Originally Posted by bigbarney
Now if you people want get tangled up in a bunch of absolutely useless talk about pull down and other such nonsense then knock yourself out because none of it changes the rather stunning images coming out of this cam.
I am not sure the talk is useless. When lower end cameras have flexible frame rates, then a higher end camera looks bad when it doesn't. You expect more when you pay more rather than the other way around.
Anyway, there are other issues beyond frame rate mentioned by Michael's review that I post earlier:
While there is a great deal to appreciate about the VG10, and it fulfills its primary brief of shooting video with a large sensor and interchangeable lenses at an attractive price point, there is a lot about the VG10 to be critical of.
Unlike most camcorders there is no powered zoom provided, and none is possible. In exchange one has the advantage of interchangeable lenses, so I see no particular disadvantage since those interested in this model will likely have another camcorder as well for those times when powered zoom is required.
So – in no particular order, here are some of what I regard as the VG10's more serious deficits...
– Sensor Dust.
Just as with a DSLR the downside of a removable lens is the possibility of dust on the sensor. The camera has sensor shake dust removal technology, but this isn't always successful. I shot for most of a day with a dust bunny on the sensor and didn't notice it till I reviewed the day's footage that evening. Unlike when shooting stills, removing dust spots from video is not a simple matter of clicking once or twice with a magic wand.
Dust removal shake is actuated every time the camera is turned off, so I suggest that when changing lenses with the VG10 one get in the habit of cycling the power switch or activating sensor cleaning via the menus. My recommendation is that you also do what has always been done in the film industry between shots – check the gate, or in this case, check the sensor, visually.
– No 24P
. I discuss this in detail below, but I find the lack of 24P on a camera in this price range to be regrettable. Not everyone needs it, but at this stage in the game it doesn't cost extras to include and would be appreciated by exactly the type of buyer that the VG10 is designed to be attractive to, the indy film maker. Given that the Canon 5D MKII now has 24P, once Canon understood that this is what people want, and the Panasonic GH1 offers excellent 24P with the Tester 13 hack, it's more than a little surprising that Sony didn't include it.
– No Focus or Exposure Support Indicators
. The VG10 does not have any form of overexposure warning. No flashing highlights, or more appropriate for video, no Zebras. It also does not have any form of focus confirmation; no confirmation light; no Peaking. I frankly can't believe that a video camera priced at some $2,000 lacks these most basic shooting assists.
Even more curious is that the NEX5, which the VG10 is based on, has a very nice manual focus assist function that provides 7X and 14X views. This is fantastically useful for focusing A series and other wide aperture manual focus lenses, such as Leica M glass. Why it's missing from the VG10 borders on the imponderable.
– Control Placement and User Interface.
I'll be frank. The user interface on the VG10 is really not that good. It is based on that of the NEX5 which I roundly criticized when I reviewed that camera here recently. It improves on the NEX5 slightly by having a few additional buttons, but these are all covered by the LCD screen when it is closed.
If you shoot using the EVF then you'll likely have the screen closed, and this means that not a single control is available unless you open the screen cover, at which point the view through the EVF disappears, and reappears on the LCD. So to shoot while making any adjustment, even something as simple as exposure compensation, requires you to have the LCD screen open, even if you're not using it for viewing. Who on the Sony design team thought that this was a good idea?
– No RAW in Still Mode
. Once again, I have to ask – "why"? The NEX 5 has raw. The VG10 is aimed at a sophisticated user, likely one more so than an NEX5 owner, which is described by Sony as being aimed at the step-up-from-a-point-and-shoot customer. So, why omit raw on the VG10? It costs nothing because its already there. All cameras shoot raw, it's what the in-camera JPG is derived from. Why throw it away? I just don't get it. Market and product segmentation is all I can imagine is at work here. Look for step-up model that includes raw mode within a year or so, at a higher price, of course. Or maybe, if we get really lucky, a firmware upgrade.
– No Front Release
. There is only one shutter release at the rear of the camera. This is well placed for hand-held shooting but inconvenient for much tripod work. A front release would be highly appreciated, and is found on most higher end camcorders for this reason. Some even have three releases. The VG10 just one.
– No Audio Level Controls
. No Meters. No XLR. The built in mikes are fine for casual use, but anyone shooting narratives needs better audio than built-ins can provide. There is a mini-jack mike input on the VG10's top handle, and a cold shoe for mounting a shotgun mic, but the input has no levels meters or controls. There are obviously no XLRs, but size wasn't the reason because there are small cameras such as the JVC HM100 that manage to provide them.
– The Histogram Fiasco
. Just as with the NEX5 the VG10 has an available histogram. Thank goodness, because it's hard enough to judge exposure manually without Zebras. But, as was discussed in my NEX5 review, mysteriously the histogram disappears during exposure compensation adjustment – exactly the time that you want and need to see it.
Given that this is simply a firmware issue, and that every review of the NEX5 that I have seen has chastised Sony for this design flaw, you'd think that in the months since the NEX5 was released they would have corrected this in the VG10. Once again a very puzzling design error."