Sony introduced the first consumer 35mm full-frame interchangeable lens camcorder with their new flagship model NEX-VG900 Handycam. With a resolution of 24.3 effective megapixels, the camcorder’s Exmor CMOS sensor is around 40 times larger than its equivalent in standard consumer camcorders and more than twice the size of the APS-C sensor found in other interchangeable lens Handycam models. It captures full-frame, 24 megapixel still photos, with RAW format support for all the post-processing flexibility and quality expected from a pro-class DSLR camera. The sensor also allows the creation of distinctive ‘bokeh’ (defocus) effects; high sensitivity for extremely clear, low-noise images; and effortless reproduction of smooth, true tonal gradation.
Beautiful, film-like results can be achieved by shooting video in 24p progressive mode with CinemaTone Gamma and CinemaTone Color presets to precisely control cinematic grading effects. Additionally, AVCHD version 2.0 standard 60p recording maximizes the range of creative options for movie-makers to explore. Even greater flexibility is provided by a choice of new Picture Effect modes, enabling easy creation of artistic ‘in-camera’ treatments. Whether you’re shooting HD video or stills, Picture Effects add a new level of expression to content. Modes like Posterization, which creates a high contrast abstract look by heavily emphasizing primary colors or black and white; Retro Photo, which creates the look of an aged photo with sepia color tones and faded contrast; Pop Color, which produces a vivid look by emphasizing color tones; and Partial Color, which produces stunning monochrome photos containing a single designated color (red, green, blue or yellow) are just a few of the effects that make ordinary images and scenes come to life.
A convenient seesaw lever allows slow, smooth zoom capability that is almost impossible to achieve when zooming manually, for added creative control and pro-quality imagery. Yielding impressive results, the lever adjusts optical zoom when using compatible E-mount lenses that feature a built-in zoom drive and controls electronic zoom when using the camcorder with fixed focal lenses. As an extra refinement, the NEX-VG900 camcorder switches automatically from full-frame operation to APS-C mode when an E-mount or A-mount DT lens is attached. This allows users to get the most out of their collection of lenses that are optimized for cameras with a smaller APS-C image sensor. The camcorder also comes supplied with the LA-EA3 adaptor that lets photographers use full-frame A-mount lenses at their designated focal length.
Extensive manual settings and options combined with ergonomic refinements give videographers greater control and comfort. Aperture priority, shutter speed priority and manual exposure are all customizable while white balance can be adjusted to suit any scene. Similarly, iris, shutter speed, and gain adjustments can easily be made via direct access keys. And the camcorder’s pro-style display peaking function is complemented by a one-touch focus magnification button on top of the grip.
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Serious videomakers will welcome the premium XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF that offers high-contrast image monitoring with superb color rendition. Even in the most challenging lighting situations, being able to view your footage with the Tru-finder EVF ensures you’re getting the best shots. Complementing the Tru-Finder EVF, an adjustable three-inch Xtra Fine LCD touch-panel monitor with LED backlighting offers Sony’s unique technology for high contrast images with rich, deep blacks.
Superior audio has always been a crucial part of the E-mount Handycam camcorder lineup. A unique Quad Capsule Spatial Array Microphone features four omnidirectional capsules that supports stereo or 5.1 channel surround. Recording levels are adjustable, with accurate visual confirmation provided by an audio level meter on the LCD display. There’s also a headphone jack for direct monitoring of sounds being recorded. The new Multi Interface Shoe provides compatibility with accessories including the optional XLR-K1M adaptor kit that adds a high-quality mono shotgun mic and two pro-standard XLR connections.
Pricing and Availability
The Sony Handycam NEX-VG900 35mm full-frame camcorder (body-only) with LA-EA3 adaptor will be available in November 2012 for about $3,300.