Sony unveils low-cost HD camcorder with interchangeable lenses and full-resolution stills

Sony last week introduced the first affordable HD camcorder with interchangeable lenses. Although billed as a consumer product, the $2000 camcorder has a price and feature set that may be attractive for broadcast ENG operations.

The Handycam NEX-VG10 uses the same E-mount lenses as Sony’s NEX-3 and NEX-5 still image cameras but in a body more in line with video capture. It can record at 1080p at the full 24Mb/s of AVCHD (H.264) and has a four-capsule microphone with both a microphone input and a headphone output for more advanced audio recording.

The camcorder has the same 14.2-megapixel CMOS sensor used in the NEX photo cameras and supports their full high-definition quality still image features. This could be used for television news personnel who shoot for both websites and broadcast programming.

The new camcorder has a 5.25-hour recording time on battery and up to four hours of storage for 1080p when using a 32GB Memory Stick Pro Duo or SDHC card. It can also take SDXC for eight hours or more of recording time.

Sony will bundle the NEX-VG10 with an 18-200 mm, image stabilized lens and an adapter that will allow it to use the A-mount lenses from the full-size Alpha system. The camera is expected in September and includes a coupon for a free copy of Sony's Vegas editing system.