Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

EBAY are preparing for a large volume of HDSLRs during September with the introduction of the first Shallow Depth of Field (SDoF) camcorder from both Sony Domestic (NEX-VG10) and Panasonic Professional (AF100).

Both camcorders are poles apart when it comes to features but they both hold the same coveted feature the SDoF. Sony surprised everyone by bringing out their SDoF camcorder in a domestic form first, running in at about £1,600. There is no tentative pricing for the AF100 but rumours have the camcorder with no lens in the region of about £5,300.

It seems that Panasonic will finally reveal all during the IBC show this September including pricing but strangely no word yet on Sony’s professional SDoF camcorder, due early February 2011. I am not sure if Sony are coming in with two hats on…the VG10 for the student and enthusiast market and moping up the rest with the professional camcorder.

In the professional video world Sony out sells other manufacturers by ten to one so you can see Sony’s logic by entering both the domestic and pro market with a SDoF camcorder.

Just in case you have not noticed…the side of the new Sony VG10 has very similar controls to the Sony MC50 with some exceptions, the VG10 has more manual control switches on the outside making it a far better featured camcorder from day one. We have a gain switch which is sadly missing off the MC50 but will be a great benefit for film makers using the VG10.

So what of the HDSLR world…my advice is sell, sell, sell…long before September as this little beauty will be like gold dust from September till Japan catches up with the sheer volume of expected sales.

Canon had this marketplace sewn up… in fact, Canon sold four times more HDSLRs last year making it their best year ever but have come to a grinding halt with no new featured HDSLRs since the EOS 550D last February. It is rumoured that we might see a prototype SDoF camcorder from Canon during IBC next month but as usual they will be in the long shadow of both Panasonic and Sony by the time we see a working model.


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.

3 thoughts on “Sony NEX-VG10 September launch along with Panasonics AF100

  1. Much as i look forward to the AG-AF100 and similar cameras coming along, i don’t think HDSLRs are going anywhere for a long time. People didn’t buy into them because they gave the best pictures… a full raster HDCam with a 35mm adapter or even a RED could do that. People bought into HDSLR because it looks great AND it’s cheap. For £2500 i bought a 550D and a load of lenses and grip gear. This Sony is very much a stop-gap camera in my opinion. The Panasonic looks much more like what i’m after…but i’ll still keep my DSLRs and probably buy more…specifically for video they look great, they’re small and they are very easy to work with now the workflow issues are over.

    I bet DSLRs and films made on them will be around for some time to come..possibly a few years. How many film students can buy a £5k camera?? Virtually none… how many can afford a 550D or a GH1? Most of them…

  2. Sean some good points but one big point you are missing…price…at £1600 the VG10 is very affordable for students who want to learn film techniques on a camcorder built for purpose. You forget the HDSLR was not built for filming, but majors on photography first and moving pictures a small second. Because the HDSLR “CAN” does not mean it “DOES” because it does what it can very badly. All the frigging, third party bolt on’s, external sound devices needed…because HDSLR’s all but none…produce crap sound. People are even suggesting that you now use soft filters to combat aliasing it’s a joke !
    I can’t imagine using such a tool that has more problems than solutions for any job let alone a paying one, sorry but if anyone who is seriously into filming SDoF movies sticks by the HDSLR when companies like Panasonic and Sony are now producing working alternatives that are fit for purpose then they don’t take their work seriously.

  3. This is an argument that could run and run. For me and many others, HDSLRs are small, light, cheap and shoot amazing footage. They have been used by prime time shows on US TV, BBC, ITV, George Lucas and many many commercials, not to mention hundreds if not thousands of music videos. How many of those jobs need sound on camera? None. I only ever capture temp sound to camera… and so would any drama or commercial and music videos don’t need any really. It’s not an issue in a lot of situations where the DSLR excels. It’s never going to replace the trusty camcorder…it’s a different beast. But putting it down and wishing for it’s early demise makes no sense to me. The Sony cam looks interesting…but it’s still half-arsed. No 24 or 25p? That’s not going to encourage film-makers to buy it. It’s a tool, like any other.. it’ll find a market i’m sure, but it will be alongside the HDSLR, not in it’s place.

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