Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

It’s funny how certain companies have their own ideas when it comes to presenting camcorders, this is our third baby to appear from a manufacturer …first being the HM100 from JVC, second Panasonics HMC41 and now Sonys HXR-MC50.

The major difference between the Sony and the other 2 camcorders is the lack of professional features, I could have sworn the Sony had XLR inputs till I saw a picture confirming a 3.5mm jack socket, so how has this come about.

Sony over the last few years have decided to bastardise domestic Sony camcorders changing little features hear and there then presenting the so called “new” camcorder with a pro badge. Personally I don’t think Sony have done a good enough job here as this is effectively an HDR-XR550 less the 240GB internal hard drive.

I can’t deny the picture quality but does adding a lens hood and a short shotgun mic really change this into a professional camcorder ? The main gripe I have with this camcorder is it’s domestic menu screen, not what you expect when you come from cameras such as a 350, EX1/3/1R, NX5 who all share similar menu screens.

I don’t take it out for it’s inaugural run till next Wednesday but is it worth the extra £450 against the domestic 550 time will tell.

My parting thoughts are that in my opinion a “Pro badge” camcorder should have the ability to allow you to choose the gain settings both JVC and Panasonic allow this, Sony allow you to manually override iris or exposure with no mention of gain. We are made to believe that the Exmor R chipset does a grand job keeping grain at a minimum…we shall see.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

5 thoughts on “Sony HXR-MC50 First impressions”Is it a Pro camcorder”

  1. Actually if you look up the Sony CX550 you’ll see it’s pretty much identical to the MC50, they took that made it matte black and put a mic on top. What a joke.

  2. To me, the minimum to be called a pro-camcorder is that it needs XLR for sound. and possibly manual focus/zoom rings.

  3. So far the key distinction in performance would seem to be full HD for slow-mo. That in itself could be worth the difference for those who value slow motion.

  4. right? i was gna get the mc50 until i heard about the vg10 but i got no patience so should i just get the mc50 or wait for the vg10 ?

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