July 20, 2010

Sony's NEX-VG10 Will Shoot 24p After All (Sort Of)

I was being overly harsh when I said Sony was bringing a knife to a gunfight with their forthcoming NEX-VG10 -- the camera does feature interchangeable lenses, a big 'ole APS-C sensor, and video-shooting ergonomics that will presumably put DSLRs to shame. But its lack of 24p (which Sony is saving for a yet-unannounced pro version) will mean most people interested in shooting narrative material will have to look elsewhere. Or will they? As it turns out, there may be a way to get 24p out of the camera yet.

Allan Tépper of ProVideo Coalition notes that there will be two versions of the camera: one for 60Hz countries (North Americans) and one for 50Hz countries (much of the rest of the world). Despite the camera's interlaced recording specification, it turns out the sensor itself is actually progressive. In Allan's words:

Sony have affirmed that the NEX-VG10’s 60Hz version will actually record progressive 29.97p (“30p”), although embedded in an interlaced transport over 59.94i, similarly as the HVR-V1U and HVR-V1N 60Hz models do in one particular mode… and that the NEX-VG10’s 50Hz version will actually record progressive 25p, although embedded in an interlaced transport at 50i, as the HVR-V1E 50Hz model does in one particular mode.

What this means is, the 60Hz version is actually shooting 30p, and the 50Hz version is actually shooting 25p -- both cameras wrap the resulting files in an interlaced container, from which the original progressive frames should be extractable with little to no loss of quality. 25p and 24p are indistinguishable when it comes to motion rendering; 25p gives every bit of the same "film look" that 24p does (assuming you use an appropriate shutter speed). As a result, you should be able to buy a PAL version of the NEX-VG10, shoot in 50i, extract the 25p footage, force the NLE to play it back at 24 fps, slow the audio down by 4% to match, and voila: 24p footage from the NEX-VG10. Yes, there are a few hoops to jump through, but no more than what we have to deal with when it comes to shooting with DSLRs today.

The real question at hand is what Sony will add to the pro version -- I'd expect true 24p, 60p, a more robust codec, better gamma matrices, and XLR audio inputs -- and what sort of premium they'll charge. Sony has a much higher-end camera market to protect -- like the six-figure SRW-9000 I shot with recently -- which, it's worth noting, Canon does not. That's why, when it comes down to which camera manufacturer will be mostly likely to get the post-DSLR cheese, I have to think it would be a manufacturer like Canon, who can throw every feature they can develop into a $6k camera, without holding back resolutions, frame rates, and codecs in order to justify the massive price difference between a $6k prosumer camera and a $200k pro camera. In the post-DSLR video camera market, Sony has its CineAlta line and Panasonic has its Varicam line to protect -- as does RED with its EPIC line. Of course, it's not a zero-sum game: however it shakes out, there are going to be a lot of great options out there soon.

Here's some footage from Bali taken with the NEX-VG10 (note that you can click through to Vimeo and download a 1080p quicktime):

Is it just me or is that bokeh ugly? And isn't that guy totally stalking the girl?

[via ProVideo Coalition]

Your Comment

17 Comments

Yeah, around the 37s mark, the bokeh is kind of ugly.

July 20, 2010 at 11:40AM, Edited September 4, 10:26AM

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Stephen Henderson

> Is it just me or is that bokeh ugly?

What a question - we don't know how you're looking.

Why does everyone hate this new Sony - product? Is it cause all of you want to have evidence that what you did (buying photocameras and strange accessories) was right? :D

July 20, 2010 at 6:51PM, Edited September 4, 10:26AM

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Hannes

I think the bokeh isn't that bad and it also may be a result of the kit lens.

Also i think people should calm down about the frame rate on this camera. For web work or ENG work the frame rate is fine, but it does need to have other options. If Sony is smart they will have a firmware update available on or shortly after the release date for 24P. I work for Sony and from what i hear they really want this product to work so I'm doubting that they will shoot themselves in the foot.

I'm hoping to buy this camera when it drops as long as they get it right.

And yeah he is totally stalking that girl.

July 20, 2010 at 9:04PM, Edited September 4, 10:26AM

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Matt McCray

I don't think "everyone hates this new Sony" at all -- most people are very positive about it. The detractors (myself included) dislike it when a company purposefully holds back features simply to differentiate their product line and justify their higher-end model. It's Sony's right to do so, but the whole reason so many of us have been "buying photocameras and strange accessories" is because DSLRs have NOT done that -- Canon added 24p in a firmware update to the 5D, and while Sony might add 24p to the NEX in a firmware update -- I'm doubtful -- remember that the DVX100 came out with 24p what, eight years ago?

