The Sony NEX-VG20 Interchangeable Lens HD Camcorder (Body Only) 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 × 1080 resolution. Like its predecessor, the NEX-VG10, the VG20 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 NEX-VG20 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-VG20 by its pro-style handle.
Of course, the VG20 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-VG20 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-VG20 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.