The Sony NEX-VG20H Interchangeable Lens HD Camcorder is the updated, second generation of the large-sensor Handycam camcorder, featuring an even higher-resolution CMOS chip and new 24p & 60p recording modes at 1920 x 1080 resolution. Like its predecessor, the NEX-VG10, the VG20H has an APS-sized sensor and an E-mount for attaching Sony's growing family of compatible lenses, and so the camcorder enables the shallow depth of field for which DSLR video cameras are so highly prized.
The VG20H comes with a versatile 11x lens (18-200mm – 32.4-360mm equivalent in the 35mm world for video), an f/3.5-6.3 OSS model that is video-optimized to silently autofocus while providing optical image stabilization for potentially shaky shots. Though it shares strengths with DSLRs, the NEX-VG20H also succeeds where those cameras fall short. Physically a camcorder, it's specifically designed for shooting motion video with ease and comfort.
In fact, the ergonomics of this second-generation NEX camcorder are greatly improved. The NEX-VG20H features a new grip and belt design for more comfortable handheld operation. New buttons enable more efficient operation: there are new direct-access hard keys near the rear of the body, an expanded focus button for better manual focus, and a second REC button that's more easily accessible during low-angle shooting, for when you're holding the NEX-VG20H by its pro-style handle.
Of course, the VG20H keeps the features that made its predecessor such a standout. The APS HD CMOS sensor is significantly larger than a conventional camcorder's, and it's large enough to grant you creative control over what's in focus and what's not, facilitating cinematic-looking video. Manual control over all significant image parameters furthers this intimate level of engagement with captured image.
And unlike with DSLR cameras, there's a swiveling LCD screen, to show you what's in the frame as you shoot from any angle – the 3.0" Xtra Fine LCD now swivels 270°. It's also now a touchscreen, for direct control over menu functions. When the LCD panel is closed, the assignable control dial is now accessible to the operator.
Further enhancements for the NEX-VG20H include the capture of RAW still images (up to the sensor's 16.1 Mp size, of course) and 5.1 surround-sound recording with audio level control. Like the VG10, the NEX-VG20H records AVCHD files (up to 24 Mb/s) to either Memory Stick or SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, and it adds Direct Copy of these files to hard drives.
The NEX-VG20H is compatible with Sony's E-mount series of smaller, lighter lenses which are optimized for video shooting with silent-operation auto-focus – as well as Sony/Minolta A-mount lenses (via optional A-mount adapter) to open up a world of creative options. The supplied 18-200mm (11x) lens features 35mm equivalent focal lengths of 32.4-360mm (video) and 27-300mm (photo)
Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor
This is the same sensor format that Sony builds into the standard-size á DSLRs. With approximately 19.5x the surface area of conventional camcorder sensors, the Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor makes getting cinematic video with a shallow depth of field a breeze
The NEX-VG20H uses a V-Series battery, and with the supplied NP-FV70 you get continuous recording time up to 145 minutes
Wide 3.0" Touchscreen LCD
The camcorder's 3.0" widescreen Xtra Fine touchscreen LCD (921,000 dots) features TruBlack technology and swivels 270°
Integrated into the handle of the NEX-VG20, the Quad Capsule Spatial Array Stereo Microphone captures stereo audio, with left and right elements oriented 90° from each other. The camera also captures 5.1-channel surround, and features advanced signal processing and audio level control
For the ultimate in visual creativity, the NEX-VG20H features manual control not just focus but also iris, shutter speed, gain, and white balance
Optical SteadyShot with Active Mode
Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode compensates for greater degrees of camera shake to deliver stunningly smooth video
Up to 24 Mb/s AVCHD Video
The NEX-VG20H can capture video in full 1920 x 1080 high definition at up to 24 Mb/s for amazing clarity and detail, in 24p, 60i, and 60p progressive frame rate modes
HDMI Output for HD Viewing
Enjoy HD movies and stunning still images on a compatible HDTV or HDMI-enabled field monitor via the camera's HDMI output (mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable not included). The VG20H continues to show live video on its LCD screen even as video is output via HDMI
Media Card Slot
For cost-effective, convenient storage and sharing of your images, the camera accepts Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC media (Class 4 or higher recommended). (Memory card is required. All are sold separately.)
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