Sony NEX-EA50 Review coming soon (Updated)

Categories: Miscellaneous 9 Comments

Sony-EA50

Finally I get a Sony EA50 to review thanks to H Preston Media who have loaned me their demo model for the week, as usual I have played with it over the weekend just to get familiar with it’s controls.

First impressions…

The stock lens is a Sony 18-200 f3.5-6.3 power zoom E mount lens, this is a welcome addition to the complete lack of servo zoom lenses available for larger sensor camcorders though the f3.5-6.3 aperture leaves a lot to be desired especially for shallow depth of field filming.

Fortunately I have an MTF Nikon to E mount adapter and a Nikon 24-85mm f2.8-f4 lens, perfect for the odd video review like this.

The build quality is done to a budget though I personally feel the plastic body keeps the weight down and the camera certainly looks the part, the shoulder pad extends to allow shoulder mounting which is the more conventional way of filming with a camcorder.

Haven’t put a card into it yet to see the quality but going by the “FS” style loupe the pictures certainly look punchy. I have a couple of filming dates this week that involve interviews so if I have time I will take the EA50 with me and catch an interview or two.

Update : I had a further play this morning and pointed the camera at a row of brick houses and surprisingly not a hint to moire, this is good news for the EA50 as the VG-20 suffered terrible moire patterning pointed at a row of houses especially the roof tiles. It’s always a good sign when a camera challenges you to produce poor footage.

The camera does have a LANC remote 2.5mm jack socket on the back of it and I have tested it with a Manfrotto LANC zoom control.

Thanks to the JVC GY-HM600/650 I have a better understanding of how camcorder manufacturers mask the noise produced by camcorder chips with the use of noise reduction circuits, the EA50 is no exception as there is a slight NR in the picture but not nearly enough to spoil the picture.

Colours are nice and tight and the reds are red unlike the Canon XF305 which produces orange reds. Tomorrow will be a big test as I am taking the EA50 out on a corporate shoot and will re-film an interview to see how it performs against my trusty Canon C300.

If you have any questions about the Sony EA50 or something you want me to try out why not email me direct at hdwarrior@me.com

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

9 comments on this post

  1. Tom says:

    I’ll be interested to hear your opinion this one, Philip. I had a play with it at BVE North and was very disappointed – it seemed to have all the downsides of large sensor cams without any of the advantages and none of the advantages of a small form factor eng cam! Plus that lens was really poor imho, very disappointing for FS700 owners who were waiting for it. I hope to be proved wrong 🙂 (oh, ps another bad point for me was the shoulder pad, which seemed to do nothing whatever – can you test to see if rods can be attached to it to hang counterweights?)
    Tom

  2. remoran says:

    I have the 50. Have used it extensively as a run and gun system capable of shooting quality stills and video without question. Does it produce video as good as the 700, no, but the difference, outside of slow motiion, is not vast. The kit lens is obviously not fast, but with adequate light, it performs at high level as other pros have stated when reviewing the camera. Your preview of the system is spot on. I look forward to your take when you take the camera out to do your review.

    Regards,

    Bob Moran

  3. I shoot doc-style short films for non-profit orgs and just used the EA50 for our first 7-minute film. Using the kit lens, the camera handled beautifully: color was gorgeous, was able to get shallow depth of field on exterior interviews using a variable ND, focus was a little soft in lower daylight so I used the expanded and auto-focus buttons to dial it in and then reset to manual, shot some interiors on the fly handheld and bumped it up to 18db but I could barely see any noise, the edit workflow on good old FCP7 was hitch-free. Only drawbacks so far: the touchy and critical focus and yes, the slide-out shoulder mount didn’t seem to add much since the camera is already ergonomically very well balanced. I also used it on a pico dolly and it worked well that gizmo, too. I also liked the very quick and easy to use still photo option and can see how that will be a great little perk to offer clients.

    HDW : Thanks for the feedback

  4. remoran says:

    Excellent review. My sentiments exactly regarding the 50. You’re right about the shoulder mount though it works really well with light weight primes as the system is front heavy using the kit lens. Thanks again for your thoughtful analysis.

    Best

  5. Jerome says:

    Looking forward to your review and some well shot footage. It’s difficult to find good sample footage online. Found a couple of good clips, but not a lot. I’m thinking about getting this camera…..

  6. Here is a link to the finished 7 minute doc-style film I shot with the EA-50. There are a couple of underwater shots with a GoPro and one shot near the beginning of the piece I got with my V1U a few years ago. But the rest is from the new EA50. Minimal color correction on this; and like I said some of the focus is a little soft because I was shooting on the fly. The viewfinder extension is a great asset for shooting outside. Link:

  7. Jerome says:

    Rustin, that was a nice little documentary there! I’ll contact you through Vimeo… thanks for sharing.

  8. remoran says:

    The loupe is essential for outside shots and for the DZ.

  9. Steve Crye says:

    I was about to buy this cam until I saw all the vids demonstrating bad rolling shutter and autofocus hunting while zooming.

    I’m puzzled – does it not use an Exmor-R sensor? Those are supposed to have the fast per-row readout that mitigates jello-cam. Confused and sad,

    Steve

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