Since I'm knocking it, though, here's some more: for a demo video, this doesn't look that great. The highlights blow out pretty harshly to electronic white, lending the video the look of a low dynamic range; who knows if the camera will have Hypergamma or any "filmlike" gamma settings.

In general, i'm not the target market, though -- I'll be interested in the pro version.

July 20, 2010 at 10:30PM, Edited September 4, 10:26AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

bokeh??
Problem is too many beginners have no idea what they are talking about. Have you heard of CC??
24P 25P?
You can do in post...have You tried Slo mo from 24P or 25P?
You must have theatrical release for 24P.. DO YOU??
If you do i suggest better Cine camera-that is if You do not run "0" Production Budget.

regards

July 22, 2010 at 6:26PM, Edited September 4, 10:26AM

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Jiri Vrozina

Does anybody have an idea if Canon is preparing a comparable product? Also whether these camcoders are supposed to support different kind of lenses, say e.g. EF, F-mount, K-mount through adapters?

August 10, 2010 at 2:34PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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hey ryan i was wondering maybe what you thought of this. tell me im crazy but this article here is saying the vg10;s flip LCD screen is 4:3 but the cam only shoots 16:9? now how the hell would that be uesful?

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/NEXVG10/NEXVG10A.HTM

4th paragraph

@wh1sp - Im pretty sure if anyone had that info about a canon camcorder they could sell it for a hefty price right now(the info)! I think the closest you re going to get is rumors and possible(probable) pics of the 60d. google it. also a couple folks are reporting a canon expo end of the month, have to wait and see!

August 16, 2010 at 7:22PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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steven phipps

oh another thing i d love is for somebody to tell me the drawbacks if any of buying the PAL version of this? will i run into any issues? will the battery charger work in the states?

August 16, 2010 at 7:24PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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steven phipps

I believe you will have to buy an adapter to suit the north american plug ins. I am having the same dilema, not sure if i should by the 30p or 25p. Would you be able to tell me the advantages of 25p over 30p??

January 9, 2011 at 2:00AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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johann

Hi I want to know where I can buy a PAL version of this camera in the states??? I'm currently in California / Long Beach and I need to buy it PAL version. Can anyone advise?

September 6, 2010 at 2:33PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Hend

you can buy the pal version at B and H in NEW YORK. Sells for about $200 more. Maybe you can answer my question, why would one benefit from the pal version over the ntsc? Can we use the pal version here in North America? I want to buy the same camera and confused as to which version to get??

January 9, 2011 at 1:53AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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johann

Stephen and Hend,

The battery charger will almost certainly be dual voltage, although you may have to find a plug adapter. The main problem to be aware of is filming in fluorescent lighting or filming monitor screens, because our electricity will appear to flicker at the different rate of 50Hz. Not sure where you can get one yet as it's not out...

September 13, 2010 at 3:06AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I am confused... I live in Canada and want to buy the sony nex vg 10. Here is where my problem lies, should I buy the north american version (30P) or should I buy the european version (25p). Is there a big difference??

January 9, 2011 at 1:47AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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johann

I have one and it rocks. Not perfect but nothing ever is and this camera is a game changer. Outrageous 14.2 mb stills, shallow depth of field and the ability to change lenses is something not available today for less then 6K. I've shot in daylight and in a theater without problems but the real fun will begin when using the ancient Nikkor lenses on the system, something I just started to do while being buried under yet another snowstorm from the winter from hell.

It's a good system and is where the industry is going. The Sony Nxcam-HD promises to be the super 35mm camera real people will be able to afford. All that's need now are really fast systems to do the edits generated from hardware such as this.

January 26, 2011 at 6:12PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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new firmware is coming for nex-vg10 with 24p, zebra and sound control

February 19, 2011 at 1:02PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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http://twitpic.com/41i07w the new firmware chatting with sony support

February 19, 2011 at 1:03PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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hello, I have been recently looking to purchase this camera.However, I want to know for sure that I can record in 30p. I use sony vegas 7 for editing. Will i have to convert something in there to get that true 30p? or what ? Because i did not quite understand how supposedly 59.94i is actually 30p. Thank You.

Also I am looking for a camera just like this but perhaps that shoots right away 30p with a budget of about of $1,600 tops if this after all isnt that good of a choice.

September 22, 2012 at 2:16AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Daniil