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Sony's new NEX-VG900 camcorder includes a full-frame sensor

Consumer Reports News: September 12, 2012 12:09 AM

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Sony today announced the NEX-VG900, a camcorder with a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor—the same type of sensor Sony is including in two new cameras. Unlike the digital cameras with full-frame sensors that Sony also announced today, though, it's unclear how much benefit such a sensor it to camcorders.

The company also announced the NEX-VG30, the same smaller 16-megapixel APS-C-sized sensor that was included in the early version of this camcorder, the NEX-VG10.

Both VG models are unique among camcorders in that they accept interchangeable lenses from Sony's Alpha- and NEX-series cameras, which can, among other things, provide unique effects such as a very shallow depth-of-field that's generally unattainable on most camcorders.

One reason we're skeptical of the full-frame sensor for the NEX-VG900 is that camcorders are required to output images that have an image size of only 1920x1080 pixels for full-resolution HD quality, much lower than what a full-frame 24-megapixel sensor can provide. Camcorder can capture still images at such a large resolution, but that's generally been an ancillary function for these devices.

The NEX-VG30 will cost $2,700 with a 18-200mm lens or $1,800 body-only. The NEX-VG900 will cost $3,300 body-only. Both models ship in November.

Terry Sullivan

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