

Film Production - Sony NEX-VG10

Film Production - Sony NEX-VG10
Several of my favorite cameras have been Sony.  Sony cameras are for the most part, rugged, reliable, and high quality.  Sometimes, and for some things, I really like the Sony pastel color rendition.  (Not all the time, though).

I'm a film guy at heart, and I have shot lots of video. All that being said, I admit I cannot see exactly which part of the market this camera, the 
Sony NEX-VG10 is supposed to serve.  And that is tragic.

Is it a pro camera, a hobby camera, an independent filmmaker camera?  Is it the "poor man's RED One," as I've unfortunately read it described?  That's crummy marketing, guys.

It's available in September, and Sony would like a deposit now, so they can presell it to me.  I would love to buy it, especially at its remarkably affordable price, 

Numbers, guys.  Don't just tell me the image sensor is "Large."  (Or in this case, "19 times larger"). Compared to what?  Most video cameras, with their little dinky toy image sensors?  I shoot 35mm and 65mm film, 4-, 8-, 5-, and 15-perf.  "Large" to me doesn't mean what it does to you.  Give me a number - exactly how big an image sensor are we talking here?

Show me somebody using it.  That's what makes a cameraman drool.  I want to see somebody I respect using this gear, and using it well, and he likes it - he has a smile on his face.

Show me footage.
 This is second-best, because I'm looking at it on a computer screen.  But what smears, what blurs, what colors, what jitters as I pan, those are all important to me.  I need to see them.

Don't even think of trying to trick me.  Don't say this camera boasts "interchangeable lenses," and then the only ones I can put on are those you sell.  Not when I'm still shooting with every Nikon lens I've ever owned, on any camera I have.

Certainly don't claim it's "the first HD camera with interchangeable lenses," as the promo materials squawk.  What?  Don't be absurd.  I'm hotrodding lenses onto cameras for too long, to believe that one.

Compete honorably.
 I wish Nikon's DSLR had as good HD video as Canon's, but it doesn't yet.  Nikon D300s is pretty good.  It anCanon EOS 7D and Panasonic HVX200A and the RED Camera are your competition here, in the Indy Cine world, Sony.  Don't ignore them.  Meet and exceed them.

I am guessing, from what numbers there are,
this camera doesn't do 24fps.  Even if you think that's a dinosaur frame rate, it is still compatible with the rest of the film business, for a century now.  I know the arguments about 3:2 pulldown and yada yada.  Without 24p, you're just another video guy.  No theatrical feature film for you.

24p should at least be an option.  If it doesn't have 24, 25, 29.97, 30, and 60fps on the dial, I won't buy it. If you're trying to create a new standard with this camera, good luck to you, but I've been there, done that, and there's always heartbreak afterward.

I won't buy it if it's not compatible.  That's basic stuff, and non-negotiable.

Sony NEX-VG10
Film Production
Nikon D300s
Canon EOS 7D
Little Red Book
Panasonic HVX200A
Red: Ultimate Guide
Indy Cine Filmmaker
Independent Filmmaker

Sony HD camera for Filmmaking


  1. Anonymous9:52 AM

    Here is footage from the NEX-VG10


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  3. I take my hat off to the author of this article. Well done.

  4. Please write details post about 35mm Camera. I have some interest about that.

  5. Thanks Sam for posting a video. It's great to see the NEX-VG10 in action.

    - Jessica Wade

  6. THIS! Sam, you're so right - I was looking for something to accompany my still photography but 24 frames is a minimum requirement. Maybe they will release a firm ware update that will enable it?

  7. Anonymous2:31 PM

    24 fps is a post production matter; you can shoot at 30 and convert it to 24 fps in FCP man.

    You want the real thing? then spend $5000,000 in Alexa, and that's it.